Wanted: Linux success stories

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jimallyn
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Wanted: Linux success stories

Post by jimallyn » Thu Mar 26, 2015 3:17 pm

I try to promote Linux and Open Source software every chance I get, and I love it when I come across a Linux success story or happy Linux customer. I often post their stories on my Facebook page and in other forums I frequent. So if you have a Linux success story, either your own or somebody you know, I'd like to hear it. Please post it here, and I will pass it on to potential Linux converts. Thanks!
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Re: Wanted: Linux success stories

Post by Derek_S » Thu Mar 26, 2015 5:26 pm

Hello jimallyn - I've installed Linux Mint on at least a half dozen machines for my family and friends. Probably the best story involves my older brother and his HP Mini 210 netbook, which came with Windows 7 Starter (32 bit) installed. After using it for about 1-1/2 years, he brought it to me complaining how slow it had gotten. It took over two minutes to boot and Internet Explorer took nearly a minute to load. Calling it a slug would be an insult to slugs. :lol:

So after installing Ccleaner and getting rid of about 2.5GB of garbage files, installing Service Pack 1 (for some reason he had never done this?), getting all the other Windows updates installed, removing another 2GB or so of Windows system restore points, and thoroughly defragmenting the hard drive several times, I pronounced it fit for duty and gave it back to him.

Then about two weeks later he brought it back to me with a completely new issue: he had somehow managed to get it infected with the "FBI virus", rendering it completely unusable. I tried a "well known" malware removal tool to get rid of it and make the Mini bootable again, but it just didn't work the same as it did two weeks earlier. I can only speculate that the malware removal tool did not succeed in completely removing the problem, so I suggested re-installing Windows 7 Starter from scratch using the recovery partition on the machine's hard drive. And that's when the really big problem occurred: partway through the recovery process, there was an error message and it halted. So I tried it again. And again. And again. No luck at all and no recovery.

Two calls to HP support got me connected to two different people who both used English as a second (or possibly third) language. So no help there at all. I then downloaded a Windows 7 Starter .iso and re-installed Windows 7, but could not get it to activate using the activation key located inside the bottom cover. Calls to Microsoft resulted in suggestions of calling HP for help and ordering recovery media from them (typical MS behavior). The only problem with that is the recovery media is available only on DVD and this little netbook has no DVD drive. Now I'm stuck between a rock and a hard place.

After explaining all of this to my brother, he's ready to toss this machine (literally!) and buy a new laptop. So I suggest installing Linux Mint 16 (that's what was available at the time). He's very skeptical of this, thinking it's something totally foreign and he'll never learn to use it. So I downloaded and installed LM16 32 bit with the Cinnamon desktop. I take about two hours showing him how the updater works, how to install new packages, how to navigate the menu, where to find the system settings, and everything else I could think of at the time. I can tell he's still not happy with the situation but he leaves promising to give it a try.

About three weeks later I gave him a call asking how Linux Mint is working out for him, and I'm half expecting him to say he decided to pitch the Mini anyway and buy a new laptop. Instead he's ecstatic and gushing with nothing but compliments about Linux Mint: It starts so fast now! No more antivirus software, updates, or scanning! No more defragmenting the hard drive! How simple and how fast it was to apply system updates compared to Windows! He even managed to install the Chromium browser by himself without issues and said how much better it was compared to using Internet Explorer. I can only say in closing that Linux Mint saved this little machine from an early death and dismemberment at the hands of an electronics recycler.

Also, my brother later went on to buy a refurbished Panasonic Toughbook CF-74 with no operating system installed. After upgrading the memory from 512MB to 4GB and installing a 500GB hard drive to replace the original 60GB drive, he was at my house asking me to install Linux Mint. This is his favorite now and he has nothing but praise for this machine and Linux Mint.
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Re: Wanted: Linux success stories

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Re: Wanted: Linux success stories

Post by jimallyn » Fri Mar 27, 2015 3:26 am

Nice finds, guys! Keep 'em coming.
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Re: Wanted: Linux success stories

Post by Jedinovice » Fri Mar 27, 2015 11:02 pm

Hang in there.

