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gerard82
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 30, 2012 5:56 pm    Post subject: Well what do you know Reply with quote

My wife has an Acer Extensa laptop on which I installed Gentoo (of course).
The hardware seems flaky but I haven't been able to find the problem.
Anyway because of my age I was getting nervous:what if I die?
No one around with Linux knowledge,let alone Gentoo.
And she's quite bit younger than I am.
So we considered an Apple laptop,our eldest grandson has one.
At the same time I got a phone call from a brother in law who's Windows computer refused to go on the internet.
He also considered trying a less virus prone OS.
Then I remembered that some years back I read about a pc called "simpc" easy enough for seniors and virusfree.
I googled and found them.Sim stands for secure internet machines,not for simple.
Browsing their site I came across this:
http://www.simpc.nl/sim/open-source-software
Sorry it's in Dutch but you can see that they use Gentoo.
Gerard.
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NeddySeagoon
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 30, 2012 7:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

gerard82,

Hmm ... Open Office, kernel-2.6

I hope its just the website thats out of date. I didn't run the site through google translate. Those are just the things that stood out.
Don't start planning for your death - plan to live.
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gerard82
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 30, 2012 8:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

NeddySeagoon,
Of course I hope to live a lot longer but at 85...
It's like what you have in your sig about harddrives.

I think they don't update all the content on their site.
But OO is good enough.It will only be used to open .pps files she gets in her emails.
Thanks for the thoughts though.
Gerard.
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To install Gentoo I use sysrescuecd.Based on Gentoo,has firefox to browse Gentoo docs and mc to browse (and edit) files.
The same disk can be used for 32 and 64 bit installs.
You can follow the Handbook verbatim.
http://www.sysresccd.org/Download
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steveL
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 31, 2012 9:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

PC-BSD looks nice to me, for people who aren't that up with computers.

Or get them used to reinstalling ubuntu every 6 months (if you set up the machines so that at least /home is on a separate partition.) My personal favourite binary distro was Mandrake/Mandriva, which I think changed name again recently. diskdrake et al are just lovely to work with (I didn't even realise they were gtk-based, til I looked at the code many years later on Gentoo.)

I don't think a Gentoo-based machine is a good idea if no-one will be able to deal with the occasional breakage, which is usually just config changes, but can be a machine not booting and require command-line familiarity, and knowledge of how and where things are setup, which people start to acquire in the install.

I guess you could take your grandson thru an install and be on hand to help him maintain it, if he's willing to learn. After all, it would be very useful knowledge to have, if he's enthusiastic about computers. If not, make sure he's familiar with installing and reinstalling whatever distro you decide on (make it his job to do the reinstalls.)
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gerard82
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 31, 2012 10:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the suggestions SteveL.
My grandson is studying applied physics at the university.
He lives about 100 miles from us and doesn't own a car.
He could help by phone for Apple that's about all.
This simpc is maintained by the people that produce it by ssh.
There's a monthly fee of €12.50 involved which is affordable.
That's why I think it's the best solution.
Also it comes with a 3 year warranty and a price of € 739.
Gerard.
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To install Gentoo I use sysrescuecd.Based on Gentoo,has firefox to browse Gentoo docs and mc to browse (and edit) files.
The same disk can be used for 32 and 64 bit installs.
You can follow the Handbook verbatim.
http://www.sysresccd.org/Download
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gerard82
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 20, 2012 4:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

We decided to buy one.
Today one of their technicians came to install it.
I must say I'm really impressed!
I would never buy one for myself but it's target group won't have any problems learning to use it.
It has a bunch of icons for different programs plus an icon with a question mark.
When you click one of the icons and want to know how to use the program you click the ? and then a short movie will explain it.
Of course they have a helpdesk which you can sent an email to or phone in case you still have a problem.
In short this is "what the doctor ordered".
And a lot cheaper than Apple.
Gerard.
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To install Gentoo I use sysrescuecd.Based on Gentoo,has firefox to browse Gentoo docs and mc to browse (and edit) files.
The same disk can be used for 32 and 64 bit installs.
You can follow the Handbook verbatim.
http://www.sysresccd.org/Download
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Fitzcarraldo
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 20, 2012 7:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If the SimPC machine is Gentoo-based, how does the supplier handle updates to the kernel and to all other packages? Given the target audience and the bespoke GUI front-end, is their philosophy that the machine is never updated?
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gerard82
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 20, 2012 7:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

