We all have our tolerance for pain...
some of us have higher limits, some just won't deal with something that causes us discomfort at any level.
Life's too short.
Dave Kaplan, a friend and colleague of mine who spearheaded the Portland Lindependence event, emailed me a few days ago and told me about a successful switch to Linux.
There were a few surprises to say the least...none as surprising as how it came about.
Bill Mathis is a computer user. His old machine just wasn't doing what he wanted so he did what most people do.
He bought a new computer...
It came with Windows Vista tm.
Now that wasn't the agent of change for Bill. Oh, let's talk about the path that led to the current situation.
Bill is a retired graphic designer. Bill did most of his work with pen and ink...there were no "graphics programs" to do what Bill did. Bill worked for an ad agency and his work was hand drawn. By the way...have I mentioned that Bill Mathis is 85 years old?
You might want to take that into consideration...especially if you know those that argue against Linux because it is too difficult to learn.
I would hazard a guess that any 85 year old person is fairly well set in their ways.
Unless something becomes t0o painful or inconvenient to maintain...
So Bill settles in with his new computer, but something bothered him about it. He couldn't get the fonts to look right, he didn't like the available color combinations and he found that making the computer do what he wanted entailed either downloading third-party software or purchasing said software.
Bill did what most Windows Users do when they are not sure how to proceed.
He called Microsoft.
Go ahead...groan, it's ok. I did too.
Bill was summarily told to call Acer...it was their problem. Since there was nothing "wrong" with the operating system, the ball was in Acer's court, not theirs. He called and searched until he found the right number for their support...the support that deals with new and warrantied computers.
Guess what he was told...told a few times actually because the tech agent had an accent that Bill found hard to understand...?
Take the computer to a local repair shop and let them deal with it.
Pain threshold reached.
Bill Mathis boxed up the computer and shipped it back, demanding a full refund, which he received.
Hang on, this twist will pull a few G's. Dramamine for the squeamish available.
Bill frequents a book/record/CD store. The owner, Scott; knows Bill well. Bill was complaining to Scott about the recent events and asked Scott if he know anyone that might look at his old computer...the one he had prior to purchasing and returning the new one.
Scott looked up and around the store aisles and then pointed...
To Dave Kaplan, who The Fates had dictated be there at that precise time.
Dave went over to Bill's house later and assessed the situation. Running 256 meg of ram, Dave 'splained to Bill that a memory upgrade was in order. For a small fistful of one dollar bills, Dave upgraded the machine to one gig and installed SuperOS on it. As well, since he had his money back from Acer, he bought a new LCD flat screen.
SuperOS along with Linux Mint are the two standards for our HeliOS Solutions and HeliOS Project installs. No muss, no fuss...everything works out of the box...no futzing around with enabling Multiuniverse repositories...the average computer user wouldn't know where to look.
Hence, our choices of distros.
Bill was at home with the Gnome Desktop within minutes. He didn't care for the color theme so Dave showed him how to change it, modify it to his liking and get new themes to play with.
Bill was pleaseantly surprised at his ability to control his environment. That is extremely important to him.
So...for those that still want to carry on the argument that Linux is too hard to use?
Please...with a few minutes of personal support, we have 10 year olds using it as part of our project and they don't need any more help than Bill did...probably less as they have not been indocrinated yet.
Seems the Windows Way can be unlearned...
And I don't care how old you are.
Bill Mathis, my hat is off to you.
Friday, October 02, 2009
We all have our tolerance for pain...
blather and mumbling provided by Ken Starks at 10:29 AM