Perhaps it's my role as the family computer guy that's leading me in this direction today but it seems to me that there should be Linux distributions that are age-oriented and age appropriate. Seldom do I see my parents-in-law playing a heated game of Quake or doing any kernel tinkering, nor do I see them downloading, untarring, compiling and installing some piece of software for their system.
No, Windows isn't the answer. I can't tell you how many times I've installed, reinstalled, reconfigured, de-virused, de-spywared and rebooted their computers over the past 10 years. I don't even answer the phone when I see their number because I know the next words I'll hear are, "Oh, Ken, my computer..." and I just can't do it any more. The subsequent long and detailed voicemails are causing me drink alcoholic concotions based upon every fruit, berry, leaf and bean known to mankind.
There has to be an answer.
We've struggled with Windows 95, 98, 2000, XP and now of all things, Vista.
My answer is GeezerOS: A simple to use, Linux-based, plug-n-play, large icon, large font, single-click computer that has email, an Internet browser, a word processor and maybe little else.
Older folks aren't the only ones who need their own operating system directed towards them. I think we also need the following operating systems oriented toward these age and gender-specific groups:
TotOS - Linux for preschool kids.
KidOS - Linux for kids with built-in educational software, games, music apps, phone apps, anti-virus, anti-spyware, anti-porn, anti-phishing.
TeenOS - Like KidOS except that it also includes "Nags" for lawn mowing, trash removal, room cleaning and sexual contact prevention.
HusbandOS - Same as TeenOS, just rebranded with Football team themes and additional reminders for anniversaries, birthdays, holidays and miscellaneous romantic stuff.
WifeOS - Same as TeenOS, rebranded with women-oriented themes (Notice the purposeful lack of detail on that one :) ) and additional HusbandOS and TeenOS connectivity with auto shutdown and supplemental "Nag" capability.
Humor aside, an age-related operating system is a good idea and with an aging population at hand, it's not just a good idea but might soon become a necessity.
Ok, enterprising young entrepreneurs, get to it. Create the ultimate operating system for oldsters and make my life easier. Please.