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#26 2012-07-25 08:09:00

rhowaldt
#!*$%:)
Registered: 2011-03-09
Posts: 4,396

Re: Your Grandmother's Linux?

just had a conversation with my dad on this stuff yesterday. he has an EeePC, which i turned on to check out the linux on there. damn that thing is so closed down i felt i was inside a digital prison. took me some time to get up a terminal and get some real information out of the thing.

anyway, it is clear what my dad is looking for: he wants a computer that doesn't get in his way, that he doesn't have to think about, that Just Works. he is fine with the 'digital prison' because it gives him no real options so he doesn't have to think about stuff.

however, what he did run in to is printing support. i saw cupsd running on that EeePC, but we all know you can't just hook up any printer to a linux computer and expect it to work. he wants to be able to take the EeePC on the road and connect to printers everywhere without too much hassle. do any of you think this would be a possibility? (regardless of whether it be with the original EeePC-linux or with #! or Mint or whatever - i can convince him to switch to something if it is faster and more feature-filled and his printing will work smile)

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Be excellent to each other!

#27 2012-07-25 08:37:35

mariannemarlow
#! Die Hard
From: My flat, London, England
Registered: 2012-06-03
Posts: 2,209
Website

Re: Your Grandmother's Linux?

I wish I could get my mum to use a computer, whether it's Windows, Linux or anything.

She is 61 and thinks it's too late to learn. She is frightened of them.

I keep telling her to go to the Library (here they are called "Idea Stores") and book an hour on one. It's totally free to use the internet for an hour.

But nope. She seems to think they are Witchcraft or something..

MUUUUMMMMM! ARRRGGHHH, it's so frustrating!!


Between two evils, I always pick the one I never tried before ~ Mae West

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#28 2012-08-13 16:41:56

lordcirth
New Member
From: Behind you
Registered: 2012-08-04
Posts: 8

Re: Your Grandmother's Linux?

I'm currently making a modified install of #! Statler for my parent's business. They have a 1.9Ghz X2, 2GB RAM laptop that they would bring with them to a client's office. I wanted something that was

1: Secure (might be client's data on there)
2: Fast, especially fast boot time
3: Stable

So I've created a home dir template with trimmed Conky config, higher contrast for the laptop monitor, company logo as background, basic stuff like that.
Also modified Firefox default settings with AdBlock, Noscript, company homepage, startpage.com as default search, etc.
I'll install it with an encrypted LVM, and plymouth on "text" mode. It makes the LVM password prompt easier, without slowing down the boot or changing the look much.
Autologin, since the HDD is encrypted. Using pcmanfm for a few desktop shortcuts, just to make things friendlier.

I love how it's turned out, but I don't know if they'll like it. I'm hoping they'll find it useful. I learned lots about LVM, anyway.
There's other stuff, ask me if you want the home.tar.gz template.

Last edited by lordcirth (2012-08-13 23:38:01)

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#29 2012-08-13 20:21:54

Orik
Member
Registered: 2012-06-29
Posts: 16

Re: Your Grandmother's Linux?

@Graybyrd, feel free to adopt me. You're the coolest Grandmother.

I've transitioned my Grandparents over to Tablets and most of my family is moving over to OSx, but I hope one day they all get a taste of #!.


My website: orik.finbeard.com

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#30 2012-08-13 20:41:04

MartinRF
#! Junkie
From: Stockholm, Sweden
Registered: 2009-01-23
Posts: 402
Website

Re: Your Grandmother's Linux?

@Mariannemarlow

61 is certainly not too old for starting to use computers. My mum is 81 and is about to try out Skype (if she can remember where she put the microphone). She started her computer career little over ten years ago and has written one book using OpenOffice, orders books and tickets on the web on a regular basis. She thinks internet is a very neat resource.

But being a retired surgeon and starting late with computers means her ways with the computer is somewhat mystical to me and it adds to my support duties :-)

My 84 year old father is not that keen on using their computer despite being a retired engineer. He still writes manuscripts (science reports) in longhand.

WinXP, not Linux -- so far.

/Martin

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#31 2012-08-13 22:11:05

mariannemarlow
#! Die Hard
From: My flat, London, England
Registered: 2012-06-03
Posts: 2,209
Website

Re: Your Grandmother's Linux?

