Granny computer

So, my mother-in-law is getting a computer, and I’m going to set it up.  The only details I have is that it is currently running windows 98 and it’s coming from Prince George.  Oh, I also know that she will only be using dial-up to connect to the internet.  She’s just using it to check her email and surf the web.  I’m thinking that if the computer comes with a half decent modem (not a winmodem) I might try a live Linux CD (with the option of running it from the HD should it be suitable).  It could possibly be easier for her.  Something simple, with huge icons like “click here for email”.  Has anyone done something like this before?  Advice (other than get a mac)?  Noboubt I’ll be called at the first sign of trouble so I too want her to have something easy as I don’t want to be going over there every day.  Two or three time a year is plenty!

If you’re going to keep windows on it, see how much RAM it has – you may be able to install XP on it.

Replace Internet Explorer with Firefox - but put the big “E” icon on Firefox – some people think that “E” is the internet.  You can’t convince them otherwise.

Get rid of outlook express and replace it with thunderbird for e-mail.

Get a self-updating virus scanner (such as ).

If the computer isn’t capable of running XP, I doubt it will run a modern full linux distro.  If that’s the case, then you’re stuck with the distros that aren’t so user friendly.

I think mig is saying don’t put linux on a machine for some one else. That is going to be hell.

Windows 98 on it i can bet it wont run windows xp.

Second the motion. Re/re Win98 jam in all the updates and repoint the “e” to Firefox 2.
You’re asking for a world of pain if you do anything else.
Or (I can see the horror) Windows ME with system restore disabled and the options/cabs/install folder made unwriteable. That will at least find the drivers and run USB worth a shit.

I have a craptop running XP – Celeron 300 with 128megs of RAM.  It works fine, with wireless card and all.

But it’s slow.

Tried a whole bunch of linux distros on it, none were close to useable (by a 12-year old or a grandmother) with those specs.

I can’t believe I’m defending Windows.

AH OH!!!

[original attachment deleted after 2 years]

Slackware would run on that, but, you wouldn’t be able to have a nice shiny GUI though.  Flux, Blackbox would work, but, it would still probably go into swap.  Yeah, 192 or 256 MB RAM is my bare minimum for Linux.

Yup, I ran slackware and even some of the tiny distros – DSLinux, etc. 

But none of them supported the wifi card.  I gave up after an hour or two.

Eep…so the only thing you can do is run…windows…the horror. :astonished:
Can you swap in a cheap wifi card that is supported?