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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:
> 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.

As a data point, my dad (who turned 70 a few months back)
had a Mac running OS 9 (it started with OS 7.5; my brother and I bought
it for my mom years ago).

He got to the point where many websites simply stopped working with
Netscape and Internet Explorer for OS 9, and he was asking about upgrading
his Mac.  The thought of dropping $thousands for an OS X system for simply
browsing the web and doing email and the occasional letter seemed insane,
so I spent under $100 buying a used Pentium II and related gear, and installed
Debian and KDE 3.0 onto it.

I simplified it quite a bit... removed all unnecessary (to my dad) programs
from the menus, made sure the fonts and themes were clean and large enough,
and set up big obvious launcher buttons for email, browser and PPP dialup.

He's had almost _no_ problem (technical, or software-usage-wise) with any
of it.  I recently upgraded him to KDE 3.4 or 3.5 (took a while on dialup!).

> 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 actually had some physical connection problems going from such an old Mac
to a PC running Linux.  Fortunately, the modem is no problem (serial),
and the monitor he had was actually VGA with some VGA->Mac adapter.

The mouse and keyboard had to go, and I only recently got him a printer.
(On a whim, for his birthday, I grabbed an HP from OfficeMax and set it up
for him.)

It sounds like my dad might be less saavy of a user than your dad, and
I've always felt that there's a kind of curve when it comes to resistance
to using a new OS/UI/whatever.

* People who don't know computers too well, don't use them for too
  much, and take notes, seem to have very few problems.

* People who've been around the block, and can figure out nearly anything
  on a system (the kind who tinker, but rarely break their machine) also
  have few problems.

* People who are typically smart enough to be dangerous (most people ;^) )
  seem to be the most resistant to change.

> 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.

Nah, some also support Linux. :^)  Sometimes it's not too obvious.
For printer, HP inkjets are well-supported by HP themselves, with OSS drivers.

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

No comment. ;^)  (I've never used FC, so I cannot say.  I set up Debian
Stable with KDE backports for my dad, but he does not typically install
software or poke around at the internals.)

> As a third potential problem area, I'm only a novice
> Linux user myself. I'm taking night classes on the
> subject and reading books to try and improve my skill,
> but at this time I'm going to have trouble fixing any
> technical issues that arise from the use of Linux,
> having been a Windows user for years before beginning
> to dabble with Linux.

That's where LUGOD can help!  vox-tech list, for one!  Then LERT for
emergencies, and Installfests for the initial setup, and any other
config you need help with (and are willing to bring the computer to us).

> So I'm soliciting your comments on these issues, as
> well as anything I might have left out. Any links you
> can suggest would also be appreciated.

Welcome and good luck!  You're not alone, and Linux is hella fun! ;)

-bill!                                    Tux Paint 2006 wall calendar,
bill@newbreedsoftware.com                CDROM, bumper sticker & apparel
http://www.newbreedsoftware.com/       http://www.cafepress.com/newbreedsw
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