@MartinRF

I don't think 61 is too old to learn either but my mum is very set in her ways. She doesn't even have a bank account..

She will actually pay to get a cheque cashed somewhere rather than get an account to put it in.

I'm all about the convenience, if it saves me time and money, I'll do it.

I do not iron because it's a waste of my time, so I buy things that do not need to be ironed. My mum likes ironing. I can't get my head round it!

We are so different.


Between two evils, I always pick the one I never tried before ~ Mae West

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#32 2012-08-14 17:47:17

sqlpython
#! Die Hard
From: New England
Registered: 2011-11-28
Posts: 930

Re: Your Grandmother's Linux?

@Graybyrd, feel free to adopt me. You're the coolest Grandmother.

  @Orik  .. smile You might annoy him with that.. he is a Grandfather..   big_smile


OHCG #!, Jessie,, Siduction-13.1,  Slackware 14,  Bridge,, Sabayon 13.4,

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#33 2012-08-20 11:19:56

silince
#! CrunchBanger
Registered: 2010-07-22
Posts: 166

Re: Your Grandmother's Linux?

My mum is 70 odd and is certainly not techie, and she gets along with #! just fine.  I generally do an update for them if my Dad forgets, but apart from that no complaints.  She was asking me about  iPads recently but I refuse to give advice on overpriced brushed aluminium prisons as a rule!


Debian Wheezy on VeryPC Low Energy Desktop | Elementary on Lenovo Thinkpad SL510 | #! on Lenovo Ideapad S205 | Raspbmc on Pi | Linux Mint 17 XFCE on Lenovo W530.

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#34 2012-08-20 13:12:11

lordcirth
New Member
From: Behind you
Registered: 2012-08-04
Posts: 8

Re: Your Grandmother's Linux?

silince wrote:

My mum is 70 odd and is certainly not techie, and she gets along with #! just fine.  I generally do an update for them if my Dad forgets, but apart from that no complaints.  She was asking me about  iPads recently but I refuse to give advice on overpriced brushed aluminium prisons as a rule!

My dad was considering an iPad, I think I talked him out of it. He ended up getting a Playbook. I'd have preferred Android, but at least its not an iThing. Friends don't let friends buy iThings.

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#35 2012-09-13 11:33:06

hochrappenkopf
#! CrunchBanger
From: Germany
Registered: 2011-02-15
Posts: 170

Re: Your Grandmother's Linux?

Graybyrd wrote:

Qualification: I'm a 72-yr-old Grandfather who helps straighten out Windows screw-ups for other seniors...
... but CrunchBang runs lighter and faster.

=GB=

Well done, your report is highly sophisticated! Have a lot of fun with #!  smile

Have a nice weekend!

Bye


"If you can dream it, you can do it!" [Walt Disney]

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#36 2012-11-10 13:40:35

ohnonot
...again
Registered: 2012-05-22
Posts: 1,668
Website

Re: Your Grandmother's Linux?

i just loved reading through this thread-

thanks to greybyrd for positive feedback!

one piece of advice: the basic functions of windows (start button, bottom panel) haven't really
changed since '95.
i was in a public library in estonia where they where using a debian install with icewm
on undoubtedly "old" hardware. very windows-like and familiar-looking! it features a panel, too.
i later tried it at home. it just works. icewm seems to have been the hype in the linux world
some time ago because there's loads of themes available.

i think the whole discussion still boils down to a seperation between nerds and users,
just like it was 20-30 years ago. the numbers have shifted and having an e-mail-address,
which was rather nerdy in the early 90s, is totally "user" today.

i'm trying to get people in my work place to get to use linux, but no:

She doesn't care what is under the hood, as long as it does what she wants.

actually they do care when the system starts to fail, jams all the time, constantly
fails to upgrade itself and so on. you wouldn't believe how many times i've heard people say
their computers are too old, that's why they jam.
i was thinking to set up my old laptop with debian lxde and just bring it to my work place
- but that would need people to actually use it instead of that horrible windows machine
standing there, and it would also need poeple to understand that this hardware has 25%
of the ram and cpu and runs faster than that windows machine, and is something someone
had long since discarded.

