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Woman Claims Ubuntu Kept Her From Online Classes 1654

Posted by samzenpus
from the learning-is-hard dept.
stonedcat writes "A Wisconsin woman has claimed that Dell computers and Ubuntu have kept her from going back to school via online classes. She says she has called Dell to request Windows instead however was talked out of it. Her current claim is that she was unaware that she couldn't install her Verizon online disk to access the Internet, nor could she use Microsoft Word to type up her papers."

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Woman Claims Ubuntu Kept Her From Online Classes

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  • by Thyamine (531612) <thyamine@oFREEBSDfdragons.com minus bsd> on Thursday January 15, 2009 @11:57AM (#26466435) Homepage Journal
    Why is this listed as being humorous? /. generally bemoans the fact that normal users don't use Linux, and that people just assume Windows for everything. And yet here is a normal person, trying to use it, and finding it frustrating and causing her problems, and people mock her attempt.
    • Exactly (Score:4, Insightful)

      by daveschroeder (516195) * on Thursday January 15, 2009 @12:01PM (#26466537)

      This connects with what I just said [slashdot.org] below you.

      Sure, we can mock it, but there are real issues here:

      - She doesn't know that she doesn't need to install any "Verizon High Speed Internet CD" in order for her Verizon DSL to function.

      - She doesn't know that OpenOffice.org can handle her needs for "Microsoft Word" just fine

      - She probably wouldn't know that Firefox can handle all of her browsing needs even where another OS is specified (under most circumstances)

      So how can we bridge those kinds of gaps?

      • Re:Exactly (Score:5, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 15, 2009 @12:26PM (#26467129)

        You've obviously never used Verizon DSL. Their system requires a login/password which is generated via their Windows-only software when you're setting things up. Once you have that you no longer need Windows to connect to the internet, but you do need to that once to get the system & modem set up.

        Seriously. No joke.

        I presume you can set that stuff up over the phone if you have a Mac or something, but that's probably non-obvious for someone who accidentally orders a Linux laptop.

        And, also, Firefox cannot necessarily handle all of her "browsing needs". It's not always Firefox's fault, but there's a reason I have IE Tab set up for a handful of sites and it's not because I'm a web developer.

        • Re:Exactly (Score:5, Informative)

          by Koiu Lpoi (632570) <koiulpoi AT gmail DOT com> on Thursday January 15, 2009 @12:55PM (#26467837)

          And, also, Firefox cannot necessarily handle all of her "browsing needs". It's not always Firefox's fault, but there's a reason I have IE Tab set up for a handful of sites and it's not because I'm a web developer.

          I wonder how those Mac and Linux people even get around the web these days... Or does Safari and Konqueror fill the gap that IE leaves?
          For consumer-space internet, I haven't run into an IE-only website since... well, Maplestory used to be IE only...

          Unless you're running some archaic banking software that uses ActiveX (or something like it), there's simply no reason to claim that.

      • by alcmaeon (684971) on Thursday January 15, 2009 @12:52PM (#26467767)

        I was just remembering yesterday how I used to hear my clients say that they needed new computers because their old ones were full. This woman is in this category.

        There are people out there who have no idea how computers work and they are prey to all sorts of disingenuous marketing and out and out disinformation.

        Instead of running a news story on this, they would have done her more good by just telling her she was ignorant and pointing her in the right direction to get information so she can stop being a victim. The skills she would gain in learning about the computer and sorting the BS from the truth might even translate to other aspects of her life, like car and house buying, or job hunting.

        • by CodeBuster (516420) on Thursday January 15, 2009 @01:41PM (#26468993)

          There are people out there who have no idea how computers work and they are prey to all sorts of disingenuous marketing and out and out disinformation.

          The price of ignorance, whether of technical or financial matters, has never been higher in our society and it is growing larger all of the time. My advice to these people would be to turn off American Idle and crack a few books or Google some basic knowledge instead of whining when the smarter and more educated people take all of their money.

