There is a pleasant surprise here shortly so stay with me for a bit. Cool surprises await....or not. Depending on your SEF . (Surprise Expectation factor)
What I have to say isn't necessarily directed at Linux Users...you know what I am about to say chapter and verse...most will anyway. But everyone personally knows a Windows User...lots of them in most cases. Many of you have went as far as to refuse free support for them...as have I. I too have tired of fixing the same problems over and over. So, when my home-care nurse bemoaned the fact that her Windows laptop was not responding, I took a look at it. Like I had a choice?
Oh, and just guess what I found?
Two keyloggers, 28 separate viruses/malware and two suspected java exploits. Norton Antivirus Premium caught only one of the malware exploits but claimed it could not delete or cleqn it. sheesh. Because "Nurse Cratchet" (her descriptor, not mine) pretty much dictates my life for the next week, I fixed her computer and showed her the actual problems and causes, and in doing so, we discussed much; and she came to some surprising conclusions. As a result I installed Mint Linux as a dual boot and after getting IE4Lin working, she was able to use Linux to log into her server at the hospital. Here is the joint article Megan (her real name) and I put together. She introduced factors I may had missed so I would like to give her partial credit for writing this. Pass it along to your favorite albeit belabored Windows user. - h
Are you excited about the new Windows 7? Microsoft has promised you a "New and exciting environment". Secure past any other Windows effort and even 10 bucks cheaper than Vista.
Wow...ten whole bucks off of a multi-hundred dollar piece of software. How Generous.
What a deal you are getting. So you are looking forward to it I am guessing...and the promises this new system offers you.
Just like they promised in Vista.
Just like they promised in XP.
Just like they promised in ME.
Just like they promised in Win98.
Are we beginning to see a pattern emerge here? Every time Microsoft promises you a" new and secure environment for your computer", it ends up being the same old stuff with a fresh coat of paint and security features that take a 15 year old hacker about 12 minutes to circumvent.
If he's taking his time and is easily distracted.
And you know the morbidly funny part of this? You actually paid for this misery. And you continue to pay for it every time you take it to your favorite tech shop to "get it fixed".
"No really Charlie Brown...I won't move the football this time. Kick the football Charlie Brown."
Sadly, the majority of you will end up flat on your back again, blaming the computer, blaming the software...
Blaming everything but the real problem.
The Windows Operating System controlling the computer.
You don't want to explore the alternatives. You would rather listen to the false misconceptions about other operating systems and find comfort in that ignorance. You would rather be miserable and go through the rituals of fixing your computer over and over than using it. I don't think there is much I can do for you....aside from again charging you 75 bucks an hour to fix it.
See you in six months.
And let me dispel a common misconception. You paid for Windows on that new computer...it is written into the cost of the computer and the prices are set per unit by Microsoft. The majority won't even flinch. 2-300 additional dollars they didn't have to spend on a system that will ultimately fail them.
But I said the majority of you.
There are some that are ready to seek alternatives...and many of you don't know you have one.
I am the founder of The HeliOS Project. We obtain old computers, refurbish them to current technology standards and then give them away to disadvantaged Central Texas kids.
Every one of those computers have one thing in common...they don't run Microsoft Windows.
They run Linux.
An operating system born from the free spirit of tens of thousands of programmers and contributors all around the globe. Global Enterprises such as RedHat, Suse and Canonical also pay their developers to give us free software. Linux is created by the will of a global community. Many of them are unpaid, doing this work so you CAN have choice in how you operate your computer.
But it's not just John and Jane Computer User that can benefit from Linux.
Having retired from the US Army, I still have contacts within various units and groups therein. When I got wind that the Army had switched their battle gear computers and protective devices over to Linux, I phoned around until I found someone that remembered me....ahem...remembered me too well. After a bit of lies and other story-telling, I asked him what he could tell me about the Linux switch to their equipment and computers. His answer was short and without ambiguity.
"When a Microsoft System crashes at home or work, it's a pain in the ass. When a Microsoft System Crashes here, my men and women die."
That is serious food for thought. Oh, and the myth that Linux is too hard for the everyday user?
Before you make any premature judgments, be aware that we consistently have 10 & 12 year old kids picking this system up and using it in as little as 30 minutes. Linux is easy, and millions have used it in place of Microsoft Windows and never used Windows again. Entire nations have switched to linux...by the millions. And again...sure there is a bit of a learning curve...
As there will be with Windows 7.
As there was with Vista.
As there was with XP.
As there was with ME.
As there was with Win98.
This time, why not put your learning efforts into something productive.
Like a system you won't have to fight viruses...or even fear them for that matter. A computer that doesn't have to go into the shop every six months. That means you don't have to run all that antivirus software that messes up your computer. (hint...no more "$$$ubscriptions" to run out).
And folks...you can get it for free. There are exceptions to all the rules. like "If it sounds too good to be true, it is." Well, let me introduce you to that exception.
There really is no reason for you to do battle with your computer. I am going to link you to a webpage that explains the "whole Linux thing". From there, it's up to you. And if you should happen to find sanctuary in this great way to compute...
Pass the word on to Charlie Brown.
There is one particular nurse that has through, calm and logical demonstration, switched her laptop to Mint Linux, albeit dual boot. (simple training wheels). She actually squealed in delight when her Youtube video's played and Hulu.com delivered what it promised to deliver.
Even her favorite "Windows Certified repair shop could not make that happen in her Windows partition. Just a few minutes of measured, logical discussion and demonstration.
And you know...? Sometimes that's all it takes. Simply some calm and logical discussion.
-n- Nurse (RN) Megan. Thanks for keeping me down when I needed it. Of course, your placement of my IV had a lot to do with it. Smart woman that Megan...
Thank you for your concern, professionalism and compassion.
Friday, August 14, 2009
blather and mumbling provided by Ken Starks at 9:13 AM