Helping someone choose his first computer
My sister's boyfriend is buying his first computer and he is going for a laptop. He asked me if I can recommend any good ones to him. We could say he asked the right person because I would be the one to recommend him a laptop with GNU/Linux pre-installed. Other than that I'm not very good at choosing computers for other people as I haven't done it a lot. I usually just give certain guidelines which I believe should be watched out for and that's it.. Well.. actually I haven't been asked a lot in real life to recommend someone a computer, let alone a first one.
Anyway, to get to the point, there's one bit of concern that I have. If I recommend him GNU/Linux laptop in some sense it could turn out as if he's my pet project so to speak, an opportunity for me to "convert" someone into a GNU/Linux user without that someone actually knowing what all that stuff is anyway. So, I feel like telling him all about it, but I feel like that would take quite a lecture and I don't want to end up shoving him the stuff that he really isn't at all interested in (a reality is that sometimes the responsibility of choosing freedom is on a third party, because first party isn't versed in the area in which a choice is to be made).
The thing is that by recommending him a laptop and further helping him as he learns to use it I'm kind of responsible for him and hence also guilty if something goes wrong. So what if those sensitive things go wrong? For example, what if a friend gives him a windows game and he tries to run it on his new laptop? How do I justify to him the fact that this particular laptop wont run it because it has GNU/Linux on it? The obvious next question he'll ask is, "but everyone else can run it?" I'm beginning to understand the difficulties of switching to GNU/Linux a bit deeper.. - Windows is a deep social norm, not just a most used operating system. People expect everything that was running on windows to run on any other computer regardless of what OS it has. That's an inescapable norm.
Now.. I wouldn't for the world bring myself to recommend him a Windows laptop. That would be like totally betraying myself. I'm just wondering how best to resolve those issues.
Also, I'm wondering which laptop to recommend.. When I was looking at buying a laptop I liked those Dell Inspirons. Probably best thing would be laptops with Intel Core Duo and onboard intel graphics because of seamless 2D/3D video support. Pity those Dell Ubuntu laptops haven't become international yet. I guess they might by September when he plans to actually make a buy.