[Semibug] OS choice for computer illiterate family members?

Mark Moellering markmoellering at psyberation.com
Mon May 22 13:59:10 EDT 2023

While I love OpenBSD and FreeBSD for servers, etc, I actually use 
(linux) Mint on my personal PC.

The biggest thing for me is being able to insert a USB thumb drive, and 
have it auto-mount and appear on the desktop, and other little things 
like that, that need some sort of manual hand-holding when last I used 
FreeBSD as a desktop.

I chose Mint because the interface was , to me, the easiest and it had a 
lot more drivers etc. than Debian.

My 2 cents.  If FreeBSD, et. al. has been updated to fix USB 
autoloading, etc. I would love to hear about it.

-- Mark

On 5/18/23 01:59, Kyle Willett wrote:
> So I had meant to ask this question after the talk on Tuesday night 
> but was enjoying listening to and learning from everyone else that I 
> failed to remember to ask!
> So, I'm sure many of you can relate, being the computer nerd in the 
> family means you are tech support for the extended family and their 
> friends. Honestly I don't mind it that much and if I can help my 
> family out it feels good.
> In 2014 when Windows XP went EOL I with some twisting of the arms got 
> my parents each from XP to Xubuntu (Ubuntu Linux LTS with Xfce), I 
> switched my computer to Win 7 and FreeBSD dual boot, but I had an 
> uncle who refused to upgrade.
> It's now been a decade and websites just don't work with win XP 
> anymore. Even though I've put an anti Ransomware and anti virus on it 
> he struggles with the fundamental fact that HTML 5 videos don't work, 
> and for web browsers you are stuck with an old LTS Firefox (I had to 
> force him to stop using the ie that came with service pack 3 in XP). 
> I've just about got him convinced to upgrade the OS.
> Now for my questions, I have two.
> 1) What OS would you recommend for the computer novice that is safe 
> and secure? I'm leaning towards ChromeOS Flex because it auto updates, 
> runs everything in a chroot jail, and is virtually idiot proof! I've 
> asked around on Reddit and his AMD Kabini is well supported by flex 
> but I don't know for how long, tied for second choice is Xubuntu like 
> I do for mom and dad but I'm hesitant to pull that trigger because I 
> know he will never update it and I don't want to have to run over to 
> apply updated every visit to town! (I would of course run the updates 
> from LTS to LTS). Tied for second is OpenBSD -stable. It has had two 
> remotely executable bugs since it's founding in the 90s. Slap xfce4 on 
> there, instsll Firefox and Libra office or Google docs and good to go 
> even if he doesn't patch the software because OpenBSD is that secure. 
> How secure though is say Firefox or chromium if you don't patch the 
> versions for 1 year?
> 2) It has recently come to my attention that when Xubuntu prompts my 
> mom for updates she closes the dialog box not wanting to change 
> anything on her computer. :Facepalm:. Should I look at moving her to 
> OpenBSD too? Is the fact that the Ubuntu spins use snaps now keeping 
> her safe (because for those who don't know snaps auto update 
> themselves). My mom's case is a bit different because she does online 
> banking and I've got her hooked on some open source games. My uncle 
> literary just browses the Internet and does word docs and Excell sheets.
> Thanks in advance guys! Really appreciate this group!
> Kyle Willett
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