Friday, June 08, 2012

More converts to Linux - Part 2

My sister-in-law dropped off her daughter's tower machine for a rebuild.  The first thing they asked for is for me to wipe the drive and to install Linux on the machine.  They don't even want a dual-boot machine, but, pure Linux!  It seems that they are tired of the viruses/trojans on windows and the A/V software is really slowing down their machine.  I know Linux isn't perfect, but, is a lot more secure by default and I will be turning on all of the various options to harden the machine as much as possible.  I also will build normal user accounts that cannot add/change/delete programs from the system and then show them how to use the special account with root priviliges for when they have to update the system.

I will be re-imaging the machine to PCLINUX and installing Libre Office, Games and educational packages for her as they wanted a fully loaded machine to do office work, games and allow the kids to 'play' with some of the free educational packages that comes with the distro.

Cutting Cable and going web for TV

We have cut our cable TV as the prices our cable provider charges keep going up and the quality of what is available in my not-so-humble opinion is going down.  Our cable provider told us they are moving a number of channels to digital and if we want to get them we must rent a digital converter.  The problem is that most of the shows are repeats and in a 30 minute show there is about 10+ minutes of commercials.

I am now in the process of building and testing a Linux box that will replace what cable TV offered us.  I am finding a number of sites that offer streaming movies for free and they are legal!  When I was searching for sites I found a lot of them offering movies, but, seeing the titles I know that they were pirated and I will not support those sites.  I want to find sites that offer legit movies for preferably free (or if they are in Canada a minimal charge).  The sites I did find even offer children show shows so our grandkids will have educational shows when they visit us.

The money I am saving will be used to buy DVDs to build up our movie library.  The bonus is that we pick the day and time of movies and can pause them if we need to restock on munchies or take a break.

The only thing I have had to buy is a wireless network card ( a DLINK USB card).  On my first test using PCLINUX it detected the card, found our network and prompted me to enter our key in to allow access to the network. 

The next test is to move the machine down into the living room, hook it up and run the machine.  I haven't decided if we will be using Firefox or Chrome for the browser stuff, but, I am not picky there as they both worked well in the test.