Does Linux Have a 'Safe Mode'?

khess 0 Tallied Votes 607 Views Share

I recently upgraded a friend of mine to Ubuntu 9.04 Desktop for his five-year-old Acer laptop with 512 MB of RAM. I removed Windows 2000 after backing up his precious documents, pictures and browser favorites. I installed the latest stable version of Ubuntu, restored all of his settings, Internet connection and documents. He immediately fell in love with the GNOME interface, the speed at which the system booted and how snappy it responded to his barrage of clicking. He was in heaven.

What came next was a bit of a shock. A few days after the "big transition," I received a frantic phone call. The conversation went something like this:

Bill: Hey, thanks for fixing up my laptop the other day.

Me: No problem. How's it going?

Bill: Well, that's the thing. It isn't going too well.

Me: What's wrong?

Bill: Umm, I think I broke it already. I can't get it to come up. It's there at a blue screen.

Me: A blue screen. No, we took Windows off of it. There's no blue screen.

Bill: No, seriously dude, there's a blue screen with a bunch of words on it and I don't know what to do. I'm afraid to do anything. Can you come over right now?

Me: <painful sigh>

Bill: I have some new beer and it's cold.

Me: I'll be right over.

Bill was outside waiting for me with a cold beer that was already apologetically opened and ready for guzzlement.

Bill: Sorry, man, come on in.

Me: <beer half gone--hey, it's hot in Oklahoma> Let me take a look.

I walk up to his computer and almost spewed what's left of my beer onto his laptop screen and keyboard.

Bill: What? Is it really messed up? Can you fix it?

Me: It's not messed up at all. Let me ask you something--did you happen to lay something on the keyboard or have a key pressed when you turned on your laptop?

Bill: Maybe--why is that bad?

Me: No.

Bill: Man, I knew we should have just put Windows back on it. This Linux stuff is great for you eggheads but for us regular guys, it's the pits.

Me: <motioning for another beer> Has nothin' to do with Linux. Could've happened with Windows.

Bill: <opening my beer> OK, so what is it?

Me: When you were touching the keyboard, you made the computer boot up into the BIOS settings.

Bill: So, Windows and Linux both have that?

Me: It's in your laptop. It comes with it.

Bill: Oh, so how did I do that?

Me: <powering off and on the laptop> I'll show you.

The moral to this story is that people often associate the unknown with their problems. Linux was the thing that was different for him and, of course, it was to blame for his problem.

I trained Bill how to avoid accidentally entering the BIOS, how to escape it if he does and how to do some basic things in Linux. He's never been happier and I've never had anyone offer to supply me with such a tasty beverage in all my days. I've gained a new admiration for Wisconsin from this experience and Bill has gained a renewed love for his old laptop.

Have you had any similar experiences with users or friends? Write back and let me know. Get to the "Point" quickly; it helps.

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I'll have to remember, people are fools. And to ask them, what does it say?

wereami 0 Newbie Poster

I have switched 4 people in my close circle of friends and family to linux (ubuntu). I used the KDE enviroment for 2 and I used mints gnome for the other 2. At the begining I used to get tons of calls and emails about how bad linux sucked and how they couldn't do anything with it but needless to say they are all fans now. My reason for doing the swaps was 2 things. one I didn't want to keep putting pirate copies of windows on computers and 2, I got tired of the non sense calls about spyware and viruses. Like most people new to linux the no virus and no spyware was a big hit. How long this will last is still up in the air but for now people tend to stay away from linux due to it's very small market share. I like it this way to be quite honest. The other point I like to stress to people who are thinking about trying linux in any one of it's flavors is this. There isn't anything you can do on a windows or a mac platform that cannot be done on linux. You might have to gain some basic knowledge of the system but shouldn't we all know something about what we spend so much time on? I know that there are some apps that do not play well with linux i.e. adobe products like flash and photoshop but with some small tweaks to wine this can be accomplished also. So give it a try people and don't let the fact that you don't have a specific tech line to call to answer your questions or get you out of a jam. The linux community has never let me down and I receive better tech supports from the linux community than I have have had from a windows tech line.

Forestwalkerjoe 0 Newbie Poster

I have been doing the same. So far in the past few years.. i have had the opportunity to help about a half a dozen persons and One business to convert or at least Duel boot. Some are Ubuntu Wubi's just in case they run into any Absolute needs for a Windows system program. BUT by the large. I dont know any one of them that actually chose to go back.. or even swap to the windows side. The last one was a Family i know very well.. who has struggled for years with Big Attacks against their system.. Spyware, Hackers, Id Theft. NOT even sure how they got so messed up.. but i have fixed their winows XP system so many times i was getting over it.Finally got them to agree to let me show them A Linux Live CD. they liked it SO much they wanted to Run it From the LIVE CD constantly. We did get to finally install in WUBI and one of their first complaints was.. WHERE IS THE DEFRAG in Linux? Well, those of us who know a little about Linux know the answer.. but SHE could not understand.. NO spyware? No virus's? No slowing down? NO Defrag needed? Every thing works, with the exception of some Games and a few odd disks make for windows? IT IS a DIfferent OS and does work in different ways.. but this is the longest time they have had without a Major Crash.. nasty virus or a Slooooowing down. 6 months and running. I do have friends who will not let me help them do the same.. because they are afraid it will some how Mess up their system. Fear, i think.. of the New and Un tried.. is really what keeps folks from Trying Linux now. Yeah.. Few years ago.. it was ONLY for the True Geeks.. now.. not so much. I think.. ONE step at a time.. ONE move at a time.. ONE WUBI or DUEL boot at a time.. LINUX is gonna get a HOLD on folks and Microsoft will need to really worry.

private_nubi 0 Newbie Poster

multiboot with windows 7 with Linux-mint ...found out that windows is much faster in my opinion,more stable ..and just much more easier to use also enjoy the big market and backwards compatibility had no crashes or viruses it runs perfect.

though linux is good..i find windows 7 to be better.

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