Over the past few weeks I've been helping my Uncle out by setting up a few computers for him. He wanted a laptop to take out 'on-site' - and a Desktop for a new employee.

Unfortunately, the ASUS eee901 is not yet available, and the 7" series is slightly too small for his perceived 'on-site' usage, so he ended up getting a Toshiba Laptop and HP Desktop - both running Windows Vista (against my advice).

So, three weeks on, he's not happy with Vista at all. Having already spent a fair bit of cash on the two machines, he was little disappointed that some 'core software' (his term) was still not installed. The new "Live Mail" application was also far too complicated compared to his Outlook Express - the change in UI wasn't welcome.

So, I installed Mozilla Thunderbird onto both computers, and OpenOffice.org. I do have to admit to setting the default file-format to Windows 97/XP/2003 formats though (.doc, .xls and .ppt). I'd like to not do this, but for simplicities sake when dealing with clients - it was the easier option.

Aside from running the proprietary accounts software "Foundation Evolution" - I've got the company running on a very open-'saucy' setup. The best thing about it has been the change in attitude towards the software since originally buying the PCs. After initially thinking that my enthusiasm for the ASUS eee was due to the Linux OS on it - it seems likely that when the 9" series come out, that will be an addition to the "Construction Computing Team".

The best new was though that I received a call this morning asking me how to install OpenOffice.org on all of the computers and get rid of MS Office & install Thunderbird on all the machines. With the old setup, there would have been a training overhead in having to run different versions of the same software on all four PCs - however, with the Open Source Setup, all the computers, despite being purchased at different times, can run the same software - giving the users the opportunity to use the computers to help run the business, rather than having to work out how to use that particular version of the program.

Smile :)