Converting a Windows 7 user to Xubuntu 13.10 & Miscellaneous Observations about Xubuntu 13.10

Richard Elkins richard.elkins at
Sat Dec 14 17:59:08 UTC 2013

I have converted neighbors and family members to home-PC-Linux since
2003, lately exclusively to Xubuntu.  They were all non-computer-tech
people with various levels of experience and education.  My simple
approach (like an interview):

Would you like to

  * avoid being forced to periodically purchase new hardware by the
    basic software vendor?
  * avoid being forced to periodically purchase new versions of
    essentially the same basic software and office software?
  * stop being tempted into stealing software from Microsoft and other
    Windows vendors?
  * reduce time dealing with spyware and viruses because your "basic
    software" (OS) is being targeted by miscreants?  Linux like Android
    could still be attacked but this is a probability question.  One
    still needs protection on a Linux system.

Nothing is "free".  There are ONE-TIME (fixed) "costs" in terms of
personal time investment associated with adopting Xubuntu for a new
non-computer-tech user:

  * During the migration, stored data must be backed up from Windows and
    restored to the new Linux system.
  * Learn a new desktop and set of programs.  Essentially, learn how to
    go find things one uses and operate, in general, in a different
    manner.  Change is always a pain.  Intelligence and curiosity
    helps.  People locked into habits will probably not succeed.

Potential large hurdles:

  * Gamers and XBox owners.  I said "potential".  If this is a teenager,
    you can try to sell them about the rebellious open source
    community!  (-:
  * Migration of Microsoft Office to LibreOffice - Fortunately, the
    Microsoft Word-documents, Powerpoint-presentations, and
    Excel-spreadsheets are normally converted without too many issues;
    some will probably require some manual cleaning up.  The big
    obstacle here is the Visio drawing tool.  There isn't a way that I
    could find to convert their drawings to be imported by `dia` or
    other Linux drawing tools.  Mine too.
  * Outlook mail/calendar/etc. - I converted myself a long time ago by
    doing a lot of Windows and Linux programming which effectively moved
    me from Outlook to Yahoo almost-equivalents.  I don't recommend this
    approach.  This is probably an individual by individual solution,
    assuming there is one for a given individual (no other stumbling
  * Photoshop to The Gimp?  Photoshop is very complex to operate and so
    is the Gimp.  I could not find a way to migrate one artist (my
    daughter) from Windows to Linux because of this single issue (she is
    already a Firefox and LibreOffice user).  I don't think she is
    unusual in her disdain for large-scale change of habits.

I was lucky.  The only complex user was myself.  Others said "I don't
need the files that much" or they converted them to PDF and manually
re-entered the files in question.  Everyone that I have converted said
it was worth the effort because Linux is an excellent financial deal. 
All have gained a new respect for open source in general.  Me too.


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