The Linux Convert Corner

TuxRadar

Share your Linux conversion success stories here! If you've switched your friends, family or workplace to Linux, we want to hear about it. Please post below! (This page originally started as an Open Ballot for our podcast, but it became so full of positive reports that we want to keep it as a permanent feature.)

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Your comments

Converted teh Wife

I've converted my wife to Linux. Installed Ubuntu on her computer. She is OK with Linux 90% of the time. But that 10% of the time when she isn't - she hates it. She hates that OO.o is not exactly the same as MS Office. She knows all kinds of crazy tricks in Excel and is pissed she can't do it in OO.o. Also anything that's different like how in Nautilus you can type out the entire name of what you're searching for (something I love) while in Windows you would press "nnnnn" to search through items that start with "n".

Overall, she is fine with it, but the little bits that need polish that I overlook drive her up the wall.

also my wife, and mom

I've installed Linux (Mint distro) in both the laptops of my wife and my mom's. By explicit request from them, I haven't dual-installed any other OS in their machines, so the are, in fact, full-time Linux users. When in doubt, they always ask me for help, which I gladly give. In a minor scale of success, I have installed Linux on my brother's machine, which he gladly uses, but at work he still has to use Windows. My brother in law had Linux installed by me, but since he lives far away from me, when in need he asked a friend, which reconverted him to windows :/

Oh! and my sister, which lives at Dominican Republic (I live in Mexico), has installed by her own merits Linux in her laptop (no dual-boot), and she likes to research and ask for help when in trouble, mostly to me via facebook :P ... I have the idea in my head that I had made some influence on her decision ;)

mr

Yes i have converted a few people now.

I've been using Linux for only 2 years, mainly Ubuntu, Mint and Fedora.

My wife's Vista laptop always had wireless, printing and network issues, but then it finally blue screened... so Vista was kicked off and Mint installed. Everything works great.

My next door neighbour the policeman had an old Toshiba laptop with Windoze XP, that was black screening and not booting at all. Live Ubuntu CD rescued all their data. Weirdly Ubuntu or Mint would not get past the disc partitioner during install so i went with Fedora. He's happy, and i quote 'it just works' and its saving him £30 a year in antivirus.

The mother in law and brother in law share a laptop, their first time on a pc. They bought an old Vista laptop, which i instantly wiped and put on Ubuntu 10.04 LTS. They have had no problems with it at all.

One of my students (i'm a guitar teacher) asked me about computers, possibly as there are 3 in my teaching room...! she explained that she had two very old pc's, both broke with out OS's. She works with computers in her job, but IT do most of the techy stuff. I explained the Linux Live cd and gave her a demo of it including how to boot, she took the CD away. On arrival to her lesson the next week she told me Mint 9 installed perfectly and she was on the internet in 20-30 mins! she got a printer working, skype, and had burnt some audio cd's too.

I think the key thing as you rightly pointed out in a recent article in the magazine is not to force Linux on people. Show them what it does then let them decide.

Cheers

Pete

I gave arch linux to one (my

I gave arch linux to one (my personal faveourite), after I'd installed and configured it all they've been fine. I put Linux mint on one, and ubuntu on another.

Overall, their all happy but sometimes do need my help. A major killer for the Ubuntu one is that his GPU drivers are TERIIBLE in comparison to their windows closed source alternitive, so he still uses Windows alot, just to play games!

The wife

Not only did I convert my wife to Linux, I also made her switch from Wine+M$Word to native TeXmaker/LaTeX (latest TexLive 2010 from TUG)! And she loves the way her new papers look.

Mumbuntu!

My Mum asked me for a computer. She'll be 70 next year and has never used a one before.

I bought an Acer Revo desktop from Ebuyer and installed Ubuntu on it. She now does email, facebook, youtube and manages her photos with picasa.

I remotely support her via encrypted ssh and vnc. I rarely get support calls from her. It just works.

I gave a 5 minute lightning talk about it at a recent Ubuntu Developer Summit in order to thank the devs for their work. They appreciated that.

