A couple of weeks ago, I wrote, "Has Linux Fallen Into a Well?." It was a tale of two brothers, aka The Cave Dwellers, who had too many complaints and angst concerning the Windows XP installation on my wife's old HP DV-5000 laptop. Reinstalling XP didn't do any good the last time I did it, so I decided to give them Ubuntu 9.04 in its place. All I did was to tell them how to login and left the rest up to them.
Two days after the installation came the first question: "How do I install the Adobe Flash Player in the web browser?" I told them to follow the on screen instructions and promptly shooed them out of my domain (cave).
They've used the laptop non-stop since I reimaged it with no problems reported. They do all the usual stuff with it that they did with Windows: Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, web browsing, iTunes, Email and word processing.
My printer comes on and prints homework and their occasional "wows" and "cools" have let me know that the laptop is serving them well so far. I've heard much less door kicking and muffled cursing from them since the big switch to Ubuntu. Now the only door kicking and muffled (and not so muffled) cursing only originates from me.
So, I have to humbly say that Ubuntu is the best thing to happen to that laptop in the past 3 or 4 years and I'm glad I made the transition. I think the boys will learn more about computing from this experience and will have a richer experience with a computer that "just works" instead of the constant frustrations that began this whole incident.
Ubuntu also allowed me to put off buying another laptop for at least a year or so. My daughter, 8, is not so moved by the change. She still assumes that the laptop is slow and painful to use. Did you get that? My 8 year-old daughter branded the laptop as slow.
Kids these days! They're so spoiled--when I was 8, I would have been glad to have any computer--problem was that personal computers hadn't been invented yet nor could I have afforded one anyway even if they had. Sorry, I had a flashback to the Stone Age for a moment.
In a weird way, I'm a bit disappointed that the boys made the transition from Windows to Ubuntu so easily. I expected wailing, gnashing of teeth, name calling and my image burning in effigy--or perhaps the real me being tortured by them placing my beer just out of my reach or something equally as sinister. They seem to enjoy using it but I'm sure someday they'll complain to their kids about Grandpa and the old recycled laptop.
I'm still waiting, almost patiently, for the second question.
I am glad that I waited until now to make comments on your blog, to be honest I didn't really like the "Has Linux Fallen into a Well?" piece. Not because it wasn't written well, but because it seemed like it was slanted against Ubuntu when the issues seemed to be blatantly hardware related. It was good to see the entire story come full circle. Thanks.
I wrote this author off as a troll from his first blog: The 'fallen into a well' piece. For an individual that seems to understand Free Software and the issues that newer/proprietary hardware can bring, the author certainly seemed to blame the GNU/Linux community for his hardware not being supported.
In the windows ecosystem of course, each vendor absolutely must provide their own drivers and submit them to Redmond for approval. The vast number of GNU/Linux drivers are written by the community; and some of those only after reverse engineering the driver for the windows platform because of total lack of support or assistance from the vendor.
I am glad those brothers are enjoying their laptop now instead of fighting with it to do things though. Also I'm very glad the author chose Ubuntu, this will provide those two with simple and solid access to all the software in the repositories.
One day GNU/Linux will be actually be available as a choice for newly purchased computers from large computer makers. Then we will have no more 'into a well' scenarios. By this I mean more than Dell(who only offers GNU/Linux on a few machines), and a few of the much smaller niche retailers such as System76. Until then; keep spreading the word, and the software!
Exactly. I switched both of my kids to Ubuntu about six months ago and am now switching back. I am tired of the whining. When Ubuntu can run what is, for kids anyway, the killer app (iTunes) then it will truly be an alternative to Windows and Apple. But not until then.
Let me clarify about the Itunes line. I love Ubuntu. I have it installed on all my PC's. I was just wondering if someone actually got Itunes to work. Incidentally Rhapsody's online version works great.
I have tried everything possible to get iTunes running on Ubuntu with no success. I finally gave up and the kids now have shiny new Mac Minis that run everything they need, including iTunes. Ubuntu is an absolute non-starter for anyone that wants to run iTunes. The whole Ubuntu experience for my kids wound up being an expensive, time consuming, experiment that failed. For me though, it's great. I am running an Ubuntu server, media center, laptop and desktop for myself and think they are all just great. Needless to say iTunes is not running on any of those platforms.