      • Re:Exactly (Score:5, Insightful)

        by ObsessiveMathsFreak (773371) <obsessivemathsfreak.eircom@net> on Thursday January 15, 2009 @01:14PM (#26468337) Homepage Journal

        - She doesn't know that OpenOffice.org can handle her needs for "Microsoft Word" just fine

        I have to call you, and many, many others on this statement. Sure, OpenOffice does handle standard word documents without too much trouble. But time and again I have encountered heavily customised word documents with tick boxes, mixed colum formatting, etc, etc, which Openoffice simply cannot display with fidelity. And by fidelity, I mean make sure the danm funding form fits on one page and not bleed it over onto the second.

        Sure, you may think these documents are obscure. Trouble is they aren't. They are typically, ancient Word 97 produced affairs, devised by a "self educated" whiz somewhere in the accounting department with too much time on their hands . Universities are saturated with these documents, as is any small or medium sized company that has ever had such a "whiz" in their employ. They're sort of like one of those custom Access programs written by a non-programmer that slowly grow and mutate. It suffices to say that Open Office, while it does not choke, simply cannot cope under the strain of displaying them.

        The essential problem here is that people feel they NEED to use MS Word or an equivalent program for absolutely everything. I have been sent emails containing nothing but an MS Word attachment in which is contained... the "letter" I was being sent. It's crazy. If I am ever in a position where I am accepting or grading papers, or summaries, or memos, or whatever, each and every single submission will be required to be a simple TXT file. They're perfectly adequate for just about everything except diagrams, and if they need to use those they can be submitted as attachments.

        - She probably wouldn't know that Firefox can handle all of her browsing needs even where another OS is specified (under most circumstances)

        One word. Flash. This is not a settled issue on any Linux system to this day. Sure it can work, but not on every system. The situtation with flash in Linux closely resembles that of video drivers about five years ago, when it was still necessary in many instances to edit xfree86 conf files or the like. With the ever growing domination of youtube, a browser without guaranteed out of the box flash is seriously deficient. Not even Ubuntu has this.

        • by WiiVault (1039946) on Thursday January 15, 2009 @06:02PM (#26474605)
          I would like to second the comment about Flash. I absolutely hate it, but it has sadly become the defacto standard for web video. "Normal users" watch a lot of flash video and until Adobe gets their shit together Linux desktop penetration will suffer. I just hope for the death of Flash.
    • by MightyYar (622222) on Thursday January 15, 2009 @12:04PM (#26466581)

      This woman is beyond stupid, though. She dropped out of school because she couldn't figure out how to make her computer work. And then, apparently, her solution to this life crisis wasn't to ask someone knowledgeable about computers - it was to call the local news!

      • by morgan_greywolf (835522) on Thursday January 15, 2009 @12:17PM (#26466875) Homepage Journal

        Thank you. Rather than arguing about saying "Linux isn't for everyone" can we all just agree that in this case "college isn't for everyone?"

        Thanks.

      • by sxltrex (198448) on Thursday January 15, 2009 @12:32PM (#26467277)

        She dropped out of school because she couldn't figure out how to make her computer work.

        Dude, it's even better than that. She dropped out of technical college because she couldn't figure out how to make her computer work.

      • by TeXMaster (593524) on Thursday January 15, 2009 @12:57PM (#26467911)

        And then, apparently, her solution [...] was to call the local news!

        Which leads me to think that she is on the Microsoft paybook. Her story perfectly fits in the MS war against Linux and open source, and it needs as much media coverage as possible. Remember, spread the FUD.

        • by MightyYar (622222) on Thursday January 15, 2009 @01:28PM (#26468651)

          I'm not a conspiracy hound, but maybe you are right... how does one "accidentally" order Ubuntu? It's not an option in their customizer... you have to somehow navigate through to their open source page, which then links you to their open source computers. And the picture shows an Inspiron, which to get to $1100, you literally have to max out... also seems fishy. I mean, if she really knows so little about computers, how did she know to max out everything? And if she was going to drop $1100 on a notebook, why didn't she click on the $1000 XPS instead of the $500 Inspiron?

