jalmberg at identry.com
Thu Dec 18 23:09:27 UTC 2008
On Dec 18, 2008, at 4:25 PM, Patrick Baldwin wrote:
> Usually I'm asking questions for work related things. This one is
> more personal.
> My father has this tendency to end up wrecking his computer if he
> uses the Internet
> much. Computers are basically magic boxes to him, so education is
> of limited usefulness
> I'm thinking I might be best of trying to built him a really locked-
> down, high security
> box, almost an Internet appliance. All he really does is use the
> Web, and a little
> light word processing.
> What do people think of FreeBSD as the base OS for this idea?
I like your idea of getting your father (or anyone, for that matter)
off Windows, but I personally don't think Linux or FreeBSD are good
desktop choices for 'normal' folk. A much better choice, in my humble
opinion, is the inexpensive Apple Mac Mini.
The way it works is you unplug the current cpu box and replace it
with the Mini. You can use your current monitor, keyboard, printer,
camera, etc. Unless some of these peripherals are ancient, it should
be all plug and play (no hours of tinkering for you).
Your father gets a nice computer that actually does what he wants it
to do, and you get a box that you can turn into a FreeBSD *server*
that you can use to learn all about running an unix box.
I did this for my mom. All she wanted was Internet, email, and Word,
but now she's doing all sorts of things that she would never have
done with a *nix or Windows box, like getting an iPod for her morning
walks, buying audio books from iTunes, taking photos and actually
being able to download and print them(!), working on a family tree, etc.
Best of all, it only took me a few minutes of work to set up and show
her how it worked. If she wants to learn something new, she can take
a lesson at the Apple Store. It's amazing how much a 'normal' person
can do with a friendly computer.
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