Debian Stable -
Perfect for Inexperienced Computer Users
William M. McGee
Recently, I had the need to help my in-laws find a solution to their computer problems. They are in their early 80's, and have almost no knowledge about computers, how to use them, or how to maintain them. Their computer is a few years old, but severely under-powered for the Windows operating system it was trying to run. They only use their computer for the basics - email, internet, letters, games, and a contact list. Yet, they were having daily computer issues due to the slowness of the system, and the constant system and anti-virus updates that they didn't know how to handle. The issues were severe enough that the computer had become practically unusable.
They considered buying a new computer, but the expenditure just didn't seem justified based on their needs. They had become emotionally tied to two legacy Windows applications, so a solution would need to allow them to continue using those applications. My first thought was that a Linux distribution that was supposed to be easier to use than others would be a good solution for them. So, I began researching Linux distributions online for the ones rated by various experts as the easiest to use. I selected four or five distributions, downloaded them, installed them on an old computer, and tried them out. I liked a lot of them, but my choice was Debian Stable (Lenny). The only downside of Debian Stable is that installation is a little slow and requires a little knowledge, although knowledge requirements are truly minimal.
It has only been a few weeks since I installed Lenny on their computer, but their computer issues seem to be totally resolved. Based on their experience, I believe that Debian Stable could be the perfect operating system for inexperienced computer users. Here's why:
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