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Migrating my grandfather from Windows 7 to Ubuntu Mate 17.04

If you happen to know me, you know I’m a big fan of the Linux ecosystem and I’m constantly trying to convince everyone to migrate from windows to any of the available Linux distributions.

My grandfather is currently 80 years old and even though he still uses newspapers and television to get updated on the news (and even teletext to quickly check a football match score), he consumes a lot of news and media from the internet, mainly our main Portuguese news websites, Facebook and YouTube. He has an old desktop at home that does most of the job, but when he joins my parents he uses a 10 year old Sony Vaio laptop that is installed in the kitchen. Lately he has been complaining a lot about the computer’s performance and random errors. Time has not been too kind to this Windows 7, Intel Core Duo, 2 GB of RAM computer.

Today I decided to use the computer to understand the reasons of the complaints and, oh my, I had to wait 5 minutes just for Firefox to open up. 5 minutes were all I needed to decide to download Ubuntu Mate 17.04 and install it on the computer. I’m not gonna lie, it took forever to install, but that was to be expected.

After the installation was completed I was pleased to see that only 500MB were being used with the PC being “idle”. With Firefox open it wouldn’t take up more than 900MB playing YouTube videos and, must I add, it took me 5 seconds to fire up the Fox (hehehe) navigate to YouTube and play a video.

I was quite pleased with the performance, but now the ugly part starts. For a 80 year old to suddenly change from the Windows interface to the look-a-like Gnome 2 interface was not something I was too excited about. To work around this “issue” I used the MATE Tweak tool and selected the “Redmond” panel. Re-arranging the panel a bit I was able to reproduce a Windows-like experience. I also changed the theme to be a bit brighter and voilá, the system was ready for my grandfather.

When he started using the computer he quickly realised it was a lot snappier and everything was way faster than it used to be and was pretty pleased with the experience. Success!

Now you now, a grandparent with Linux is a happy grandparent. Good luck migrating your family to Linux and make their user experience a lot easier and quicker!

Talk to you all again soon!


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