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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 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]
  • Re:Expected (Score:5, Informative)

    by sucker_muts (776572) <sucker_pvn@@@hotmail...com> on Thursday January 15, 2009 @12:02PM (#26466553) Homepage Journal
    Part of the problem is that she did not understand it's possible to configure internet access without that Verizon cdrom, and she could easily work with OpenOffice instead of Word. Verizon even offered to send a technician to help with the connection, and the school said it has no problems with people using different software when following their couses.

    Too bad the woman did not look for answers but simply blamed Dell instead out of ignorance. :(
  • Re:Expected (Score:5, Informative)

    by PalmKiller (174161) on Thursday January 15, 2009 @12:08PM (#26466667) Homepage
    Verizon is one issue here, their tech support can and should support her connecting via any os, she should be suing them if anyone. Open office would suffice for the papers, someone should just help her out. Hey, did she try the geek squad (/me ducks). But really, pay a lawyer to sue people when she could just use the money to pay for someone to support her, shes just in it for the money, or she is incredibly lost. Thats the american way though, throw a bunch of money at a lawyer, rather than look for a solution to the problem.
  • Re:Expected (Score:3, Informative)

    by mewshi_nya (1394329) on Thursday January 15, 2009 @12:13PM (#26466795)

    You can still submit things in Doc using OO.o. Or do you never bother to check these things? And, frankly, I would rather have someone who knows how to think, "What would this be called on this system?" than "Here's what it's called on this old system. OH SHIT! I CAN'T FIND IT ON THE NEW ONE! HELP!!"

  • by mfh (56) on Thursday January 15, 2009 @12:14PM (#26466805) Homepage Journal

    I see this as mostly a semantics problem. The prof, or person who wrote the syllabus meant something general but said something specific. They likely wrote that students require MS Office for the course(s). What they mean by this is that the students need a word processor and a spreadsheet, possibly power point.

    Also it needs to be said that it's against ethical standards for a school to require products of a particular brand name, as long as competing products are sufficient.

    I must also add that if you are a student, you could consider ignoring standards set by your prof or dept, if they don't make sense. Many of those standards were written more than ten years ago. Not only that, you are in a competitive setting and you are less competitive if you are confining yourself, using the same generic tools as everyone else in your class.

    Of course if MSFT products are BETTER somehow than what you can get, then it would be advised to use them.

    I would always opt for students to use what suits them best, rather than what is trendy or required.

    The other side of the coin is that Dell wants to save money on MSFT license fees, so they push free OS to keep their costs down. It's not really putting the customer first if the customer feels really cheated by it.

    In this particular case, however, I have no idea why Open Office wouldn't suffice, or why the school wouldn't help the student get connected to the internet just reflects poorly on their customer service standards, IMHO.

  • Re:Expected (Score:5, Informative)

    by TheSovereign (1317091) on Thursday January 15, 2009 @12:19PM (#26466943)
    I don't agree. Literally anyone who had even a slight clue about her predicament would have been able to load windows on the system. contrary to the article this doesn't void your dell guarantee. This person chose to leave school instead of getting her problem fixed, which, in my opinion is simply an excuse for her mental shortcomings, then again if she were intelligent in the least she could have gotten her internet connection to work in the first place.
  • by Tubal-Cain (1289912) * on Thursday January 15, 2009 @12:20PM (#26466973) Journal
    By definition, the average IQ is 100.
  • by Viol8 (599362) on Thursday January 15, 2009 @12:21PM (#26466999)

    The computer did do what she wanted - it would connect to the internet and process Word documents. She was just too stupid to know how to plug in an ethernet cable or double click on a .doc

  • 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.

  • by meist3r (1061628) on Thursday January 15, 2009 @12:26PM (#26467135)
    With people still asking that old inappropriated question it's no wonder there's not more interest. How many people that never worked a computer before did you sit in front of a Windows machine and they did everything rightaway? Correct: None! Or even more correctly: None more than with a Linux (here Ubuntu) GNOME desktop.