          Probably still not a conspiracy, though.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 15, 2009 @12:06PM (#26466613)

      Her lack of computer finesse isn't the funny thing here for me. I saw the newscast on this. She had two problems: She didn't have MS Office, and her Verizon internet disc tried to run it's startup.exe. She just has to save her papers in .doc format, and have a Verizon tech crew come out and fix her internet. It took the news anchorman two (2) phone calls to fix this for her.. so what attempt is there to mock? She probably just slacked off for her classes and used Dell as as excuse.

    • by TheLinuxSRC (683475) * <slashdot&pagewash,com> on Thursday January 15, 2009 @12:13PM (#26466773) Homepage
      And yet here is a normal person, trying to use it, and finding it frustrating and causing her problems, and people mock her attempt.

      According to the story she somehow accidentally ordered the laptop with Ubuntu. I am not sure how she managed that because I have to *search* Dell's site to find their Linux offerings, but I digress and that is irrelevant anyway.

      What is relevant is that she received a laptop configured in a manner she was unfamiliar with. She should have just returned the laptop if it was sent this way in error. My point is, she didn't attempt to use it (Ubuntu) in any sort of meaningful way. She *assumed* the laptop had Windows installed. She is familiar with Windows. She attempted running a disk that requires Windows and then looked for the MS Office icons and couldn't find them and then she gave up. Again, if what she ordered was a Windows machine, the blame falls squarely on Dell and Dell should make it right. If she did order the laptop with Ubuntu and ignored all of the warnings about how this order does not have Windows and Windows software will not run on Linux etc.... then the blame is fully hers.

      This has nothing to do with Windows vs. Linux as she never made a conscious choice to use Linux. She also didn't make much effort in using Ubuntu. In fact, if she has to miss *two* semesters of school because of this, it screams to me that she was looking for a reason to not go to school and this is the perfect excuse in her mind.
      • Smell test (Score:5, Insightful)

        by jmorris42 (1458) * <jmorris@nOSPAM.beau.org> on Thursday January 15, 2009 @01:52PM (#26469247)

        What is relevant is that she received a laptop configured in a manner she was unfamiliar with.

        No, what is relevant is her story doesn't pass the smell test. It's an astroturf campaign. Go to Dell.com and TRY to recreate her story. The only Linux you can easily find is the little mini and that ain't what she bought. You have to search on linux in the search bar to find any of their other Ubuntu offerings and the page you get dropped on says this:

        Not sure Open Source is for You? The main thing to note is that when you choose open source you don't get a Windows® operating system. If you're here by mistake and you are looking for a Dell PC with Windows, please use the following link.

        Assume she somehow managed to get there, which is improbable enough. If she bought after reading that she is not college material. And this ignores the fact she was buying a computer for college and didn't a) inquire as to their requirements before purchase and b) didn't get in on the discounts most colleges have on both the laptop itself and she could have probably picked up Windows+Office at a massive student discount. Colleges are full of nerds who would have been happy to help her either install Windows or learn to use Ubuntu for the price of pizza and her company. The town has a LUG for crying out loud, help was at hand.

    • by meist3r (1061628) on Thursday January 15, 2009 @12:42PM (#26467515)

      And yet here is a normal person, trying to use it, and finding it frustrating and causing her problems, and people mock her attempt.

      "Normal" is a very flexible definition depending on whoever sets the boundaries between normal and stupid. In my opinion a very stupid woman spoke to a very stupid Dell rep who wasn't able to tell her how to start OpenOffice (for fucks sake Applications/Office/Writer -how hard is that?) and relied on very stupid Verizon that can't produce an Ubuntu Linux installer for their silly software package.

