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Get the Facts... for FREE - story I

Discussion in 'General Marketing' started by Alexandru Ungur, Jan 6, 2005.

  1. Alexandru Ungur

    Alexandru Ungur New Member Webmaster

    I bet most of you have seen all the results of Microsoft's campaign "get the facts".. facts that are fabricated at their command... with ads that tells you that Linux costs more.... :) I bet even Paul who really loves M$ won't buy that... :)

    Well, get the facts from here, from the experience of people who have really used Linux, who have tried and succeeded to make their PC a more effective and pleasant tool.

    I present you today: Hopi



    Hopi wanted to trade in her desktop computer for a laptop to better match her lifestyle. She had a budget of $400 for the new system, plus any money earned from the sale of the old system, an expected value of $300. She was interested in Linux, but really liked the Microsoft Money program, and was concerned about finding a solution that would meet her needs at least a well.


    I found a Dell Latitude 500 Mhz laptop for her on E-bay for $300. It included Ethernet and Wireless cards as accessories. It had only 128 Megs of ram, but could be upgraded to 512 Mhz. Hopi also wanted to upgrade the CD drive to a CD-RW, which was possible. In total, about $200 worth of upgrades would be needed to make it ideal system.

    The net cost of the laptop switch would will be about $200, well under the original budget!

    The used laptop was sold with Mandrake 9.1 pre-installed, and was known to work with all the hardware. Hopi went through the installation wizard for Mandrake Linux 10.0 as I watched. In some cases she wasn't sure which option to choose, but in all cases just selecting "OK" was the right answer-- all of the hardware was detected correctly.

    Later we found that that the USB port wasn't working. Installing the alternative 2.4 kernel included on the installation disc fixed this.


    Mandrake Linux 10.0 runs quite satisfactorily on this machine with a 500 Mhz processor and 128 Megs of RAM. Hopi is even putting off the memory upgrade for now because the performance is "good enough" as it is. You can see more details of how Mandrake 10.0 works on the machine.

    Hopi already had a wireless base station in her house, and now enjoys broadband internet access from a comfortable chair in the living room.

    Her existing printer worked with Linux "out of the box". Her scanner (which came free in a bundle), was simply not supported by Linux. However, better scanners are now available for $30, which Hopi found to be a reasonable cost considering the other benefits of Linux.
    In her own words:

    I really like my Linux laptop. I like that I don't have to worry about viruses like I used to and that I'm not supporting the big bad Microsoft Empire anymore. I like all the free software, and how easy everything is to install. On Windows ME, there were lots and lots of programs that I had no idea of what to do with. Because of the Mandrake Linux install process, there aren't any programs I don't know what to do with. It doesn't automatically install everything.

    I haven't had any problems using Linux on a laptop with a wireless card.

    Some people that I've showed my laptop to think it's Windows on first glance. This gives merit to it's usability. I promote Linux to my friends when they complain about viruses.

    We discovered and installed Krecipes, a free recipe management program. I had a lot of random recipes from various places. I like having them all in one place. Even though there is a lack of documentation, I appreciate the flexible formatting it has. My old recipe program on Windows was not as flexible enough to accommodate the length of my recipes and I gave up on it.

    I tend to be a game player in moderation. I get really excited about a game and play it a lot for a little while and then don't play it much anymore. Most recently I've been consumed with Xscavenger, a Lode Runner clone. After getting stuck at Level 21 I got frustrated. Anyone have any tips???

    I was really pleased with the variety of games available. It struck me as kind of amazing. I appreciated they all weren't installed by default, though. It's nice that they were all free. It's a very friendly community.

    As a meeting organizer, I easily generate meeting minutes in the highly-compatible PDF format using OpenOffice.

    I like to use Scribus for newsletter layout. It allowed me to easily generate a high-quality PDF to give to the print shop, and another version with a much smaller file size, suitable for distributing online. With Microsoft Publisher, I couldn't share exact digital copies of my documents unless the recipients had the same version of Publisher I had. With Scribus, it's easy to save to the PDF format, which everyone can view correctly.

    Mozilla Firefox is my favorite web browser because it has tabbed browsing, pop-up blocking and a built-in Google search. I use it on my Windows computer at work as well. (Which was recently found to have 90 viruses on it!).

    Moneydance has worked fine as a Microsoft Money replacement. Importing from Money had very few glitches. A few things got imported twice, and some of my longer account names got cut off, but overall it went really smoothly. I felt $30 was a really good price for such a program. I really appreciated when the author wrote me back when I had a pre-sales question. (Try that with Money or Quicken!).

    Full story here:

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