Linux people, any ideas?

Discussion in 'OT Technology' started by Stilgar1973, Apr 4, 2007.

  1. Stilgar1973

    Stilgar1973 New Member

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    Zero.
    That is what I know about Linux.
    ZEERRROOOO.

    Okay here is the deal.
    My wife works for an organiztion that takes in people with mental health problems - specificaly people that are on medication, have been homeles and can't hold jobs. They help these people find affordable housing. My wife works with two houses that have been split up into apartments and are rented out to these people.

    I have been doing (voluntarily) networking and PC repair work for them since I met my wife.

    What I have been doing is helping them find donar PC's, I get them to work and I give them to the people to use. Typically these are P2 and P3 machines.

    They are given to the individuals, if the people can afford it they get some sort of dial up service. Mostly the people use it for the normal stuff; internet, email and word processing. While I have installed some games on the computers I have yet to set up a computer that I really consider capable of playing games on. If these people want to play games (and many do) they get consoles.

    My wife told me yesterday that she had officially run out of the initial set up donor boxes I set up for them. She said that if I can get my hands on some more PC's she could put them to use. I asked her how many they could use and she was like, 'Any number. If you could get us 20 we could use them all.'.

    Ouch.

    I am sitting here thinking about it.

    The only thing about this project that I have never liked is the OS. Look, there is NO money for this project. None. I completly do my work voluntarily and if it wasn't for me no one would do it at all. I get a PC and it has an OS on it already and I leave it the hell alone. The result is that I am juggling machines that are XP, 2000 and different flavors of 98. I have been just ignoring the legal question of the OS on these machines. I mean, hey if I whipe the drives then the thing is over.

    So now that my wife has given me this considerable challenge I have found myself thinking about the OS again.

    I know there are different flavors of Linux out there.

    Can you guys help point me to one that is:
    absolutely free
    is similar enough to Windows (GUI, program bar, desktop etc.) that a user that is not inclined to learn a new OS is not freaked out.
    Can support: OpenOffice, the major video codecs (is WMV asking too much?), a music player
    Some sort of a free web browser

    Anyone have any ideas?
     
  2. Leb_CRX

    Leb_CRX OT's resident terrorist

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    ubuntu hands down IMO

    it's the #1 distro right now, and is geared towards the intro windows -> linux market

    http://www.ubuntu.com/

    for codec's you are probally gonna have to go with VLC, not sure if it's included in the original install, but you can get it through the gui installer
     
  3. Synner

    Synner New Member

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    Linux Mint. Look it up. Should be what you need.
     
  4. CapitanMollo

    CapitanMollo 5up3r H3r0

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    UBUNTU.....

    Probably wont get easier than that.....also has most drivers installed already.
    Best way to learn get your own computer a virtual version of ubuntu running youll get used to the interface in like 5 min.
     
  5. Stilgar1973

    Stilgar1973 New Member

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    Yeah I was thinking that I would run it virtually on my computer for a bit until I understood it.
    Then when I was happy with it I would find some willing victim there and do a dual boot on his machine and ask him to try to use it for some time.
    After a couple weeks of that if I am happy with the results I would wipe all hard drives and put it on all the machines by default.
    I was also thinking that if I partitioned the drives before the install I could install windows later into a dual boot if they could come up with an OS.

    My biggest concern is that these people would look at it and be like, WTF?!?!?!?!?!?

    These really are not the sort of people to teach something like this to for the ground up.

    Ubuntu it is then. As soon as I get some free time I will give it a shot.
     
  6. P07r0457

    P07r0457 New Member

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    absolutely do *not* give a linux box to one of those users. It will simply fail miserably. You will end in tears.
     
  7. Stilgar1973

    Stilgar1973 New Member

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    Well I wouldn't just simply do it.
    I would try it for a couple weeks, then I would let a user try it and then and only then would I consider giving it to others.

    I must say though, this is the first time I have ever heard what I assume to be a Linux user recomending someone NOT try Linux.
     
  8. P07r0457

    P07r0457 New Member

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    Yes, two out of the four machines I use on a daily basis run a SystemV variant (*nix). the number would increase to three of four if M-Audio could release a good *nix driver for my FW410.

    I love *nix, but as much as I love it, I think it 's even moreso not ready for the mass consumer base the depends on the preticability, and simplicity of windows.
     
  9. Penguin Man

    Penguin Man Protect Your Digital Liberties

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    :rofl:
     
  10. P07r0457

    P07r0457 New Member

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    You *never* want to have to support a dumbass average consumer on a linux system. You simply never want to receive that phone call.

    Overall, windows is very predicable.
     
  11. gnp

    gnp New Member

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    look into a Microsoft Open License Charity Program

    if you dont qualify ubuntu will probably work, although if you aren't comfortable with it already it will be a lot of work getting random hardware configurations to work.
     
  12. Penguin Man

    Penguin Man Protect Your Digital Liberties

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    I don't want to support a dumbass average consumer on anything ;)
     
  13. LANshark

    LANshark This is America. My president is black and my Lamb

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    jollyogre is right.

    If you got zero linux knowledge and you wanna give people computer that they are going to want you to support is asking for it.

    I run Ubuntu right now and it's as close to windows as linux gets. Here is the problem. It isn't windows. It's the easiest to use of all the distros to install stuff on, run, and update, but, really if you are looking for Winix that isn't going to happen. Your phone is going to be ringing off the hook.

    You are better off trying the Microsoft Open License thing.
     
  14. itsjim

    itsjim New Member

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    Xubuntu.. a little more light weight
     
  15. JaJae

    JaJae New Member

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    I'm using Ubuntu now. I would say take a LIVE CD to someone's house, boot it up and let them play with it and see how it works for them. There are more windows-like versions of Linux, but they typically cost money. Not as much as a window's license, but it would be an out of pocket expense and a lot of headache.
     
  16. P07r0457

    P07r0457 New Member

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    the thing with a live cd is when they screw up the machine, you just reboot. But with a real distro, when people screw up, you gotta know what you're doing in order to fix it.
     
  17. JaJae

    JaJae New Member

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    Yea that's true. If you don't know Linux and you get call saying the computer is broke and you show up and the GUI is gone and they don't know what they did... well yea. Good luck.
     
  18. crazybenf

    crazybenf Active Member

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    :rofl: :rofl: :rofl: :rofl:

    You want to give linux desktops to people with little to no pc experience?



    :rofl: :rofl: :rofl: :rofl:


    Don't even THINK about it.
     
  19. Peyomp

    Peyomp New Member

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    I know people with no computer skills who run Linux. They do fine until they need to like... put music on their MP3 player or something
     
  20. JaJae

    JaJae New Member

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    I'm fairly new to Linux, but I find it's just as easy as windows. If you spend 10 minutes with someone with ubuntu and show them the repositories I'm willing to bet they'd find it easier. Adding and removing programs is a snap and programs seem to be less confusing.
     
  21. P07r0457

    P07r0457 New Member

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    until they break something (which they will) then you will want to commit suicide.
     

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