Starting 'em young

I convinced my youngest daughter that Linux was a better option for her - more free games! Originally on SUSE, then moved to Ubuntu. Got her to do the last Ubuntu install (better than doing a distro upgrade) herself and she now claims to be a computer expert! So yes, Ubuntu IS installable by an eight-year old.
Won't go back to Windows - despite her elder sister pointing out that "Linux is for geeks". :p

Starting 'em young part 2

Forgot to mention - Windows-loving daughter won't have Linux, but she's very keen to get an Android phone like mine. At what point once she's got one should I point out that it runs Linux too? (cue evil laugh).

School servers

I have converted about half of my old schools server to linux (some ubuntu some freenas) and they just work, on old and new servers. IT dept like the £0 installation and support. Haven't managed 100% conversion yet, but working on it :-)

dual boot option

I setup a friend with Linux on the grub boot menu. Every time his Windows catches a virus or out of control pop up windows. He uses uses Linux to get his work done. It is always there stable, virus free, and ready for work. Linux will sell itself "I know its free!".

I've tried, and tried.....

Last few years I've given family members the latest Ubuntu disk. Even gave them a simple book on how to use Linux. It's so easy, it works, doesn't crash, free, no viruses, does what you need....but no. I'm still supporting Windows on their machines.
They complain, cuss and call me - while I happily use Ubuntu with no problems. Do they listen? No. *sigh*
I dual boot my machine to Windows 7, but only boot over to Windows less than 5% of the time.

Father, grown kids (and clients)

Yes, my father and my grown kids - after some while of using Linux, all have been quite offended by the limitations and restrictions placed on proprietary software and proprietary data formats.

My own work (data design and analysis) is always in Linux and many clients are impressed by the complete pencil-to-web-presentation paths that can be constructed to manage data, such as questionnaires, in Linux. Some have installed a Windows-based Linux command-line environment, or Windows binaries of Linux stalwarts, or dual-booted.

(Is it just me, or are your Captcha's now really, really hard to read? Especially with impaired sight?)

YES!

I'm a postdoctoral researcher in Vancouver, Canada, and I have slowly but surely been converting the students in my lab over to Linux. Specifically, we have been moving over to Ubuntu Linux. A large number of research/scientific applications have matured in the last few years, and this makes Linux my platform of choice, and increasingly the platform of choice of my students. I've even got one student learning Gawk for quick-and-dirty data processing ;)

I don't count my wife or my

I don't count my wife or my son-in-law cos they are in my thrall already ;-)

Yes two

I have a friend using Linux full time and my Mom on her netbook.

Teenagers

Most of the home machines are multi-boot MS/Linux. I have tried to introduce my two teenagers to learn to program and suggested they use Linux for day to day operations. There has been severe resistance! They like to use the familiar windows, despite its vulnerabilities and quirks: to be like the herd. They revere windows. No chance.

Two, well okay one-and-a-half.

Some years ago my father found that telephones and fax machines weren't really allowing him communicate with business contacts as he needed to, so as my brother is a teacher we started him off with an ex-school computer running Windows 98. He never really got very far with that. When I gave him my Toshiba laptop, it came with Debian/KDE installed, as that was all I was prepared to support.
After some years of using that machine, largely successfully, I gave him my Lenovo laptop which originally came from Linux Emporium, this also runs Debian as my father doesn't much like change. On which subject: when I needed to do some work on the machine, which required me to take it away, I left him with an Apple PowerBook, running Leopard (quite a nice machine, if not exactly new), but he didn't much like OSX and wanted Debian back, which quite surprised me.
The second case is a friend who used to have an old XP laptop. After having had to listen to me bang on about Linux for years, when looking for a new computer, he took my advice to get a machine from Linux Emporium, this dual-boots Vista and Ubuntu, you can guess which he prefers to use. Sadly, he needs the Windows option for some work-related applications.
I recently upgraded his Ubuntu installation to 10.04, which is noticeably faster, he tells me, than 9.04 and leaves Vista for dust.