      I had a similar problem with my sister-in-law. Gave them a Ubuntu machine and she kept trying to install some ISPs network setup disc. Eventually I went over to their house and got the network running with half a dozen clicks by reading the (incredibly stupid) manual section that was about half a page long with pictures. She didn't even bother to read beyond section 1. Install software ... section 2 would have said "Set up without disc like this:"

      THAT is the problem, not that people can't use Linux ... they want to be so stupid that they simply won't be able to. Anyone should be able to read, it's your responsibility as owner of the fucking machine to understand at least a bit of how it works. It's this "I don't get the first page in the book so I stop reading" attitude. If you don't WANT to do gain that knowledge you will have these kinds of silly idiot problems all the way. So "I am stupid" and "I don't want to know" are two different things and significant ones indeed. Sometimes a book starts making sense only after you've read it even without knowing what the first couple pages meant.

  • by daveschroeder (516195) * on Thursday January 15, 2009 @11:58AM (#26466439)

    Actually, this story did cause some criticism, which resulted in a followup story [wkowtv.com] (even calling it "Ubunto" once - nice). So more angry (or informative) letters from Linux-advocates aren't going to set the record straight [xkcd.com] at this point.

    But it does raise a larger question about the adoption of Linux. How can the perception that Microsoft Windows and its trappings are effectively mandatory be overcome? Her computer can handle all of her needs: email, web browsing via Firefox, Microsoft Office-compatible documents via OpenOffice.org, and no need to "install" any Windows-only "Verizon High Speed Internet CD" to use Verizon DSL.

    But since many Linux-advocates presumably want to see things like Ubuntu go mainstream, the answer can't be "this woman is a moron and the TV station is worse for covering it". Her problems, even if they seem ridiculous, were real enough to her. So how do you counter this kind of problem? (Some might say decent journalism could have helped here, but that's part and parcel of the perception problem.)

    • by db32 (862117) on Thursday January 15, 2009 @12:06PM (#26466621) Journal
      I don't blame the woman at all. Her complaints are entirely legitimate and are a direct result of marketing based education. NO ONE explains how anything fucking works these days. Its all "put the CD in and MAGIC!" So of course the populace has no fucking clue what is going on with how stuff works or even how to choose an alternative product. That is kind of the point of this style of marketing education. You don't want educated consumers, you want consumers that believe whatever you tell them.

      I have had this battle on multiple occasions with my online classes trying to explain that I don't use Windows or MS Office. The difference is that I am an experienced user and I actually understand why the college is incorrect. They say it "requires Office XYZ" but what they mean is "you need to be able to create and edit Word compatible documents". Most users are going to take the statement "requires Office XYZ" literally because they don't understand the alternatives, and the people saying "requires Office XYZ" are probably even less likely to understand that there are even alternatives available.
      • It's a plant (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 15, 2009 @12:25PM (#26467115)

        1) You can't "accidentally" find an Ubuntu Dell.

        2) Dell support would NEVER say "you don't want windows, Ubuntu works better for you".

        3) She took FIVE MONTHS to complain

        It's a fake.

        • Re:It's a plant (Score:5, Interesting)

          by BarryJacobsen (526926) on Thursday January 15, 2009 @01:08PM (#26468189) Homepage

          1) You can't "accidentally" find an Ubuntu Dell.

          2) Dell support would NEVER say "you don't want windows, Ubuntu works better for you".

          3) She took FIVE MONTHS to complain

          It's a fake.

          It's not so much a fake as a woman rationalizing her decision to drop out of college - "It's not my fault I couldn't make it, I got a bad computer!"

      • by JambisJubilee (784493) on Thursday January 15, 2009 @12:53PM (#26467791)
        Come on, you don't blame her? I can understand if she has computer problems, but let's not pretend that this has anything to do with dropping out of school. She dropped out because she's an idiot, period. What are you willing to bet that the school has a computer lab... oh wait! http://development.matcmadison.edu/matc/studentresources/techresources/ [matcmadison.edu]

        The Student Computer Help staff assist MATC students with questions about:
        MATC student email accounts
        the Microsoft Office suite,
        installing the Wisconsin Integrated Software Catalog products,
        Blackboard and various other curriculum-based software packages at MATC.

