Converting a friend to Ubuntu

Alain Muls alain.muls at
Sun Feb 7 10:41:52 UTC 2010

Hi All,

A couple of weeks ago I asked advice on what to do to convert a friend
from WIndows to Linux. I got some helpful advice and I installed his
system as a dual boot system between Vista and Ubuntu 9.10.

When comparing the speed of both systems, my friend was impressed
because his Vista takes roughly 5 minutes before the network
connection comes up, while in Ubuntu after a minute he is up and
running. I also made an account for his wife and 3 daughters.

Since he is a real noob (eg. he uses spaces in a Word processor to
center lines) I created a Writer's template that he can use for making
invoices. Under Windows he made a backup of his "My Documents" folder
on a weekly basis on an external USB hard drive. I told him that
having a backup on a device only one meter away from his desktop is
not tha ideal solution. I installed Ubuntu One and linked his
directory for invoicing to it and he was amazed that when he saved an
invoice it was auto-magically backup up to a server. So happily I left
him with his system and returned home.

Yesterday, two weeks after his conversion, he phoned and asked me
whether the install was still under "guarantee". I asked what was
wrong and at startup he was placed into a administrative shell. I went
by and started a fsck on his Linux partitions (/ and /home). On one of
the partitions I got a message that there were files with a future
timestamp (I think it was the /home).

I wondered why this would be the case. Could it be that Windows puts
the clock on local time (for Belgium this is UTC+1hr) while I
installed Ubuntu with UTC time or vice versa. So that when you restart
within the hour after a windows session, Ubuntu gets mixed up by the

Any advice will help, or all my talks about the stability of Linux
will go down the drain with my first convert :-(

Alain Muls                                      alain.muls at
Rijkenhoekstraat 62                                  +32.477.675091
B3191 Boortmeerbeek                                +32.15.620365
Ubuntu user # 30068

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