Grandma’s Linux Computer Arrives

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Yesterday afternoon, my dog Gala went nuts barking.  It was one of her nemesis’: The FedEx Lady.  She was carrying a rather large box.

As a side note, the FedEx lady works extremely hard and is very friendly.  She’s also over 50 years old.  She’s often driving some sort of backup truck so FedEx may be giving her some sort of broken down truck to drive normally.  I can’t believe that she’s doing this sort of physically demanding job like being a FedEx driver.  But there she is, day after day, driving her truck and getting the job done.  Hats off to her.

So later that night, I crack open the box and pull out the new Dell Ubuntu machine.  This is a Dell Inspiron 530, N-series.  The box is pretty stylish compared to what was offered just a year ago.  It’s white on the sides with a silver curved front.   Unfortunately, someone made the decision to put the serial number stick on the front.  There’s another serial number on the top which is okay.  But the one on the front ruins the entire look, partly because it is crooked but mostly because it’s a sticker with a bar code and serial number on it.

This machine is quiet too.  I have to put my ear up to it to hear the soft fan noise.   Of course, I’m hearing the rushing noise of my other (much older) machines but still … very quiet.  The CD drawer feels cheap, but I bought a cheap machine. The CD/DVD won’t get much use over the years.  There are four USB ports on the front and they are easy to get to.  Nice.  Gone are the serial and parallel ports.  All that’s left is USB ports, the VGA ports, and the sound card jacks.  I wonder when the VGA ports are finally going to go away?

Ubuntu 7.04 comes right up.  This is my first time taking it for a spin in a couple of revs.  Fairly nice but I prefer my KDE on MEPIS.  The menu is sparse which is going to be good for my parents.

More on the configuration of the computer later.  I’m off to purchase a PCI modem.  Modem wasn’t available during the purchase process from Dell.  I’m going to stop in at Office Depot.  They carry a Hawking modem that supposedly has Linux drivers for about $15.  I hope they have it in stock.  Perhaps I should call before I go.

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