April 29, 2014
A few weeks ago, my classmate wanted something better for her laptop. She was complaining about how slow it was while we were working in the lab together. I idly bragged about "what I could do with a computer," and she asked how much I would charge to fix hers up.
Taken aback, I told her I didn't know, but that I was definitely interested. It was an actual opportunity to bring someone who would have otherwise been clueless about computers over to free software, which is where they belong.
After a bit of planning, I created a document for her to fill out about what she wanted out of her system, which was (to my relief) a web browser and a word processor. Easy peasy. Those both ship standard on Linux Mint. I went home and prepared a flash drive to install Mint 16 Cinnamon. In a couple of days, we met in the computer lab, and I performed the installation in front of her so that she could see what I was doing and so she could enter her own password. After the installation, I gave her a brief tour of Cinnamon and launching applications. I also installed the Micro$haft fonts she would need should a professor require Times New Roman font.
By the end of it, I had spent 40 minutes and had installed one custom package (the fonts), so I later created an invoice for $60, and gave her a 10% discount for being an easy customer.
So begins my story of switching people to free software. I currently have info about my process for anyone else who is interested.