Just a note...when you click the "like" button on the facebook ad on the right, it enters us into a contest where we could receive a ton of help from local businesses. No votes count until 9 AM CST so watch the clock. The facebook button will appear at 9 AM CST. Just a click...that's all. Thanks for helping us do what we do. - h
The title to this article could just as easily have been, "Why We Don't Use Windows."
Besides being inflammatory,...well, that's reason enough.
Far be it from me to ever publish anything controversial.
The fact remains, we do insist on installing Linux with every computer we give away.
Sure, there are the philosophical reasons. As well, there are financial incentives to do so, but in my world...in the world of 1-3 computer installs every day of the week...
I simply don't want to be bothered with those problems associated with the use of a Windows computer.
Now look, there have been computers we've installed sporting Windows. Some of our kids have Windows-specific application needs. Giving a child the wrong set of tools is as bad as not giving him any at all.
It doesn't happen often but it does happen. When this is necessary, I purchase the Windows License out of my pocket. At the same time, we tell the child and parent that we will not support virus or operating system failures.
We can't...we don't have the resources. Some of these machines are deployed 75-100 miles away. We simply cannot support an operating system that will surely develop often and well documented problem-sets.
Those Windows installs have now come to a halt. Between the ease-of-use of VirtualBox and Codeweaver's generosity, we now have alternatives to installing Windows.
We deploy Crossover judiciously as we don't want to pass around this great program willy-nilly. While Codeweavers is not in the business of giving their product away, they have granted us permission to install in on our kid's computers when necessary.
Oh and by the way, Codeweavers has released their latest effort, codenamed Impersonator. The improvements are largely in the way Crossover handles the installation of Windows apps and the "support" for apps that haven't appeared in the "supported" list. I test drove it the day it came out and I am impressed. For the price, it delivers way past the initial investment.
The reasons we focus on giving our computers to children should be obvious. As well, there are reasons we vastly curtailed giving our computers to adults. Let me 'splain...
Let me tell you why we are no longer in that database.
We were referred to a lady...let's call her Elaine. Elaine had completed rehabilitation training and was currently being enrolled in a junior college to gain an associates degree. We gladly complied with the request and I personally delivered the computer to her and spent over an hour just showing her how to use the system.
All seemed well. Our 30 day and 60 day check-back calls were met by her answering machine and since we never got a callback, I assumed things were spiffy.
We had also supplied a computer to a veteran in the same complex, in fact, just a few doors down from Elaine. It was only later that I found that they were friends.
On our 60 day check-back with this other lady, I asked her if she knew how Elaine was doing with her HeliOS Project computer.
She made a disapproving sound into the phone.
Her basic gripe?
It wasn't Windows.
It didn't matter that she could effortlessly access her college websites. It didn't matter to her that she could do every function on her Linux machine she could do in Windows.
It wasn't Windows and therefore it sucked.
As soon as Elaine got a settlement check from the VA, she went out and bought a brand new computer, "complete" with Windows.
I called Elaine and told her that I knew she had bought another computer and that I was authorizing her to release the one we gave her to her friend. I would pick it up from there.
I got the call from her friend within the hour and had the computer in hand by the end of the day. And for the record, the machine I gave her was a Core 2 Quad Q6600 2.4 GHz Quad Core Processor with 3 gigs of RAM, a 160 gig hard drive, DVD/CD RW+- with a Dell 525 2.1 speaker system.
And to be honest, this was pretty much the last straw. We had received calls from numerous 211 recipients that they had installed Windows on HeliOS machines and then needed support in getting rid of malware and viruses.
One guy said he was getting a black screen on boot, telling him that child porn was present on his computer and unless he made a payment to "unlock the machine and delete the filth", they would report him to local police.
This is not a common malware occurrence. I've only seen it once in the wild but does exist. Regardless...I wasn't touching it.
The fact remains, at least in my mind...Linux is a wasted effort on most adult computer users. Our efforts are best spent in providing for and educating kids in Linux and technology. Between the little snits and the landslide of virus complaints from users of Windows, it's gotten pretty discouraging.
Kids don't have any philosophical or political concerns when they sit at a keyboard. They still have open minds and are able to assimilate different ideas and use them.
To my eye? Adults not so much....with a few exceptions