Converting the missus to Linux

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.


16 Responses to Converting the missus to Linux

  1. Nikonoel says:

    Well… change of girlfriend ?

  2. celettu says:

    She’ll see the light 😛

  3. lefty.crupps says:

    I’ve got the same issue, including MSOffice 2000 headaches.

    Its come to me saying, you can keep this machine as it is for as long as you can handle it, but when it needs major work or a new machine, you’re going Linux. I hope it happens before then.

  4. p1tt1 says:

    I had the same problem 😉
    So I decided to fix windows anymore. A month later, windows xp was replaced by ubuntu on her acer laptop.

  5. celettu says:

    p1tt1: I tried that. She called my brother :/

  6. Dave S says:

    Yup, just don’t provide assistance for Windows problems, and watch it fall apart. Then, start again with Linux.

    This is easier said than done with some people, but usually in that case, I remove myself so far from supporting broken Windows machines that it’s no longer my problem.

  7. Bobby Hunter says:

    My way of dealing with this is simple. I don’t provide support for Windows and everyone around me knows it. If you want computer help from me you have to run Linux and it has to be the same distro that I run. I am not rude about it tho, I just make it clear that if you install Windows you are on your own.

  8. celettu says:

    That’s the stance I take with everyone except my girlfriend. She takes it personally 🙂

  9. Skunkman says:

    Mine doesn’t care what we use. Bidding starts!

  10. celettu says:

    Lucky f*** 😛

  11. L4Linux says:

    Who cares about few games in Linux? The Game of the Year (in my opinion) runs natively in Linux. You guessed right, WORLD OF GOO!!!

  12. Why not let her try out World Of Goo on Linux?

    Check it out:

    Also, checkout these other games played on GNU/Linux:

    Plus there are many/many free flash-based games to be played online(here’s just a few):

    Good Luck! I switched my family to Linux and there’s no looking back!!

    Shannon V.

  13. celettu says:

    Again, excellent suggestion. Unfortunately, she already finished it in Windows.

  14. Kevin says:

    aMSN allows custom smileys if I remember correctly

  15. starenka says:

    Heheh. The 1st reason my girlfriend wanted “the penguin live cd” (knoppix) for was games. She loves crack attack, sudoku, pixfrogger and all that stuff. So I sneakily installed kubuntu hardy alongside w/ win xp and bam! After half a year she doesn’t boot in xp anymore. (ok to be fair i’ve formatted her external hdd to ext3 so she had to boot up in linux for playing her dialy dose of series ;)) And she loves all that jazz. She even does some konsole things. Maybe I’m just a lucky guy.

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