Yes, I've converted like 12+ people!

I've converted my wife, my siblings and mother, an uncle his two kids, but my aunt doesn't like it. I've converted a few friends and family members of friends (people which I've never seen) another batch is in the waiting list.

I've done dozens of installs over my three years as a Linux user but the earlier installations weren't very successful since Linux sucked so hard and people returned to Windows. But since Ubuntu 10.04 LTS and 10.10 came out it's been extremely successful.

I installed MS Office 07 and Unity (from the PPA not the slow one) on my Ubuntu machine and my wife abandoned Win7. She loves it.

In my opinion what Ubuntu needs is Flash working as good as it works on Windows and more commercial software running natively.

Yes. Well. I installed

Yes. Well. I installed Debian Squeeze on my dad's laptop when his Windows install bugged up. He's using it fine. Don't think he has any issues. At least he haven't called me.

I think I gave one guy a spark when he had some issues with his hard drive and I brought over a Live CD just to have a working OS to copy files over to a external drive. I later saw him having Ubuntu installed on one of his laptops.

Unfortunately, Not yet.

I have several friends and family members that continue to use Windows XP and Vista, even though their computers suffer from frequent errors, lockups, and poor performance after about 3 to 6 months of usage, and regularly need to be maintained and restored (just like I used to have to do). They are afraid to use Linux because they fear their printers, Ipods, Mp3 players, and other hardware/gadgets won't work out of the box and they won't be able to play the same game titles they often like to play. I don't blame them for feeling that way to be honest. They also depend heavily on Netflix and Itunes with 1000's of paid songs in their library. I think I will be focusing on letting them know more about the benefits of dual booting and using Linux as a live rescue system. I remind them of Linux every time I go to help fix their computer problems, but I'm not going to push them into anything they don't want to use either. I've been using Linux since the release of Ubuntu 8.04.

Yes

My family are all comfortable to using Ubuntu now. I also converted a neighbour and my friends brother.

All I did was install codecs, Java and Flash for them. I did a small bit of customization on the Gnome panels, to just have one similar size panel to Windows at the bottom. I also moved the window buttons to the right side naturally.

Other than that its just vanilla Ubuntu Im dishing out! :)

Got them running Linux and not looking back...

I have had some success getting people to run Linux. Firstly, myself! I started running a Linux Desktop at work and home full time in 2008. Not looked back.

I have refused to buy more Windows licences in the office and as I am in charge (!) and as there seemed to be one or two more copies of MS Office and MS Windows than licences I started migrating everyone to OpenOffice and Thunderbird and Firefox. I got LTSP up and running and migrated 3 or 4 people to that. One standalone Linux box in one office.

There is more resistance to moving from MS Word to Openoffice than Linux in general. People find .odt vs .doc more confusing than /home and c:

However I persist and on the whole we have a productive, virus free, distraction free work environment. Most problems come from hardware failure (we have a lot of donated hardware as we are a charity) or network issues (wifi mostly, but badly planned wired network). The other half of the problems come from the staff with their own Windows desktops.

One younger staff member joined recently with his own Xubuntu desktop (I run a KDE shop here - that might help with migration). That was pleasing to see and a nice surprise.

I have one friend in her 60's who has a Linux desktop at home on a laptop I provided for her. I have held a few Linux install days and helped folks experiment, and coached a few friends into regular use.

I do enjoy taunting the die-hard Windows users who are now exploring and enjoying Android phones. I think there will be some cross-over into Linux Desktops soon.

But my story is that given no choice in the matter most users have had few problems converting to Linux!!!!!

Cheers,

Kevin

I recently was in Poland and

I recently was in Poland and the father of my girlfriend had a computer crash. He had been living without the internet for two months and was totally frustrated. In Poland most computers don't have an OS installed, and there are a lot of illegal versions of Windows. His illegal Windows version crashed and he didn't have a CD to reinstall. So I told him I could fix his computer by installing Ubuntu. The installation took about thirty minutes. All the hardware was recognised immediately, even the sound card that didn't work with windows. I told him Ubuntu is free, safe and stable. I installed his favorite browser Firefox, containing his favorite sites and I created a big button to shutdown the computer. You should have seen the smile on his face. I also installed Teamviewer so if things need to be done I can help him from a distance.

