Things to do

Daniel Fussell dfussell at byu.edu
Tue Feb 5 16:59:26 MST 2013


On 02/05/2013 12:11 PM, Sasha Pachev wrote:
>> For that matter, maybe a meeting about how to talk to people about
>> Linux would be in order.
> I do not know Daniel but from what I can tell he has had enough social
> skills to get married. That is quite an accomplishment for a geek. He
> also managed to convert the household to Linux and stay married, so
> that is another accomplishment. Maybe he does know how to talk to
> people after all :-)
>
I don't know that I could recommend the method of persuasion I used; it 
fits under the easier-to-ask-forgiveness-than-permission category.  My 
AthlonXP machine's motherboard appeared to fry one day, forcing a new 
machine build (it turned out to be a blown cap on the video card, but 
that's another story).  At the time 64-bit Core-2's were available for a 
reasonable price, and no stable 64-bit version of Windows was 
available.  Money was tight at the time, and I made the argument that I 
wasn't going to waste half the machine's power just so Microsoft can 
continue milking everything out of WinXP before moving on to their next 
cash cow.  Nor was I going to continue wasting money on anti-virus and 
anti-spyware systems.  And frankly, I didn't have time to deal with the 
constant windows and AV updates, and resulting breakage.

But I also had a backup plan, in case my argument failed to impress.  
Late one night, after finishing the new assembly, I did a basic XP 
install on a small partition at the back of the hard disk, then 
installed Linux and set grub for a short timeout.  Since Linux only 
restarted after a power outage, and she didn't pay attention to the boot 
process anyway, she never knew it was there.  Fortunately, the WinXP 
install was never needed.  She was mad at me for a while, but I'd been 
gradually moving to firefox and openoffice to ease the transition.  Once 
she knew that firefox was still firefox, and openoffice was still 
openoffice, and gmail still worked the same way, she was (eventually) ok 
with it.  KDE was like windows on steroids, though KDE4 was a bit of 
adjustment.  She even liked GIMP over her previous use of MS Paint 
(imagine that).  She's still not sold on Cinelerra, and makes me do all 
her edits when she wants to make a video.

Occasionally a drm-style coupon site refuses to run on Linux, and 
sometimes there's a broadcast-network-specific player that won't work 
(BYUtv, ABC, etc), or some shoddy hardware or child's toy that demands 
windows (Microtek scanner, MyPal stuffed dog).  At these times, I catch 
a little grief, but an occasional xp vm for 5 minutes usually resolves 
the issue without complaint.  Then again, she has also benefited greatly 
by using Linux as she has occasionally been dragged into some 
well-meaning community leader's yada yada good cause to handle massive 
amounts of previously neglected 'paperwork' by said leader, often 
requiring some windows dependent software.  The "We don't have Windows, 
we run Linux" phrase has generally been enough to avoid such 
entanglements.  When said leader is persistent enough to suggest a vm, 
the somewhat longer "I suppose, if you gave me $300 for the windows 
license and $50/year or so for the anti-virus, I could do that", has 
decisively settled the issue in her favor.  That is a positive 
unintended consequence I hadn't anticipated.

So I kind of forced the issue, spent a little time in the dog house, and 
then was eventually placed on a pedestal as a foreword-thinking 
visionary.  It came down to that I was responsible for household 
repairs, computing and technology, and basic grunt work and spider 
killing.  When it comes to things like how I dress and groom, what I 
eat, or what chores I do, I have a small say and that's all.  I'm 
willing to make that compromise and its probably for the better.

;-Daniel Fussell




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