The HeliOS Project is now.....

The HeliOS Project is now.....
Same mission, same folks...just a different name

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Monday, December 21, 2009

Of Thunderbolts and Revelations

Thunderbolts and Revelations.

Metaphorically, they can be perceived as the same thing.

Of course, "Thunderbolt" carries a bit more drama and idea or fact that comes upon you so swiftly and powerfully, it is perceived as profound or moving.

...Pretty powerful for something that really doesn't exist, but I think we all get the idea.

His name is Daniel and he is a Scotsman.  A Chef by trade, Daniel has traveled extensively across Europe and the US.  He now calls Italy home and spends much of his time teaching the locals English.

Ahem...just an observation here, ok?  I've been to the Highlands.  I've got falling down drunk in Pubs that had sheep gathered ten feet from the back door.  ( jokes...)  I've spent my share of time on the Emerald Isle from top to bottom, albeit rushed at times.  And don't even get me started on my Isle of Man stories...this is a family-friendly blog.

I do have one rhetorical question.

What would an native Italian sound like after learning English from a Scotsman?

...Just goofy stuff I think about sometimes.

At any rate, Daniel was a guest in the home of Mark Van Kingsley.  Mark is a long-time Linux Advocate and has his own Linux-based business in New York.  He is also a good and treasured friend of The HeliOS Project.  He's one of many who have put their sweat equity and money into doing what we do.

By the way Mark...May 16th...2nd Annual LAP.  See ya there?

Mark and Family were having Dinner with Daniel in their home when the subject of technology and computers came up.  Daniel complained about the lack of privacy and the hassle-in-general of using Microsoft Windows.  Van Kingsley might as well of had a bear trap set for the poor guy.

"You ever heard of Linux?" Mark asked.

Daniel shook his head and said that he had not.

Game On.

Mark explained the concept and facts of Free Software.  He explained how Linux was created, how it was maintained and how it was improved.  He also mentioned that it was free of cost as well.   He showed him three different distros on three different computers.

But then came the inevitable question?

"What's the catch?"

Mark told him.

"If you like it, use it.  Tell other people about it and tell them how to
get it. If you find a version of Linux or application for Linux that
absolutely knocks your socks off, give them praise and money if you
can afford it.  That's the catch."

Before the evening was over, Mark burned Daniel a Linux Mint CD and sent him home with it.  Daniel promised he would call Mark if he had any questions.

Daniel called him about an hour later.

He was amazed at the amount of software and functionality Linux had straight out of the box.  He did have a bit of a glitch with his webcam but Mark, being the advocate he is, directed Daniel to the Mint forums where he figured the problem out for himself.  Fact is, it wasn't really a problem...just a matter of a quirky driver.  Odd brand, stodgy driver support.  Heck, that happens more than often in Windows.

Oh, did I mention that Daniel had figured out how to dual boot his Windows partition with his new Linux one?

He called Mark the next day too.  Not to ask questions but to let him know that he had installed and configured Skype and was talking to his friends in Italy about his new operating system and all the things it could do.

They did not believe him.

Not one of them had heard of Linux.

They have now, I have been so assured.

The last few calls Mark got during Daniel's last few days in The States pertained to questions about Synaptic, the command line and how other distros differed from what he was using.

The very last call Mark got from Daniel was to tell him that he had backed up his Windows System and had did a full hard drive install of Mint on his computer.  No more dual booting.  No more windows.

Daniel didn't see the need for it.  He now had freedom, he now had privacy and he now had a computer he could trust.  Daniel, like many of us admits that he has used cracked or "fixed" versions of Windows at one time or another.  If there is one message that needs to be sent, it would be this.

Hey Redmond...there are millions of us who don't even think your product is worth stealing anymore.

Your stock closed today at 30.48 per share.  It was 27.00 and change the day Windows 7 was released.

Hey...not saying anything here...just an observation...those thunder clouds are beginning to look a tad bit ominous.

All-Righty Then


PV said...

These are the stories I like to hear. I've had similar experiences myself. A friend of mine had a Windows computer that was badly infected with malware. That said, it wasn't so bad that he couldn't create a Linux Mint 7 Live CD. He popped it in, did the installation, and now almost never uses his Windows partition (which he left on the hard drive). He and another friend of his (who is also having Windows trouble) are installing from that same CD Mint onto a computer that they salvaged from our school's Computer Deconstruction Day.
a Linux Mint user since 2009 May 1

Amenditman said...


I love it when you find these stories.

Way to go Mark. Just like shooting fish in a barrel. And not just as a figure of speech.

I use Mint for all new users to just give Linux a try. The Live CD just works on almost everything, even tough hardware usually works.

Thanks for sharing this with us.

vikki kanhaua said...

same stuff has happened with me.
one of my friend was having a faulty cd drive in her laptop & making windows bootable pendrive was not working correctly(i dont know why), so i asked her that is windows so important & she said no, she just wants her laptop to work.
then what!!!, i got a chance to impress her & installed mint on her laptop & it's abt 3 months my friend is using her laptop seamlessly.

Ed said...

Just to follow your tangential thought: Some friends of mine new a couple. The husband was German, and had taught his Japanese wife how to speak English.

Very odd accent, indeed.

Cheers, and thanks for the story.

Alessandro Ebersol said...

Well, here in Brazil, at a slow pace, Linux is gaining the hearts and minds of people... The teachers are witnessing the wonders of Linux in the schools/high schools computer labs i install/maintain and are asking me to install Linux on their home computers/notebooks.
Man, what a glorious feeling!!!