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Why Linux perfect system for people who hate computers?

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We've had computers powerful enough to be effortlessly useful for ages now. In fact, there is probably one in your attic. Even a 10-year-old PC will work perfectly well as a well-connected typewriter, which is all that most people want or need.

And even Windows 98, however much we despise it, is pretty foolproof against user incompetence. The trouble is that it is ridiculously insecure. It ought to be a criminal offence to connect a computer running Windows 98 to the net via broadband.

Anyone who does so is not merely putting their own information at risk, but laying their computer open to the risk of being used to rob third parties as part of a botnet.

There have been huge advances in Windows security since then. If you were to plug your granny in to the net with a modern computer running Vista, which she only used for email and a little exploration of shared photos on the web, she would probably be quite safe.

But then she would have to buy a whole new PC, which wouldn't be all that much easier to use for anything that mattered to her. All she wants is a well-connected typewriter.

I know this will draw furious letters from grandparents who delight in their computers. But they are, I believe, a minority.

And it seems a terrible shame to throw away perfectly good old computers just because they won't run a modern version of Windows. What we need is a Granny Linux, something that is safe from both malice at one end of the modem cable and bafflement at the other.

I think I may have found it, in the form of Xubuntu (, a version of Ubuntu Linux that runs on small and old computers.

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