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How Coyote Got Grandmother Spider to Run Linux


Grandmother Spider is not a computer person. She likes to write books about places she has been and things she has seen for people to read. She needs to use her computer for that. But she is worried about some of the things she writes. Some of them are privately hers and she doesn't want anyone but her to ever see them. Some of them are early and unfinished versions of things that she published already. And she is tired of getting viruses, even though she has McAffee. She is tired of the computer being slow because of McAffee. She asked Coyote for help.

“Of course I can help you,” said Coyote, “You should run linux.”

“I don't think that's for me,” said Grandmother Spider, “I'm not a computer person.” “You don't have to be,” said Coyote.

“Will that keep my kids from reading these or trying to publish them if something happens to me?” she asked. “It can,” said Coyote.

“I have to make Word documents for my publisher. I thought linux won't run Microsoft Office.”

“You don't need to,” said Coyote, “LibreOffice can make Word documents.”

Grandmother Spider went and got an old laptop she didn't use anymore and gave it to Coyote. Coyote put linux Mint on it. “You'll see,” said Coyote, “Linux Mint is built just for you, Grandmother Spider.”

Linux Mint asked if it should be encrypted, so that no one without the passcode could read it or see any of it's files. Coyote said yes.

Grandmother Spider went to put in her password. “Wait,” said Coyote, “who knows your password?” “Lots of people,” said Grandmother Spider.

“Don't worry,” said Coyote, “We're going to make you a new password. A powerful long password that has numbers and punctuation in it. And you're going to remember it.” “I don't know,” said Grandmother Spider, “I have a terrible time remembering passwords.”

“This one is easy,” said Coyote, “Think of some riddles that only you can guess. Like:

“When I was 12 I met. . .” Maybe the answer is a red haired man, so this part of the password is Red.

“As a child, there were * books in on the table.” Maybe the answer is 3. So this part of the password is 3.

“I wanted to live. . .” Maybe the answer is “forever.” so this part of the password is forever. But it could be “inacanoe” Some people want to live in canoes.

“My grandmother had a . . . “ Maybe the answer is “basket.” So this part of the password is { because that reminds you of a basket.

So this way we can make a password like Red3forever{, but we're going to make it about twice as long, so it's extra hard to guess. You're going to write down the riddles, but not the password. Once you don't need the riddles anymore, you will throw them out. And make sure to pick things people probably don't know about you. If everyone knows you want to live in a canoe, don't use that one.”

Grandmother Spider is good at riddles. She made a password in no time. “Here is how you get on the internet and write your stories,” said Coyote. “You can even watch movies and look at pictures of your granddaughters. It's all very easy. You don't have to use the command line or anything.”

Grandmother Spider was thrilled. A month later, she called Coyote. “I love this linux Mint!” She said, “I'm going to have you put it on every computer I get from now on!” Coyote was proud. He was happy that Grandmother Spider was happy. He knew he had done a good job. Even Grandmother Spider can use encrypted linux.



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