        As I said, there is no excuse. The school has allocated resources to deal with exactly what her problem was, but she couldn't be bothered to lift a finger to educate herself.

    • by TheRealMindChild (743925) on Thursday January 15, 2009 @12:09PM (#26466695) Homepage Journal
      Once upon a time, you had to learn how to use a computer to use it. This was an inherent prerequisite to using a computer effectively for school and/or work. Nowadays, any bonehead thinks that a computer needs to do it all for them, and if it doesn't, it is a failing of the system. Could you imagine if your car mechanic came back to you and said "I can't fix your car. My new tools have a green rubber handle. I only know how to use tools with a black spongy handle"...
  • by Maxo-Texas (864189) on Thursday January 15, 2009 @11:58AM (#26466441)

    Because it is major egg on Verizon's face.

    The larger the linux market segment gets, the less windows benefits from it's network effect.

    As far as the word processor goes- she just needs a clue about Openoffice or some of the other fine WP's available.

    Hopefully she isn't going into a technical degree area with this little knowledge of computers at that age.

  • by MightyYar (622222) on Thursday January 15, 2009 @11:59AM (#26466473)

    As a result, with no internet and no Microsoft Word, Schubert dropped out of MATC's fall and spring semesters.

    Well, the world needs ditch diggers, too.

  • No problem (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ianare (1132971) on Thursday January 15, 2009 @11:59AM (#26466479)
    From TFA :

    Verizon says it will dispatch a technician to try to assist her accessing the internet without using the Windows-only installation disk.

    MATC also says it promises to accept any of Schubert's papers or class documents using whatever software she has installed.

    So what's the fucking problem ?!?

    • Re:No problem (Score:5, Insightful)

      by MightyYar (622222) on Thursday January 15, 2009 @12:08PM (#26466649)

      So what's the fucking problem ?!?

      The problem is that this girl couldn't figure out how to call Verizon and the school herself. It sounds like Dell worked her over as well, but dropping out of school before calling their help desk is just crazy.

  • by RotsiserMho (918539) on Thursday January 15, 2009 @11:59AM (#26466483)
    At the end of the article is a link to a follow-up by the assistant news director. It's not quite an apology, but it demonstrates that someone in the Ubuntu community got through to someone at the news station: http://addins.wkowtv.com/blogs/behindthenews/ [wkowtv.com]
  • In other news... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by pato101 (851725) on Thursday January 15, 2009 @12:00PM (#26466495) Journal
    ...a guy couldn't finish his work because a virus killed his Windows HP computer... and blames HP for it...
  • RTFM? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by OglinTatas (710589) on Thursday January 15, 2009 @12:00PM (#26466497)

    If she can't RTFM, how is she going to read the texts for her classes?

  • Idiocy (Score:5, Funny)

    by Thanshin (1188877) on Thursday January 15, 2009 @12:00PM (#26466503)

    A Wisconsin woman has claimed that General Motors has kept her from going back to school. She says she has called GM to request a bike instead however was talked out of it. Her current claim is that she was unaware that she couldn't drive.

  • Huh? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Logical Zebra (1423045) on Thursday January 15, 2009 @12:00PM (#26466505)

    So the woman is suing the company because she lacks the mental capacity to properly use their product?

  • by thesolo (131008) * <slap@fighttheriaa.org> on Thursday January 15, 2009 @12:04PM (#26466583) Homepage
    She's enrolling at the Madison Area Technical College, and couldn't be bothered to read the specs on a laptop she ordered? Sorry, made me chuckle. It's not as though Dell hides what OS comes with each laptop!

    Kidding aside, Dell should have just allowed her to return it for a Windows model if that's what she wanted. She clearly did not have the technical prowess to figure out how to configure her internet access without the walkthrough software.
  • by jollyreaper (513215) on Thursday January 15, 2009 @12:04PM (#26466589)

    This sounds like one of his troll articles.

  • Newsflash! (Score:5, Funny)

    by Qbertino (265505) on Thursday January 15, 2009 @12:08PM (#26466655)

    Newsflash: Online student discovers that basic brain functions are required to run and operate a computer. Film at eleven.

