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My boss at work asked me to take a look at her computer as it was giving her and her husband all sorts of trouble. Turns out is was so ...
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  1. #1
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    Linux for a Windows newb?


    My boss at work asked me to take a look at her computer as it was giving her and her husband all sorts of trouble. Turns out is was so full of virii and backdoors and what not it was amazing the thing could even boot.
    They know next to nothing about computers and don't want to learn, they want to surf the web, do a little word processing, get email and burn the occasional CD. They don't want to worry too much about security just have it locked down without knowing the details. It seems to me that Linux is perfect for them as I'm installing and configuring it first.
    I've talked to her about it and she said her husband is freaked out I'm going to put some weird computer geek thing on their machine and they won't be able to use it but when she pointed out that I was willing to set it up and also I said I'd re-install Windows for them if it didn't work out he grudgingly accepted.
    So, tonight or tomorrow I'll be putting Debian on their box and than returning it to them in a day or so. If anyone's intersted I can keep you folks posted as to how it all works out.

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    Just Joined! petergriffin's Avatar
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    I have SuSE on the computer at work (I say 'The computer' as it's only a small company) and I've found that anyone who fits your description:
    "They know next to nothing about computers and don't want to learn, they want to surf the web, do a little word processing, get email" tend to moan constantly about how they can't get used to anything other than Windows!

    I have to show one particular colleague how to access his files & save them probably twice a week, just because 'it's different' from the one he has at home! Oh and listen to him panicking because he saved a file "somewhere" and he can't find it!

    I hope you don't get the grief that I have by 'introducing' people to Linux Good luck & keep us posted!

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    Linux Guru fingal's Avatar
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    ... and I think there's a moral issue here as well (though I don't do morality lectures!) Suppose they have 'always on' broadband - one of those viri could be a backdoor into their PC, providing someone with a 'zombie' machine which could be used for storing some pretty dreadful material ...

    I'm amazed at their apathy, though not surprised
    I am always doing that which I can not do, in order that I may learn how to do it. - Pablo Picasso

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    Linux User cayalee's Avatar
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    your best bet is just leave em to it. if they dont wanna learn then dont go above and beyond the call of duty and linux-ifying them cos in my experience you'll be around at their house sorting it out every time they press the wrong button or dont understand something or want something installing.
    if you can, just clean up their windows partition and put some serious security stuff on it. it will save you time and effort.
    You know, aliens are going to come to earth in 50 years and kill the hell out of us for DDoSing their networks with this SETI crap
    registered linux user #388463

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    Linux User geese's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cayalee
    your best bet is just leave em to it. if they dont wanna learn then dont go above and beyond the call of duty and linux-ifying them cos in my experience you'll be around at their house sorting it out every time they press the wrong button or dont understand something or want something installing.
    if you can, just clean up their windows partition and put some serious security stuff on it. it will save you time and effort.
    I am afraid cayalee may be right. Its not that they canít learn, its that some people just donít care to learn.
    I say this because Iíve seen this type before.

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    be prepaired to install windows, i installed linux for my parents, it does everything they could want, i emulated some programs they use for work, and they couldnt figure how to start the emulated program...

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    Thanks for the input, fingal they do have always on broadband and I hate to think what sort of shenanigans their machine was up to without them knowing about it. And everyone else, I have the same worries but I'm not sure which is worse, explaining for the umpteenth time why the computer has slowed to a crawl and that yes it is a "very bad thing" when your anti-virus quits starting up when you log in or refuses to start period and suddenly you have a new home page and lots of hard drive activity even when "it's just sitting there" or explaining Linux.

    They've had problems with the machine for months but finally asked me to look at it when it refused to go on line at all anymore. Oh well, the worst that can happen is I end up re-installing Windows and it's not like I never did that before. I appreciate the feedback and I'll let everyone know what happens.

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    If I ever have to "clean" a Windows system I just use 4 tools, AVG 7.0 Anti-Virus free edition, Ad-aware, Spyware Blaster and Spybot Search & Destroy. After running each of those the PC should be fine. I have a link to all 4 on my server: http://www.230volts.co.uk/~mbaldwin/

    As much as I would like to convert people to Linux, it isn't always worth the hassle. These are normally people who would just download a file and install it with the default options, just clicking next. This isn't quite as easy in linux most of the time and you will spend most of your time showing them how to get a certain program to run.
    The biggest security threat is the user.

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    Another experiment shot to crap. I tried to image the drive, with the Windows installation, so they'd have a recovery disk if needed and discovered the CD burner didn't work. Turns out it hasn't for some time so at least I didn't mess it up. At the news there'd be no recovery disk my boss' husband, who hadn't previously known there was such a thing as a recovery disk, freaked at how bad it would be to reinstall Windows from scratch even though I'd be doing it. I decided to cut my losses and leave them with a Windows install and some advice they'll ignore. Eventually they'll end up reinstalling Windows from scratch anyway.

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    Just Joined! petergriffin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Slackitude
    I decided to cut my losses and leave them with a Windows install and some advice they'll ignore. Eventually they'll end up reinstalling Windows from scratch anyway.
    Sorry it didn't work out for you, but I think you've done the best thing. The problem is that when someone doesn't want to learn, they just become angry & frustrated - and inevitably blame you!

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