Just switched a windows family over and...,
they love it! So far.
I have a couple of things to work out before they are totally enthralled.
They are a basic family, doing basic things, word processing, web browsing, IM, etc, they didn't really have any windows only applications. Their computer was very,..., VERY slow and doing anything was a chore. We were unable to find a full copy of windows xp (just upgrade copies), so we decided we should put linux on it.
I put the latest version of Ubuntu, my favourite.
The matriarch of the family needs these things:
The ability to block websites, COMPLETELY, within firefox. Namely these two: myspace and geekstinkbreath.com (by means of a application or extension)
To read GAIM chat logs.
Lastly, they were using iTunes as the main method of media. Now all of the music I backed up, in .m4a format doesn't work. I know some of it is purchased and we have a way around that. But none of their music works. Is there an m4a player out there? They also need to be able to use their iPods....,
The ability to block websites is typically done with a web proxy (which may be difficult for her to setup and administer). If you're interested, look into squid and squidguard or Dan's Guardian.
Now there is a simple way to do it provided the kids don't have access to the /etc/hosts file (which if the kids use sudo, you'll have to edit the sudoers file to prevent access to /etc/hosts, if they don't have sudo access, then no problem because they can't edit the file). Basically, what you do is point myspace back to localhost, so the page can't load (DNS always checks your hosts file before trying to contact a DNS server). Here's a link describing it further and it has some links to fairly comprehensive hosts files blocking any number of things.
As for Gaim, I don't know, but if she knows where the logs are, she should be able to read them by sudo more logfile since that will give her root access to their home directories.
iTunes, I don't know what to do about. Although a friend of mine found a script to convert all the m4a files to mp3 files, which also play on iPods. I believe he just transfered files by plugging the drive in and mounting it as a USB stick. Then opening konqueror and copy and pasting files. Don't have an ipod, so I'm not much help...
Just did a bit of googling, seems there's a library or plugin called "faad" that might help you play m4a files in Rhythmbox
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