Spreading Open Source (sort of)

Fri, Jul 11, 2008 10:25 PM
So, I know I just had a kid, but I am at a friends house helping with some computer issues.  This is the friend that took my wife to the hospital and sat with her until I got there, after all.  She is also the friend that took my other five kids in while we were at the hospital.  So, I owe her big time.

First a little backstory.  A few years ago, I started installing Firefox and Thunderbird on my non-technical friend's computers.  I would label the Firefox icon "Internet" and the Thunderbird icon "Email".  This made it simple for them.  I would also install OpenOffice on those machines that did not have the full Microsoft Office package and show them that it could do all the same things that they needed MS Office for.

Anyhow, I am helping this friend by installing XP Service Pack 3 and remove some malware that somehow got on here. While waiting on Windows, I notice that my usual pattern of installing FF, TB and OOO.org are all done on this machine.  What is cool is that I have never used this computer before.  This one is new to me.  So, that means this friend sought out Firefox, Thunderbird and OpenOffice all on her own and installed them for her family the same way I always have.

Now, I am not naive enough to think that my friend suddenly understands Open Source.  She is not using it because she wants to be a part of the open source movement.  But, it does make me feel good to help spread open source if even from the user perspective.  It is also a testament to those applications and how far they have come.