    You don't have to compile software anymore (at least everything I normally use comes from the repositories or in pre-compiled binaries). Know how to use a .exe file? You almost know how to use a .deb file! I do compile stuff because I understand how it works but I don't HAVE to as you claim.

    Configuration files disappear? What idiocy is this? So you want a huge cluttered registry system like Windows has that you have to setup all over again if you have to re-install the system? Something that will destroy your system if it get's even slightly messed up? I much prefer the "per-application / stored in your home folder" configuration because that's WAY easier to migrate from one system to another and in case I do have to reinstall the system I can get my settings running in no time. And even if one app breaks the configuration I can still solely remove that ONE SINGLE configuration file w/o compromising my entire system.

    When was the last time you tried a distro like Ubuntu? You can't possibly be talking about 8.10 because that doesn't need any command line, compiling, terminal stuff to run at all. And gimme a fucking break "consistent modern UI"? What like Vista? Where half of the features won't work if your graphics card has been manufactured on a Tuesday and the interface is the very same as in Win95 only with a glossy skin? Go Fuck off. You clearly have absolutely no idea what you're talking about. GNOME isn't uglier than Windows XP or Vista in the "classic" mode and Compiz beats the hell out of Aero any time of the day. What is that? You can't run Compiz without taking care of special hardware and software requirements? Now guess what: Same goes for anything below Ultimate and Aero. No offense but the "modern UI" argument is for pussies and Apple users. Why does Miss "Fancy Miss MacOnline-Classes /Save Money buying a computer" need an advanced UI if she doesn't even understand that something doesn't have to be called "Word" to do text processing.

    Is Linux for Geeks and Devs: Sure, why not? All the development tools are free. So why not use them. Why should I buy the same tools for a Windows platform?

    Is it for everyone? If you explain the system to them the first time they use it (just like you did when they started with Windows but you did that sooo often you don't even remember).

    Is it for Geeks? What today actually ISN'T for Geeks? And btw. since when is that still a term anyone uses derogatorily? I thought Geeks where the guys that make all the stuff happen whereas the Jocks and Assholes just brag about their trophies and beat up Geeks to get shit done.
  • Re:Expected (Score:4, Informative)

    by NeilTheStupidHead (963719) on Thursday January 15, 2009 @12:31PM (#26467235) Journal
    At the tech school I recently graduated from, a course on writing reports had a graded "Microsoft Office requirements" component on every piece of written work, and required electronic submission so the instructor could verify that the desired formatting was being done properly instead of just being fudged.

    I did every report and presentation in OpenOffice and saved MS Word and Power Point compatible versions of my files when it came time to submit my work. The instructors never knew the difference and I got the highest mark in the class.

    Personally, I've been trying out various Linux distros for the past 10 years. I never really found any to be a suitable replacement for Windows on any of my computers until I got my hands on Hardy. My first Hardy install onto a Windows pre-loaded Dell laptop went as smoothly and as quickly as I've ever had an OS install (excepting maybe MSDOS but that hardly counts). The only hardware that didn't work immediately after the install was the wireless card, but ndiswrapper and Wifi-radar quickly solved that.
  • Re:Expected (Score:3, Informative)

    by agrounds (227704) on Thursday January 15, 2009 @12:33PM (#26467287)

    Another lying Micro$hill who avoids the obvious. OOo can read and save in .doc format.

    Ignoring the mean-spirited zealotness of this post, I will point out that saving OOo documents in MS Office format does not properly conserve all document formatting. I have found this to be true time and time again for word processing documents that have real formatting and inserted tables and graphics.

  • by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Thursday January 15, 2009 @12:33PM (#26467307) Journal
    I've used Verizon before, with *nix machines as well as Wintels. The CD is irrelevant, it just hods your hand through putting a username and password onto the DSL modem(something that the DSL modem's dinky browser based configuration interface also supports) and installs an RNDIS driver to allow you to use the DSL modem as a USB device.

