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The Great Ubuntu-Girlfriend Experiment

I’ve toyed with Linux since 2002, when I first installed Mandrake. With the latest release of Ubuntu, I was interested to see how far Linux had come since then in terms of being used easily by the mainstream. So, I tricked my grudging girlfriend Erin into sitting down at a brand new Ubuntu 8.04 installation and performing some basic tasks. It’s surprising how many seemingly simple things become complicated and even out of reach for someone without a knowledge of Linux. There are a lot of little things that could be done to make the experience a lot more friendly for non-computer-literate people – some of them easy to implement, others not at all.

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1 comment to The Great Ubuntu-Girlfriend Experiment

  • perspectoff

    I tried the same experiment with my 8 year old daughter, but using Kubuntu (the KDE desktop) instead of Ubuntu (the Gnome desktop).

    She has been using Windows XP for about 2 years, mostly for games, school projects, looking up stuff on the Internet, graphics and posters (for science fairs and stuff).

    I set the menus in Kubuntu to look nearly identical to Windows.

    She transitioned wihtout batting an eyelash.

    When I had tried the experiemtn with Ubuntu (Gnome), it was frustrating for both her and for me.

    The experiment with the afrorementioned girlfirend was the wrong experiment.