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New Engineering triangle as usual
fast/cheap/good, pick 2.
In the case of family support, pick 1.

In the case of our lives, pick zero, so, you might want to try the following.

Get a Linux based netbook.

My wife's is an Acer Aspire One. Cost around $300 about a year ago. It's the 4th netbook I've bought in the last 3 years (for different people). It's the 1st one I'd consider usable for myself as opposed to feeling like a cheap toy.

The OS is simply there, working on hardware it was designed for, supported by the manufacturer when needed (none of these failed in a strange unrecoverable way, so I've never had to deal with it, but your MMV). I know that when my wife depends on me to fix something, I can't be dithering around asking the board, she needs it when she asked. Why else would she ask? So I prefer this type of commercial Linux for her.

Try to use this PC instead of the win box. If she is used to a desktop, put a mouse, keyboard, and monitor on it.

New +5 Insightful.
Another advantage of a netbook is the battery life is usually quite good so you don't have to be tethered to the power brick constantly. Thus you can do things like look at your e-mail while watching Law & Order and get up without worrying about tripping yourself or destroying the machine.

I'd be careful about trying one first. The keyboard can be quite cramped on some of them, and some people complain about the mouse pad on others.

New Once you go Mac...
My wife, Jo, hates technology. All technology is, according to her, designed by idiots and halfwits in order to extract maximum confusion and frustration from anyone unfortunate enough to come into contact with it. It's an analysis that is, at times, very difficult to argue with. She should be a UX consultant.

Jo has had a Mac laptop for the past eight years. It just works, and when it doesn't, I just fix it, and it just works again.

The only other piece of technology that Jo has ever conceded isn't a complete flaming pile of shit is her current phone, an HTC 7 Mozart.

Just sayin'.
New outside of initial costs
I do not dispute any of what you said.

"Chicago to my mind was the only place to be. ... I above all liked the city because it was filled with people all a-bustle, and the clatter of hooves and carriages, and with delivery wagons and drays and peddlers and the boom and clank of freight trains. And when those black clouds came sailing in from the west, pouring thunderstorms upon us so that you couldn't hear the cries or curses of humankind, I liked that best of all. Chicago could stand up to the worst God had to offer. I understood why it was built--a place for trade, of course, with railroads and ships and so on, but mostly to give all of us a magnitude of defiance that is not provided by one house on the plains. And the plains is where those storms come from."

-- E.L. Doctorow
New Don't rule out pre-owned.
New This.
We have several Macs over 5 years old now, one a G5, the others Intel.

Other than the G5 not being able to run the latest, greatest Firefox and Chrome, no issues whatsoever. I do no maintenance on these things other than making sure software updates run. Oh, and I had to replace a hard drive in the laptop, which wasn't as difficult as I thought it would be: CarbonCopy the old drive, iFixit for the win, CarbonCopy the old stuff back on.

They've been through several OS upgrades as well without issue, which is never the case (in my experience at least) with Linux.

I still prefer a Linux machine for server and server-side development, but I'm a Mac convert for all else.
Welcome to Rivendell, Mr. Anderson.
New This as well
I just have less Mac experience than Linux, and the Linux box was cheaper.

But if YOU prefer Mac over Linux, I'd change my recommendation to get a Mac for her.
New Re: This as well
Here's the thing: I hate computer support, and when we had the Linux laptop I was constantly answering questions. Not so with the Macs, other than the occasional "why is this website slow" (their site is down) or "why isn't the printer working" (the printer needs rebooting).

For development I would be 100% Mac if it weren't for the less-than-optimal 3rd-party packaging systems (fink, etc). It seems like every time I get settled on one it goes out of favor, and the new one is incompatible. That said, I'm all Mac at home because I can't be arsed to keep up a Linux server here.
Welcome to Rivendell, Mr. Anderson.
New Re: This as well
Exactly. It's not a coincidence that I got Jo a Mac laptop at about the same time as I exited the IT support trade.