    Verizon, presumably in an effort to make things "easier", doesn't talk about what needs to happen(PPPoE configuration) but instead just tells you to use the CD. Easy enough to figure out, though. After all, almost anybody who has a wireless router and Verizon DSL or FIOS is already using a Linux machine with Verizon, even if they don't know it yet.
  • Re:Expected (Score:5, Informative)

    by MacColossus (932054) on Thursday January 15, 2009 @12:34PM (#26467327) Journal
    I have used Verizon wireless usb adapters on my Mac without VZaccess. I just plugged it in and it worked. My understanding is Linux has similar drivers available and it just works on there as well. VZaccess is not required.
  • Re:Expected (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 15, 2009 @12:35PM (#26467347)

    Fuck you, I'm eating.

  • Re:Expected (Score:3, Informative)

    by C18H27NO3 (1282172) on Thursday January 15, 2009 @12:39PM (#26467425)
    I use a Verizon 3G wireless usb on my Ubuntu box and it couldn't be simpler.
    Run gnome-ppp and enter the following in respective fields:

    Username: phone_num@vzw3g.com
    Password: vzw
    Phone #: #777
    Device: /dev/ACM0
    Type: USB

    Click 'Connect'
    That's all there is to it.

    There is no need for having Windows installed for her to get on teh intarwebs and OO.org suite is a reasonable alternative to Office.
    (Off to rtfa, now)
  • Re:Expected (Score:3, Informative)

    by jbolden (176878) on Thursday January 15, 2009 @12:41PM (#26467487) Homepage

    192.168.0.1:80

  • Re:Expected (Score:3, Informative)

    by deraj123 (1225722) on Thursday January 15, 2009 @12:43PM (#26467537)

    contrary to the article this doesn't void your dell guarantee.

    It is not unheard of that Dell will attempt to tell you that loading a different operating system voids your warranty.

    We spent a few weeks back in October getting my brother-in-law's laptop repaired under warranty, and it took a letter to the Better Business Bureau to convince Dell that installing Ubuntu on a laptop that originally came with Windows did not void the warranty. (yes, the letter actually had an effect...Dell became extremely cooperative after that)

    I should add that I'm not apologizing for the woman, but, given that she knows as little as she does, not doing something that the manufacturer tells you will void your warranty is probably a good decision.

  • Re:Expected (Score:4, Informative)

    by websitebroke (996163) on Thursday January 15, 2009 @12:44PM (#26467547)
    The answer to the Verizon situation is to call up customer support and get the PPP username and password and enter it into your router manually. Since the Verizon installation CD has a whole shitload of flash presentations explaining the difference between a power cord, phone cord and ethernet cord that need to be skipped through by clicking the mouse a million times, the pain of being on the phone with customer support is about the same. The actual entering of the username/password takes about 30 seconds including firing up Firefox. On the other hand, I have my doubts that this person would have understood how to do this. I doubt the support technicians would have been able to walk it through with her either. (the guy I got on the phone last time sounded a bit panicked when I told him I was using Linux to set up my DSL) Openoffice most definitely DOES come with Ubuntu, and if, for some reason, Dell didn't ship OO with it, it's a simple installation via Synaptic. The Dell support folks should have know that. One thing that my wife has had trouble with in her online courses (besides Blackboard being super slow in Firefox) is that Openoffice can't read annotations put in her papers by her professors and vice versa, because the professors use Word. It would be really nice if colleges would switch to some sort of open format for this sort of thing! The problem in all the above is that most people are entirely unaware of Microsoft's incompatibility/lock-in games.
  • Re:Expected (Score:3, Informative)

    by Mad Merlin (837387) on Thursday January 15, 2009 @12:48PM (#26467671) Homepage

    The real news is at the end of the article, past the sensationalism:

    However, we think we've helped her get back to school.

    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.

    It's really more a matter of awareness. We know that you don't need a Windows-only installation disk (sic) to access the Internet, nor do you need MS Office to save MS Office compatible files (if they even need those instead of say, a PDF), but most people don't.

  • Re:Expected (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 15, 2009 @12:53PM (#26467807)

    The parent was talking about basic problem-solving, not computer know-how. Figuring out new skills (getting a network to connect) based on existing, simpler skills (navigating a windows-based operating system).

