jueves, 18 de agosto de 2011

About Mothers and Linux

I read constantly that "Linux is not ready for Mom" but I cannot help ask myself which distribution....or, to be more specific, which mother.

Three days ago, we celebrated Mother's Day in my country. Thus, my brother and I wanted to surprise our mother and my wife (who recently became the mother of a cute baby girl). We wanted to give them a memorable present, something that they could use both for entertainment and, why not, to learn. In an unplanned visit to a computer store, my eyes fixed upon the classic Asus Eee PC 900, the tiny netbook that drew me to the world of Linux with its version of Xandros. Next to it sat the Asus Eee PC 901. Temptation was formidable, so we ended up buying both despite the clerk never quite understood why we rejected his offer of some other netbooks (preloaded with the rip off known as Windows 7 Starter).

For those who might think that those were inappropriate gifts because a mother simply can't use Linux, let me asure them my mother is a happy user of Pardus Linux while my wife, who bought a laptop two years ago, asked me to install Mandriva 2010 not to have to use, or suffer, should I say, Windows Vista.

As soon as my mother saw her present, she became truly happy because she wanted a netbook to be able to check her email and socialize with her virtual friends in Facebook without being stuck in front of her desktop PC. However, she rejected the preloaded OS. Before Ballmer celebrates, let me clarify that she did not ask for Windows. She wanted Pardus 2011 instead of Xandros! By the way, this Asus Eee PC runs it with full effects without a glitch despite its modest 1 GB RAM and 20 GB storage.

On the other hand, when my wife saw her Eee PC 901, she decided to give the extinct Xandros an opportunity, mainly due to its flawless voice command. Yes, a tiny computer like than one can receive voice commands even better than the Eee PC 900 did. Windows 7 Starter, you should be ashamed of yourself!

So, there you go: that's two mothers who are happy with Linux.

4 comentarios:

  1. That"Linux is not for Mom" thing is simply a myth! Many of those users simply don't want to admit that older people can actually learn Linux much better than them!

  2. @Megatotoro: If you read the Blog of Helios, you'll see a few posts from many months ago that discuss just this. I think the issue is just that Microsoft Windows "power users" are so set in their ways that it really is too much of an effort to relearn Linux; they know that new users can pick Linux up quicker due to not particularly having allegiances to any OS, but they can't bear to see their super awesome skills becoming obsolete/unneeded, so they spread myths like this to keep themselves in business.
    a Linux Mint user since 2009 May 1

  3. @ Mega, PV,

    I suspect that some people don't want others to try Linux because of its stability and security, which will definitely put Windows to shame. Thanks for the comments.

  4. My dad was close to 80 when he first used Linux, PCLinuxOS in 2007. He has since used Kubuntu and Mandriva on his computers (he loves watching the updates) and my mom started using a computer for the FIRST time last year. Before that she never touched a computer. Both have been retired for 2 decades.

    As well, I have 3 aunts and mother in law who NEVER used a computer and who now use Linux. I have another dozen relatives who are retired or close to retire for whom I have installed Linux who were Win users. (it was simple really. you want free tech support? i dont know Windows but if you wnt to try my old laptop for a week I can put you the same OS on yours.)

    Linux has been ready in my book since 2007 (yes, dad started on KDE3.5 but when he saw KDE4.2 on my laptop he wanted on his) and ive switched about 20-25 friends and family since. (cost and viruses are the two biggest selling points. giving life to old hardware is another.)
    And teaching someone to use Linux is no different than using other OS. I dont skin or do copycat themes but when offered as a choice Windows users almost always go towards KDE and not Gnome (similarities, the GTK font and feel looks 'strange' and no Mac envy,... seriously, left handed max-min buttons? )

    For Windows converts, I had already recommended FF,Chrome, OpenOffice, VLC an Thunderbird so the switch was rather easy since they knew the apps already.

    And when our kids have friends over, I have yet to find a grade schooler who is confused by Linux. Heck, they all use KDEnlive to create videos that they put on youtube (lack of After Effects is starting to be a problem..will have to give Blender and rest a try).
    Some of them are surprised to find out its no Windows.

    FUD and myths about Linux is something we have come to expect and whenever I read a line like "Linux is not for Mom" I always feel like asking if that person (even funnier when its a tech 'specialist' or blogger who says it) needs some tutoring since I know a few 80 yr old great-grandmothers who would be willing to teach them.



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