Just the one (Mrs Wembley)

A friend bought a second hand laptop and needed Windows XP re-installing on it. He had to have that for his work expenses but I suggested a dual boot with Ubuntu.

He's been using it for 2-3 years now and loves it. Says he only uses Windows for about 20 mins a week to do his expenses and spends all the rest of the time on Ubuntu.

Tuxed my Family

Proud to say that my family use 10.04 LTS and were using 8.04 LTS, they only use it for the usual browsing/email/photos/word processing and have grown actually quite fond of it.

There have been zero crashes in 3 years. (apart from one hardware problem with old ram) and zero viruses/malware etc.

I don't know if this would have been possible if they hadnt had a son to walk them through some of the simple things to get started etc, but they are avid linux zealots now.

Many of my MS college friends have also converted, but thats more because they see that the programming/development stack on linux is far superior and also far easier than on windows.

Failure leads to success!

I've converted two people to Linux, both in the last two months or so. In one case, my cousin's laptop hard drive completely failed. He took it into a shop, and they said there were hardly any uncorrupted sectors: he had to order in a new one. Rather than shelling out the few hundred Euro for a new copy of Windows, I threw on Ubuntu 10.10 for him, and installed all the various things he'd need (wine, gimp, graphics drivers etc.). He still has a mac desktop that he uses for gaming (since his ati drivers are a bit glitchy), but he mainly uses his Linux laptop.

The other case was a friend of mine in college, whose network card failed after a few minutes of use (though we didn't know that was the cause at the time). I ran the Ubuntu 10.10 live cd from my usb memory drive (which impressed him to no end), and the network seemed to hold strong, so we went ahead with the installation. The network card ended up still failing, so he just went out and got a usb internet adapter. It took some scripting to get it working, but he doesn't use anything else!

Mat3j

I've converted my girlfriend. It wasn't that hard because her Windows XP was giving lots of trouble. In Linux, every now and then comes an issue, which I always resolve. She can do everything she'd do in Windows. Browse the net, listen to music, watch videos, edit graphics with Gimp and Picasa, play cards, play the Accursed Lands MUD, print files. All the usual stuff. Gnome is quite stable and fast, so I don't want to switch to KDE. It's also true that my gf has an open mind and is not afraid of new things. She hates OO though, because it's slow, ugly and it has a big learning curve.

Wife, church, parents and the importance of partial conversion

My wife got an EEE PC a couple of years ago that came pre-installed with XP (which ran like a dog). Replaced it with Ubuntu the same day, and she's been Linux-ing it ever since. In fact, she's now so comfortable with Linux that she decided to swap out Ubuntu for Fedora not that long ago.

I also built a new machine for "doing the words" at church this year which runs Linux (Ubuntu). Not only does it "just work", but I also feel a little bit safer when people walk up with photos, presentations, videos, etc. on memory sticks that have never encountered a virus scanner. (As a side note, though, I should point out that getting the display to work properly was a nightmare. ATI's Linux drivers are absolutely worthless -- everything runs 200% better with the open source drivers, albeit with compositing.)

I find that introducing people to great open-source software (like Firefox) helps to make them more amenable to the idea of switching to Linux. I think, though, that it's important to introduce converts to dual-booting, for those pieces of software that just don't work on anything but Windows. My mum uses Linux 99% of the time, but has to switch to Windows when she's marking TEE (matriculation) papers, because the software just doesn't work under WINE.

Sort of

I'm in the process of converting myself to use Ubuntu 10.10. I'm still at highschool though and my courses aren't to linux-friendly (though I could work around that if I had enough motivation) so I'm using Windows 7 80% of the time. I love the way linux "just works" and how you can easily do *anything* from the terminal. I'm so surprised that a terminal can be so integrated with the internet (e.g. downloading and installing packages with apt-get), it's something you just don't see in Windows.

