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Thread: Getting family off Windows and on Ubuntu - Rant from 'Family IT guy"

  1. #1
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    Question Getting family off Windows and on Ubuntu - Rant from 'Family IT guy"

    I'm sure many of you here are probably the "Family IT guy"? You know....the guy that mom, sister, girlfriend...friend of a friend always calls when "Windows won't boot, print or do anything". Arrgh!

    I was starting to really get burned out on computers since I was using Windows. I then tried Linux and after a year of running it about 99% of the time, I'm hooked.
    Now, I'm trying to get mom and dad, sister, girlfriend, and others to at least give Linux a try. I gave everyone Ubuntu 7.10 disks for Christmas along with some "For Dummies" books on how easy it is to use, but just need to crack the whip now and get them going.

    Sure, there is some initial confusion when starting with Linux, but if you are a GUI user it's no harder than anything else. I'll stick my fingers deep in the command line, .conf files and make Linux harder, but the GUI is easy! My girlfriend is constantly cussing at her computer and says "I need a new computer, this thing sucks!" No! You have great hardware, its XP that blows chunks. I can't convince her very easily. Her 18 year old daughter lives on the internet - Myspace, Facebook..and all those other wastes of brain cells and bandwidth, and all her friends are chatting on IM constantly. They both just need a chat client, maybe some music, email and a browser. Nothing more!
    My sister maintains a movie review site, there are plenty of HTML editors out there, Dad uses Excel a lot, but I found that Office can run with Crossover. Mom uses email and a browser.

    Just wondering what some of you have done that might have worked to kick the family butts into something reliable?

    Tom
    "Just another family computer guy"

  2. #2
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    Wink Re: Getting family off Windows and on Ubuntu - Rant from 'Family IT guy"

    Oh one other thing...I recently built a MythTV box using Mythdora. I'll give the 8.04 Mythbuntu a try soon.
    That thing is the BEST! I'll never be bothered by a commercial again!

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    Re: Getting family off Windows and on Ubuntu - Rant from 'Family IT guy"

    Well, you really can't force it on them. IMO you have done more then enough and if they would like you should offer assistance.

    Pressuring them into changing, however, is unlikely to do anything more then build resentment.

    I am often asked to assist with Windows problems. I offer fee for service on Windows support, so now I am asked less. I too am tired of constantly cleaning after Windows viruses.

    I install and support Linux (Ubuntu) for free, so requests for service are increasing in that realm.
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    Re: Getting family off Windows and on Ubuntu - Rant from 'Family IT guy"

    No viruses or spyware, much more stable and secure. Those are usually the things I point out to anyone considering it.
    Not to mention about 17,000 different titles of software that are basically free, plus everything is highly customizable and configurable.
    Those are a few good reasons to make the switch.
    ``The awful thing about getting it right the first time is that nobody realizes how hard it was.''
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    Re: Getting family off Windows and on Ubuntu - Rant from 'Family IT guy"

    I tried that, first thing I got hit with was why can't yahoo messenger work, then I showed them pidgin, and then why isn't my web cam working or comments like its slow and looks amateurish compared to windows.

    Also showed them how easy it was to connect printers to ubuntu, LOOK ma no driver cd needed! But when she tried to print a 4x6 photo from picasa it took 15 minutes for the printer to start doing anything and it wasn't even like that in windows.

    I always try to make a minimal install of windows, conserve memory for applications and have diskeeper defragmenting on the background. They also use firefox on windows, but still they are tied to their IM client, can't convince them to move away.
    Last edited by fujikofujio; February 19th, 2008 at 09:32 PM.

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    Re: Getting family off Windows and on Ubuntu - Rant from 'Family IT guy"

    I didn't install on the family computer until my sister said she wanted to use Linux when she goes to college and my brother agreed. My mom just goes along with whatever I do to the computer.

    LinuxChix | Linux User #432169 | Ubuntu User #8495 | IRC: maco @ irc.linuxchix.org or irc.freenode.net

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    Re: Getting family off Windows and on Ubuntu - Rant from 'Family IT guy"

    Forcing anyone into Linux is not a good idea. I actually just let Ubuntu sell itself. I set up a dual boot on the main computer and slowly everyone started using Ubuntu more and more and Windows less and less. I didn't have to do anything, it sold itself. Everyone noticed the lack of crashing, freezing, stupid errors etc etc.
    Then when my mom got a new laptop she wanted me to install Ubuntu on it because she dreaded having to use Windows Vista.
    Ubuntu caught on like wild fire.
    Last edited by FuturePilot; February 19th, 2008 at 09:39 PM.
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    Re: Getting family off Windows and on Ubuntu - Rant from 'Family IT guy"

    I'd announce that as family IT guy you no longer support windows OSes, but if they have problems you're always willing to help them upgrade to something better or set up a dual boot just to try it out.

