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2006 Mar 11 14:43

The following is an archive of a post made to our 'vox mailing list' by one of its subscribers.

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Re: [vox] a dual-boot system?
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Re: [vox] a dual-boot system?



On Fri, Mar 10, 2006 at 12:35:37PM -0800, Cylar Z wrote:
> Background. My dad is 60 years old, which means he is
> from a generation that didn't grow up around
> computers.  

That's funny. My dad is 60 years old, and he's dabbled with punch
card computers and such since college. You might want to be more
careful with broad sweeping statements :)

> I bought him a computer some years ago and
> trained him to use it to check his email and surf the
> web. He has since learned to download pictures from a
> digital camera, print documents, install programs, and
> use the Web as a research tool. His experience is with
> Microsoft OS's only.
> [...]
> 1. I'm concerned about how smoothly an inexperienced
> user such as my dad will make the transition from
> Windows to a Linux-based GUI such as GNOME.

He'll likely find it frustrating, just as anyone using a not exactly
similar system would. However, both Windows and GNOME have "start
menu" type features, and show active programs in their proprietarily
named panels. I don't think it would be bad as long as he's not likely
to try installing his own software.

> 2. I'm concerned that the devices attached to the
> system (digital camera, CD burner, printer/scanner/fax
> unit) may not function properly under a Linux OS.  I
> would imagine that many people can and do use a Linux
> workstation with these devices, and that it's mostly a
> question of finding the correct drivers. It seems,
> however, that most manufacturers' driver download
> pages don't include drivers for Linux OS's, only
> Windows and sometimes Mac.

Many things will now "just work" under Linux, as they do under Windows.
Many common drivers are already installed by default, or chosen as you
install. You can google for linux compatibility for each thing before
you install, if you're worried.

Or ask here or on vox-tech :)

> Open query: Is Fedora Core the best choice of the
> available Linux distros given the background I've laid
> out?

We use Fedora Core at the Math dept on campus. Many clueless undergrads
get by just fine with it. If you have an nvidia video card, you should
turn off automatic kernel updates, as X Windows will stop working
working unless the right kernel/driver is installed/compiled.

I prefer the package system for Debian, but Fedora seems more user
driven, while Debian more stability/security driven.

Just my 2 cents.

-mran
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