old computer for mother

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Re: old computer for mother

Postby e1even1 » 2007-06-11 17:54

rbochan wrote:
So, unless I'm mistaken, what you're saying, is to take older, underpowered hardware, and spend upwards of $50-100 USD purchasing a license to install proprietary software that won't run particularly well on that hardware, configure said software considerably and set what's well known to be as full of holes as swiss-cheese not to update itself, then add necessary 3rd party applications that will take even more resources from the aforementioned underpowered hardware and basically render it not much more than a doorstop. And you're saying that this is a good idea?
Sorry, but I could argue for days how mistaken I think you are on that.

your idea's good, but mine's better. on that machine, xp or win2k run well enough for the apps the OP described. i'm just trying to save the OP from getting specifically excluded from his mother's will, so the 50 -$100 will be well spent. if he loves his mother, he'll spring for the retail version. she's, as he said, not fully computer literate and thousands of miles away.

so, when she needs to call her isp and give them "what for" she'll be able to say she uses windows and maybe get somewhere with them.

when she wants to click the "buy it now" button on that printer on sale the week after christmas, she wont have to think twice or even three times as she would have to with linux.

if OP is not available when she breaks it, then chances are there's someone down the street that she can have over for dinner and drinks who could take a look.

it's entirely a support issue :D
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Postby jml » 2007-06-11 20:47

eleven1 makes a lot of sense. If the OP's mother lived right down the block, then I would recommend Linux without reservation. But for a relative living a great distance away, using a licensed version of Windows XP has merit.

I have a laptop set up with XP for similar reasons, but I do it with a twist. I have replaced as many MS products as I could. Firefox for browser, Thunderbird for e-mail, AVG for virus protection, Audacity for music, and Spybot for ad-ware removal, and the GIMP for graphics.

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not my mother

Postby nopposan » 2007-06-11 22:22

I'm planning to do this for folks who aren't my mother. My mother won't touch a computer unless she's forced to. Neither Linux nor any other OS will change that.

The folks I'm thinking about helping are nice people. However I wouldn't spend the money on XP even if I wanted to buy them a nice computer OS. Maybe I'd consider suggesting that they pay for Linux support or buy a distro such as Linspire, Xandros, or SuSE. Hey, the problem with the ISP customer support is just a temporary thing; the ISP is probably running Linux on their servers anyway and those customer support people CAN be retrained -- there's probably a high turnover there anyway. :-) If the computer-shy user can get help from anyone, be it a neighbor, a friend or a commercial distro's customer support, then they'll be able to translate what the ISP's support staff say to their Linux distro. (When my ISP asks me which distro I'm running I usually just lie and tell them Windows 'cause the information I need from them is usually not OS specific. I know that's kinda like hiding my Linux under a bushel, but if I tell them I'm not running Windows or Mac then they just freeze and insist they don't know how to proceed -- which is why I think they can be easily retrained . . . 'cause they haven't really been trained to do anything at all yet and it's always easier to learn than unlearn!) :-)

P.S. I apologize, rbochan. I'll check my private messages as you say.

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Postby patrick » 2007-06-12 01:59

She said that she knows someone there that is computer savey. So if I need to I can call him to do what I can't with SSH....I hope.

i ran into this problem many times when im looking at somebodies pc i ask them if any one else has done work on it. they tell me something like ya my friend, neighbor, brother, ...etc but they are tech savey so its ok. one of these so called tech savey people did not know about DRM. he could not figure out why he cant run a burnt music disk on his kids computer that he burnt for him on his pc :lol:

i would install Debian Etch on an older persons pc just to keep them safe and so these "Tech Savey" people stay away from it. ssh should help with most problems atleast she wont need to keep antivus software upto date and all the other trash she would need to stay safe upto date
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tech sabvvy

Postby nopposan » 2007-06-12 02:22

I can easily fall into the misconception that I'm technologically literate.

Yesterday I had a rude awakening though. I was trying to help this older guy put his "back" button onto the toolbar in Windows Internet Explorer. Well, I looked all over the place and couldn't figure it out. I had to ask a coworker today about how to do it. In case you're even remotely interested it's clicking on view --> toolbars --> customize --> buttons, and then scrolling through the buttons to find the ones to add. 'Thought when I restored the default configuration that would take care of it, but no. (I still can't figure out why he can't connect when he's using Firefox, which would be the better browser for him to use.)

So, basically, I guess I am technologically literate (barely), but I've forgotten how to read Microsoftese. Linuxese isn't always easy for me either, I must say, but at least I've got folks like you all to offer help when you can.

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