  • by RagingFuryBlack (956453) <NjRef511@gmai[ ]om ['l.c' in gap]> on Thursday January 15, 2009 @12:09PM (#26466683) Homepage
    Isn't the whole college experience suppose to teach us critical thinking and problem solving skills to use in real life? This woman had a problem and instead of attempting to fix it, she complained bitched and gave up. Its a shame that the media would cover such a story. This story is IMO at least, less about *nix and more about how some woman is making herself look infinitely stupid by not taking care to solve her own problems.
  • by swanriversean (928620) on Thursday January 15, 2009 @12:11PM (#26466747)

    She actually realized she had made a mistake before the computer was shipped, and called Dell. But the rep she spoke to convinced her to stick with Ubuntu anyway. It appears that he didn't suggest one of the support packages that Dell offers for their Ubuntu machines.

    Another missed part of the story is that Verizon mustn't have done anything to help her before this became news (given my experience with big ISPs they don't give much help if you're using Linux, so I assume she called).

    While it isn't exactly fair to expect companies to bend over backwards to help customers with what they perceive to be "exotic" setups, I wonder why, after all these years, they don't at least have a list of local LUGs to which they could direct Linux users. Had someone at least got her in touch with them, I bet the problems could have been resolved.

  • by meist3r (1061628) on Thursday January 15, 2009 @12:12PM (#26466767)
    After the man had purchased a brand new Porsche the day before he hooked up with a random floozy in a club and wanted to give her a ride home, where he whould then continue to ride and then go home. His attempt was brought to a quick and nagging halt when he discovered the hole for the ignition key was mounted on the left side of the steering column where his newly found friend couldn't stay aroused by looking at his Porsche keychain dangling from the wheel.

    He asked Porsche to install the ignition the other way around but was talked out of it given the decades old tradition of left mounted ignition in Porsche vehicles. He refused to handle the key with the left hand and subsequently broke his elbow during the attempt of operating it with his right.

    His lawyer announced today that he was going to sue Porsche and the Left-Handers Society of America for building such a highly inconvenient car and damages amounting to 15.0000 US dollars and two Apple-tinis.


    In other news: Stupid woman saves money with alternative open operating system - Misses Online Strip Class
  • by Qbertino (265505) on Thursday January 15, 2009 @12:13PM (#26466793)

    I just posted a witty reply to this story. Reading TFA again it occured to me that this is most likely MS fake news and/or astroturfing. It requires quite a few clicks to actually customize a Laptop at Dell and have it come with Ubuntu rather than some MS Windows variant.
    I'd say this might very well be fake news.

  • by tjstork (137384) <todd.bandrowsky@nosPAm.gmail.com> on Thursday January 15, 2009 @12:15PM (#26466837) Homepage Journal

    You know, I understand her point from the inconvenience, but in the larger sense of the word, I thought college was partially a test in determination and overcoming adversity. Not everything goes right when in school and those who make it through it overcome it, and those who do not, don't.

    I know a guy who is getting his degree despite missing a finger and the use of an eye compliments of a tour in Iraq, all while trying to support a wife and son. I would think -he- has some problems to overcome.

      woman has a computer that's not what she expects? I would suggest that, if she has a paper due, get on the internet, find out what she has, learn quickly, and get something out the door. She might, well, learn something, and I thought that was what college was for!

  • Valid yet Stupid (Score:5, Insightful)

    by whisper_jeff (680366) on Thursday January 15, 2009 @12:17PM (#26466881)
    While she may have a valid concern based on ignorance - she had problems using Ubuntu because she just didn't know how and that's something slashdotters should probably take seriously if they want people to adopt Ubuntu (or some other distro) - I do find her blaming Dell to be idiotic. It's one of the big problems we have with today's society-at-large. Rather than admit something might be one's own shortcoming ("I don't know what I'm doing with Ubuntu...") people try to find someone else to blame. It's all about where can I point the finger that isn't at me? So stupid.
  • by MikeRT (947531) on Thursday January 15, 2009 @12:18PM (#26466927) Homepage

    This chick obviously had no business being in college for several good reasons:

    1) She couldn't even see fit to double or triple check a $1,100 order for a laptop to make sure it was what she wanted. For most of us, that's blatant financial irresponsibility.