No fucking way was I going to leave that shit behind at work, only to have it waiting for me at home.
New My journey.
I went Linux years ago personally because I got too pissed off at Windows. My only Windows box was Windows 2000 for years and years - so long that friends and relatives stopped asking for help because I just didn't know the OS they were using. Meanwhile, my Linux server runs without maintenence. Still does, in fact, baring hardware dying.

My (ex)wife was the difficult one. She liked her lappy (which came with XP), but would not try Linux. Against my recommendations, she got another relative to put Vista on it; unsurprisingly it was badly supported. But she wouldn't downgrade. She also would not understand why my support of it was limited to getting it working with my/our network. It really totally mystified her why I thought Windows was not the Thing To Have. And why she couldn't sway me.

Just Add Story http://justaddstory.wordpress.com/
New A core issue
It really totally mystified her why

When a non-tech person makes a tech recommendation that is not taken, they are mystified.
When a tech person makes a tech recommendation that is not taken, they are annoyed?


Because the non-tech is making vaporous non-arguments, and simply CANNOT understand the issues, so they are in a constant state of wonder and fan-boism. It's all confusing and mystical.

When a tech is making a recommendation, it is usually to avoid most the downsides of the of the various choices, taking the least evil one, and knows if his advice is ignored his own pain will increase, and the other person might not even feel it.

So they can't understand the situation and are almost guaranteed to make the wrong choice, and then attempt to inflict their wrong choice on us.


No. Teach the kids to do tech support when they are 8. Do not let it get to that point.
New There was a slightly deeper issue.
Significantly, she only came to know me *after* I had switched to Linux. She had simply not really seen me at my wits end with asinine Microsoft software that cannot and will not tell you what is actually wrong so you know what to fix. If you can fix it. She knew her brother-in-law could and would support MS, but failed to grasp that this was a sacrifice of my well-being I was not prepared to make.

In other words, she just didn't know me as well as she thought she did.

Just Add Story http://justaddstory.wordpress.com/
New Well there is the rub...
she just didn't know me as well as she thought she did.
That explains the "Ex" part of her relationship with you now.
New Precisely.
Just Add Story http://justaddstory.wordpress.com/
     Wife's computer not behaving - (lincoln) - (30)
         Sounds like a cache issue to me. - (Another Scott) - (1)
             Wasn't the cache - (lincoln)
         RRR - (crazy) - (24)
             Then nuke it from orbit. Only way to be sure. -NT - (drook)
             Can't - (lincoln) - (22)
                 Maybe install IE8? - (Another Scott) - (21)
                     Installing IE8 has saved a few jobs here. - (Andrew Grygus)
                     I've put both Firefox and Chrome on there - (lincoln) - (19)
                         "Upgrade" her - (drook)
                         Do you have choice concerning support? - (crazy) - (17)
                             No choice - (lincoln) - (16)
                                 Do you have Linux skills to support her? - (crazy) - (15)
                                     Not yet - (lincoln) - (14)
                                         Engineering triangle as usual - (crazy) - (13)
                                             +5 Insightful. - (Another Scott) - (12)
                                                 Once you go Mac... - (pwhysall) - (11)
                                                     outside of initial costs - (lincoln) - (1)
                                                         Don't rule out pre-owned. -NT - (pwhysall)
                                                     This. - (malraux) - (8)
                                                         This as well - (crazy) - (7)
                                                             Re: This as well - (malraux) - (6)
                                                                 Re: This as well - (pwhysall)
                                                                 My journey. - (static) - (4)
                                                                     A core issue - (crazy) - (3)
                                                                         There was a slightly deeper issue. - (static) - (2)
                                                                             Well there is the rub... - (folkert) - (1)
                                                                                 Precisely. -NT - (static)
         Re: Wife's computer not behaving - (altmann) - (1)
             YOU ARE THE MAN! - (lincoln)
         And the problem's back - (lincoln)

What a 'tard.
110 ms