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Category: Tech
Tuesday, January 10th, 2006 @ 06:31 pm
Posted By xerxes7
Poking around, it seems that the tech department is a little underserved around here lately, That (and a phonecall from our webmaster) is why I'm going to talk about the results of my making the big switch a little while ago. This is going to be long. It might not be all that fun. But apparently it's something that's needed. So here we go with Part 1.

See, awhile back the li'l miss's win98 box was starting to act kind of spotty. So, we did what one does in that situation and reinstalled windows and went on with things. Except that somewhere in the process a seed of an idea was planted. Maybe it was time to switch to Linux. She wasn't disagreeable to the suggestion, so we burned up a live cd of Kubuntu (ed. Don't you mean Knoppix?) (x7. Probably.) and she checked it out. It was okay, but the bit of downtime suffered from the recent reinstall had left its scars and it was decided that there was no valid reason to go fixing something that wasn't broke. Months passed, nothing happened. End of chapter.

We moved to new digs, my box (also win98) fell by the distant wayside and eventually summer came around. Summer is a slow time for a chef and boredom and curiosity got the best of me. We talked it over and she okayed the switch to Linux so long as she would have her computer up and running within a day or so. New disc burned. Conversion ready.

Now, there's always talk at nerd sites about whether or not something will pass the mom test. For those of you who don't know, the mom test involves how many drinks it takes for your mom to work up to a frothy lather. Wait. Different test altogether. The mom test is basically how much difficulty "your mom" would have using a given bit of tech, given the idea that "your mom" isn't very tech savvy. In all of this "mom test" stuff, there's always talk about whether Linux is ready based on this test. Now, I'm not about to actually subject my mom to this test, but I can pretty well imagine how things would go with the install of Kubuntu.

It wouldn't go well. But then, I don't think that a Windows install would stand any more of a chance. For me, it was pretty painless. I don't recall having to answer any difficult questions. I set up a partition for Kubuntu (cake). It prompted me about a swap partition (likewise cake). I went ahead and gave a partition for a win2k partition that would be coming (just in case) (also, cake). After that, it kind of took care of itself I believe. This was almost half a year ago. Also, (cue violins and turn on the waterworks) a hurricane kind of destroyed my city and I've since moved to a new town and had all kinds of weird experiences. I hope you'll forgive me if I don't recall every single step of the process.

So Kubuntu was up and running. Internet happened very quickly and automagically. A quick phone call to H.Q. and I learned about kynaptic and got crazy with getting things I wanted like firefox and xmms and the almighty gimp. I believe that Open Office was already installed, so aside from gaming we were right back to where we started before the switch happened. We had an internet terminal that played mp3s and allowed us to work on papers and such. Later that day, momma got home. Not "mom". Momma. La chicita. She who owns the computer and must be pleased as regards changes made to it.

Having played with Kubuntu (ed. *ahem*)(x7. Knoppix. Oops.) as a live distro, she didn't findherself to be on mars or anything. In fact, she was now pretty happy because she was free to finally make permanent changes to the interface. A little bit of experimenting yielded the right way to change the wallpaper, and she was fairly impressed with the amount of artistic freedom available to change just about any damned thing she pleased about the gui. She hopped online to make sure it was still there, opened an old resume, and listened to a song. Everything worked. Everything was fine. There was peace in the valley and a chorus of angels sang while our hero rode off into the sunset.

So ends the first part of the engaging story of how my house switched to a Linux-only house. Please check back in what will probably be a week for Part Two, in which I will discuss what minor problems did come up and how well the experience of the Linux desktop fared under a woefully undiscussed usability test.

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NAME: scott
Friday, January 13th, 2006 @ 06:26 pm
Coming in part 2, friend.

NAME: brent
Thursday, January 12th, 2006 @ 06:06 pm
This sounds like a smoother transition than I've ever heard. Are you sure you're not covering up any lumpy detail or spats?