Friday, March 09, 2007

Putting parents on Linux

Well, it looks like my parents are going to make the jump to high speed broadband Internet connectivity. They're scheduled to have Charter install a cable modem at the ol' homestead this coming Monday. I thought my father would never move to this. Now he's inquiring about a cable modem router and how one would go about sharing the connection between two or more computers. And he's inquiring about alternatives to Windows. Why? He's completely fed up with all the malware, adware, viruses, anti-virus product offerings, forced annual upgrades for anti-virus software, incompatibilities of sharing documents saved in Microsoft Office formats, blah, blah, blah... People will not continue to use Windows if it continues to degrade in performance and reliability. There are viable alternatives in Mac OS X and Linux these days and people are starting to figure that out. Perhaps some of this is due to the iPod phenomenon--people buy an iPod and then start to contemplate buying a Mac (perhaps a Mac Mini or iMac) for the integration with iTunes. Whatever the reason, Microsoft is on a slippery slope here (I'll blog about my initial thoughts of using Vista Business here at home later tonight).

So, I'm going to give him one of my old computers with Ubuntu Linux on it. I'll probably wait until Feisty Fawn (7.04) comes out in April, but yeah, I think he'll be better off with this Linux box. My father does his email through GMail and really just surfs the Web and downloads pictures from his digital camera. So Linux should work well for him there. I'll make sure that Java and Adobe Flash 9 Player are installed. It should be interesting to watch him learn and use Linux.

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