[ubuntu-uk] Research Required

Nigel Verity nigelverity at hotmail.com
Tue Dec 28 19:45:22 GMT 2010

Dear All

This question has been raised at an opportune moment. Literally yesterday I answered a cry for help from a friend whose 1 month-old HP desktop had been completely trashed by viruses which had taken over all administrator rights and installed massive amounts of malware. Having come from Currys there was, of course, no Windows 7 installation disk, only a recovery partition which appeared to have been compromised.

Not being in a position to spend £110 on a new installation disk my friend asked if there was anything I could do. She'd vaguely heard of a Mac but never Linux. I decided to create a system that would be as familiar to her as possible.

I installed Ubuntu 10.4 LTS. I removed the bottom task bar completely so as not to complicate matters with the concept of workspaces. I moved the top task bar to the bottom of the screen, then added the task list applet so that open applications would each be represented by a familiar button. I removed the Firefox and Help icons to complete the Windows look-and-feel as far as possible.

I created desktop icons for the following basic applications:

OpenOffice Writer
OpenOffice Calc
OpenOffice Impress
GNU Paint (after installation)
GIMP (after installation)

Because these application names would not be familiar to the average Windows user I renamed the icons by their function e.g Word Processor, Spreadsheet, Music Player, CD/DVD Burner, etc.

The only time I needed to use the command line was to run a Bash script to download and install the libdvdcss objects, to enable the playing of commercial encrypted DVDs; this after having installed the Ubuntu Restricted Extras from the software centre. Fortunately my friend is not a games player, so there is not really any functional loss through this unexpected migration to Ubuntu.

The reaction so far has been very favourable. She will never be a geek or a nerd but I do think we may have gained a convert.



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