In a day or to I intend to SHOW a success story. You'll see. :D
Mint Linux 18.0 64 bit KDE edition.
Video editing (AMV's mainly) on a dual core n2840 atom!
Results here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC5Dw91 ... yVKS7X1Rlg
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Re: Wanted: Linux success stories

Post by Pilosopong Tasyo » Sat Mar 28, 2015 9:25 am

jimallyn wrote:So if you have a Linux success story, either your own or somebody you know, I'd like to hear it.
Will a story from 2009 do? Technically, it's not a success story in the "switch-from-Windows-to-Linux" sense, but my friend was able to recover all her files thanks to Mint. Direct link to her blog post.

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Re: Wanted: Linux success stories

Post by Jedinovice » Sat Mar 28, 2015 12:02 pm

OK, I said I was hoping to show and not just tell.

Check out my new thread on my video demo:
http://forums.linuxmint.com/viewtopic.php?f=61&t=192905

You can tell those interesting in Linux that I now ONLY use Mint Linux and open source. I couldn;t face Microsofts new licensing policy (beg for permission to use their software AFTER you have paid for it) and then discovered KDE 4 and haven't looked back.
Started off with a test laptop with the single core Atom still on Windows XP.
Then reformatted the XP Atom and put slackware on, then replaced with Mint.

Never looked back. Discovering Kdenlive was also double take moment I paid over $100 for the 'pro' editio of Magix Movie edit 17 back in 2011.

Not only was it no more powerful than Kdenlive the damn thing would ONLY work properly with sources in slow MP4 format. So I had to spend hours converting al my sources to MP4. Magic crashed every ten minutes as well - guarenteed.
Mint Linux 18.0 64 bit KDE edition.
Video editing (AMV's mainly) on a dual core n2840 atom!
Results here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC5Dw91 ... yVKS7X1Rlg
LOOK HERE FOR MY DEMO OF MINT LINUX KDE - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q8hDYiGprWs

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Re: Wanted: Linux success stories

Post by Jedinovice » Sat Mar 28, 2015 12:15 pm

Oh, and one last story…

My wife and I now live in Indonesia – where, frankly, Linux is not getting much traction because EVERYTHING is pirate here. It's impossible for Linux to compete with priate Windows, Office and Photoshop. SO I have given up trying to promote here.

But… my wife, in a rush to teach a student private English here, needed a laptop to play some media material from her flash disk. So she grabbed my old, tiny Atom running Mint Linux KDE edition with my permission. Bear in mind that my wife is absolutely NOT technical! Practical, yes, but not techie.

She came back holding the little black machine.
"Linux…" She said, in shock, "...it's so easy to use."
"Yup." I said.
"It's so fast!" She added.
"Yup." I said.
"It's so nice to use."
"Yup." I said.
"It's mine."
By which she meant the Atom running Mint Linux and I have never got it back.
It has since been replaced by an even slower, second hand c50.

Neither my wife or I can stand using Windows anymore.
Mint Linux 18.0 64 bit KDE edition.
Video editing (AMV's mainly) on a dual core n2840 atom!
Results here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC5Dw91 ... yVKS7X1Rlg
LOOK HERE FOR MY DEMO OF MINT LINUX KDE - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q8hDYiGprWs

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Re: Wanted: Linux success stories

Post by jimallyn » Sat Mar 28, 2015 3:22 pm

That's a great one, Jedinovice, and I just shared it on my Facebook page. Thanks!
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Re: Wanted: Linux success stories

Post by crossroads » Sat Mar 28, 2015 5:40 pm

Heard about Linux in the late 1990's from a couple of carpenter/slash/computer enthusiasists/slash/old friends of mine ... did not even make a sound in my mind. Until, a few years later. At 54 years of age, I decided to go to school, and get an engineering degree that I had been holding back on for years. Had a guitar, but needed a computer. I knew DOS, and BASIC, but Windows, from the start was ... not like my old Wabash guitar, which was and is warm and friendly, with these deep rich tones that bring you home. Linux is kind of like that. Gives you control, over the fret .. err keyboard. I can fix things with this OS, that otherwise, I'd be left in the dirt. Probably, more than anything, I like the Linux Community (Caps on purpose) For me, they represent something that has diminished since the 60/70's ... well, you figure it out young bloods.
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Re: Wanted: Linux success stories

Post by Jedinovice » Mon Mar 30, 2015 5:21 am

Coranth,

I hate to pour rain on your parade but I doubt this victory will last.
People do not trust Linux. Also, most users are completely technically incapable. So, when something goes wrong with Linux, you think they will come to you to sort it out? They certainly won't resolve it themselves. Linux will not get the benefit of the doubt ether.

