tonybaldwin | blog

non compos mentis

Why windows is definitely NOT the best OS for computer n00bs

with 11 comments

My mom has this old beater box, like a PIII 450mhz with 128k ram or something, running Win2k.  Well, it was running Win2k…

I went to her house for my birthday (02/06, send $$) and it was chock full o’ malware, viruses and assorted garbage that had become useless beyond repair.  She’d downloaded and installed some supposed free antivirus product that, as far as I could tell, was simply inventing problems, and requesting/suggesting an upgrade to the paid version, every 30 seconds, and which had NO uninstall option!

Wow…We don’t have those problems, me FREE dr00gies.

So, anyway, Mom’s machine = hosed, so, I came to the rescue with a Debian GNU/Linux with XFCE install CD in hand.
Fixed that machine for good, as I should have when she first got it.
Say “B’bye Windows”.
Say hello to an OS that is stable, secure, powerful, easy on resources and,  nearly impossible for a n00b without a root pwd to f@©& up!

See, when Mom first got the machine, I figured for her and her husband it was going to simply be easier for them to play with Windows.  Everybody says “Windows is for the office and the home user; Mac is for graphic designers, and Linux is for the great unwashed”, or something along those lines… SO, I let it be, and left them (un)happily in the World of Windows.  The fact of the matter is, however, that Windows is just too darned easy for a n00b to completely hose! Too many “free” downloads, extra browser toolbars, and other nonsense that Mom just wasn’t saavy enough to realize were NOT doing her or her computer any good.  Far too many hazards on the internet exist for n00bs who don’t know what they’re doing while using an insecure, unstable OS.  Seriously.

So, I fielded a lot of support calls, and spent more than one afternoon attempting to repair the messes Mom & Hubby created on their Win2k box.

I simply should have known that Windows was really not the best choice.  Gnu/linux works for me, and I do wash (I take a bath every Saturday, whether I need it or not…), and, despite my relatively recent efforts to learn a bit of hackery, I’m not exactly a computer expert or hardcore programmer by the standards of anyone truly in the know.  GNU/Linux works for me, because it lets me do what I need and want to do, without getting in my way, without consuming excessive resources (and, thus, is capable of running, up to date, on Mom’s old beater), at NO cost, and, it simply doesn’t give me problems.  No viruses.  No malware.  No spyware. No crashes. NO PROBLEMS.

So, I did what I should have done at the onset of Mom’s new internet life: Introduced her to wonderful world of Debian GNU/Linux.
Mom’s computer is now running GREAT; so much smoother and faster with Debian than it was with Win2K!
Mom says, “You’re a genius, Tony!”
Of course, I knew that…

Debian allows Mom to do what she wants/needs to do on the computer:  e-mail, facebook, send e-card (how cute), search for recipes, and write her novel.  It doesn’t get bogged down with garbage dripping from its pores, like that other OS, and it is FREE, in both senses, no cost, and, most important, freedom.    And, besides, Mom is thrilled with the 1,000s of games available for FREE via synaptic!  Mom, and her equally n00bish husband,  have now been using Debian on her computer for several weeks.  They report 100% satisfaction!  No problems, no difficulties, just unhindered access to the functions they desire from their computer.

So, that’s how I spent my birthday…installing Debian on my Mom’s computer.
All in all, I can’t think of anything more gratifying, at the moment.
Any day I get to wipe Windows off  a computer and install gnu/linux is, imho, a GREAT DAY!



Written by tonybaldwin

February 18, 2010 at 10:31 am

Posted in free software, gnu/linux

Tagged with , ,

11 Responses

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  1. Awesome! I loved reading that story and I’m glad to hear your folks are happy with their new OS. I managed to convert a family friend from the devil that is M$ Internet Exploder to Firefox 3.5 with adblock(of course) that same night she was on facebook shouting my praises to all and saying her computer had never run faster and now she had spellcheck! Admittedly a smaller victory than changing her OS but a similar feeling of happiness.


    February 18, 2010 at 11:01 am

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