@Fitzcarraldo,
No possibility to install software.
These machines are "thin clients" that are regularly updated by the company through ssh I think.
They don't work w/o an internet connection.
Besides the target audience (people my age) usually have no need for the latest and greatest.
My wife only wants email and a browser to google.
She might contact relatives and friends in other countries with Skype later.
If you read my first post you'll know why we bought this laptop.
Gerard.
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To install Gentoo I use sysrescuecd.Based on Gentoo,has firefox to browse Gentoo docs and mc to browse (and edit) files.
The same disk can be used for 32 and 64 bit installs.
You can follow the Handbook verbatim.
http://www.sysresccd.org/Download
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chithanh
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 21, 2012 1:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

A possibly cheaper alternative would be a Chromebook. It is based on Gentoo as well, has automatic updates and all your data is backed up into the cloud. So if it breaks or is lost, you can just replace it with another one and continue to work.

Skype on Chromebooks is currently not officially supported though.
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gerard82
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 21, 2012 9:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

@chithanh,
Too small screen.
This one has a 17 in screen.
Besides what organisation will take care of support?
Support in the future was the main reason to go to Simpc.
Gerard.
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To install Gentoo I use sysrescuecd.Based on Gentoo,has firefox to browse Gentoo docs and mc to browse (and edit) files.
The same disk can be used for 32 and 64 bit installs.
You can follow the Handbook verbatim.
http://www.sysresccd.org/Download
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Martux
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 22, 2012 5:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Interesting discussion :)
@gerard82: You are 85 and still a Gentoo-nerd? I love that, awesome.
Haha, sorry completely OT, I just wanted to say that.
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gerard82
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 22, 2012 10:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well Martux,
"Use it or loose it".
And I'd rather not loose it.
Gerard.
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To install Gentoo I use sysrescuecd.Based on Gentoo,has firefox to browse Gentoo docs and mc to browse (and edit) files.
The same disk can be used for 32 and 64 bit installs.
You can follow the Handbook verbatim.
http://www.sysresccd.org/Download
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Martux
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 23, 2012 1:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, that's the spirit, indeed.
Well, I just checked the website and must say that I find it an amazing idea.
I work professionally with senior citizens, selling helping tools and I know a lot of elderly people who would like to use a computer but are afraid of the complexity. This is a good solution. Just wondering if this company has plans to expand to Germany as well.
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Fitzcarraldo
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 23, 2012 3:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I bet there is a company in Germany that sells customised computers targeted at senior citizens. Such companies exist in various countries. I remember a report in 2009 on the BBC News in the UK about SimplicITy, a UK company that supplies such computers in the UK (using Mint Linux, in that case), and a quick search on the Web turns up similar companies in the US and other countries.
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gerard82
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 23, 2012 11:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

@Martux,
I don't know the exact relation between Simpc and KPN but on their site you see the KPN logo.
KPN is the privatised telephone company of the Netherlands.
I know they also have partners/affiliates in the rest of Europe.
They are the largest IP here.
You are however free to choose your own provider to use a Simpc.
Help however is provided by the Simpc company,not by KPN.
I guess all that's needed is translating into German and setting up a helpdesk.
Might be an opportunity for someone in your country.
My wife is very pleased with it;she likes it better than the Acer lappy.

@Fitzcarraldo
I bet Simpc used Gentoo because of it's flexibility.

Gerard
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To install Gentoo I use sysrescuecd.Based on Gentoo,has firefox to browse Gentoo docs and mc to browse (and edit) files.
The same disk can be used for 32 and 64 bit installs.
You can follow the Handbook verbatim.
http://www.sysresccd.org/Download
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cach0rr0
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 23, 2012 9:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Martux wrote:

@gerard82: You are 85 and still a Gentoo-nerd? I love that, awesome.


++

makes me smile. Especially seeing him run circles around other younger users who grew up with computers.
"when I was your age, the only computer we had was the ENIAC. So, stop complaining about Portage, and read the damn manual!"
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Hypnos
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 24, 2012 5:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Real hackers use vacuum tubes.
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NeddySeagoon
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 24, 2012 1:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hypnos wrote:
Real hackers use vacuum tubes.


