It is one of the ways I contribute to OpenSource: I keep my Linux Laptop handy and come to the rescue when someone’s PC won’t perform, or when they can’t get their Mac hooked up right, for a presentation. Then, of course, I briefly gloat about it.
My wife’s grandma lives not too far away, and there are family gatherings at her house every several weeks. The most recent was for a couple of birthdays, last Sunday. Grandma’s son, my father in law, had the task on this trip of carting away Grandma’s old computer, which needed to be replaced in order to run a more current Windows operating system. Grandma uses her computer for exactly two things: Writing memoirs and using email.
Every single time there is a family gathering at Grandma’s her son has some important task regarding the computer, something he has to do to make it work. One day the “send/receive email” button disappeared and he had to find it and put it back. There have been problems with hooking to the internet, and there have been other software problems. The Windows operating system and the Microsoft software have never really worked properly for more than a few weeks, apparently, or when it does work, there is some kind of hardware incompatibility. But between tweeks and repairs, Grandma does get some of her writing and emailing done.
As you may imagine, every time my father in law is busy messing with Grandma’s computer I’m always there to assist with helpful advice like “Hey, if that was a Linux computer, you wouldn’t be doing this right now. You’d be in the living room with me sipping some 35 year old Scotch….” and similar wise cracks. Indeed, almost exactly two years ago (in preparation for his daughter’s wedding … to me … ) he had been so frustrated by Microsoft PCs that he went out and bought a Mac (so he could make the obligatory Ken Burns style retrospective slide show for the wedding reception). It turns out that the Mac did not work well for him. As is the case with many long time PC users, the Mac does not really feel right. The Apple Mackintosh motto is “It just works.” If you are a long time PC user, that is not true. The reality for many is “It just doesn’t do anything like I expect it to… I can never get it to work, and it looks funny.” His Mac now serves as a pretty good quality small TV, and of course my daughter uses it because, as a 12 year old, she’s pretty competent in all operating systems.
Greg goes on to show how, when it comes to installation, and Grandma’s use of computer for checking mails and writing her memoirs, Linux is the best option:
When it comes down to it, Linux is fully grandma ready, and if Grandma uses Linux she gets more time on the box and everybody else gets more free time for sipping the Scotch…
Take a look!