El Paso, 1975; soundboard recording uploaded by MyNameIsKojak.
Day: March 6, 2013
Linux is Ready for Your Dad
Well, maybe not your dad. But mine, at least.
My dad's in town -- I'm getting married, you see -- and asked me if I could get him a computer to use while he's here.
All I had lying around was an ancient Dell Dimension 8230. I suck Win7/32 on it.
And then found out that the audio didn't work. For Dad that was a deal-breaker.
I opened up the box (and was surprised not to get a cloud of dust to the face -- I don't remember blowing it out, but I must have, and fairly recently) and determined that the sound card is a Creative SB Live, model number CT4780. And that there's no Windows Vista/7 support for it.
I found a third party driver at kxproject.com, but it hadn't been updated since 2009 -- and didn't work either.
So at this point I asked my dad if he wanted me to install Windows XP on his computer, and probably wait the better part of 2 days for all the patches to download and install, or if he'd rather I put Linux on it. He said to give Linux a shot. (He'd used it for a little while at home when his Win7 installation was giving him trouble and a friend installed it for him.)
I settled on Xubuntu for a machine of that vintage. The install was quick, it had a checkbox for non-free software (including Flash and MP3 support), and it seems to support all the hardware out of the box -- including the sound card. And it runs faster than Win7 did.
Now, my dad's not a gamer. He doesn't even use Office. All he needs is a browser and Flash.
Which is of course true of an increasing number of users -- hell, Google's selling a $1300 laptop that just runs a browser. So it's not like this is a major bombshell or anything -- but it's still an interesting shift, no?