Saturday, February 21, 2009

Five-O for PCLinuxOS

I have a group of friends who visited me in campus, and Marvin S. Tan brought his elegant ASUS laptop with him. Whatever for? To install PCLinuxOS, of course. Why would he do that? Well, the previous weeks when we were having a group study, he saw that I was using another operating system on my laptop and was viciously impressed with it. Marvin is not particularly computer-savvy and he was just willing to get a new computer user experience.

It was my chance to tell them about Linux, and how it is superior to the other OS. After several rhetoric questions about viruses and software interoperability ... and a much-needed demonstration, I convinced him that he would be better off with Linux.

Today, while I was installing PCLinuxOS 2008 Minime, the questions continued to flow, and I did my best to answer them in such a form that they were easily understood. As he watched me me launch the LiveCD, his first impression was, wow... that was quick. I corrected him stating that it was he saw were pulled from the CD. The funny thing was his assurance that to his knowledge he had to install Windows before even getting something similar. One point for Linux.

When I was convinced that his hardware are all detected, I told him that I would set up a dual-boot system and he can choose which one to run. He asked what that meant and after a brief explanation, he said that he'd like Linux to be the default selection, and that he'll run Windows only when he had to. I told him that it is a wise choice and that he will be able to learn and do things at the same time when he uses Linux.

So I made the necessary preparations, moving files off one of the four Windows partitions, deleting the near empty partition from Windows and relaunching the LiveCD. I asked him again if he wanted to proceed, and trusting me like a brother, he nodded and I assisted him on his first Linux step - a Linux installation.

It was 11:00 AM and he got it done in ten minutes time. His comment, that was so easy to do. Two points.

After rebooting to PCLinuxOS, I mentioned to them about the upcoming 2009 release. And one of the guys was dumbfounded, querying if there'll be something better? I didn't answer but instead asked Marvin what he was using his laptop for, and explained to him that I wanted to install the programs he needed to get the most from his machine. Well, it was pretty much basic so within the hour (I have a local PCLinuxOS repository), I got much of what he needed; his system updated and loaded. Marvin was a bit baffled how he got GIMP, the latest Firefox,, digiKam, amarok, and a host of other goodies. Three points.

There was a look in Marvin's face that I was able to easily translate, how was he going to use these? For the next three hours we spent a hands-on exercise. He was much pleased with Compiz-Fusion (four points) that I had to snap him out of his rotating cube and explain how he could access his Windows files and open and save them. He still couldn't believe he was running Linux and accessing his files. He had his digital camera that automatically mounted and opened digiKam. He got right on his Facebook logon with so much as a bat in the eye. He was able to add his Yahoo account on Kopete. I helped him dress up Compiz-Fusion that he was just eager to show it off to our other friends back at his place. His other friends hinted they were bringing their laptops next week. Five points for Linux.


  1. Well, this is a nice writing - but it would be interessant to have the opnion of Marvin, and the first impressions after a week usage of PCLOS.

  2. Good story.
    I think you would make a good romantic novelist with your style of writing! :-)

  3. I love these kinds of stories. ;)

    I do agree with Zoltan that it would be interesting to have Marvin relate his experiences, and his opinion, after a week of using Linux. My hope would be that he is still gushing and loving the system. Especially since he has a solid Linux support network handy. Not just the forums, but you, personally, able to sit at his side and guide him over any rough patches he hits.