Viruses and Spyware Drive Mom to Consider Alternate OS

My Mom called me tonight with a question: how much does it cost to get a legal copy of Windows on my computer? She bought a computer from a guy who builds them for people out of his house. He apparently didn’t inform her that part of the cost-savings in this PC was due to the unpaid Windows Tax.

She is not eligible for an upgrade version and she does not have money to spend on software. I have used Slackware Linux for about three years on all of my machines. She trusts my judgement, and so she asked me what she needed to do to try Linux. I sent her a torrent to download the latest Ubuntu Live CD and told her how she can “test drive” Linux without having to lose any of her settings she’s got now.

She hasn’t had a chance to try it out yet, but she sounds interested. Assessing her needs, Ubuntu seems like a nice fit. I may have to customize it a bit for her so she can watch divx movies and listen to MP3s, but I think she will be happy with her new OS. I’ll update with more information as to how she likes it and what the shortcomings might be.