Share your little Linux victories with non-techie friends

I don’t have many useful talents so generally limit contributions to a little money here and there and following various forums and discussions. However on thing that has really been an encouragement is that I have built a reputation among friends and family for being able to find really nice, clean, used, i5, 8G, SSD Thinkpads and Latitudes for < $150. A sweet spot for most general surfers and basic tasks. I have picked up a couple dozen of these over the last 5ish years and they generally come with a Windows 10 pro fresh install. I generally make the same offer to pull the hard drive, put a new Ubuntu installed one in, let them play with it for a month and then I’ll swap disks back if they desire. Of the people who take the challenge, I have never received the second phone call (about a third just honestly need Windows and just can’t take the time).
So anyway here is my victory from this week. Picked up a laptop for a 7th grade girl and just boxed it with Ubuntu. I know she has been using it non-stop for a few days but hadn’t heard much so I asked how it was going. The only comment was “I had trouble with one of my DVDs from the library so I thought I needed a DVD player. I looked in the software thing and saw something called VLC that looked like what you use so I tried it and everything was fine.”
It is shocking how much less tech support I have been doing since I started this practice. For those who started with 16.04 they are quickly approaching the point when I ask, “Do you still use that laptop I got for you? Want me to upgrade it to the latest versions of everything?” I highly recommend it as a hobby for Linux enthusiasts as a way to spread the love.


That is awesome! I think I need to contact you next time I need a new laptop!

This is great. You’re just the sort of person the open-source community needs :+1:

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Years ago I set up a desktop and a laptop for my wife running Debian! I made it look nice and installed everything she might need or want and she still uses it. The only thing I do for her is upgrading to the next Debian release. The Thinkpad already runs Debian since the end of 2015. The desktop is even older since the first install (I cannot remember), still running the same OS from one major version to another.

She is not the average non-techie person but still a newbie when it comes to Linux in general but she beats me every day in using Gimp like a pro or some other creative tools on Linux like Darktable.

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@vinylninja It has to be extra satisfying to see someone who is obviously creative (judging by the photo apps she uses) able to pursue a passion like that on Linux. Knowing in the back of your mind that the OS is also smooth, clean, fast, and safe is just icing on the cake.

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