Awesomeness just happened! My parents (or my father, at least) considered the impending doom of Windows XP, which their desktop computer happens to be infected with (their laptop as well, but let's not get ahead of ourselves). So, having yet another besides me in the social circle who does Linux, he just ordered a USB stick (8 Gb) with Mint 14.1 MATE on it - success! In 7-14 business days Linux will spread ever so little further.
Now, my question(s): What kind of system will they actually get? Is it simply the live system, with all advantages and disadvantages, or is it closer to an installed system? What do I mean by that? Not the foggiest idea, but I was hoping it won't be necessary to go through hardware detection every boot, at least. Will the settings, software changes and user data be persistent on the media?