My grandma uses Linux

She just doesn't know it.

My grandmother's computer is running Windoze® 95 on a 75 MHz system with less than 1Gb of RAM. It's so old she couldn't look at a website designed after the millenium--like the website my sister and I use to display the pictures of our daughters. And it's dog slow. She never used it, not even to check email.

Rather than buy my 93-year-old grandmother a new computer with a Windoze® operating system on it (at an expense greater than zero), I installed Linux Ubuntu Jaunty on a box I've had lying around since my Xilinx days. I pre-loaded it with Firefox and put three icons on the desktop, Mail, Téa, and Viola. Click twice on any of them, and she'd be directed to the best sites in the tubes.

Even this, though, was a struggle. I had to write everything down, and she kept forgetting how to shut it off. She kept accusing herself of being stupid, but she didn't grow up with this technology--as we reminded her.

I think she'll get it eventually. I tried showing her where all the major click points were on the websites, and by the end of it, she knew that clicking on a picture made it bigger, and from there she could click on 'slideshow' and sit back, sip tea, and enjoy the show.

The box is solid, and the OS isn't designed to do anything fancy--just go to three websites.

She is the oldest person I know who is using Linux--and she doesn't even know it.


At 8/1/09, 3:55 PM, Blogger Michael Stone said...

93 and learning (well...) to use Linux. That's gotta be some sort of record! :)


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