Story Of An Ubuntu Convert

Before we begin, I wanted to start out by saying that I am posting this article from my tablet as I have recently moved house so I dont have any internet yet – I apologise in advance for any spelling and/or grammar mistakes within this article. :)

Ok then, this ‘story’ is about a very unlikely Ubuntu convert – my mother. My mum is a self confessed technophobe so is very wary of anything that is different than what she is used to or anything that has any kind of learning curve.

About 6 weeks ago I received a very frustrated call from my mum explaining that the computer (a Windows 7 machine) had another virus. At this point I too got frustrated as I was going to have to spend a couple of hours, yet again, on my day off fixing the thing.

At her wits end, she asked if there was anyway to make sure she never gets a virus again – I said “yeah, stop using the internet” – this joke didn’t go down well!

My mum doesn’t really use the computer for much, gmail, facebook, some solitaire for my step dad and looking at cats (she’s obsessed with them). So I suggested that she could try Ubuntu instead of Windows, I explained what it is and why she’s much less likely (if at all) to get a virus. To which she replied, “but you’re a nerd, wont it be too difficult for me?”. After some discussion we agreed that I would put Ubuntu on the machine and if it was too dificult for her then I would put Windows 7 back on for her.

An hour or so later Ubuntu was installed and all her files moved over. I sat my mum down and her first words were “Ooooooo, its very purple – it looks nice” – see, I told you she wasn’t technical :D. I spent literally 5 minutes showing her the dash, launcher, global menu & where the window control ‘hide’ on maximised windows.

I head home, fully expecting a call within the hour asking me to come back and put Windows 7 back on for her. Not because Ubuntu is poor, but because its different and she has no time or desire to persevere and learn Ubuntu. Twenty minutes later my phone rang… Here we go! I thought to myself. Surprisingly all my mum wanted to know was how to shut Ubuntu down. So I told her and that was that.

As I said at the start, this was about 6 weeks ago and since then, I completely forgot to follow up with my mum about it. Besides, she would let me know straight away and in no uncertain terms if it wasn’t right for her.
So I’ve just moved house and I had an old laptop running Windows XP (Intel Centrino, 512MB RAM and a 60GB HDD – told you it was old) and I asked my mum if she had any use for it? She said maybe and asked if I could take it up for her to take a look.

So yesterday I took the laptop up for her too look at, she booted it up and her first words were “oh, its the old one (meaning Windows). Can you put Ubuntu on it?” I was shocked and really taken a back. I stuttered back “y-yeah sure, do you like Ubuntu then?”. She then preceded to tell me all about Ubuntu, how great it is, how quick it is and how easy it is to use. She literally loves it – she even explores the computer now and wants this laptop as a toy for helself.

I am so happy that my mum, a complete technophobe is enjoying Ubuntu so much and is finding it a pleasure to use (her words, not mine). So now we have Linda Ferguson, 50 year old cleaner from Merseyside, UK as a proud user and member of the Ubuntu community – how cool is that!

So to all those people who decide not to try Linux/Ubuntu just because you have to be some kind of IT genius to use it (apparently) – listen up. Try Ubuntu, its easy to use, quick, gorgeous and of course free! What do you have to lose, if my mum can do it then anyone can.

Have you converted anyone to Linux/Ubuntu? Why not tell us about it in the comments section.

PS: just in case anyone is wondering, the laptop runs Ubuntu 12.04 just fine. Its not super quick but Unity 3D works and the machine is perfectly usable – its had a new lease of life.

Story Of An Ubuntu Convert
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  • Gonzalo Velasco C.

    Just great! God bless your mom!

  • http://facebook.com/domcan2 1roxtar

    I live in a small town of just under 10,000 people. I have a home-based computer repair business and I actively promote Ubuntu and have installed it on many of my customer’s computers with great results. I have also sold two refurbished Ubuntu 12.04 powered laptops (I even painted the covers orange with Ubuntu branded stickers from the Ubuntu store). They love them because they stand out, are unique and beautiful, secure, fast and virus free. Long live freedom!!!!

    • http://www.refugeeks.com/ Kev Quirk

      That is great to here 1roxstar! I think it’s really important that us ‘geeks’ the ones in the know spread the word about Ubuntu and FOSS in order to bring new members to the community.

      It’s all about breaking down the barriers that Linux is only for nerds. Afterall, Ubuntu is Linux For Human Beings ;-)

  • BartWillemsen

    I tried to convert my brother to Ubuntu which was partially successful. :P He had an computer on his room and one day he complained that it was very slow, so he asked if I could take a look at it and make it faster again. (the first question everyone asks when they find out you are studying IT :P). My brother is an average user too, he mainly uses it for schoolwork, MSN, Facebook, Skype and and also occasionally, playing a game.

    So I said to him that I knew about an OS called Ubuntu which is very fast, and also wont slow down as much as Windows does. At first he didn’t want to use it but eventually I could get him over to at least try it.

    So far so good, he found it easy to use and a beautiful OS, but he was used to Office 2007, which is a lot different than LibreOffice Writer.. basically, he didn’t like any program that looked a little bit different than what he used in Windows. Eventually I put Windows back on for his programs like MSN and Word, but he wanted to keep Ubuntu to play around with it. I put it in dual boot for him, and he still boots into Ubuntu now and again.

  • shadowguy14

    Well my mom isn’t so nice like yours, but she does like using Peppermint OS (based off of Ubuntu) because it speeds up our older desktop, only problem is she gets confused with XP and Peppermint (how to turn off, why is Chromium installed and not the “E”, etc) Great story!

  • shadowguy14

    Oh and I don’t mean to hate on Ubuntu, but I personally believe Linux Mint is a better alternative for new users, but Linux is all the same :)