Last time I left you, I had helped my grandmother get accustomed to some of Firefox's great features and how to use the AOL web-mail interface. Well it has been a few months since then and I was finally able to get my grandmother to, "take the plunge!" We agreed that she would buy a new computer from me and if she did not like it, I would install Windows on it instead. I figured fair enough and went to work.

The Hardware

First things first, it's 2008 not 2001, 512MB of RAM just isn't going to cut it. Fortunately for her, the mother board on my Desktop just died. I figured I could salvage the ram and CPU from this to get a cost reduction on the project. I then headed down to the local computer hardware store (my first real visit actually) and found they actually had a AMD (Socket 939) board in stock that was relatively new. It was also a mini-ATX with built in nvidia graphics. Perfect for her since the most graphic intensive thing she does is AOL games. I also bough some generic black and silver case with a 300 watt power-supply to go with it. Now that I had all my parts together I headed home, on the way thinking of which distro to choose.

The Software

I though I could go with Ubuntu just for the sake of ease of use. I changed my mind as I didn't want to spend too much time in post install, grabbing codecs and stuff since I already had to customize it. I decided to use LinuxMint. I get the Ubuntu goodness with the sexyness mintyness of LinuxMint.

After install and updates, I went to work making sure she would be good to go when I left the computer with her. I added icon links to her AOL mail and to Wikipedia right on her desktop. I also included OO.o Writer, Pidgin, and Firefox. To make it easier on her, I renamed all the icons. Firefox became "Internet," Pidgin became "Buddy List" and the link to her AOL email became "Email." All very zen like! I then remembered how she liked to play some basic games. So I threw icons on the desktop for Solitaire, and Mahjong, and Hearts, and Crazy 8's. This way I knew she would be entertained even when her Internet connection goes down.

First Impressions

Bringing it over to her house she was impressed with how good the generic $35 case looked. After plugging it in, and hooking it up she was pleased with the blue and green butterfly background as well as the green black and blue theme throughout the system.

After hooking it up to her huge 22" wide screen LCD, I realized that she would never be able to read anything! I didn't want to mess with the DPI or the resolution so instead I just thanked the developers of Gnomethat they provided an easy way to change all the font sizes for the entire system! After setting everything to somewhere around 16pt font, she was still having trouble reading her email and web pages. Digging around Firefox, I was able to change the minimum font size to 16pt. Although I would not recommend this for every day use since it messes with a lot of CSS boxes and such, it works for her and that's the most important part.

Lets check back in in a few more weeks to see how she is coming along!