The syntax of linux commands were a little alien to me at first but once I learned the basic ones I found them easier to use than Windows command prompt.

I've been a fan of linux since I was very young (although I'd never seen it before back then), the very concept of an Open Source platform is very attractive.

Offtopic: I recently discovered your podcast and have enjoyed it immensely, keep up the great work!

Cheers,
~Eages

Converted 2 People

I've managed to convert 2 people to Linux. Last year was the first time I felt that Linux was ready for non-technical users on the desktop largely because I've been playing with Linux Mint.
The first one was a 67 year old friend of mine, who was struggling with Antivirus upgrades on windows. He Paid for one antivirus renewal and then got an e-mail saying he needed to renew another part of the suite. This was nearly 100 USD in total. I explained to him there was an alternative. It worked especially well as he was already using open office under windows and firefox web browser. He only really used those two. So I have installed Linux Mint 9 on his box. And the comments back from him have been very positive, plus the support calls have dropped.
The second user was a confirmed windows user, until early last year when he was having problems with accessing the internet with vista and chrome, no end of searching on the net solved his issue, lots of people were having similar problems, so I told him about Linux Mint and installed it after running the live CD for 10 minutes. It did everything he needed with only one problem a sound issue that was solved in Mint Again the comments back have been very positive.

"He's kust this guy, you know?"

In my little apartment complex, I've installed LinuxMint10 [the best entry-level distro that I feel I can recommend] on five machines in the since Christmas, and say another five in the preceding months. My neighbours know me as the guy that makes their machines usable again when they get a virus on Windows. So, when they get new computers for Christmas... I spend 20 minutes installing a dual-boot version of Linux, putting OpenOffice.org and Malwarebytes on the Windows side, and then showing them how to use a computer for half an hour.

They usually pay me back with invitations to cook-outs and beer when the weather gets better. I also max out the computers out on educational programs, math, and science games if they've got kids - going with the theory that the more children learn, the better society becomes until proven dead wrong.

Today, I'm going to do pretty much the same thing on two laptops [hopefully in tandem] at work during my lunch hour.

My family still sees me as the "little brother," and thus won't look past the one or two machines running Ubuntu. Ah, well.

yes

They call me the linux guy in campus. sadly because it is three persons out of 60 that know anything about linux. I have converted 4-6 persons and I think the most important thing is to stand out and be an example of how good linux is.In my apartment I have 5 linux laptops.

Offtopic: I discovered your podcast in the beginning of season 2 and I listen to season 1 in one week. I also wrote a tuxradar podcast script with kdialog to retreive your podcasts more effeciently. Then I found out that I could get your podcasts before they where released. Keep up the fantastic good work!

I am still trying

It just seems that no one wants to leave their comfort zone.
I had a colleague try Mint some years ago. He still can't get the internet to work at home.
Another colleague uses it but he seems to try every release of every distro, even some that are not linux.
My son is threatening to make the switch. To me he seems to be afraid to leave his comfort zone.
My wife is like I was before I made the switch. If it's not Windows she doesn't want to know. Even though I use linux to back up her Windows and occasionally fix it. (I am just an amateur and the real techie is afraid of linux and fed her some crap)

It begins with Inkscape ...

I'm a post-doc too, and most PhDs and undergrads who find themselves under my thrall end up at least using some open source software---Inkscape is universally popular, and the Gimp to an extent. Then some python and matplotlib; and LaTeX for theses. Then, in much the same way as someone might sidle up to you with illicit contraband sealed in cellophane, certain live CDs (at present Ubuntu or Mint) are passed over. (In truth, they having watched Linux in action is usually enough to prompt questioning)

A mathematician, two chemists, and a chemical engineer (I work in a multidisciplinary institute) now use Linux full time for their PhD work; aside from use of most lab-based scientific instruments that require Windows for their proprietary software (usually poorly designed, and pointlessly restrictive, given the costs and natures of the instruments themselves).

