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OT: Re: How to set up a computers with GNU/Linux for grandparents

From: Dan Anderson
Subject: OT: Re: How to set up a computers with GNU/Linux for grandparents
Date: Sat, 15 Nov 2003 22:50:21 -0500

This should really be labeled as OT.  However...

> a. How do you set up a computer with GNU/Linux for grandparents?...
> b. How do you set up computers with GNU/Linux for elderly seniors?...

95% of the ease of use of any operating system is familiarity.  If you
set up a computer with KDE and an auto-login feature, provide each
senior with their own account, and teach them how to use Mozilla for web
browsing and Yahoo Mail for mail they'll learn it just as easily as any
other operating system.

However, it has been my experience that when you put people on a
non-windows based operating system they run into problems because they
are going to go to /you/ for help.  This is important to remember.  How
much is your time worth?

I tried getting my dad an iMac and teaching him to use it -- based on
BSD and easy to use.  Problem was every time he had a problem, his
coworkers and office mates and friends couldn't help him.  So he went to
me -- every time.  Long story short I needed to buy him a book because
I'm a busy guy and can't take 2 hours out of my day to trouble shoot his
computer problems every day.

So I gave my mom windows.  She has reformatted it three times since my
dad started using his mac.  But she gets help from her friends and
doesn't need my help -- and knows to back up her data.

So the worst system turns out the best because it's common.  Go figure.

Other then that, just set them up with it.  Many GNU/Linux is not hard
to learn once the computers are set up properly.  (Note I said *once set
up*).  Distros like Mandrake and Suse are particularly user friendly.


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