I have this little project...

theacoustician

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I have been told there is an older laptop at my parents house. The only thing I know about it is that its running Win95 right now. The plan is to give it to my Grandma. She's living by herself now and my parents think it might be a good thing to teach her how to use the computer for email and surfing the internet. What I need to do is make the computer easy for someone's Grandma to use and also not allow her to somehow destroy the PC with spyware and crap.

So any suggestions for this? Stick with a WinOS or move her to Linux? Program suggestions or ways to lock down the machine?
 

Baron Von Awesome

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theacoustician said:
I have been told there is an older laptop at my parents house. The only thing I know about it is that its running Win95 right now. The plan is to give it to my Grandma. She's living by herself now and my parents think it might be a good thing to teach her how to use the computer for email and surfing the internet. What I need to do is make the computer easy for someone's Grandma to use and also not allow her to somehow destroy the PC with spyware and crap.

So any suggestions for this? Stick with a WinOS or move her to Linux? Program suggestions or ways to lock down the machine?
Move a Grandma who doesn't know computers to Linux? I think that would probably be a bad idea.

What are the specs on the laptop? If possible, upgrade to 2000/XP, put only the shotcuts she needs on the desktop, and tell her to double click those. Then just giver her a Internet & Email 101 lesson. I would also suggest making Firefox her default browser, since IE will leave you open no matter how security savvy you are. For someone who doesn't know computers at all IE would basically be a time bomb.
 

theacoustician

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Baron Von Awesome said:
Move a Grandma who doesn't know computers to Linux? I think that would probably be a bad idea.

What are the specs on the laptop? If possible, upgrade to 2000/XP, put only the shotcuts she needs on the desktop, and tell her to double click those. Then just giver her a Internet & Email 101 lesson. I would also suggest making Firefox her default browser, since IE will leave you open no matter how security savvy you are. For someone who doesn't know computers at all IE would basically be a time bomb.
With a Linux install, I could limit the desktop to 2 programs and there's less of a worry about virii, etc.
 
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crazymike

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make it a thin client. Run the OS off a CD. So you can't do anything but browse the internet and play solitaire. Then use webmail.

There are plenty of linux distros that run off the CD and probably some windows ones. This way you can't install anything.
 

BigDov

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A friend of mine gave me his old junker laptop one time to replace the hard drive and put a new OS on.... I ran with Win2000 and loaded it up with all kinds of anti-spyware and security stuff while I was at it. And definitely go with Firefox for the browser......
 
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crazymike

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why_ask_why said:
get her web tv...she'll never grasp using a full pc in my experience

I was able to teach my gramma how to use her computer. And the only time I have to fix it is when my aunt tries to "make it better"
 

Baron Von Awesome

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theacoustician said:
With a Linux install, I could limit the desktop to 2 programs and there's less of a worry about virii, etc.
I would still leave her with Windows, because maybe she'll get into it and want to try some diferent programs, and then she'll be out of luck on Linux.