Another source of reluctance is that they have invariably paid for Win something and MS Office and Norton and maybe more so sweeping that aside and telling them they have wasted their money on such bloatware is potentially demoralising when their confidence is invariably already at a low ebb.

there is some kind of fear of linux out there, stories that you can destroy your hardware with
linux (true for some monitor settings but then you could accomplish that with windows, too) and a
general air of piracy (which is of course total BS).
fact is, installing windoz is just as much or little work as most linux distros.
but mostly it comes pre-installed.
again, the distinction here is not so much between operating systems but between nerds
(read people interested in computers) and users.
but, fact is also that linux generally is a bit tricky. it would require people to understand
why it's better. just like it requires people to understand why it's worth paying more money for
organic food although it probably doesn't even look as appealing as the cheap stuff. (and yes,
for most people, windoz is cheap - have you ever tried to buy hardware without it preinstalled?
it's hard to get and certainly not cheaper.)

(...) lingering feeling that the desktop/laptop computer as a mass consumer item may be on the way out, replaced by all those fingerswipe pad things. That may be all the "ordinary" user wants, and for the manufacturer it has the advantage of being under their control, whether apple, android or windows.

- i am working with children and when i ask them:
have you been playing too many computer games again? the invariable answer is: no, stupid,
i was playing console games! computers are for dads.
it's not possible to explain to a kid that those are essentially all computers. even the iphones.
but haven't we all been like this as kids? brainwashed by companies, and still many of us came round.
ops
so much ranting.
one final quote from this thread:

(...) inbuilt cleverness more confusing than helpful (...)

glasses

Last edited by ohnonot (2012-11-10 13:57:00)

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#37 2012-11-10 14:14:06

dbvolvox
#! CrunchBanger
From: England
Registered: 2011-01-05
Posts: 158

Re: Your Grandmother's Linux?

In the UK the December 2012 edition of Linux Magazine includes a live DVD disk of Knoppix version 7.0.4. it is a mix of Debian Squeeze and Wheezy. I have tried it on a desktop and a laptop and it did a good job of analysing the hardware and just running (even the wifi !!) . For a live disk it was very fast and could certainly be used to break the ice for this group and show them that there is life outside of Windows.  Underneath it is familiar to all of us but on top is a nice gui that should be reassuring to new users or older ones who just want to do e-mail and google.

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#38 2012-11-10 14:18:01

dura
Bloated Gimp
From: interzone
Registered: 2012-09-15
Posts: 2,107

Re: Your Grandmother's Linux?

I tell my Mum to press something on her machine and she literally presses the screen (it is not a touchscreen).

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#39 2012-11-10 21:06:28

wuxmedia
wookiee madclaw
From: Back in Blighty
Registered: 2012-03-09
Posts: 1,472
Website

Re: Your Grandmother's Linux?

to ramble on,
at college (some 15 years ago) the apple mac quadra's we had - an 'arty' type would inevitably pick the mouse up and paw the screen with it.  yikes
my parents have macs they like the 'inbuilt cleverness' or PCs. (update every year or so, i'm happy to relieve them of 'old' hardware)
i wouldn't dare to interfere with my mother-in-law *spits* setup, she has her original desktop.  ( a P2 IIRC) running the printer, not like a server. it just happens to be plugged in there. I asked 'are you still using that ole thing' - yes to print.
'why dont' you use your new vi$ta lappy?' rah rah rah
'jeez it's 2012 just plug it in ??'
ie she fears change. linux would flumox her to the grave. hmm maybe i should sneak an Arch install on. get her cli'ing it mwha ha ha hah haaaa!
my grandma get the internet fed to her at the 'home' every six months or so.

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#40 2012-12-29 15:23:05

DanielMii
Banned
Registered: 2012-12-29
Posts: 58

Re: Your Grandmother's Linux?

Crunchbang is fast. Windows is not. For my old folks, I installed crunchbang because the windows open fast and it rarely crash like windows. Not to mention the insane virus managements to do when you have windows. Crunchbang IS lightweight, windows is not and same thing for apple stuff.  Actually, CB rules.

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#41 2012-12-30 01:52:07

vlax
#! Member
From: Alcatraz
Registered: 2012-12-25
Posts: 88
Website

Re: Your Grandmother's Linux?

