For years, the mom-in-law had resisted getting a computer of her own. She just doesn’t like technology. Everyone knows the old joke about people who are so slow when it comes to using technology that they never managed to set their VCR’s clocks. She can’t use a DVD player.
Yes, I’m serious. Oh, I know she could do it, but she really doesn’t want to in the same way that I really don’t want to take class in calligraphy. Anyone who’s ever seen the illegible scribble I use in place of handwriting will understand where I’m coming from.
But, despite that, the combination of the allure of solitaire and the Web finally got to her, and she wanted a computer to call her own. So, what do you get someone to whom even turning on a computer is a challenge? You get them a Linux-powered mini-laptop. Specifically, I got her an ASUS Eee PC 1000 running a variant of Xandros Linux. I picked Linux, not just because I like it, but because its combination of ease of use, low-cost, and no maintenance requirements makes it ideal for a new PC user.