Linux for my 80 year old father?

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MurphCID
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Linux for my 80 year old father?

Post by MurphCID » Sat Oct 29, 2016 1:02 pm

My dad needs a new computer. I AM NOT going to spend a lot of money on it since he does not need all the bells and whistles. I was thinking this system from Best Buy: http://www.bestbuy.com/site/dell-inspir ... Id=5165000 and putting Linux Mint 17.3 on it. I was thinking of adding as his standard desktop icons: Thunderbird for his email, Libre Office Writer for his letters, You Tube for his golf videos, VPC for videos like movies, and Chrome/Firefox for internet use. My dad IS NOT a computer geek, he wants to turn it on, click and icon, and have it work. He does not want to configure things, hassle with updates, deal with wifi issues, etc. That is why I think 17.3 would be a good one for him.

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trytip
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Re: Linux for my 80 year old father?

Post by trytip » Sat Oct 29, 2016 1:53 pm

that's not a bad deal 4GB RAM on an i3 with 1TB drive but my question is why not let him taste windows 10 first :mrgreen:

i would put his startpage on some news site like yahoo.com or msn.com (i know but considering it's surprising that bbc.com has more privacy violations than these 2 combined) and some shortcuts to applications in panel or desktop
Image

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Re: Linux for my 80 year old father?

Post by lexon » Sat Oct 29, 2016 3:59 pm

Nice PC. I bought that one quite a few months ago. Quite fast and nice but dual booting is impossible, at least for me.
I disabled secure boot but still no joy. Something about partitions thingies. Maybe you will have better luck.
I am a little over 75 which probably has something to do with it.
Mint does not dual boot as easily as it did a few years ago.

My older PC runs Mint 18 real nice.

L
Lindows, Linspire, Freespire, Ubuntu, Mint 15 Cinnamon, Mint 16 XFCE, Mint 17 Cinnamon 64 bit. MInt 18 64 bit Cinnamon.

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Schemel
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Re: Linux for my 80 year old father?

Post by Schemel » Sat Oct 29, 2016 5:19 pm

Why 17.3 and not 18? 18.1 is coming soon also, easy upgrade incoming November/December.
I just recently set up LM 18 for friends that use the computer the same way than your father, and everything worked out of the box (except a few Fhunderbird problems, that are not Distro specific afaik). Much better than I remembered 17.3.
Other than that I highly agree with your idea. My friends are very happy with LM18. They only had trouble with the long outdated WinXP and now their old laptop runs way faster. I doubt Win10 would even run on their machine.

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Re: Linux for my 80 year old father?

Post by InkKnife » Sat Oct 29, 2016 5:28 pm

Does he need the mobility of a laptop?
I ask because, while laptops are handy if you need portability, as a class they are less reliable, more proprietary and much more likely to have driver issues than a standard desktop.
Also, speaking as a man almost 60 years of age make sure your dad will be OK with squinting into a tiny little laptop screen instead of a nice, big, easy to see desktop monitor. My mother is 82 and has a 22 inch screen that I turned the scaling way up on so she could read it.
Laptops are made for young, good eyes.
My good old PC:
Core2quad@2.33, 8GB Ram, Radeon HD 6850. 64GB SSD boot Drive, 750GB data dump drive, Mint/Cinnamon edition.

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MurphCID
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Re: Linux for my 80 year old father?

Post by MurphCID » Sun Oct 30, 2016 8:33 am

Good points all. I spoke with my brother who lives close to them, and he gave me some pointers: a) Card games, my dad only uses his computer (desktop-windows 10), b) Facebook, c) email (gmail), d) a little Word processing, e) Turbo Tax, f) web surfing for more golf stuff. That is about it. The computer they have is a touch screen, and they keep messing up winders by whatever process. I am torn between Linux, and Chrome. As for 17.3, it seems to have better driver support, is much more rock solid, and seems to be more stable, and able to survive my parents attempts at computing. I had WiFi issues on my HP notebook, and I think that Mint 18 needs to mature a bit. Knowing my dad, he will NEVER, EVER update anything, and just wants his computer to work, sort of like his TV set.

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Re: Linux for my 80 year old father?

Post by MartyMint » Sun Oct 30, 2016 10:12 am

iPad.

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Re: Linux for my 80 year old father?

