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Linux in Panajachel

Just another system running Linux.

Just another system running Linux.

The system in the picture is running Linux. In my house that’s the norm — with the exception of Rocio installing Skype on “my” tablet, there is no Microsoft software here. Tablets and phones run Linux (Android), desktops and laptops run Ubuntu or Mint Linux.

That’s the norm in my life. Long ago I wrote about how children in Nicaragua were doing just find with Linux systems. The difference was that these kids were younger (most were 5 to 8) and, to the best of my knowledge, none of them had used a computer before. (They were all kids from a very poor barrio of Estelí.) Jessica, a 12 year old, became their teacher after she figured out how to use the Linux system herself. But, here we are talking about 16 year olds.

Rocio has had virtually no issues with the system but she has had the benefit of “papá Phil” being available when there was a problem. But, what about other kids?

I have watched an assortment of her friends just sit down and start working on the computer. I have never heard one ask a question like “why is this different?” Now, a lot of their time is in a browser (the system has both FireFox and Chrome on it) but there are sometimes text documents and spreadsheets being created (using LibreOffice). Again, no questions. Things just work.

As you see every version of Windoze starting with 95 here in Cyber Cafes, and Linux differs less than the various Windoze versions from each other, I can see the non-issue. It’s “just a computer”. That’s the good news. The bad news is that the area is full of old, generally pirated and insecure versions of Windoze. It’s pretty clear Panajachel and the lake area need a serious upgrade — to Linux.

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