View Full Version : Astonishing a Windows user

May 24th, 2007, 03:48 PM
Over the last weekend, I picked up an old and cheap system (P4 1.2GHZ, 512 MBytes RAM, 40 GByte IDE HD) from a thrift shop for $75. I figured this would be a nice, extra desktop that my son could use. Buying a monitor, some speakers and a replacement DVD-ROM brought the total cost up to $280.

While my son and I were setting up the (new) desktop, a friend of mine dropped by for a visit. He happens to be a dedicated Windows fan who has resisted all of my and my son's debates on the benefits of using Linux for years. I explained what we were doing and told him that I also have an old P2-400Mhz with Ubuntu 6.10 that resides in a closet connected wirelessly to my home network. I use it for synchronization between my desktop, my laptop, and my son's laptop, all of which are loaded with Ubuntu 7.04. The plan is that we will get the new desktop up and running, then get all of my son's files, music, bookmarks, etc. synched across his laptop, my desktop, and his new desktop. In short, the task was to get a new OS installed, wireless networking up, all of the necessary apps installed, and then all of his files migrated and in synch with the other systems on the network.

He watched us as we popped in the Feisty CD, started the installation, and then we broke for lunch. After a few sandwiches and a cup of coffee, my son finished the installation and set up ndiswrapper for his wireless connection. He moved his new desktop to its permanent home in his room and installed Unison for handling the synchronization. He connected to the closeted synchronization server and in about 15 minutes had all of his files in place and updated on this new system.

Now here is the part that astonished my Windows-using buddy. The total time for this operation was 1 hour and 50 minutes. He was at first speechless, then gave me a barrage of questions about cost and reliability of this Ubuntu-based solution. I'm not sure what the cost would be in 2007 of that old P2-400Mhz box, but let's guess at about $50 for the sake of argument. That raises the total cost to now $330. Pretty low-cost, but the main point that had him thinking was the fact that the entire process was quick and easy, so much so that he recognizes there is a huge business impact lying just under the surface.

From his reaction, I believe he just had his real "Wow" experience. And it had absolutely nothing to do with Vista.

May 24th, 2007, 04:05 PM
My brother first used Ubuntu last night, after seeing my desktop. He also was astonished. The easiest way to "convert" people is to say nothing and let them see it for themselves.

May 24th, 2007, 04:16 PM
As someone that goes on and off Linux every now and again, 7.04 convinced me to run it as main OS. I have not booted into XP in at least 2 weeks so far (have it installed for 2 and a half weeks). The only thing I use XP for anymore for is playing Half-Life 2.