Post by stormryder » Sun Oct 30, 2016 11:11 am

I don't know how you feel about a refurbished machine but I just picked this up from newegg for $321.00
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6834295775
InkKnife has a good point about the screen size/visibility and mint doesn't seem to utilize my second GPU so I will have to do some configuring to get it to work with my tv.

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Re: Linux for my 80 year old father?

Post by phd21 » Sun Oct 30, 2016 3:54 pm

Hi "MurphCID",

I just read your post and the good replies to it. Here are my thoughts on this as well.

It looks like a nice machine for what your Dad wants to do with it. And with Linux Mint, he won't have to worry about installing, running, and constantly updating various anti-virus software and anti-malware software, or defragmenting hard drives, registry maintenance, etc...

You might consider creating bootable Live DVD's (or USB flash drives) of each edition of Linux Mint: Cinnamon 17.3 or 18, Mate , KDE (my Favorite), or Xfce; 64-bit. Then, boot up to each one and see if one edition of Linux Mint performs better for your hardware and that you or your Dad like the most. If you get "software rendering", or end up in "compatibility mode", then that edition of Linux Mint is having a problem with your video setup that may be resolved by installing special video drivers or not; In these modes your system will not run well. You could even go one step further, and create fully installed USB flash drive sticks (16gb or larger) of each edition and or version of Linux Mint and use those to see which your Dad likes the most and works best for your hardware where customizations, installing software, installing video drivers and other drivers if need be, etc...are saved and available after rebooting.

If your Dad has any kind of vision problems, then a desktop computer would be better with a larger screen. If portability is a must, then a laptop or a laptop convertible, with the largest screen you can afford (or get) is a great idea and can still be connected to a larger external monitor or TV.

You might also consider installing "NoMachine", or "TeamViewer", so that you can help remotely when and if needed, or just for remote training.

Good Luck, and keep us posted...

Hope this helps ...
Phd21: Mint KDE 17.3 & 18.3, 64-bit Awesome OS, Ancient Dell OptiPlex 780 Core2Duo E8400 3GHz,4gb Ram,256gb SDD, Video: Intel 4 Graphics, DVD Lightscribe. Why I use KDE?:https://opensource.com/life/15/4/9-reasons-to-use-kde

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Re: Linux for my 80 year old father?

Post by MurphCID » Sun Oct 30, 2016 5:36 pm

Nice one, I am ok with refurbished. I think the 1366xwhatever screen will work fine for him. I also saw this one: http://www.bestbuy.com/site/hp-15-6-lap ... Id=5478100 And I like HP products.
stormryder wrote:I don't know how you feel about a refurbished machine but I just picked this up from newegg for $321.00
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6834295775
InkKnife has a good point about the screen size/visibility and mint doesn't seem to utilize my second GPU so I will have to do some configuring to get it to work with my tv.
Last edited by MurphCID on Sun Oct 30, 2016 5:44 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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MurphCID
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Re: Linux for my 80 year old father?

Post by MurphCID » Sun Oct 30, 2016 5:38 pm

Great Advice! Thanks, I will do that. He wants his card games, email, and websurfing. Can I make an icon to link to Facebook on the desktop? I almost an thinking XFCE with a Mac OS/X dock for him so he can just click on what he wants. He still has an old "flip phone", and refuses to get anything more modern since it is "good enough, and works when he wants it to work".
phd21 wrote:Hi "MurphCID",

I just read your post and the good replies to it. Here are my thoughts on this as well.

It looks like a nice machine for what your Dad wants to do with it. And with Linux Mint, he won't have to worry about installing, running, and constantly updating various anti-virus software and anti-malware software, or defragmenting hard drives, registry maintenance, etc...

You might consider creating bootable Live DVD's (or USB flash drives) of each edition of Linux Mint: Cinnamon 17.3 or 18, Mate , KDE (my Favorite), or Xfce; 64-bit. Then, boot up to each one and see if one edition of Linux Mint performs better for your hardware and that you or your Dad like the most. If you get "software rendering", or end up in "compatibility mode", then that edition of Linux Mint is having a problem with your video setup that may be resolved by installing special video drivers or not; In these modes your system will not run well. You could even go one step further, and create fully installed USB flash drive sticks (16gb or larger) of each edition and or version of Linux Mint and use those to see which your Dad likes the most and works best for your hardware where customizations, installing software, installing video drivers and other drivers if need be, etc...are saved and available after rebooting.