  • Re:Exactly (Score:5, Informative)

    by Koiu Lpoi (632570) <[moc.liamg] [ta] [iopluiok]> 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.

  • Re:Expected (Score:4, Informative)

    by fgaliegue (1137441) on Thursday January 15, 2009 @12:57PM (#26467893)

    Vista's highly annoying level of UAC was actually designed in an annoying manner on purpose, to try to get users to complain to the developers.

    However, "Publisher: Microsoft Corporation" means... yeah, it backfired. :P

    I wouldn't see it that way. My understanding is that MS has acknowledged the fact that (100-epsilon)% of computers out there in the wild run as admin and tried to limit this behaviour. And also that most of them don't even have a password to begin with. Meh.

    But they did it the wrong way, imho. Instead of forcing a regular, non priviledged user to be created and only ask for admin privileges for some operations (as Ubuntu does), they left things as is and flooded Joe User with warnings - so many warnings that most users either answer yes every time or, if they are skilled enough, shun them.

    No wonder that Vista turns out to be as little secure as its predecessors were. Ubuntu should have taught them a lesson, but... No. Go figure. And that's without even mentioning the fact that 99+% of viruses/trojans are ineffective if you run as a normal user. This is all the more a pity that Windows (from NT on) _does_ have very fine-grained security mechanisms.

  • by trolltalk.com (1108067) on Thursday January 15, 2009 @01:11PM (#26468269) Homepage Journal
    The fault lives entirely with her. As proof, I offer you some of the for-credit classes offered by the "Technical School" she wanted to "attend" via the Internet ... anyone stupid enough to pay for this low caliber education is in the "you can't fix stupid" demographic:

    Keyboarding Introduction [matcmadison.edu]
    Catalog #10106101

    Learn computer keyboarding (alphabetic and numeric keypad), develop speed and accuracy.

    Credits: 1

    Internet Introduction [matcmadison.edu]
    Catalog #10103146

    Introduction to email software: send, receive, reply to, and forward messages; attach files; use signature blocks; and organize mail in folders. Overview of Internet features: web browsers and search engines, bookmarks and shortcuts, hypertext links and URL addresses, digital camera use, and on-line web resources. Prerequisite: competency in Windows (10103124, 10103134, or 10103135).

    Credits: 1

    Keyboard Skillbuilding [matcmadison.edu]
    Catalog #10106139

    Identify keyboarding weaknesses through diagnostic tests and analyses. Refine keyboarding technique, increase speed and improve accuracy through individualized corrective practice. Prerequisite: 10106101 or touch keyboarding experience.

    Credits: 1

    Windows XP [matcmadison.edu]
    Catalog #10103135

    Introduces the Windows XP operating system: work with common elements (windows, menus, toolbars, panes, dialog boxes and Help), use accessory programs, manage files/folders using My Computer and Explorer, customize using the Control Panel and maintain the computer.

    Credits: 1

    Windows Vista [matcmadison.edu]
    Catalog #10103124

    This course introduces the Windows Vista operating system: work with common elements (windows, ribbons, dialog boxes, and Help), use accessory programs, manage file/folders, customize settings and maintain the computer.

    Credits: 1

    Word - Beginning [matcmadison.edu]
    Catalog #10103137

    Introduction to Microsoft's word processing software. Create, edit, save, format and print basic documents; cut/copy/paste and find/replace text; apply font styles and effects; add bullets and numbering; work with tabs and indents; align text; apply borders and shading; use wizards and templates to produce documents; insert headers/footers; apply different formatting to document sections; create columns; insert clip art. Create and format tables, modify rows and columns, perform calculations, sort table data, customize tables. Prerequisite: competency in Windows or Windows course (10-103-124, 10-103-134 or 10-103-135).

    Credits: 1

    We had classes in college that we labeled as "Mickey Mouse" - you'd sign up for one if you needed an easy credit. This, on the other hand, makes Mickey Mouse look like Einstein.

