View Full Version : Best OS for my Grandparents

January 18th, 2008, 07:40 AM
Hey, I wasn't really sure where to put this, so I thought here would be okay.
I'm helping my grandparents set up their first computer in a few days, it was an old Dell desktop of mine, and was wondering what you think about which operating system to use. I was going to use XP, but recently I've been thinking about using Ubuntu, since the system would run better on Linux, but I don't know how friendly it would be for them, considering they're not very tech-familiar.

Anyways, what're your thoughts on this.

January 18th, 2008, 07:53 AM
Just make sure YOU set it up for them. Take it to their house, get the internet working, make sure codecs are installed for web browsing and media playing. Get their email accounts set up in the corresponding applications, and it'll be fine.

January 18th, 2008, 08:11 AM
Linux should be fine.

Make some big icons on the desktop labeled web browser, email, Documents, what ever it is they are going to use so they can one click it all.

Make sure everything is installed and configured and they will be fine.

January 18th, 2008, 08:14 AM
The two major factors to consider here: What are their total computing needs? What do they need to do? What programs are they used to using? What tasks do they need to accomplish with a computer? Are you the tech support person in case something goes wrong? And, if so, what operating system are you best-versed in?

January 18th, 2008, 08:15 AM
Agreed with the above. I set my Mom up with Ubuntu, and then later KDE/buntu (kdebase), and she has nothing but good things to say. It is fine so long as you prepare them with a little explanation and try to set up the system as friendly as possible...

January 18th, 2008, 08:18 AM
I'd say Windows XP. It would be easier for them if they decide to buy a digital camera, do their taxes, etc. Plus there might be classes at their local senior center or school to help them.

January 18th, 2008, 08:26 AM
I agree with aysiu. First determine what they need the computer for and if the programs supported by the OS is supporting their needs.
My opinion, ubuntu would be best fit for them, as it has a lot of software ready to be installed and use. But first, determine their needs. If something they need is not supported by ubuntu (a rare situation I believe but it exists), it is better to put something else.

January 18th, 2008, 09:31 AM
The whole family has been "putting pressure" on my grandparents to start using a computer.

My grandfather has finally asked me to help him with learning how a computer works.

He wants to use it to read news papers and email - instant messaging.

He will buy an new computer and i'll install ubuntu on it.

For people who haven't ever used a computer, ubuntu is that much easier to use.

No security software needed, faster and stable.

All he needs is the firefox icon on the desktop.

And i can remotely connect to his computer with stunning ease.

I wouldn't want him to use vista or xp, he wouldn't be able to do it. Just thinking about what could go wrong with a windows box, I wouldn't do that to him.

I'm sure my uncle will give me some heat for this but I'll make my case.

Chilli Bob
January 18th, 2008, 09:44 AM
I did exactly this for my parents this Christmas. They are both in their 60s and have NO computer experience. I installed Feisty on a second hand PC, installed all the codecs they needed, added a few games (Suduku and Frozen Bubble both went down a treat), but otherwise left it stock. I spent a few hours with them on Christmas day to teach them the basics and make sure that they could download photos from their camera to the right place, and copy files to the USB stick, then left them to experiment on their own. So far they have had a great experience.

They are learning mostly by working through the Ubuntu help, and a lot of trial and error. In a couple of weeks I'll set up internet and get them a printer. I'll set everything up, and there is little that they can do to damage the system with the permissions they have.

I'd recommend this over XP as I don't have to teach them about scanning for viruses or malware, or how to defrag. Also the menu system in Ubuntu is far more intuitive. Even my Mum could work out where to look for the application she wants, and with the big home folder icon on the desktop, they won't go wondering into strange parts of the file system.

PS - I was surprised that their Kodak camera was recognised immediately. I'd been told Kodak was a pain to get working in Ubuntu, but no!

January 18th, 2008, 12:11 PM
I would say gOS or LinuxMint. Appears a lot less cluttered and easy to get around with.

January 18th, 2008, 12:27 PM
I would say gOS or LinuxMint. Appears a lot less cluttered and easy to get around with.

The latest gOS looks good for most users, but is Enlightenment stable yet?

I installed Ubuntu on my mother's laptop (dual-boot) - and she now uses it instead of XP. She doesn't do media streaming etc anyway, but I did install flash for her. Also easier for me to trouble-shoot for her, cos I almost never use XP myself now. Interestingly, I haven't had to trouble-shoot yet - only explain how to download and install a .deb.

She particularly likes Sudoku and gBrainy.

But this is perhaps the best "beginners" computer user interface I have seen:

January 18th, 2008, 12:37 PM
I would suggest getting them an iMac, a lot less to learn and very easy. More stable as well, why give your grand parents a system which could crash with one kernel update?

January 18th, 2008, 12:44 PM
I would suggest getting them an iMac, a lot less to learn and very easy. More stable as well, why give your grand parents a system which could crash with one kernel update?

See the OP:

...it was an old Dell desktop of mine...

Hence Linux / XP options only.

January 18th, 2008, 12:46 PM
I would suggest getting them an iMac, a lot less to learn and very easy. More stable as well, why give your grand parents a system which could crash with one kernel update?

good point, so why get them a system that would crash after one mouse click?

i would deffinitly have to put my money on mint, its one of the best ones ive seen for inexpierenced uses. plus alot of what you want to install is preinstalled

January 18th, 2008, 12:48 PM
openSuSE 10.3 w/ KDE... Actually thanks to that ridiculous 'SLAB' menu which I bet MS is itching to launch a lawsuit about, you could also pick GNOME install. Before you get mad, between it's polish and (okay, I know YaST2 is slow as hell) the YaST2 control center it might make things easier to configure w/o you standing there. ie: If they run into a snag or buy a new printer you could even walk them through the set-up in YaST versus looking in different locations under the preferences menu or etc?

January 18th, 2008, 12:57 PM
I know the OP said he was using a Dell, but I suggest get them a new iMac. If it has to be Linux then it should be Linux Mint.

January 18th, 2008, 01:09 PM
Just Ubuntu them.
They'll be grateful.:guitar::)