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[vox] a dual-boot system?
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[vox] a dual-boot system?



Hey all,

I'm considering something and would like to solicit
your feedback and ideas.

Background. My dad is 60 years old, which means he is
from a generation that didn't grow up around
computers.  I bought him a computer some years ago and
trained him to use it to check his email and surf the
web. He has since learned to download pictures from a
digital camera, print documents, install programs, and
use the Web as a research tool. His experience is with
Microsoft OS's only.

Here is the problem. His computer keeps getting
infected with spyware, viruses, trojans, etc. (Hold
your comments until I finish.)  I've attempted to
combat this problem by wiping his hard drive,
installing various antivirus & antispyware programs,
and training him not to click on popup windows.
Unfortunately, his experience is still so limited that
he has trouble distinguishing between "legitimate"
popup windows from his programs, and "malevolent"
popups from trojan horses and other malware. As a
result, his computer frequently becomes overrun with
these popups, to the point of becoming unusable.

And now I'll mention what this has to do with you
guys.  I'm exploring the possibility of making the
switch to Linux on Dad's computer, since it is my
understanding from discussions on the vox-tech list
that most distros are far less vulnerable to viruses,
trojans, and other assorted malware. I'm hoping that
training him to use Linux instead of Windows will add
another layer of protection to his computer.

Most likely I would accomplish this by converting his
computer to a dual-boot system, offering the option of
either Windows XP or Fedora Core 4 w/ GNOME.

At this point, let me say that I am already aware of
Linux's superiority to Windows in terms of stability
and vulnerability to security exploits.

My hesistation to implement Linux stems from two
potential problem areas:

1. I'm concerned about how smoothly an inexperienced
user such as my dad will make the transition from
Windows to a Linux-based GUI such as GNOME.

2. I'm concerned that the devices attached to the
system (digital camera, CD burner, printer/scanner/fax
unit) may not function properly under a Linux OS.  I
would imagine that many people can and do use a Linux
workstation with these devices, and that it's mostly a
question of finding the correct drivers. It seems,
however, that most manufacturers' driver download
pages don't include drivers for Linux OS's, only
Windows and sometimes Mac.

Open query: Is Fedora Core the best choice of the
available Linux distros given the background I've laid
out?

I wanted to use a dual-boot system because of #2, and
because I've recently learned to set one up. I figured
in a worse-case scenario, my father could use Linux
for day-to-day websurfing (he uses DSL), then reboot
into Windows for the infrequent occasions that he
wants to hook up his camera or print something.

As a third potential problem area, I'm only a novice
Linux user myself. I'm taking night classes on the
subject and reading books to try and improve my skill,
but at this time I'm going to have trouble fixing any
technical issues that arise from the use of Linux,
having been a Windows user for years before beginning
to dabble with Linux.

So I'm soliciting your comments on these issues, as
well as anything I might have left out. Any links you
can suggest would also be appreciated.

Thanks, Matt



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