Knowing full well that the future owner will more than likely completely erase everything that is on there, I am tempted all the more to simply install Arch Linux and make over the entire machine a la Microsoft and see if it wins any attention that way.
Ordinarily I chastise people for trying to slip Linux under the nose of an unsuspecting Windows user; when the truth is out, it leaves a bad taste in the mouth. And it is generally my philosophy that a person’s first run-in with Linux shouldn’t be deceptive or under duress. No one is served by trying to pretend Linux is Windows.
On the other hand, the recipient knows full well that the machine is only licensed to run Windows 98, and has already mentioned that they plan on wiping the drive before putting on XP (a mistake in my mind, but whatever).
So who will I harm by offering up a sidelong alternative?
Nobody probably, but I’m 99 percent sure the work involved will be ignored. I suppose a better way to introduce Linux would be to dump a full Ubuntu installation on it, add a lightweight desktop like the LXDE package, and call it done. Anything I add above and beyond the Windows 98 installation is already ten times more useful, without going through the hours of tweaking IceWM to behave like Win2K.
And on a machine that needs a Japanese environment, I find the task all the more unappealing. Fonts are … unusual here and there between Japanese and English, and I haven’t really figured out the magic combination. And rendering is slow by comparison, and adding or removing programs is unintuitive (for an absolute newbie) without some sort of frontend for pacman. Scim has to be manhandled by a regular user to behave the “right” way. … The list is long.
And I have so many other things I need to be doing. No sense in going through the work when the final product will be summarily eradicated.
See, now I have successfully talked myself out of it. Another nice side effect of this blog. …