If your Dad has any kind of vision problems, then a desktop computer would be better with a larger screen. If portability is a must, then a laptop or a laptop convertible, with the largest screen you can afford (or get) is a great idea and can still be connected to a larger external monitor or TV.

You might also consider installing "NoMachine", or "TeamViewer", so that you can help remotely when and if needed, or just for remote training.

Good Luck, and keep us posted...

Hope this helps ...

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Re: Linux for my 80 year old father?

Post by MurphCID » Sun Oct 30, 2016 5:46 pm

If it was only that simple. I can already see his brain overheating with the concept of "Touching" the screen to make it work. The thought of my dad with an iPad fills me with fear.
MartyMint wrote:iPad.

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Re: Linux for my 80 year old father?

Post by silvatech » Sun Oct 30, 2016 8:53 pm

should work fine, I actually have several clients in their 80s using linux. so far most seem to find it far easier then windows. Yes card games are a must with them as well :P.

I find fire fox with the options for the menu to show on top is a must.

EDIT

I should add ive found mint XFCE seems to work best in this scenario.

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Re: Linux for my 80 year old father?

Post by phd21 » Sun Oct 30, 2016 9:51 pm

Hi "MurphCID" and Your Dad,

"Facebook" has a very nice desktop client that works really well in Linux Mint, or you can add the "Facebook purple" plug-in to the "Pidgin" chat messenger. FYI: Facebook chatting is not secure, except when using Pidgin (& OTR), Neither is Skype. But there are secure messaging clients, Like "QTox" (qTox) a great Skype alternative, Pidgin with OTR, Jitsi, etc...

FYI: How to install Facebook plugin & or new Facebook Messenger.
viewtopic.php?f=60&t=225483&hilit=facebook

Regarding email, use Thunderbird, or webmail ...

There are a lot of card games in the repositories (Software Manager or Synaptic Package Manager (SPM))... ands elsewhere ...
A compilation of over eighty different solitaire card games. Everything from favorites like Freecell and Klondike through to the hopelessly pointless Clock Patience.
https://apps.ubuntu.com/cat/application ... aisleriot/

http://www.cardgamesolitaire.com/download-solitaire.php

https://sourceforge.net/directory/games ... s%3Alinux/


And, if you also install Google Chrome, or the new Opera browser with the Download Chrome Extension add-on, you can add a whole lot more card games and other games using Google Play Chrome Web store, that can be played using the browser(s).
Opera_GooglePlay_ChromeStore_Solitaire1sm.jpg


Fyi-2: There are a lot of people in this forum in the same age bracket as your father, and they are using all editions of Linux Mint, including Cinnamon, Mate, and KDE, very effectively.

Hope this helps ...
Phd21: Mint KDE 17.3 & 18.3, 64-bit Awesome OS, Ancient Dell OptiPlex 780 Core2Duo E8400 3GHz,4gb Ram,256gb SDD, Video: Intel 4 Graphics, DVD Lightscribe. Why I use KDE?:https://opensource.com/life/15/4/9-reasons-to-use-kde

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Re: Linux for my 80 year old father?

Post by millpond » Mon Oct 31, 2016 3:39 am

When buying any *new* machine to put linux on, first make sure it has compatible drivers for everything from motherboard hardware to external printers/scanners.

Personally, I would recommend a Win7 machine for anything that might give driver problems, as well as to play favorite Win games. Wine can handle most win, but can be a beast to set up (think Winetricks).

I would also recommend a second hard drive used for dual booting to Linux, particualrly a version with Accessibiliy options. I know KDE has them - havent noticed them in other DEs. Folks should be encouraged to boot into Linux for normal things like web browsing, and email. Mint would be a good choice.

Make sure to set up the icons, and the configurations if needed.

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Re: Linux for my 80 year old father?

Post by MurphCID » Wed Nov 02, 2016 7:58 am

Thanks! I am thinking XFCE with the MAC OS dock where I can put all his stuff so he just clicks on it and it works. He likes Texas Hold 'em poker as well. I appreciate everyone's help and input on this project.

phd21 wrote:Hi "MurphCID" and Your Dad,

"Facebook" has a very nice desktop client that works really well in Linux Mint, or you can add the "Facebook purple" plug-in to the "Pidgin" chat messenger. FYI: Facebook chatting is not secure, except when using Pidgin (& OTR), Neither is Skype. But there are secure messaging clients, Like "QTox" (qTox) a great Skype alternative, Pidgin with OTR, Jitsi, etc...