No, what happens… what ALWAYS happens, is that you give someone Linux and then they encounter a problem or the GUI does something unexpected,
Ten Windows users leap on this and declare, "That's because Linux is rubbish! You need to be on Windows to be safe."
User has Windows re-installed by one of his techie mates within the hour and he returns to the world he knows. Users always return to their comfort zone, especially when they encounter the unexpected. It does not even need to be an error. The user clicks on the 'Start' button and sees the menu set up differently to Windows. That's enough to confuse them and they get Windows re-installed.

Do not under estimate the power of the comfort zone. People will pay serious money to stick with what they know! (That's why Windows 8 was such a turkey. It took away comfort zone… and stank.)

I have given up selling Linux to the locals here in Indonesia. I can't compete with pirate Windows and comfort zone.

That's not to say Linux will always lose but as it stands, only techie users can run Linux right now because they are not afraid of trying something different or asking a question on a forum. The rest just want to switch on and the laptop to work as it has always done. (That's why 99% of users stick with 100% defaults for the OS as they are afraid of changing anything.) Only non-techies who are already surrounded by Linux users who can hold their hand can win over a convert. Eventually there will be enough critical mass but, for now, the only way to get converts is to get the next door neighbour to try it out and be on standby for the support calls.

If you have given a guy a laptop with Mint installed I would be shocked if it was not restored to Windows within a month. More likely two weeks.

I would only recommend Linux to a potential user if I was certain they had access to proper support and, by that, I mean, someone they can call on the telephone to come around and "fix it for me."
Without a, "Sure, I'll be right over." No convert will stick. You can ONLY convert neighbors! YOU have to be support for them!

Comfort zone and hand holding. That's where the battle is.

Now, if the convert is a techie, that's different. But the masses need hand holding. If said users are sounded by Windows users… it's game over.
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Video editing (AMV's mainly) on a dual core n2840 atom!
Results here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC5Dw91 ... yVKS7X1Rlg
LOOK HERE FOR MY DEMO OF MINT LINUX KDE - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q8hDYiGprWs

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Re: Wanted: Linux success stories

Post by MartyMint » Mon Mar 30, 2015 9:16 pm

Mainly I agree with you. It's unlikely to "bring someone to Linux". It's more likely they end up there after their own journey.

I mean, you hear so much on these forums about "conversions" and how many people someone claims to have happily "converted"...
...but I don't think I've ever come across anyone here (or on Ubuntu Forums) that shows up to say: "Hi! A friend converted me to Linux. My experience is a largely positive one and I don't use Windows anymore." When you do come across the "converted", it's more probable they say something like: "A relative/family friend/acquaintance put this Linux thing on my laptop...HELP ME GET RID OF IT! I just want my Windows back!"

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Re: Wanted: Linux success stories

Post by z31fanatic » Mon Mar 30, 2015 10:20 pm

I wish I had Linux success stories but I don't. In fact, I have only encountered one person who uses Linux in real life. Even he does it just to play with. He hasn't switched completely to Linux.
Though, I do see people who converted to Mac OS.

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Re: Wanted: Linux success stories

Post by gold_finger » Mon Mar 30, 2015 10:34 pm

@Jedinovice,

In general I tend to agree with you. It's very hard to "convert" the "average" Windows user to Linux. But, it is not impossible given the right circumstances. I've switched 4 people over the last few years mainly because:
  • they couldn't spend money for new computers,
  • I was the only person they knew who could get their old computers working again
  • and I refused to install Windows.
I used to help people with their Windows crap, but now I almost always refuse to fix it for them. It takes too long, I don't charge them anything to fix their stuff, and I don't want to torture myself with hours long Windows installs, removing malware, cleaning out left-overs from a million miscellaneous programs, etc.

