[Scottish] Linux distro for mum?

Kyle Gordon kyle at lodge.glasgownet.com
Thu Nov 4 11:02:38 GMT 2004

On Wed, 2004-11-03 at 20:12 +0000, Harry Doherty wrote:
> Hi
> My mum recently expressed an interest in getting a
> computer for dvds/email/web/etc at home.
> She was enthusiastic about GNU/Linux when I told her
> about it.
> She has little computer experience (but doesn't
> believe in learned helplessness).
> I've been using debian ~1yr (but still haven't
> configured X properly).
> I'm looking for the least hassle distro as mum will be
> 100 miles away. I'm thinking perhaps Fedora Core or
> Umbuntu if it's mature enough.
> Also any thoughts on hardware (laptop vs pc vs
> self-assemble) would be welcome.
> cheers
> H.

I can thoroughly recommend Ubuntu. As people have said, based on Debian
so you get a completely tested application repository all easily
available through Synaptic. 

On both the machines I've tested it on, it's worked out the box without
any tweaking whatsoever. The only change I've made is to install
apt-watch on it. This way I don't have to worry about checking for
updates manually. A wee light-bulb appears whenever there are updates to
be had. The downside of apt-watch is that to run Synaptic from its menu,
it asks for the root password, which kinda goes against the Ubuntu
method of using sudo for everything.

Gnome 2.8 is slick, and holds together well. Evolution, Firefox and
OpenOffice come as standard, along with a plethora of games to play and
ggv, XSane and Gimp for the arty types :-)

Well worth the download, and hopefully around here to stay. 

As for hardware, if you feel that you have the knowledge then go for
self assemble. If not, then the many low-cost retail shops around the
place will surely have a good deal going for a bare-bones system that
you can expand on when required. 

A laptop is a possible choice, but more expensive - even for an old one.
Unless your Mother specifically wants the ability to carry her computer
around the house, or is short for space, then a desktop would be the
best choice. A desktop can also be upgraded easily when your mother
decides that she wants to play the latest version of Unreal Tournement
that she's just downloaded from Bittorrent... :-)


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