It was time for shock and excitement when Nee told me she wants to move to Linux. It happened suddenly that I couldn’t believe my eyes. I have shown Ubuntu on my laptop to a lot of ladies but till now no one was ever ready to say, “why don’t we install it in my laptop/PC?”. I did not want to lose out this chance, rather an opportunity to break the ice and show people that we can indeed use Linux for our day to day computer needs. She indeed did say that she was thinking Linux to be all “black and white text”, though she had worked with Open Solaris a year ago. This sudden excitement and interest in trying out Linux has come from seeing a 3D desktop live.
So, we decided to install Ubuntu in her laptop this weekend. As hers’ was a HP laptop, I first decided to try it out with a Live CD of Feisty Fawn before installing it for ever. As she had 1GB RAM, I was too sure of Live CD to install without much problem. Booted with Live CD, she tries using the new GNOME desktop for some time, before I got the approval to proceed with the installation. I asked her to click the install icon and start the installation. Other than the partition stage, she did everything without my intervention. I also explained some basic things about how GNU/Linux system works and even a bit of philosophies behind. She, being a geeky girl, very well understood the hard part of “free” software and Ubuntu using some “non-free” drivers to make a few things work.
She had an empty F drive under NTFS, which was around 30GB. We deleted it, and used it to install Ubuntu. The installation was smooth and got done in 10 mins. We booted into the newly installed system and next 30 mins went in showing her some basic configuration stuff. As we did not have internet at that time, we could not download and install something.. But I thought her about using apt-get to search for packages and install them.
She was very happy for having a working Linux system. But as we did not have internet, we could not install and try out Beryl (3D Desktop). Later, when she had internet, we tried to connect her laptop to the broadband connection she has. First, it wasn’t working and when she called up the Hathway customer service, they said they do not know about configuring it for Linux (the expected reply 😉 ). Then, I asked her to get the configuration details for IP address (they have static IP), mask, gateway and DNS. The new mask they gave made her connection work. I told her to ring them up and tell them she did configure the connection and can teach them how 😉
One mistake I did was, forgetting to check the sound after installation. Sometimes it doesn’t work right away and we have to check the alsamixer. We tried to do it through online interaction, but it did not work out. And as a result, she will be using Windows sometime for her music needs before I get her sound working. Besides this, everything seem to work and she is so excited that she can forget Windows soon and start using GNU/Linux full time 🙂