None of the four people used their computers for anything special and none were gamers. Mainly used computer for surfing the net, movies, music and occasional documents/spreadsheets. Of the four, two were practically computer illiterate -- they only knew how to do a few basic things on their Windows machines and never ventured past doing only those things. I was very apprehensive putting Linux on their computers because I feared being called every other day with questions. One person used it for approx. 3+ years (that I know of) and had only called me 2-3 times to ask something. I was shocked! He actually used the computer every day and had no problem using it. For all I know he still does, but I haven't heard from him in over a year.

Second of the two knows even less than the first (which I didn't think was possible). He's been using Linux for about 1 1/2 years now and is perfectly fine. Basically he just surfs the net. Had only one call for help in that time.

Third person is more of an advanced beginner / intermediate user. She took to Linux like a duck to water and actually loves it -- has stated she never wants Windows again. It's been 1 1/2 years for her too.

Forth person was daughter of a friend who needed computer for college. They had a mini Dell laptop/notebook with Win 7 Starter on it, but it wouldn't boot. I fixed the booting, but the thing was as slow as molasses. Told them I wouldn't waste my time cleaning out whatever nonsense was on it causing the problem, but I would load Linux on as a dual-boot. Did that and she used it for her first semester without any problem. She used it for note taking (LibreOffice), surfing web, skype, etc. However, her parents got her a new laptop for X'mas with Windows 8 on it and now she uses that. I asked if she wanted me to load Linux on it for dual-boot and she declined. So, chalk her up as only a temporary switch.

P.s. One thing I did with all of them that may or may not have made a difference: I made a PDF with basic instructions for common tasks and stuck it on their desktops. Showed them it was there and ran through the basics with them before I left.
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Re: Wanted: Linux success stories

Post by Jedinovice » Mon Mar 30, 2015 11:47 pm

Hi to everyone…

Yes, it is hard to convert a Windows user and Mac aficionados are true die hards. Congrats to gold_finger for getting some over. Yeah the PDF probably helped. As I say, in Indonesia it's just impossible because Linux cannot compete with pirate. Also, the level of 'education' here is so poor that it actively discourages experiment, innovation or development of skills.

Note, however, as evidenced by my online Linux demo video, I haven't given up hope. [See new signature. :) ]

The way I see it now, a user has to be SICK of Windows to jump. They have to have reached the tipping point where they can no longer handle the problems of Windows. That point came for me when I could not face Microsoft's new beg and plead policy to run their software. True, I also wanted to learn Linux by that point anyway so I did not lose all my IT skills after a career change. I was pleasantly … not surprised… stunned.

My plan is not to convert users anymore. It is to demo Linux so that if/when the user reaches breaking point they are no longer afraid to try Linux out for themselves. I also try and clear away the endlessly repeated propaganda – Linux is hard to use, it's hard to install software, there is no software for it, etc, etc.
Mint Linux 18.0 64 bit KDE edition.
Video editing (AMV's mainly) on a dual core n2840 atom!
Results here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC5Dw91 ... yVKS7X1Rlg
LOOK HERE FOR MY DEMO OF MINT LINUX KDE - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q8hDYiGprWs

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Re: Wanted: Linux success stories

Post by jimallyn » Tue Mar 31, 2015 1:50 am

MartyMint wrote:...but I don't think I've ever come across anyone here (or on Ubuntu Forums) that shows up to say: "Hi! A friend converted me to Linux. My experience is a largely positive one and I don't use Windows anymore."
That is precisely my story. A friend introduced me to Linux back in 2002, first Mandrake and then Xandros. My Linux experience has been positive, with only a few problems, and then it was easy to find someone on the forums that could help me solve the problem. And I have converted several friends and family members, and some of them have converted others. It does happen.
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Re: Wanted: Linux success stories

Post by gold_finger » Tue Mar 31, 2015 7:59 am

Jedinovice wrote:in Indonesia it's just impossible because Linux cannot compete with pirate. Also, the level of 'education' here is so poor that it actively discourages experiment, innovation or development of skills.
At this point in time, I'm not so sure that the dismal, so-called "education" system in the US is any better than yours in Indonesia. Despite boatloads of money thrown at it, and endless whining for ever more money, education results in the US just seem to get worse and worse.
Jedinovice wrote:The way I see it now, a user has to be SICK of Windows to jump. They have to have reached the tipping point where they can no longer handle the problems of Windows.
I tend to agree with that. The "average" user won't leave their comfort zone until that happens. As a matter of fact, it doesn't ever cross their minds to even look into any alternative; and even today most are completely unaware of this thing called "Linux".