Hashi Godan wrote:

As I learn #!, I'll use Ubuntu less and less.

I love this sentence  smile


'_[=]_'

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#42 2013-01-05 18:05:00

antiv0rtex
#! Die Hard
From: Earth
Registered: 2012-10-05
Posts: 574

Re: Your Grandmother's Linux?

Graybyrd wrote:

I was startled today while visiting a good friend down on the local marina docks; he insisted that I hasten to his trawler so I could see the new AIS receiver/link he'd patched in to his old Compaq laptop. This is something I'd totally forgotten about. Nearly two years ago, I'd salvaged his laptop from a corrupted Windows installation, wiped the drive, and installed Mepis (Debian) Linux ver. 8. I put WINE on top of that, and then a package of SeaClear navigation freeware with a folder of Pacific NW NOAA raster charts.

It is still running perfectly ... he was delighted that he'd never had a moment's problem with any part of it, and when he connected a new AIS receiver to the laptop navigation setup via a serial port, everything worked perfectly. He did ask if I could update his folder of charts when I get a moment.

That's what I consider a success story .. a totally hands-off, trouble-free computing tool good for years instead of weeks. cool

What a wonderful story! This further corroborates the idea that computers are not as disposable as big-box retailers might want you to think, that you don't neccesarily have to "upgrade" your system after two years of use. smile

johnraff wrote:

Generally agree Graybyrd, except for this lingering feeling that the desktop/laptop computer as a mass consumer item may be on the way out, replaced by all those fingerswipe pad things. That may be all the "ordinary" user wants, and for the manufacturer it has the advantage of being under their control, whether apple, android or windows. Free web-based services replaced by "apps" you have to pay for.

Is the era of the multi-purpose computer that can use any OS nearly over? I certainly hope not, but...

I feel strongly that even if the "average" user decides that he/she is going to switch to a tablet, smartphone or other variety of "smart device" for everyday computing purposes, there will always be a significant number of people who eschew shiny objects for down-and-dirty real computer systems. I have nothing against tablets/smartphones, but I choose to do the things I do on one of the several real computer systems in my home. I actually enjoy using a real, physical keyboard and looking at a screen that I know is so heavy that if it were to fall on my head I would not be in good condition.

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#43 2013-01-12 04:58:17

johnraff
nullglob
From: Nagoya, Japan
Registered: 2009-01-07
Posts: 3,030
Website

Re: Your Grandmother's Linux?

R3nCi wrote:

...there will always be a significant number of people who eschew shiny objects for down-and-dirty real computer systems.

It comes down to how many is "significant", and whether that number is enough to justify manufacturers' making the things for us. There is still a significant number of people who like to play vinyl records on turntables, but they have to pay big money for their preference.


John
--------------------
( a boring Japan blog , idle twitterings  and GitStuff )
#! forum moderator

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#44 2013-01-12 08:23:22

ohnonot
...again
Registered: 2012-05-22
Posts: 1,668
Website

Re: Your Grandmother's Linux?

i personally don't think that the Computer as such is on the way out.
Too many people need it as a tool for communication and writing. a tool that is not too specialised.

And for writing there's just nothing like a keyboard.

i mean i know places that have computers in use that just didn't have or need one 10, 20 years earlier.
working places, but also peoples homes. even if you don't have the budget for it, these days it's easy to get some box from somewhere "just so you can use internet and word processor".
here's a big chance for linux. many people just woudn't have a computer for 500+ credits because they don't see the need.
but telling them: hey, the "old" one you still have standing there from when you were studying, i can put (some well-known linux distro) on it and voilá, it's like newborn for your needs!

(i personally work in a children daycare and even for us computer/internet is an everyday tool. certainly wouldn't have been 20 years ago)

but entertainment, that's a different thing. in my mind, an xbox is a particular type of computer, and i can enjoy playing games with the arrow buttons on my keyboard. but poeple who have grown up with different types of computers around them for different types of entertainment...
just think about it! tv/dvd, music player, phone, 2 game consoles - a big one to hook up to the tv, and a small one for your palm, laptop, and daddys working machine. maybe a second "old" pc in the basement, some even have standalone internet radios.

Last edited by ohnonot (2013-01-12 08:34:10)

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