There is a working colossus in the UK.
Its well worth a visit but allow two days.
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John R. Graham
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 24, 2012 1:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow, I didn't know that! I've seen pieces of ENIAC and Whirlwind at the Smithsonian, but that's definitely worth planning for a side trip on my next visit.

Edit: And it's at Bletchley Park. How appropriate. :D

- John
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Randy Andy
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 24, 2012 1:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Martux wrote:
Interesting discussion :)
@gerard82: You are 85 and still a Gentoo-nerd? I love that, awesome.


+1

Respect for this, gerad85 :wink:

Amongst others, I'm active in the TroLug http://www.trolug.de/doku.php
We reside in the rooms of the AWO http://www.awo.org/ in Troisdorf, so it's no wonder that lots of older people are regular there, at our monthly meeting.
I guess Troisdorf is known to some of you, cause its near to the yearly FROSCON http://www.froscon.de/en/home/

Although some are well experienced in Linux in the meantime, none of them are using Gentoo.
Probably cause they haven't time to wait for compiling results, cause pensioners are typically very impatient. :wink:

One of them tried out to install Gentoo, but he fails and was very confused by it's concept, although I spent lots of time of supporting him by mail. :roll:
He doesn't follow my hint to register in this forum for additional/different help.

Interesting link that you gave to us, regarding the gentoo based SimPC, cause the Netherlands are quite near to me.

Furthermore a good time to you and all of the gentoo geeks around the world.

Best regards, Andy.
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gerard82
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 24, 2012 3:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for all the comments.
Yes I am from the electronics tube era.
Reminiscing about that is sometimes fun.
I witnessed the replacement of tubes by transistors and integrated circuits.
I started my working life as a radio repair man.
Later got into 2-way radio.
And then into process control by both electronic and pneumatic instruments.
This was all analogue.
When I was 50 I had to learn digital.
I still remember how hard it was to grasp that.
What made me understand how it operated was a diagram of a processor which showed the clock pulses and opening and closing of gates.
(Hope that's the correct terminology )
During military service as a draftee I attended radar school where you learn about the "T/R" switch which is a simple gate.
I still remembered that.
I wrote quite a few PLC programs and some assembler for the processor of the AppleII.
If you wonder about pneumatic process instruments,they are still being produced.
And they're capable of quite a bit of calculations.Square root extraction is the most used (for flow meters).

Gerard.
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The same disk can be used for 32 and 64 bit installs.
You can follow the Handbook verbatim.
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Martux
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 02, 2013 11:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi!
Hope everyone had a good start into the new year. I have no idea why I didn't get informed about the last two posts in this thread. Basically I *love* the idea of the SIM PC. Just contacted the company if the have interest in promoting it in Germany as well. Hope they reply. Thanks gerard82 for the inspiration. Hope you have plenty of stuff to learn ahead. Hacking android is also fun... 8)

Marcus
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drhouse123
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 13, 2013 7:28 am    Post subject: Re: Well what do you know Reply with quote

gerard82 wrote:
My wife has an Acer Extensa laptop on which I installed Gentoo (of course).
The hardware seems flaky but I haven't been able to find the problem.
Anyway because of my age I was getting nervous:what if I die?
No one around with Linux knowledge,let alone Gentoo.
And she's quite bit younger than I am.


Hi, Gerard. How long you are using Gentoo?

I think, from 2000 for now time... If it's true, so it will be very respect average :)
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gerard82
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 13, 2013 2:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi drhouse123,
I started using Gentoo December 2003.(Gentoo-1.4)
Joined the forum a month later.
Before that I used to buy cd's with Linux distro's on it.
Slackware,RedHat,Suse and others.
IMO Gentoo beats them all,leanness,configurability,well documented,terrific forum.
Stopped using Windows about the time XP came out.
Gerard.
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To install Gentoo I use sysrescuecd.Based on Gentoo,has firefox to browse Gentoo docs and mc to browse (and edit) files.
The same disk can be used for 32 and 64 bit installs.
You can follow the Handbook verbatim.
http://www.sysresccd.org/Download
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 13, 2013 7:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

incredible!!

that's makes me think about elder residence not boring any more.
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