Convincing the World, One Computer and One User at a Time

It's not flashy, and it's often more work than fun, but sometimes the best you can do is just keep going, bringing one person at a time out of the darkness of the Microsoft world, and into the light of Linux and FOSS. I've had several successes recently...

It's not flashy, and it's often more work than fun, but sometimes the best you can do is just keep going, bringing one person at a time out of the darkness of the Microsoft world, and into the light of Linux and FOSS. I've had several successes recently...

- A few weeks ago I wrote about setting up a good friend with an HP Mini 2140 running Ubuntu Netbook Remix. As I expected, and contrary to the bit of mindless blathering in comments, she has been absolutely pleased with it. So pleased, in fact, that her husband called last week and asked if I could convert his home computer to multi-boot Ubuntu with the existing WinXP installation...

- SO, yesterday I went by and set that up. It could hardly have been easier. His computer has and 80 GB disk, and the existing Windows XP Home installation used only about 16 GB of that. I booted the Ubuntu Jaunty LiveCD, and used the Partitlon Editor on that to reduce the size of the Windows partition. I used to always be a bit concerned when I did that, but it has worked well for me every time, and particularly when there is that much free space on the disk, it works quickly and reliably. (By the way, I looked first to see if the Windows disk manager would reduce the partition for me, and the option wasn't even there. I know I have seen it before, does anyone know if this is an XP Home/Professional difference, or just some other sort of Windows weirdness?) Anyway, as soon as the reduction was finished, I booted Windows again to let it see that we had been messing with the disk, it ran chkdsk automatically and got everything so that it was happy. Then I rebooted the Ubuntu LiveCD, and used the Partition Editor again to set up an Ubuntu partition and a Linux Swap partition. Installing Jaunty then took about 10-15 minutes, and after booting that, downloading and installing all of the updates since April took another 15-20 minutes. Less than an hour, it was running great, and he could still boot Windows if he really needs to.

- Another friend is going on a disaster relief mission to Kosovo soon, and wants to take a netbook along so he can stay in touch with his wife here in Switzerland. No sweat, I have prepared one of the HP 2133 Mini-Notes with Ubuntu, and all the email and communication software he might want to use on it. Another convert.

The moral is, all you need to do is get your foot in the door to show people that they don't have to be dominated by the MS garbage. I have taken heart from Jake saying several times on here that he keeps Linux LiveCDs with him to pass out when the opportunity arises. I think this is one key way forward, just keep bringing people on board one at a time, a few of them are likely to convince others, and we just keep building momentum.

jw