FYI: How to install Facebook plugin & or new Facebook Messenger.
viewtopic.php?f=60&t=225483&hilit=facebook

Regarding email, use Thunderbird, or webmail ...

There are a lot of card games in the repositories (Software Manager or Synaptic Package Manager (SPM))... ands elsewhere ...
A compilation of over eighty different solitaire card games. Everything from favorites like Freecell and Klondike through to the hopelessly pointless Clock Patience.
https://apps.ubuntu.com/cat/application ... aisleriot/

http://www.cardgamesolitaire.com/download-solitaire.php

https://sourceforge.net/directory/games ... s%3Alinux/


And, if you also install Google Chrome, or the new Opera browser with the Download Chrome Extension add-on, you can add a whole lot more card games and other games using Google Play Chrome Web store, that can be played using the browser(s).

Opera_GooglePlay_ChromeStore_Solitaire1sm.jpg



Fyi-2: There are a lot of people in this forum in the same age bracket as your father, and they are using all editions of Linux Mint, including Cinnamon, Mate, and KDE, very effectively.

Hope this helps ...

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Re: Linux for my 80 year old father?

Post by phd21 » Wed Nov 02, 2016 10:48 am

Hi "MurphCID",

I have been following this post and the good replies to it.

Regarding email, I forgot to mention, there is also the "Evolution" email client that might already be installed in the Mint editions of Cinnamon, Mate, & Xfce, and the great Kmail email application in KDE. But, as I stated before a lot of people coming from a MS Windows environment are already familiar with using the excellent Thunderbird email client, so that is always a good option too, and it is also already installed on some of the Linux Mint editions, and is available in the Software Manager or Synaptic Package Manager (SPM). If you want secureThunderbird (TB) email (using GPG - PGP encryption), install "enigmail" as well.

As for the poker games, like "Texas Hold 'em", that's available on numerous online websites, and elsewhere.
In Linux Mint 18, I think "pokerth" is available in the Software Manager or Synaptic Package Manager (SPM). I just ran the console terminal command below to install it, and it worked.

sudo apt-get install pokerth

For previous versions of Linux Mint, check the Software Manager or Synaptic Package Manager (SPM). You might have to install the PPA below.
Install Poker Game PokerTH 1.1 in Ubuntu - see links below.
http://ubuntuhandbook.org/index.php/201 ... ntu-linux/

https://itsfoss.com/install-texas-holdem-poker-linux/

To install this using the PPA method, open a console terminal, type in, or copy & paste, each line below one by one:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:pkg-games/ppa
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install pokerth



Hope this helps ...
Phd21: Mint KDE 17.3 & 18.3, 64-bit Awesome OS, Ancient Dell OptiPlex 780 Core2Duo E8400 3GHz,4gb Ram,256gb SDD, Video: Intel 4 Graphics, DVD Lightscribe. Why I use KDE?:https://opensource.com/life/15/4/9-reasons-to-use-kde

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Re: Linux for my 80 year old father?

Post by Root13 » Fri Nov 04, 2016 5:07 am

Wow, what the purpose of owning a computer your father has?

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Re: Linux for my 80 year old father?

Post by MurphCID » Fri Nov 04, 2016 9:08 am

Like many his age, he emails, plays card games, writes letters in Word, watches You Tube sometimes, and surfs the internet when he feels like it. Sometimes Facebook (mostly my stepmother). That is about all he does on it.
Root13 wrote:Wow, what the purpose of owning a computer your father has?

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Re: Linux for my 80 year old father?

Post by MintBean » Fri Nov 04, 2016 9:55 am

Murph,

As someone with an 80 year old father myself (and having just spent a day handling a backlog of 500 emails he's not read one of 'but was planning to'), a big question to ask yourself is, does your Dad use the computer responsibly, or does he click about, fiddle with things and break them? If the first category, I think Mint would be ideal for him. If the latter, maybe something with Chrome OS would be better (although I have no experience with it).

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