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Old 12-15-2006, 03:45 AM   #1
Registered: May 2003
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should this person even bother?

I have a friend whom like a lot of others want to give Linux or *BSD a try as an alternate OS on thier home desktop system. Here is where I am stuck:

His chief complaint is lack of stability on his Windows XP box.

In my personal experience I have never had a problem with keeping a windows box working correctly and smoothly since the 95 and NT days. He says he needs to reboot and whatnot at least twice a day. I have no idea what he is trying to do with his system and I don't really care to know.

I guess my question is whether or not i should recommend him jumping to linux if he cant even keep a windows xp box running.
Old 12-15-2006, 04:10 AM   #2
Mega Man X
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There is just no accurate answer for this question. It is more important to know what kind of applications are crucial to his work and whether or not they will have a linux equivalent or will be able to run under wine.
Old 12-15-2006, 05:26 AM   #3
Simon Bridge
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I guess my question is whether or not i should recommend him jumping to linux if he cant even keep a windows xp box running.
... On balance: yes do!

Do you believe, perhaps, that he is too stupid for linux?

There is no upside for this user staying with windows. Is continuing struggling with his existing OS a good idea? Yeah - he could learn to use windows better... but if he was going to do that, surely he would have by now?

It would appear he, for some reason, does not do what is required to keep windows stable. (Though I had to use a professionally maintained winXP box which required a reboot every week or so... this was considered "normal" and "reasonable" by the support staff.)

If the problem is due to a surfeit of malware, then linux will be a freeing experience for him. If it is ignorance or apathy or some combination - then linux will make or break him. Worst case: he discoveres that linux is "too hard" and goes back to windows with a considerable boost to his knowledge and skills.

The move (to linux) is a win all round.

Last edited by Simon Bridge; 12-15-2006 at 05:27 AM.
Old 12-15-2006, 05:49 AM   #4
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Hey it's probably worth a go...

start him out with some Live CDs so that if he does mess up he won't pose any danger to his computer. Try A minimilistic Distro to start with so he isn't too overwhelmed then move onto somthing bigger until he finds the right one, this should give him a push in the right direction as to "which Distro"

it's all about persistence get him to try a few live Distros then if/when he finds one he likes walk him though an install. and hey if it works great! if not well at least you tried...

Old 12-15-2006, 10:51 AM   #5
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Moved: This thread is more suitable in General and has been moved accordingly to help your thread/question get the exposure it deserves.
Old 12-15-2006, 01:08 PM   #6
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It depends totally on WHY he has trouble with Windows. My wife (the ultimate anti-geek) could bring a Windows box to its knees with very little effort. She now uses the family Linux-box and nothing ever crashes. She does not know (or care) why, but I do....

I would be very leary of helping others decide how to set up their computing environment. When I am the SA (as I am at home), then it's different. (I do have to occasionally tell people that if they dont like how the machine is set up, they are certainly free to get their own.)
Old 12-15-2006, 07:13 PM   #7
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I have to agree with the people saying it depends on why he's experiencing so much instability. My step-mother had so many problems on Windows that eventually most of them required a reinstall (and that was often enough that the license on her copy of Norton stopped working without calling them to explain the situation for each future reinstall so they could give a temp number for her to use).

So she had it bad. And most of her problems were virus and malware related. Once I knew what she wanted to do and programs she needed to be able to use, I knew that it made sense to move her. Like your friend, she came to me about this issue. It's been almost two years and the only downtime has been from a failed drive. She absolutely loves it and even gets cocky enough at times to bash Windows and insist that her friends start using Linux. The latter will never happen as I am not supporting a knitting circle of computer illiterate people.
Old 12-17-2006, 03:00 AM   #8
Registered: Oct 2004
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Originally Posted by mipia
I guess my question is whether or not i should recommend him jumping to linux if he cant even keep a windows xp box running.
Do you think Windows XP is more stable than a Linux distro? It sounds like you do since you doubt someone that can't keep an XP box running won't be able to use Linux.
When I ran Windows, I was the same as you, never had the problems that others had with stability. Except on my laptop. After having it a couple of years, my laptop would constantly crash. I would reformat and install XP Pro. I would not add any programs and within a couple of hours it would crash. I put my beloved Debian on it and it runs like a dream. I am still using this laptop with Debian. It is my computer of choice.
Since I put Debian on my laptop and it is my favorite pc of the ones I have, I only use Linux now (except at work). I have toyed around with Linux for years prior to this, but never seriously got into it. Since the problems with my laptop's stability and me switching to Linux on it, I have become an avid Linux user. Linux is on all of my pcs now and I only have one that is a dual boot into XP. I only do that because my rugby team's website is on a Windows server and I need to test things before I upload them to the server.
So, this is one Linux user that couldn't keep an XP box running.
Old 12-17-2006, 07:52 AM   #9
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If you have someone thats interested at all in experimenting with different oses, its generally worth atleast showing them what the other side is like.

Desire and willingness to learn is all that matters in a case like this. He's your friend right? Would you let a little inconvenience like the past, stop him from experiencing the future?
Old 12-17-2006, 01:17 PM   #10
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If the person has expressed an interest then yes, they should give it a try. Maybe they'll do ok, maybe they won't. They'll never know unless they try it.
Old 12-18-2006, 05:34 AM   #11
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i woudl recomend starting with the slax live Cd
its very easy to use (once you start x and it tells you how)

then if they like it put somting easy to use on.

not sure exactly what but i used suse in the past and it was really easy to use onece you sort out the codecs


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