Switched Another One To Linux
I got the call at work. Someone's computer broke again. This was the fourth or fifth time that I've had this woman's computer. The last time was a hardware failure (the tower smelled like a dirty ashtray, so tobacco tar is probably what finally seized up something or other finally) and she bought a new computer. The new computer had Windows 8 though, which I knew would frighten them. In addition, their printer would not work with the new operating system. So I threw on a program I found called Classic Shell ( http://www.classicshell.net/ if your interested — it's free and open source ) which turned the much hated Windows 8 desktop into something familiar looking enough for her to get by, and she bought a Canon Pixma MG2220 that came with Windows 8 drivers ( full story here ).
The Remote Control Scam
The computer landed at my house again because of a crooked tech support scam. Someone called and told her that her computer was going to explode or something if she didn't let him fix it over the phone right that moment. She let him talk her through installing some sort of VNC program, watched him control her computer for a while and called me a day or two later to tell me about it. I have no idea who it was or what exactly they did (she wasn't much help in this department), but I didn't trust the computer, any of her user profile, or any kind of file in her Documents folder that could hold some sort of malicious code. It would require a wipe and reinstall, and she was going to lose some stuff.
The Switch From Windows 8 To Linux
As I said, this is her fourth or fifth trip to me. I loathe Windows, and hate fixing it. I feel bad for folks who have been taken for a ride in the past, and try to be accomodating to folks who had me working on their computers before I found Linux ( and realized that the frustration of fixing and maintaining Windows machines is not really necessary ). But I hit a wall after so many trips, and give folks a choice. Try this ( Linux ) and see how it goes. If they like it, great. Any calls I get henceforth will be stupid little five minute fixes ( or mini tutorals ) and are easy to deal with. If they don't like it, I throw Windows back on and give them the name of a Windows guy I trust. No hard feelings, but I'd rather focus my time and energy on things like this blog.
It's been nearly a week, and I've not heard a peep. I did ask how things were going when I stopped in a couple of days later to set up a printer, and was told essentially that everything was hunky dorey. YAY!