[Linux-aus] Open Source for Seniors

Bret Busby bret at busby.net
Sun Feb 4 07:06:02 UTC 2007

On Sat, 3 Feb 2007, Andrew Swinn wrote:

> I have been contacted by the Clubs Development Officer of the Australian
> Seniors Computer Clubs Association in regards to the possibility of setting
> up some sort of presence at a soon to be held expo. The ASCCA are an
> association providing support to many computing clubs throughout Australia.
> They hold an expo every year as part of Seniors Week and this year they are
> holding it in Dubbo.
> So being in Dubbo I have been asked if I could setup something about Linux and
> Open Source Software and perhaps provide a 30 min seminar on the topic.
> Seniors Week is in the middle of March so I don't have that long to organise
> things, but first stop is this mailing list to ask for suggestions.
> Being that this is senior focused there is really no room for tech talk so I
> am wondering what else is there? I am looking for suggestions for the best
> approach to this sort of thing. What topics to discuss, how to discuss them
> etc.
> Any suggestions are more than welcome, and if anyone would like to get
> involved then be sure to let me know.
> Regards,
> Andrew Swinn

How about demonstrating a relatively simple to use distribution of 
Linux, like Ubuntu, something like turning on the computer, logging in, 
and running some relatively commonly used software, and, depending on 
the time and resources, possibly showing that updates can be performed 
without having to reboot the computer (other than for a kernel update, 
I think)?

Something like a couple of the relatively mainstream web browsers - 
Firefox, Opera, konqueror (to show that there is a choice, and, how easy 
they are to use), some of the email applications - PINE (for one that is 
text-based), Thunderbird, Evolution (as a comparison to Outlook), gmail, 
kmail, the well-known (amongst the Linux community) office suite, Open 
Office, as a free replacement for MS Office and MS Works, and, as oldies 
who use computers may be interested in genealogy, GRAMPS.

Demonstrating these, showing how (relatively) easy they are to use, and 
emphasising 1) that they are free, and 2) that they do NOT need the 
latest, most powerful computer to run them, and can be run on a 
reasonable used computer, could be quite enlightening. Also, stressing 
that free support can be available through both local Linux User Groups, 
and, mailing lists for individual applications (like GRAMPS).

Just a couple of thoughts...

Bret Busby
West Australia

"So once you do know what the question actually is,
  you'll know what the answer means."
- Deep Thought,
   Chapter 28 of Book 1 of
   "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy:
   A Trilogy In Four Parts",
   written by Douglas Adams,
   published by Pan Books, 1992


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