My Mum, who was struggling with XP (mostly issues with mcAffee, and updates, and general frustrations), happily uses Ubuntu too.

When my (now) wife first used my computer she found Iceweasel without effort and has never looked back (well, apart from minor Openoffice hic-ups (well, she married me anyway))).

My Fiancée & Brother.. also please fix the RSS feed! ;)

I switched my brother over back when he was in his early teens, he was able to get a copy of NT server and wanted a domain (don't all 13 year olds?) but I convinced him a Samba network was better for him. Move on a few years and th eLinux helped him get a job in a company who wrote banking software where he ended up being one of the most knowledgable admins, the others were Windows admins who had some basics.

My Fiancée was a big Mac 9 user but eventually ended up on XP. Her laptop was grinding to a halt, she switched and found the general stability and lack of viruses etc. fantastic. She still gets annoyed with the feeling of it never quite being "finished".. but overall loves it and uses it for work as well.

Now if only Graham would fix the RSS feed so Amarok works again... S02E24 is the last it picks up! :(

My wife and my friend

They aren't computer savvy, but they use debian on their desktops on daily basis ....

Mum & Guets

Yeap, switched my mum to ubuntu after rebuilding her XP box for the 3rd time in 3months about 4 years ago and havent had any trouble since. All she uses is Facebook, Internet & IM so she is quite happy.

Also all my PCs in the house run some flavor of Linux, so whenever I have a guest over that needs to use a PC they end up using Linux. None of my guests have ever complained or had any trouble.

cthulu

I converted Cthulu to Linux and now he he uses it for all his world conquering needs

I Am my own convert

The first person I converted was me.

At university I used to borrow a lot of people my 3 Mandrake 2005 LE CDs. All them failed to convert except one friend of mine. He has compiled programs, tried a web hosting using apache. He has failed though to compile the kernel.

There are some two groups who were students at that time that had no choice but to use Centos since I gave them project ideas for their school work and had to introduce them to Qt. They would dual boot, but I think after passing they went back to Windows.

On Friday a friend of mine gave me a DVD-R so that he can have Linux. I will be giving him Fedora 13. He might not be a success case because he won't be able to play MP3s and DVDs on the fly and he stays far from me to compile programs for him. In Swaziland there is less internet connection at homes, so its difficult to install packages. I think that is the reason people give up on Linux here. They use computers mostly for playing music and videos.

I've been thinking of a project I may start when I get a girlfriend - "Project Girlfriend". The aim would be to have her use Linux and if it gets to version 2(Project Wife) then she should be able to run some command.

@Félim re:Amarok and RSS

I've just tried both the mp3 and Ogg feeds with Amarok 2.3.2 on my desktop, and they both worked without issue, including Episode 1, Series 3.

What version are you using?

Yup

I have created a Linux pyramid scheme. Those I converted are converting others. Wait - maybe this is a cult! All hail me!

A Missionary Man ...

... I certainly am not. But lo, I have prepped my older PC with Ubuntu and set it all up to work for my Dad with success; same for a colleague who was annoyed to have Windows messages ("You do not have a valid licence" although she did, pop up every 5 minutes), and my girlfriend, whose laptops works great w/ the latest Ubuntu, and who likes the fact that there's no virus threats. So it can be done, with a only a few problems which are seldom Linux-related, plus it's cooler for you since you don't have to mess around with some absurd windows problem over the phone...

Yes and no

My father uses Ubuntu on a daily basis for his computing (very light, email, surfing the web, youtube), and I have had a few of my friends try it out, and some even come back to it ever so often whey they aren't too busy playing PC games.

Migration at the university

Some years ago the university where I worked had the (crazy) idea to move the PCs from propieatary software to Free software. The main idea was to migrate from the combination of different Microsoft products to Linux/OpenOffice.org/Firefox/etc. I had the task to write a migration plan. In that document it was explained the benefits of Free Software, what were at that time the best alternatives to substitute the most used programmes, provide a 3-year tiemtable of the migration process, and an economical analysis showing the benefits of the migration.