    Every time they ask for help, just give them that line and see what happens.





    Quote Originally Posted by tegwilym View Post
    I'm sure many of you here are probably the "Family IT guy"? You know....the guy that mom, sister, girlfriend...friend of a friend always calls when "Windows won't boot, print or do anything". Arrgh!

    I was starting to really get burned out on computers since I was using Windows. I then tried Linux and after a year of running it about 99% of the time, I'm hooked.
    Now, I'm trying to get mom and dad, sister, girlfriend, and others to at least give Linux a try. I gave everyone Ubuntu 7.10 disks for Christmas along with some "For Dummies" books on how easy it is to use, but just need to crack the whip now and get them going.

    Sure, there is some initial confusion when starting with Linux, but if you are a GUI user it's no harder than anything else. I'll stick my fingers deep in the command line, .conf files and make Linux harder, but the GUI is easy! My girlfriend is constantly cussing at her computer and says "I need a new computer, this thing sucks!" No! You have great hardware, its XP that blows chunks. I can't convince her very easily. Her 18 year old daughter lives on the internet - Myspace, Facebook..and all those other wastes of brain cells and bandwidth, and all her friends are chatting on IM constantly. They both just need a chat client, maybe some music, email and a browser. Nothing more!
    My sister maintains a movie review site, there are plenty of HTML editors out there, Dad uses Excel a lot, but I found that Office can run with Crossover. Mom uses email and a browser.

    Just wondering what some of you have done that might have worked to kick the family butts into something reliable?

    Tom
    "Just another family computer guy"
    Last edited by sloggerkhan; February 19th, 2008 at 09:41 PM.

  9. #9
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    Re: Getting family off Windows and on Ubuntu - Rant from 'Family IT guy"

    It was easy for me since everyone in my family (aside from me) just uses the computer for the Internet.
    And when I showed them the difference in boot speed from Windows to Ubuntu, they were kinda "woad". And then they asked my if it was safer, so I showed them how many viruses there are for Windows, and then I showed them how many viruses there are for Linux.
    They then asked me what I was waiting for to get them set up.

    So I guess I had it pretty easy.

  10. #10
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    Re: Getting family off Windows and on Ubuntu - Rant from 'Family IT guy"

    Quote Originally Posted by tegwilym View Post
    Just wondering what some of you have done that might have worked to kick the family butts into something reliable?
    My mom is the quite easily the most computer illiterate person in the world, aside from those who have never seen or touched one before. Yet, even she is more credulous to using the GNU/Linux I've installed then my father, who has used computers for decades. It was because of him that I was exposed to the i8088 as a pre-teen. He himself however, has wedged himself so deeply into Microsoftware that you could not pull him out with a tractor. He has wasted large sums of money on hardware, not knowing that he was being sold was expensive junk (thanks Dell). I used to have a Linux compatible printer, that he jacked into his office setup and bricked in less then three months. Fortunately, fate has a sense of humor, and it bricked his Dell 964 AIO as well. That printer (the Dell) is really a Lexmark x7170, which of course, does not provide any support for GNU/Linux. Through the pulling of teeth, and my mom's intervention, we managed to get him to replace the Dell POS with a HP PhotoSmart C7280. I think it pissed him off that I was able to connect to it over the network and have full-functionality instantaneously through the hplip/hpijs free software drivers w/o using the installation disc, rebooting, or any of the many annoyances of Windows.

    My father used to setup robust custom made home office workstations in the MS-DOS days. Last week I asked him why he had his laptop connecting to the network through his aircard when it was already connected via the LAN. He said he thought Windows would work better with the printer with wifi since the HP has builtin wifi.

    Windows, making smart people dumber for over twenty-years. Get f^&*ed, Microsoft.
    Last edited by k2t0f12d; February 19th, 2008 at 09:58 PM.
    "A fool works hard to earn his paycheck, but a wise man works hard so he doesn't need one."

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