Finally this evening I made it over to my Mom's to help straighten up her computer. Sweet Jesus, the spyware scene's gotten nuts. How do people put up with Windows anymore?!?
I mean, I know Linux is considered sorta techie and all, but come on. We've got pretty much everyone at work at OSDL converted to Linux, including the receptionist, all the secretaries, and even the marketing folks, with nary a complaint. I'm sure there's the odd incompatibility or whatnot, but compared with the pain of having to deal with all these damn popups and junk, that should be like a dance in the park.
I asked Mom if she had problems like this at work. "Oh, no, not at all. But, the IT department is constantly notifying us of upgrades, downtimes, and switchovers. They are really busy keeping on top of it all." Wow. That's a pretty stark comparison to OSDL, where one guy does the desktop support, and basically is just doing conversion work; once someone is comfortably switched to Linux, the time it takes from him is rather minimal; just the occasional upgrade (lots of people at work want the latest and greatest version of Inkscape *grin*).
Sheesh! I remember it being sort of a hassle back years ago when I was using Windows, but this? How do people put up with it??
Anyway, the good news is that Mom and I had a discussion and agreed to do a trial run of Linux. I'm going to give her a second box with Linux on it for her to try, beside her comfortable (but nigh-unusable) Windows box. I think she'll find she can do all the same stuff as before, but having both machines there will hopefully give her the comfort of being able to go back if there are any problems.
Ted says I must be careful, as there are some real risks to switching your parents, but I've already been to those depths and survived, so I'm not worried!
One of the main apps my Mom uses is a card game called 'Arachnid'. I took the time to caution her that we might not be able to get that same game available in Linux, but that there's lots and lots of card games that she can enjoy. She admitted she's been playing Arachnid for over 10 years now and could probably do with a change.
But, in an ironic twist, Jon Cruz mentioned that Arachnid is actually one of the examples in the Wine HOWTO. !!! So, it looks like I can set her up with Wine and Arachnid, and she'll have pretty much everything she needs, plus some.