Pay it forward - 'Giving' Ubuntu to Windows Users

NoOp glgxg at
Wed Dec 10 01:11:28 UTC 2008

It's the holiday season again :-)

The thread on "Selling Linux to Windows Users" brought up some good
points with regards to both Linux and Windows. One of the best ways that
I've found to introduce linux (Ubuntu actually) to someone is to give
them a fully configured system with 6-12 months free support.

Some of you may recall that last year about this time I cobbled together
a recycled system, loaded Ubuntu on it, and ended up giving it to a
local teenager for Christmas. Happily, the kid (and his family) are
still using it (I checked on them on this month), and I think I've
received only a couple of calls for help over the course of nearly 1 year.

This year I've two "Santa" systems restored from the recycle bin: a
1.8Ghz/768Mb w/dual 40GB drives, and a 2.4Ghz/512Mb w/dual 40GB drives
that are cleaned, primed, tested, and ready for wrapping. One even
includes my old, but very good 17' Hitachi 641 monitor with it as my
wife found me a used Dell 1800fp 18' for $50 (that's my Xmas present
:-). While the Hitachi is only 17' (15.5' viewable), it's .24dpi is
professional quality and very easy on old eyes.
  Both will include 6 months free tech support.

A reminder; with the economy in the tank worldwide, now might be a good
time to dust off a workable system that you have in the back room
(desktop or even a laptop with a worn out battery), clean it up, load
Ubuntu on it, test it, and give it to someone near you that can't afford
a system.
  Also, some folks still can afford a new system, so check with your
friends & neighbors to see if they are throwing out a perfectly
linux/Ubuntu usable system to replace their shiny new Vista ready system
that they buy for their kid or themselves. Most don't want to pay a
recycle fee, so they might just be willing to give you their old one.

However, just as last year, I want to remind those that follow my
suggestion; be _sure_ to include _free_ tech support for at least 6
months with the system that you give. As evidenced by all of the
postings here, and on the beginners forums, for even the most basic
advise, your gift will soon be another box in the garage if you aren't
willing to give some support time along with it.
  So _give_ some _time_ along with the hardware and your gift will be
put to good use.

Had a bit of a chuckle a few weeks ago during US Thanksgiving... went to
my mother-in-law's home (she's 86) and discovered my 19 year old nephew
and his girlfriend in the back room surfing the internet & watching
football on the PC. I asked him how the system was & he replied that it
was just fine. Now this is a kid that has a gaming system with all the
bells & whistles, yet he was quite happy using the PC. You should have
seen his face when I told him that the system (one that I installed for
my mother-in-law's live in nurse) is only a 600Mhz/448Mb system running
  Now obviously had he decided to do any heavy lifting in OpenOffice,
playing games or such, he wouldn't have replied the same. But it was
nice to know that a crappy old 600Mhz machine with limited memory and
Ubuntu was doing just fine for a teenager browsing the internet away
from the boring 'old folks' during Thanksgiving :-)

Happy Holidays to all, and to all may your xorg.conf always work on
future installs & upgrades.


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