My girlfriend runs XP on her Dell Inspiron, and I’m her helpdesk. Obviously, I hate it. It’s not just that the thing breaks in ways that are strange and unfamiliar and difficult to solve. Her files are all over the place. Applications either say that they need to be updated, or infected, or warn her that she may be a victim of software counterfeiting. And now her wireless connection performs like a snail on valium. The signal strength is good, it’s just that something seems to be choking her bandwidth.
At first, I thought the problem was the wireless access point itself, because there wasn’t a problem connecting to the wireless network at her parent’s. However, my work laptop (XP) connected just fine, so I booted a Linux Mint LiveCD on her machine, which found the network and connected to it just fine.
I’ve been searching around close to two weeks now, and I haven’t come close to solving it. Browsing became at least semi-possible by providing a proxy server, but everything else still is a no-go. I’m sure I’m missing something obvious here, but that’s just the thing: in Windows, I’m not as good as solving things as in Linux. I don’t really know where to look, for starters.
So I’ve been hinting that maybe now would be a good time to slap a decent Linux distribution on her laptop. She tells me no. I ask her why not.
“Linux is ugly”.
I show her some pictures of beautiful KDE 4.2.1 screenshots.
“I won’t be able to play my favourite games”.
Okay, fair point, but I’ve become pretty good at making games work in wine. She’s not a hardcore gamer, and all of her favourites at the moment have open source alternatives. I’d even pay for Cedega if necessary.
“I won’t be able to send MSN custom smileys anymore.”
San, sobbing in a corner.