Sunday, October 3, 2010

How to make your mom use Ubuntu?

I keep talking about open source and free software all the while. And I always felt guilty that my own computer at home had Windows XP installed on it. The problem with switching to another OS was – there are other people at home (read my mom!) that use my computer and they are not really comfortable doing the switch. But these days Ubuntu is so easy to use that I finally gathered the guts and did it. So here is a step-by-step method to do it:

  1. Sneakily download Ubuntu. If you have a slow internet connection, download it overnight. Then create a USB Installer.
  2. Tip-toe into the room where your computer is kept. Ninja costumes recommended for added stealth. Make sure that you hide the USB stick from plain sight.
  3. Boot through the USB disk. Preview. Install. If someone comes into the room, switch off screen and go “La-la-lala-la” as if you are enjoying your day.
  4. After installation is done, go back to your normal clothes, do your normal stuff and pretend that everything is normal.
  5. When your mom finally boots the computer and calls you because the computer looks “different” – feign ignorance. (I still haven’t figured why I am blamed for every little thing that goes wrong or stops working in my house!).
  6. Casually look at the computer screen and say “Oh! Hmm, I upgraded the computer today". “The new version of Windows is titled Ubuntu”. Show her how things have been moved around and some things have been “changed”.
  7. Show her the “latest” game – Mahjong. Guide her through the first game to make sure that she gets addicted to it.
  8. Done. Welcome to Linux nirvana.

Jokes apart  the moment my mom boot into Ubuntu, the first question she asked was “Is this the OS sponsored by that South African guy you keep talking about?”

Now she happily plays Mahjong along with her usual favorites – Free Cell, Hearts and Solitaire. She also browses the internet, checks email and listens to music without any issues whatsoever. Thank you Ubuntu.

Ubuntu - Linux for Human Beings!


  1. Who are you kidding dude?? could never pull of the "La-la-la-la" that goofy smile of yours will give yourself away in a moment. :P

  2. mita...the goofy smile is the ONLY Problem??? Ok...when was the last time u've heard 'Mr. Sneaky Ubuntu installing Ninja' sing or Hum!!! I did once...7 yrs ago...lets just say...he'll evoke more suspicion by the supposed trilling!

  3. @Nidhi - The no. of times you guys made me sing while in the US is probably one of the reason for the economy out there collapsing. 7 years ago, I just sang to Neeraj ;) !!