    2) She didn't have the wherewithal to get someone to put Windows on for her when she realized she just couldn't handle Ubuntu. Again, a sign of irresponsibility. Arguing that her ignorance, not laziness, was a factor here is like arguing that someone with car problems doesn't deserve criticism for not seeking out a mechanic.

    3) She canceled 2 semesters of college over this.

    I'd say Dell probably saved the tax payers money, since she'd probably end up as some 6 year Art History major whose "education" is funded by tax payers. Hopefully no business will hire her for any important job either, since she is precisely the opposite of what most businesses mean when they say they want a "self-starter."

  • by HockeyPuck (141947) on Thursday January 15, 2009 @12:34PM (#26467321)

    I'm sick of the linux communities' attitude that she should have known linux was "internet capable" right out of the box; or that she could have opened up a document in OpenOffice. I think the community forgets that for the majority of internet users, they started out by getting a CD in the mail (AOL/Compuserve/Prodigy/Earthlink/Mindspring whatever) and that launched an application which had an integrated browser/email/news/stocks client. So she treated her internet access like a black box; big deal. Most people treat their cars like black boxes as well.

    Someone handed her a Microsoft Word document; why should we blame her if she looked on her computer and *GASP* didn't see Microsoft Word. Is it possible that just maybe, he classes said as a requirement you needed MSWord for the class materials? Maybe there are spreadsheets that are handed out that have tons of formulas and macros in them; is the instructor going to worry about OO macro compatibility. No, and neither should she.

    Dell should be ashamed for not allowing her computer to be returned, but the linux community should be ashamed as well. For assuming that all computer users are part IT Staff. Maybe we should expect the average /. user to be able to sit down at a 3270 terminal and configure the IOCDS or perform a datamigration with DFSMS on my zSeries. I mean, it's just a computer right, it must run rsync....

    Just like with cars, some people are mechanics, some people just change oil and filters and others just drive the car. It's a shame the linux community can't understand the same thing about computers.

  • by itomato (91092) on Thursday January 15, 2009 @12:47PM (#26467637)

    But seriously..

    This may read like flamebait, but Shuttleworth needs to invest in a magazine or newsletter. There's still a lot of misconception as to what Linux or Ubuntu is/isn't, and can/can't provide.

    This printed matter needs to accompany Ubuntu, no matter what media or hardware it ships on, and should serve as a FAQ and HowTo.

    I submit:
    ---
    Q: Can I use the 'Drivers and Manual' CD that came with my new 'X'?
    A: No.

    Q: Can I buy 'PC' games at WalMart that work with Ubuntu without special tricks?
    A: No.

    Q: Is Ubuntu a 'Generic' version of Windows?
    A: No.

    Q: Is Ubuntu a platform supported by Verizon, Rogers, AT&T, Qwest, HP, IBM, Toshiba, Apple, Samsung, Sony, Brother, or Canon?
    A: No.

    Q: Will Ubuntu save me money, trouble, or headaches?
    A: Yes, but only if you're agile-minded and not willing to pirate Windows.

  • by nbahi15 (163501) on Thursday January 15, 2009 @01:09PM (#26468211) Homepage

    This girl is typical of the mainstream, and what people often fail to grasp is that Windows is just as technically challenging to use as Linux, but there is a very large and established support infrastructure for Windows and years of conditioning the Windows experience.

    As an aside, this girl is really dumb. You mean to tell me she can't find a guy to fix her computer?! Here are some easy to follow instructions:

    Go to nearest Department of Computer Science
    Find male
    Use bedroom voice
    Say "fix it."
    Blow kiss

    The hard part is not ending up with several guys at your apartment... Or maybe that isn't the hard part.

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