Coranth wrote:I upgraded the Linux Kernel on my old Toshiba Notebook to 3.19.2 today... and then Cinnamon crashed. Repeatedly. Did I whinge and want to return to Windows on the Notebook? Windows XP? You know, that old dinosaur MS really wishes would die? Nope. I thought, 'Okay, so Cinnamon's a picky, crashy piece of [censored]; let's try a different desktop...' One install of KDE and a bit of muckety-muck in Synaptic later... and KDE was running BEAUTIFULLY--

Except when I tried to open the KDE-Mint Software Manager. I got a note saying that kdesudo wasn't installed. Okay. Back to Synaptic. Type in 'kdesudo', mark for install, apply. SOFTWARE MANAGER WORKING! The gears turned in my head as I cottoned-on to the fact that everything in Linux was a program, or a script, or something else that I COULD ALTER at my will!
Coranth,

Just from that little bit you posted, I can guess two things:
  • You're not a the "typical" user we were discussing above, because you didn't immediately run back to Windows. Instead, you stopped, thought a bit, tried something else, payed attention to messages when you got an error, etc.
  • You're probably going to end up just fine in Linux because of reasons in point one.
Congrats to you. Keep plugging away and it will get easier as you go. Ask for help in forum when you need it. Read through forums in spare time too -- you'll pick up a lot just by doing that. Here's a list of resources that might be helpful too: Linux Basics: Useful Beginner Information.
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Re: Wanted: Linux success stories

Post by exploder » Tue Mar 31, 2015 2:01 pm

Recently I did some computer work for a friend, he gave me a couple HP small form factor computers for the work. A couple of days ago I got one of the computers running. The computer had an Intel 2.8 GHz P4 processor, Intel 945 on-board graphics, CD-ROM, on-board Intel sound and NIC. I salvaged a 250 GB Seagate SATA hard drive and 3.5 GB of DDR 2 RAM from junk computers that were sitting around for parts.

I tried several DVD drives but could not find one in working order... I got the bright idea to put the hard drive in my good computer to do the OS install and then just put it back in the HP, that did the trick. I used Ubuntu 14.04 x64 because I wanted an LTS and to be honest it was the only DVD that was labeled. (My 6 year old likes to take my markers and looses them.)

Much to my surprise the 64 bit install ran just fine. I did some tweaking to the system and to use it you would never know that the computer is 10 years old! Full screen flash and all multimedia playback works great! I cleaned all of the components and re-seated everything. This thing is actually very well built, it uses a tool less case and the setup for the processor heat sink and fan is the best I have ever seen on an oem system.

The case was plastered in stickers but with a little time and effort I got them all off. This 10 year old computer looks and runs like brand new! Sure, it's not going to run any high end games but it does everything else quite well. I will eventually come across another junk computer that has a DVD-RW drive that works and the HP will be complete. This computer makes for a really nice back up machine!

For me this is a Linux success story! This machine cost nothing more than my time and effort and it should run fine until 2019 when the LTS reaches end of life.

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Re: Wanted: Linux success stories

Post by MartyMint » Tue Mar 31, 2015 5:31 pm

A 10 year old machine still runs like a 10 year old machine, regardless of OS.

A modern Windows 8.1 machine absolutely crushes, app-for-app, a 10 year old (Netburst or equivalent of that era) machine running *nix.

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Re: Wanted: Linux success stories

Post by MartyMint » Tue Mar 31, 2015 5:33 pm

When I see folks claim superb performance on creaky Pentium IV's or Athlon XP's...I just assume they have Windows on their newer rigs and Linux is relegated to the role of "quaint and amusing hobby".

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