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Linux: adoption by those who are fed up?

jawtheshark (198669) writes | about 2 years ago

Ubuntu 6

Today, I had the most peculiar experience. A (female, and pregnant, but that has no importance at all for this story) cousin of mine complained on Facebook about a virus infection on her Windows machine (I assume Vista, but I actually didn't bother to ask). Locked out by one of these ransom viruses. Worst part is that she did have an up-to-date antivirus sponsored by the Bank where here partner works.

Today, I had the most peculiar experience. A (female, and pregnant, but that has no importance at all for this story) cousin of mine complained on Facebook about a virus infection on her Windows machine (I assume Vista, but I actually didn't bother to ask). Locked out by one of these ransom viruses. Worst part is that she did have an up-to-date antivirus sponsored by the Bank where here partner works.

I don't mind helping, but -of course- my first comment was. "Drop that crap OS and go to ubuntu.com and get a real operating system". I NEVER expected her to actually do that. Well, she jumped on the occasion. She was also very happy to hear what a live CD is and that she could recover her data from her current installation using the LiveCD and copy it to a USB disk. So, she managed to burn the ISO, boot to it, copy her data and install the whole thing. Basically without me helping except saying that it could be done. I also explained what dual booting was and she could do that.

She asked me one question: Why do you use Windows? My reply was: I don't, unless I want to play games (the non-Flash variants. I illustrated Flash games with FarmVille). The tipped her over: She'd go full Linux.

I was completely baffled... You have to imagine the frustration Windows had to put on her so that she would try something completely unknown, just because I say I use it.

First reactions were: Hey, this thing already has Firefox,,Thunderbird and an Office suite. Wow, I have four workspaces (she means virtual desktops). She found Ubuntu Cloud (5GB seems a lot to her, I wonder where else she has been?) and -while not Ubuntu specific- I explained her what Firefox Sync is. She also seemed to like the idea of the Software Store (I compared it to Apples App Store, I know not the same, but she has to understand what it is) and steered her to installing ubuntu-restricted-extras and explained it was to install Flash and similar.

Linux on the desktop... Yes, it can be done... She is non-IT, perhaps a bit geeky, but definitely non-IT.

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6 comments

Yes it can (1)

GeckoFood (585211) | about 2 years ago | (#41394335)

If I didn't have to use Windows at work, I wouldn't.

And, the games are slowly coming more and more. It's a matter of time. The only real decision is choosing a distro - Ubuntu's probably the best choice for a new convert. I'm in deep with Red Hat but I do load up Ubuntu in a VM.

Re:Yes it can (1)

jawtheshark (198669) | about 2 years ago | (#41396387)

Yes, the games are coming. I have a few from the Humble Bundles and if the Steam rumors really are true we are looking at a first-choice game platform. I don't play much, but the games I did play in the last years were either running on Linux or on my PSP.

I rarely have the time for games, at least not the amount of time I'd like to spend on them. I can spare a quarter of an hour sometimes, but to play something like civilisation, that simply is not enough. For a game of World of Goo, it is.

I'm also one of the lucky ones that can run Linux at work :-)

The irony here (1)

rk (6314) | about 2 years ago | (#41394459)

Is that Windows (7 now, and XP back in the day. F Vista) is now an acceptable choice (politics/ethics/FOSS considerations left out of the equation for this purpose) for technical people, but Linux is increasingly becoming a fantastic OS for the vast majority of non-technical people who need to look at the web and their email and not much else.

I've been using Windows 7 more and more since the video card in my Linux box died. It's not hard to keep them clean, really, but it there is a bit of "you must be this tall in tech know-how to ride" with it. I still use my Linux box a lot (Xwindows server on the Win7 machine), but I wouldn't recommend Windows for a non-techie these days unless playing games or some custom software was part of the mix. And even then, WINE is fairly effective at addressing some of those problems, too.

Re:The irony here (1)

jawtheshark (198669) | about 2 years ago | (#41396373)

but it there is a bit of "you must be this tall in tech know-how to ride" with it.

That illustrates it perfectly. I have been saying for ages: Someone who knows how to maintain Windows, will have no problems with it. Case in point: my Windows installations (mostly XP, as I rarely have to support 7, but I do if needed) are simply without any problems. I was also highly delighted to hear that Mozilla now has an update service, which makes running Limited User on XP pretty much seamless now. It is also very elegant how they did it. The service doesn't run all the time, but when Firefox loads, it connects to the update server. If there is an update, the user is notified. If the user clicks "yes, update now", then the service is started, does the upgrade in background and stops itself when done. Many other vendors should look into that system instead of crapifying out Windows with 7000 installers. As a matter of fact, Microsoft should make a service like the one from Mozilla that allows 3rd parties to plug into.

Re:The irony here (1)

kesuki (321456) | about 2 years ago | (#41415817)

steam rumors aside, i have found that 'desura' (not from distrowatch) is a steam like experience already working on linux. not all games support linux, but there are way more than in software manager... besides i do almost all my gaming on android nowadays anyways. i can't handle games you can't ignore or quit easily... and the time i feel most desire to be alone with my computations is when i am in a waiting room... and no stale magazines are no comparasion to bubble poppers or gemstone games...

Re:The irony here (1)

jawtheshark (198669) | about 2 years ago | (#41416129)

My problem with Desura is that you're supposed to install it under your own account and not like the traditional way in Linux for third party software in /opt.
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