Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Unexpected conversation with Mom

Oh, cool! it looks like my previous post was tagged in Tuxmachines.org. I'm flattered as heck.

But to cap off this strange Linux-y day, I had a conversation with my Mom that I never expected. I had just gotten Slax 5.1.0 working on a slightly more powerful machine and was browsing the Internet after getting the broadband connection up. Then, Mom comes up to me.

"Can you check out these sites for me?" she asked, pointing to a sheaf of newspaper cutouts of tour packages.

"Sure," I offered, "help yourself." Now, take note that my Mom really only started using computers and the Internet last March and I got her started in Ubuntu. So it was a little thoughtless of me to offer a new distro -- or more specifically, a new window manager -- for her to use. Nevertheless, she took to Slax and KDE fairly quickly.

"You know, Linux is really faster than Windows," Mom said confidentially. Frankly, I was stunned. It's really not something you expect your Mom to say.

My sister, you see, continues to insist on using Windows XP, and it is horrendously slow using our Bayantel connection. For some reason, everything just loads faster on the two distros I've tried here in Davao, Slax and DSL. Note: I am not interested in finding out why Windows XP is slower, and I am even less interested in installing any patches people might recommend. XP is slower, period.

And so there's my Mom, browsing the sites using Konqueror. And that's really amazing because I can see that she's abstraced the browser functions from the specific browser flavor. Her browser of choice is Mozilla Firefox though she doesn't call it such. And yet here she is navigating in another browser with no difficulty.

(Incidentally, that brings to mind another incident a few days ago, when my Mom was working with Internet Explorer. "I don't like it," she said, "because I don't get that moving hourglass to tell me that the page is still loading.")

But it's really at the end of her web-browsing session in Slax that my Mom bowls me over.

"I really prefer Ubuntu," she said as she got up.

So there you go: Ubuntu. Kid-tested. Mother-approved.

Okay, so I've given my Mom the Linux bug. I'm happy, but honestly, I'm also a little shocked. I just never expected to be hearing this from Mom.


  1. Manuel ViloriaMay 03, 2006 12:14 AM

    Interesting... maybe I can try exposing my mom to more techie stuff, too. :-)

    Btw, are you related to Mimi Cimafranca (UP College of Business)?

  2. I guess the fruit doesn't fall far from the tree. ;-) ... way to go MOM!

  3. Hi, Manuel, thanks for visiting. Ummm, not that I know of. But I would like to get acquainted. Am doing some research into the Cimafrancas.

    Hi, TCL: all my Linux evangelization is finally rubbing off on my family. Hee.

  4. Ever wonder why no one in the philippines, with all its genius virus authors, ever wrote a simple operating system for the world's most common and well known piece of hardware--the PC?

    Piracy that's why! Pirates killed the NEED for innovation and competition to Dos/Windows.

  5. Hi, DJB: I think that's true, but only up to a point. Even as folks use pirated software, some are beginning to see the limitations. Linux, FreeBSD, and a host of other open source OSes are giving Pinoys the creative outlet they need to make a difference.

  6. Coolness! Well, I guess this somewhat proves that Ubuntu is indeed ready for the grandmother's desktop :P

    Anyhow, way to go! =)