On Thu, 18 Dec 2008, Patrick Baldwin wrote:
Usually I'm asking questions for work related things. This one is
more personal. My father has this tendency to end up wrecking his
computer if he uses the Internet much. Computers are basically magic
boxes to him, so education is of limited usefulness here.
I'm thinking I might be best of trying to built him a really
locked-down, high security box, almost an Internet appliance. All he
really does is use the Web, and a little light word processing.
What do people think of FreeBSD as the base OS for this idea?
A FreeBSD-based XFCE system has worked well for relatives. Firefox for
web, Thunderbird for email, other stuff installed but they don't use it.
Proprietary stuff like Flash, Acrobat Reader, Microsoft-only
"extensions" can prevent using certain web sites. Flashblock helps,
doing it again I'll use evince for PDF support.
Unintended user modifications, like dragging a Thunderbird bar off the
screen. Naturally, not only did they not know they were doing that,
they swore they didn't do it. Hard to debug over the phone when they
must use dialup and have only one phone line.
"I can't believe it's not Windows" syndrome: the ISP sent a "you have a
Windows-only virus" email; I didn't think to have them save it for humor
value. The same ISP has broken DHCP which provides the wrong addresses
for DNS servers. Works somehow on Windows, had to be manually set on
It might be nice to have a login script that restores user settings
With a broadband connection, it would be pretty easy to support.
-Warren Block * Rapid City, South Dakota USA
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