[Tfug] Ideas for the ultimate "Grandma Millie" distro

bryann brymelvin at melvinart.com
Thu Feb 1 16:59:37 MST 2007

> Date: Thu, 01 Feb 2007 00:55:02 -0700
> From: Bry Paula Melvin <brymelvin at melvinart.com>
> Subject: Re: [Tfug] Ideas for the ultimate "Grandma Millie" distro
> To: tfug at tfug.org
> Message-ID: <1170316503.30425.60.camel at localhost>
> Content-Type: text/plain
> Well I'm not the typical grandma I suppose, being a retired aerospace
> engineer....but
> I don't waste money on the latest machine...still using some p3s ans
> G3s.
> I run Dapper plus crossover.
> I would also consider Parallels..
> And  things will soon be better for Grandmas on dapper with Click nrun
> (linspire's tool) being available for dapper.
> Bryann
> ------------------------------
> Message: 4
> Date: Thu, 1 Feb 2007 12:01:33 -0600
> From: "Tim Ottinger" <tottinge at gmail.com>
> Subject: Re: [Tfug] Ideas for the ultimate "Grandma Millie" distro
> To: "Tucson Free Unix Group" <tfug at tfug.org>
> Message-ID:
> 	<a975a1ef0702011001j56741e98r881d15ff5089207e at mail.gmail.com>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=ISO-8859-1; format=flowed
> So is synaptic troublesome?  What windows apps would you consider
> Parallels/Crossover for?
> Have you tried the XFCE window manager and do you find it sufficient?
XFCE is inadequate for me for working although I DO have it installed on
the old p1 I use for a file/backup server/ It IS adequate for an
occasionally used Graphical Interface. It probably would be OK for
browsing and email...but useless if you intend to install windows apps
too. Crossover takes care of menus with Gnome or KDE.

XFCE doesn't automatically pick menu items for crossover and wine etc
and on 606 doesn't work worth (insert word here) for smb networking.
FWIW I am not particulary crazy about KDE either, I Usually run KDE apps
from GNOME, Until migrating to Linux preferred OS/2 over windows however
so Gnome is more familiar than KDE. I used Gnome on OS/2 along with
XFree86 and Enlightenment. ODIN (wine equivalent)etc

I use Crossover 5or 6 and wine for a number of apps to include MS Office
97 which I occasionally need, Serif Page Plus Publisher, Corel Draw 9,
Serif Draw plus. IE6, Serif Photo Plus, 3D Plus , and Graphics Plus.
I also have OOo2.1 for windows in Crossover, this allows me to have an
up to date Office Suite and have ole functions with the win32 Graphics
apps I use.

I use ie6 plus windows media player9 and firefox2 (for win) plus
Realplayer 10 for streaming radio and news videos.

Paralells would give me the ability to use later versions of the
Graphics apps I use. Some of these sit on a shelf because I won't spend
money on XP (Crossover chokes bad on later Corel Suites etc) (Yes I know
NVU Quantaplus GIMP Scribus etc exist, but they don't work very well
with what I have for years of Graphics files, and are missing MANY of
the features of the aforementioned apps and none support the pantone®
color system AFAIK). It would also let me use all the conversion
features of CorelSuite etc which crash Crossover/wine. Parallels would
also be similiar to the virtualization I had in OS/2 with OS/2 X11 win32
and win16 apps all running at the same time on the same machine.

FWIW I do a lot of this simply because there isn't a print shop in the
entire county that can make prints of my artwork and paintings without
screwing them up...So I do it myself.

Synaptic is not troublesome,actually adept and aptitude seem to me to be
though,  however for your Grandma Millie scenario I think Linspire's one
place for everything would be a plus...no adding Scribus Nerolinux,(K3B
is prettier when it works  and gnomebaker is junk; nerolinux ...just
works) Wine etc etc repositories would be necessary,,,just adding the
Click'n Run should do the trick. Solves the roylaty problem with Codecs
too just guy them from Linpire  install...it works. When grandma want's
to see a CNN video which could be done in w98 she wants it to be able to
work in a NEW operating system without having to google, cut and paste
cli stuff from a guide/forum and then maybe it might work...and may or
may not be legal. (last I checked plf repositories for ubuntu give a

I would think the mactel machines are potentially the perfect. "Do
whatever you want with whatever software you need solution" 

Maybe however not worth the cost,  I manage to do that fine with lower
cost machines. networked. I often use Coreldraw for windows when I'm on
my ibook through wireless and XDCMP to a pc with Ununtu and Crossover.

One drawback is I have had to compile versions of Sane Xsane HPLIP and
Gutenprint, Connextant modem drivers and Aiptek Tablet drivers to get
all my hardware ...typical walmart, Compusa etc items working under

For even Ubuntu(or other distro) to be usefull for the "grandmas" in
General there needs to be an effort to make sure things like HPILP work
with the current hardware that you might buy at Walmart etc. short
support versions like edgy feisty etc are useless. Dapper for example
didn't support a late enough version of HPILP to support the mass
produced HP all in ones that walmart sells....they would print but not

Although I do it with Ubuntu I still say the ultimate granny machine
currently would be a new mac with parallels XP and OSx (with x11)

actually OSX on a surplus G4 or G5 would probably be OK too 

The ideal Granny distro needs to do email browsing banking ordering on
the internet and be able to handle printers scanners all in ones etc
from Wally World OUT OF THE BOX. And produce perfect grandkid photos.


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