Thursday, September 16, 2010

Mummy dearest and my SLED 11 SP1

My 62 year old and Chinese educated mother used my Thinkpad T61p running SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop 11 SP1 the other day. Her trusty (ie old) PC running Windows & MS Office opted for early retirement while she was half-way through creating a powerpoint presentation for her Chinese Poetry Club.

Desperate to complete her presentation, she asked if she could use the computers at my place... I told her I do not have Windows but if she was open, she could still get her presentation done on a slightly different program and interface.

I powered up SLED 11 SP1, plugged in her USB thumbdrive and opened up her Chinese poetry presentation in OpenOffice v3.2.1. Next, I showed her how to use SCIM for Chinese character input (toggle via Ctrl-Space & HanYu PinYin input). Left her to it for an hour and she successfully completed her assignment, saved it in PPT format and went home. I did warn her that her presentation may not be 100% WYSIWYG when opened on a Windows PC at her club meeting. *fingers crossed*

My mum came back the next evening to add a few more slides and told me (not surprisingly) that the slides did not turn out 100% as planned but she was resourceful enough to copy-n-paste (what a wonderful invention) the characters from the PPT created in OpenOffice and merge it with a PPT created in MS Office. She even managed to get me off my lazy bum and help create transparency effect (using GIMP) for one of her mid-autumn backgrounds used in the presentation.

Wishing her all the best for that final presentation this evening. I'm so proud of her because:
  1. She only picked up basic English and basic Windows & MS Office usage a few years ago at around 50+ years of age.
  2. She is fearless... there are many people half her age who wouldn't even touch a keyboard with a non-Windows screen in front of them.
  3. She is adaptable... man, how many people can use cut-n-paste effectively?
Maybe... just maybe... there is still a glimmer of hope for that elusive "Year of the Linux Desktop"... nah!

1 comment:

  1. hey nice post..hats off to her spirit...
    i know many people who are so much scared of even touching the if it is suffering from some communicable disease..
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