The Great Linux/Grandmother Experiment
I often get asked for tech help by family and friends. Yes, I’m that guy. You know, the guy who you end up calling instead of the manufacturer, asking for the answer to whatever problem you need solved.
Recently however, my Grandmother, who is 86 and nearly blind, kept telling me about how her computer was giving her all sorts of trouble. She has an older Dell Dimension that was running Windows XP. I knew it was old and slow, but I began to worry about her security when she told me that Verizon purposely kept interrupting her each time she tried to send e-mail, telling her that her online protection was expired (which is something a real corporation would never, ever do, but she doesn’t know that. To her, it might have well been the real Verizon; and thankfully she became angry with them instead of responding to, what I later found out, was a spammer). In my spare time I decided to take a look at the machine. The situation was not good.
So I backed everything important up from her machine onto a USB drive and instead of reinstalling Windows (knowing I’d probably have to deal with this mess again in another year or two), I formatted and installed Linux.