Things to do

Jonathan Duncan jonathan at
Tue Feb 5 21:20:08 MST 2013

On 05 Feb 2013, at 16:59, Daniel Fussell wrote:

> 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.

I cannot recall ever reading a better Linux testimonial.  :)

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