It was a lot of work and after some months of part-time work I wrote the document.I sent them to the persons who asked me to write the report and several things happened:

a) The migration of some of the workstations to Linux started. Unfortunately they didn't followed my plan and the university didn't created a support team for those new users. I know that there are several people in my university that still use only Free Software to do all their work. I think that this is people I converted (more or less). I don't know how many people they are. Probably somwhere between 20 and 100,but this is a wild guess.

b) There was a change in the university and new people were made responsible of the IT team. They thought that "nobody has been fired choosing Microsoft" and stopped the process, Luckily there were people who were already using Linux and they didn't want to start using Windows again.

c) The migration plan was stopped and forgotten.

d) I know that there are people in my univeristy that is purchasing new PCs and installing Linux instead of Windows. The TIC team gives them support if they use Fedora.

As conclussion, I could say that the process could have been done in a more succesful way or perhaps in a less succesful way. I think that there was a group of people in my university who were brave enough to start this because they (we) thought that it was the correct thing to do, although there was a fierce opposition.

I'm quite happy about my participation. The only bad thing was that there is one of my colleagues who doesn't talk to me since then. Maybe you couldn't believe it, but statistical software is the closest thing to religion you can find in a higher education institution.

Javier

no

I tried to convert myself to Linux. I failed. I still use many flavors (mainly Mint) on a regular basis, however whenever I go back to installing it on my primary machine, it all goes horribly, horribly wrong. Most of the time it is an issue of grub disliking what I do with my hard drive, so I return to Windows BECAUSE IT WORKS. The last time I dared risk my last surviving (guess what - the others mysteriously developed bad sectors - coincidentally, this happened when I was using Ubuntu. Twice.) hard drive for my laptop, two weeks later, Ubuntu claimed the hard drive didn't exist. Odd, because I'm looking right at it. There it is, neatly screwed into place. I boot into a puppy live CD to see if I can save my documents from annihilation, and no, no I can't. I then assume the hard drive is dead. Two weeks later, I run my Windows 7 installation disc, and oh look! The hard drive has returned! I am still using the same W7 installation several months on. I'm sure in a delirious moment I shall install ubuntu 11.04 when it's released to see what's new, like it, and then have it fail on me again.

My eighty something year old neighbour

I now have my eighty something year old neighbour happily using Linux Mint after her old Dell Laptop running XP slowed right down. She is very happy with it now, especially the speed!

A friend of mine, who had been (trying) to run Vista on a Sony VAIO came over to the light side with Linux Mint after yet another virus attacked his computer, by-passing the anti-virus. Now, he is a complete computer cretin, (and would happily admit to it), with no idea how it works but, you will not find him going back to Microsoft. Once bitten...

A few but many failures

While I have converted a few, I have had many more failures. Where technically saver users battle and struggle with Windows, and its many problems, Slow, Virus ridden, advertising soaked machines and are impressed when I show them what a relatively low powered system like my Samsung NC-10 can do they struggle on.

I have installed Linux on some old machines, sometimes failing to produce anything useful because of Broadcom WiFi chip sets, but these haven't convinced friends to leap.

Where I have had success is with relatively non-technical friends who just want something that works, and Linux certainly fits that requirement.

While I have converted some of my kids to things like The Gimp, Inkscape and Firefox the peer pressure to use what all their friends are using is far too great to even convert them to Open Office, let alone change the operating system.

My Wife - she does not even

My Wife - she does not even know its Linux, she uses Firefox on Linux and had previously been using Firefox on Windows because I had it loaded there in the past.

All she does is Firefox and Gmail and never misses a beat, happy in her little world.

Two

I'v gotten my mom and my grandma to run Linux Mint. The only help they have needed is me setting up and showing them how to connect(3G connection). I will help my brother get on with Linux as soon as his girlfriend finishes school and don't need the programs she uses.

Yes.

Yes.

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