Subject: Re: [coallesced replies] Re: how to create 21,780 new free software jobs (2,530 in R&D)
From: Robin 'Roblimo' Miller <robin@roblimo.com>
Date: Mon, 11 Nov 2002 14:31:28 -0500

Rich Bodo wrote:

>A nice big target for web-appliances is the "grandma set", i.e. AOL or
>WebTV users.  This would allow you to eschew the PC and market CDs ala
>AOL.  You would need a CD-based linux distro, the discipline to pare
>down functionality, and the super-duper network thingy.  I guess you
>could sell PC's too.  I would at least vaporware them to check out the
>demand.
>
Don't sell grandma short. My Florida home is in a trailer park full of 
retirees from the Midwest, and a large/growing number of them first got 
computers so they could exchange email with kids and get grandkid 
photos, then learned to use them for other things, including making 
garage sale flyers, playing games, online shopping/research, and most of 
the other things a normal person does with a computer.

One of my coworkers in the Tampa area was invited to give a Linux 
talk/demo by the Sun City Computer Users Club... and had a huge turnout 
of grandpas and grandmas. Sun City is a sprawling retirement community 
full of golf carts, blue hair, and Lincoln Town Cars -- and apparently 
computers, since their computer user club has nearly 3000 members.

Old Larry who lives behind me (retired truck driver from Indiana) is 
only not running Linux because he and his wife have had those AOL email 
addresses for 10 years, plus his wife is big in AOL senior citizen, 
knitting, and geneology chats. Give them a real computer that runs Linux 
and connects to AOL, they'll switch. Larry hates having to go bum 
software* off of his buddy Mac, likes the idea of free stuff - and 
thinks my (Linux) desktop looks cool.

- Robin

* "Bumming software" is what Larry calls it. Maybe Microsoft et al don't 
want people sharing their products, but these are good neighborly folks 
who come out of the potluck supper culture and are used to loaning each 
other farm equipment, power tools, recipies, and now software. They are 
not pirates. Mac said, "Hey. I paid for it. It's mine." Good law-abiding 
citizen... retired Army MP + 10 years as a civilian cop... organized the 
neighborhood watch... votes Republican and hates criminals. I hope I 
have my camera handy if MS/BSA get the feds to bust him for software piracy.