[SATLUG] Greetings

Don Crowder donguitar at gmail.com
Mon Mar 24 09:11:17 CDT 2008

John Kirby wrote:
> Hello all. I'd like to take this opportunity to introduce myself.
> I didn't intend for it to happen, I really didn't. I didn't think I was
> going to be a Linux guy.
> I've been using a computer since the CP/M days, and I'm 32- I started young.
> Late in 2006, I bought a Vaio laptop and wireless router. My wife quickly
> got used to having my computer around while I was at work, so about a week
> later, she got an eMachines laptop. This meant our old workhorse desktop PC
> basically became our daughter's computer. All were running XP. Fast-forward
> about 8 months- the hard drive on the desktop started getting weird- running
> slow, hanging up, refusing to shut down, weird processes, etc. At the same
> time, my wife's laptop decided to just die for no apparent reason. Well,
> after recovering the data from the dead laptop, I knew as a long-time
> Windows user how to fix it- installed the recovery CD, wiped the hard drive,
> and re-installed XP.
> My brother-in-law is an Ubuntu guy, and talked it up whenever possible.
> Jokingly, I said that my next fix was going to be "installing Ubuntu". While
> I wasn't entirely serious, I guess it put the idea in my head enough that I
> decided to look into it.
> Found out I could run a "live CD", which I'd never heard of. So, download,
> burn, try it on buggy desktop. Naturally, it worked like a dream. It was
> quicker than it had been in years. Then the wife's laptop decided to die
> again. Rather than wiping it out, I used the live CD, and- guess what?- it
> worked. Well, all except the wireless card. Got to the root of the problem
> there, which was a nasty little bit of malware. Got rid of it through
> Ubuntu, and decided then and there to make it dual-boot. The wife was
> thrilled, except that her wireless was gone. I tried, but I couldn't get
> NDISWrapper to work. A lot of Cat-5 later, she was back in business. And,
> with Ubuntu being virtually impossible to screw up when not operating as
> root, we could let our 2 1/2 year old son play games, which was basically
> his wildest dreams come true. It finally hit me one day that I was going out
> of my way to use the Ubuntu computers rather than my own with XP. So, I
> installed it. And haven't looked back.
> I guess I was fortunate, as Ubuntu ran on my Vaio with everything "just
> working". In fact, I'll fully admit that if it would have been exceptionally
> difficult, I'd probably still be using XP.
> It hadn't fully hit me until I installed just how much quicker Ubuntu was
> compared to the live CD. I was floored. Still am, when I think about it.
> My computer's still dual-boot, but I've only used XP a handful of times in
> the past few months. A few weeks ago, my wife got frustrated with her lack
> of wi-fi, so we got her a new Acer running Vista. Aspire 5520, which
> apparently doesn't like Gutsy. She likes Vista, 'cause it's "pretty". But
> the new Acer let us pass her old laptop on to our daughter, who doesn't mind
> that it's wired, as she's not allowed to take it into her room. And after a
> clean Ubuntu install and a wireless network card, the desktop became our
> son's computer for games and Noggin.com and such. Greatest day in his life-
> he was actually allowed to use a computer, 'cause he really couldn't screw
> up too much.
> So, to recap, out of the four people in my family, my wife runs Vista, my
> 9-year-old daughter dual-boots, I dual-boot in name only, and my 3-year-old
> son refuses to touch any computer not running Ubuntu. I think he'll be a
> lifelong Open-Source guy. And assuming Hardy Heron is good, that will
> probably be when XP goes away from my laptop.
> OK, now let's get back to military robots and tax software!

John, the next time you have Synaptic open on the young fellows desktop 
snag a copy of Childsplay from the repository.  It's a really nice suite 
of educational games.

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