Linux for Senior Citizens

Here's a very useful article I found today.

http://www.hdrussman.uklinux.net/seniors.html

I've been a satisfied Linux user for the past couple of years, running my
system on a reconditioned IBM box that I bought for £120. The operating
system is free, state of the art and very well supported with free
technical advice should I need it.
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Replies

  • canardocanardo Forumite
    32 Posts
    id recommend ubuntu to anyone who is starting out with linux once installed it includes firefox and openoffice (read internet and word)
    should be everything the majority of people need

    its a "live" cd so you dont need to install the operating system or delete your existing operating system if you wish to try it

    if anyone wants a free copy you can download and burn yourself from https://www.ubuntu.com

    if you have difficulty downloading or burning this cd you can also get cds free from ubuntu.com, via shippit they do however take upto 6 weeks to arrive

    if anyone desperately wants a copy and is unable to use the methods above if you send me a pm ill give you my address, if you send me a SAE ill post a copy to anyone who is genuinely interested.
  • Ken68Ken68 Forumite
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    Thank you Robin....can I install Linux on a standard computer presently running microsoft windows XP that has bags of spare capacity.?
  • Savvy_SueSavvy_Sue Forumite
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    Just be aware that while Linux is wonderful, it's not quite as straightforward as Windows. And although in theory you can send Linux documents to Windows users (and vice versa), they don't always transfer seamlessly. Fine for absolutely straightforward things, but any complicated formatting can go haywire.

    The other thing is that we have a dual boot machine at home, and the Linux half of it just won't talk to the printer. Apparently that's Canon's fault, not Linux's. I don't care whose 'fault' it is, it's just frustrating when you want to print anything having to re-boot!

    PS If you've read the article, you'll know most of the above, but he doesn't mention the fact that transfer of documents is NOT seamless!
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  • canardocanardo Forumite
    32 Posts
    Ken68

    You can try Ubuntu without installing it on to your system, one word of warning if you have setup your windows disc to make use of the total drive space, you would have to repartition your drive which can lead to loss of data, my advice would be to try it out and see if you like it first

    Savvy Sue the problem you are referring to, is that you are probably using OpenOffice on Linux and Microsoft Office on word, if you choose to save the document as a word document in Open Office it should be fine, though as you have mentioned occasionally there are some formatting issues, make sure you have the newest version of OpenOffice as it truly is very good, as an alternative if you already have a legitimate copy of office you can use that on Linux by using cross over office which is available from http://www.codeweavers.com/


    The printer issue is a pain, cannon dont realease open source drivers so you are forced to use cups which does have issues with certain printers, Ubuntu Edgy is however very good and supports most printers.

    The way to think about this is, if you started with a fresh install of Windows, what of you hardware would actually work without supplying the manufacturers cds. Once more manufacturers follow suit like Dell, you will probably find the cds to also contain drivers for the popular linux distrubutions, or even more hopefully they will open source their drivers
  • Ken68 wrote: »
    Thank you Robin....can I install Linux on a standard computer presently running microsoft windows XP that has bags of spare capacity.?

    Yes, Ken, you certainly can.

    Here's a link that explains how to do it with Ubuntu.

    https://help.ubuntu.com/community/WindowsDualBoot

    If you need to resize your XP partition, just make sure that you back up your system first; and also make sure that you do not use the 'install to entire disk' option, or the installer will wipe your XP partition. Instead, use the installer to create the extra partitions you will need for Ubuntu (normally at least a 'home' and a 'swap' partition), and then instruct it to use those.

    Before you start, have a look through this guided example, with screen shots, that tells you what to expect at each stage.

    http://www.psychocats.net/ubuntu/installing

    You should find it all pretty straight forward, and you'll be able to enjoy Linux while not losing your XP system.
  • Savvy_SueSavvy_Sue Forumite
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    canardo wrote: »
    Savvy Sue the problem you are referring to, is that you are probably using OpenOffice on Linux and Microsoft Office on word, if you choose to save the document as a word document in Open Office it should be fine, though as you have mentioned occasionally there are some formatting issues, make sure you have the newest version of OpenOffice as it truly is very good, as an alternative if you already have a legitimate copy of office you can use that on Linux by using cross over office which is available from http://www.codeweavers.com/
    It's more than 'occasional' issues if you use Calc on OO and Excel from Microsoft. It screws up certain formulae every time. It's less of an issue for me since I gave up trying to use both sytems at work, and at home I don't do a lot of spreadsheet work and the word processing I need to do is pretty basic. I just wanted to warn people that the 'seamless' interchange between OO and MS Office is not as seamless as you might expect.
    canardo wrote: »
    The printer issue is a pain, cannon dont realease open source drivers so you are forced to use cups which does have issues with certain printers, Ubuntu Edgy is however very good and supports most printers.
    Thanks, I'll ask DH and the dear DDs about that ...
    canardo wrote: »
    The way to think about this is, if you started with a fresh install of Windows
    ... I'd hand the problem over to DH and the DSs, and go make a cup of tea. :rotfl:;)
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  • Ken68Ken68 Forumite
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    Think I'll give it a miss, thanks all the same.Sounds complicated. Only problem I have at present is broadband not available here, otherwise have a smooth system with 250 gb available.
  • No problem, Ken. After all, why change when you've got a system that satisfies you?

    However, from a money saving perspective you (and other readers) may well be interested to know that when their Microsoft system becomes obsolete they can obtain a free Linux replacement plus a suite of excellent software to boot.

    I was glad of this when my Windows 98SE setup was made obsolete in June 2006, and I could no longer afford the high costs of a MS upgrade.

    FWIW you may care to check when your MS system will no longer be supported with any more updates, here:

    http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=fh%3Ben-us%3Blifecycle&LN=EN-GB&x=6&y=6
  • WRT to Sue's comments:

    From a money saving perspective, it's also worthwhile noting that, whilst Open Office is not intended to be an exact copy of MS Office, it is

    a) Free (whereas MS Office 2003 at dabs.com costs at least £187.74 incl VAT)

    b) Highly compatible, and most people do not require to switch constantly between the two Office suites.

    Moreover, Open Office can do all that MS Office can do and more besides - e.g. produce PDF files.

    It's also worth noting that Open Office is just one of the office suites available in Linux. For example, KDE Office is another excellent suite.

    Finally, if you want, you can run MS Office on a Linux system.
  • Savvy_SueSavvy_Sue Forumite
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    Robin, I'm aware of and agree with all you say! However, having been beguiled once by the "seamless" argument when it WAS necessary to switch from one suite to the other, I won't be beguiled again ...

    We also have the advantage of being able to get Office at student discount prices for home and charity prices at work - which does make it more affordable.

    And the PDF facility is indeed brilliant, the one thing I badly missed when we stopped using OO ...
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