[Ubuntu-US-CA] A personal story for your consideration

Philip Ballew philipballew at ubuntu.com
Fri Jun 29 23:29:02 UTC 2012

A very encouraging story to share with the list. Thanks!

On Fri, Jun 29, 2012 at 3:29 PM, Robert Lewis <bob.l.lewis at gmail.com> wrote:

> How Linux can be used to diagnose a computer with Windows on it.
> A friend from 1000 miles away called me to ask if I had any idea
> why his keyboard was acting up and being intermittent making his
> computer useless.  He was running Microsoft Vista.
> Two days latter things went from bad to worse and the computer was
> inoperable and he could not boot into Vista.  I asked him if he had
> an Ubuntu LiveCD handy but he didn't.   I was going to burn one and
> ship it to him but them asked him who provides his DSL.  His ISP
> was Century Tel. which apparently has a big foot print in the state
> of Washington.  He then told me that they have a computer repair
> department and handle people that walk in.  However, he told me that
> people that have used them have complained that they charge a great
> deal and they were not satisfied with the results.  I decided to call
> them and conference my friend into the call.
> I told them that I was working with one of their customers and that
> I lived in California and needed his customer to have a bootable
> LiveCD.   I also asked if he had heard of Linux and the guy said yes.
> I asked if he would be willing to download Ubuntu 12.04 and cut a CD
> for my friend.   He said sure and guess how much they wanted to do it?
> $1.09 and that included the media and tax.  The CD was ready in 2-hrs.
> Now I call that good service.
> When the guy home with the CD I had him run the RAM tests from the CD
> and his RAM hardware came up clean.  I then had him come up into the
> LiveCD mode and his computer worked flawlessly and he could
> get caught up on his email.   I then had him download Teamviewer.
> A program I favor for desktop sharing as it works across all three
> platforms and is fast.  I then remotely accesses his machine and from
> the "Dash" selected the "Disk Utility".  I than looked at the Smart data
> from
> the disk and ran a check.  The hard drive was not looking good and
> I believe his earlier keyboard intermittent condition was being caused by
> recalc's on the hard drive which had a higher priority than the keyboard.
> So, Linux comes to the rescue again helping to diagnose a problem
> 1000 miles away and proving to be an invaluable tool.
> Now what to do?   You got it, replace the hard drive and sell the user
> on never using Microsoft again ;-)  However, this guy has little money
> and frustrates easily at problems like this.  I acquired a 2-1/2"
> SATA drive from someone on this list who was kind enough to donate
> it to the cause.  He knows who he is and I thank you for your
> generosity in helping out.
> I took this drive and wiped it and ran a bunch of diagnostics to insure
> that it was solid and had no errors.   I than installed Ubuntu 12.04
> and proceeded to customize it for this user.  Then I shipped it to him
> on an island located about an hour away from Anacortes, WA where one
> goes by boat to reach the Island.   A friend of his put the drive in
> the machine and he is fully operational.
> Another win for Linux, as, in my experience taking a Microsoft
> hard drive and moving it to a very different machine is failure
> prone.  Jeff might have thoughts on this but it has caused me a
> lot of grief when I have tried it.   Bottom line is this does
> work well on Linux and all is well that ends well.
> --
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