The Grandmother Paradox

Hans Fugal hans at
Wed Apr 23 09:02:30 MDT 2008

Steve Morrey wrote:
> One of my clients, who also happens to be a grandmother, has recently
> decided she wants to get on the internet for the very first time (this is
> not a joke).
> Unfortunately she has an extremely old machine.
> Here are the specs.
> Pentium II 400Mhz, 64MB RAM, 8GB HD, Win 98 (not SE)

Are you sure Xubuntu wouldn't work? I think xfce is your best 
(user-friendly) shot, and I think xfce should handle those specs fine. 
Is it the installation? The RAM? Maybe an alternative install (or just 
install debian and the appropriate packages).

I can see the low RAM being a problem, not necessarily for linux but for 
the software. Firefox in 64M? Thunderbird? Of course there are other 
browsers and email clients, but you'll have to think hard about which 
software you intend to recommend and whether it can fit in the specs.

Frankly, her computer is old. That limits her options. Being a grandma 
doesn't change that. Neither does being a poor student (I should know). 
Sometimes the truth is true.

Hans Fugal ;

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the
right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
     -- Johann Sebastian Bach

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