  • by hansamurai (907719) <hansamurai@gmail.com> on Thursday January 15, 2009 @01:22PM (#26468529) Homepage Journal

    Yeah, judge a school entirely by its online courses. Let's look at some of their real classes:

    Advanced Bioinformatics
    Catalog #10007181

    This capstone course in Bioinformatics provides the student with experience in the design and implementation of basic programming concepts applied to bioinformatics problems. Using the skills gained in previous certificate courses, the student designs and completes an independent project using the Perl programming language, Oracle database, and internet technology in the UNIX operating system. Prerequisite: grade of C or better in all certificate courses and concurrent enrollment in 10-007-180, 10-152-111, 10-152-120, 10-152-125, 10-152-151, and completion of or concurrent enrollment in 10-154-190.

    Credits: 4

    and

    Clinical Ophthalmic Procedures
    Catalog #31516327

    This course prepares the technician to assist the doctor in advanced office techniques in the area of ultrasound, in-office surgical procedures, case history and scribing. Students will also study various systemic diseases and their affect on the eye. The performance of various skills is emphasized in the laboratory sessions. Prerequisites: 31-516-315, 31-516-301, 31-516-305, 31-509-303Prerequisites: Ophthalmic Pre-Testing 31516301; Ocular Anatomy 31516315; Basic Optical Concepts 31516305 and Body Structure 300-level or higher.

    Credits: 2

    and

    Network Security Design
    Catalog #10150193

    This course affords the network security specialist the opportunity to conduct a vulnerability analysis upon a network in order to practice or refine the attack methodologies with the hacker tools and techniques to which the student was exposed during the various program courses. The student must demonstrate the ability to design, plan and execute a vulnerability analysis against an organization network. In this class, students learn the skills necessary for the Certified Information System Security Professional (CISSP) certification. Prerequisite: 10-150-164 and 10-150-196

    Credits: 3

    and

    X-Ray Microanalysis
    Catalog #10636141

    Students perform elemental analysis with energy dispersive X-ray systems on both TEM and SEMs. The use of matrix corrections, qualitative and quantitative computer analysis routine will constitute a major part of this course. Prerequisite: grade of C or better in both 10-636-131 and 10-636-132, or consent of the instructor.

    Credits: 4

  • by Wain13001 (1119071) on Thursday January 15, 2009 @01:31PM (#26468741)

    The problem here is being highly misappropriated by the media coverage and even much of slashdot.

    The real issue here is simple...people who do not know anything about computers should not be enrolled in ONLINE classes at their local university.

    In fact, of the 3 universities I've worked at, all of them had a large amount of disclaimers essentially stating just that. "You will be responsible for your own technical issues, the university cannot provide for you in case of problems, please make sure that your computer is not only reliable, but that you understand how to configure your own internet, and computer maintenance before enrolling in online classes...blah blah blah"

    There is absolutely no doubt in my mind from reading TFA that the woman here would have had just as many problems using Windows and Word, and then would be harassing some poor kid at a computer lab into doing all of her formatting, emailing, and homework submissions for her anyway.

    We have not yet developed a stupid-user-friendly interface that is sufficient to handle the sort of person who is likely to struggle to find the power button...and the truth is, we shouldn't have to.

    There is nothing wrong with requiring someone to know how to use their own tools in order to partake in a lesson.

  • Re:Expected (Score:3, Informative)

    by bb5ch39t (786551) on Thursday January 15, 2009 @01:39PM (#26468951)
    AT&T sure doesn't. I even have a Mac in addition to my Linux boxes. They don't support anything other than current Windows (XP or later) for any diagnostics. This, when my DSL modem was the actual problem. Oh, and they don't support my Netgear VPN router as the box connected to the DSL line. Totally blew their minds. "What's a router?"
  • by Rasta_the_far_Ian (872140) on Thursday January 15, 2009 @01:52PM (#26469253)

    I noticed that a number of people mentioned that this person went to technical college.

    The term "technical college" can mean two different things in the U.S. - it can refer to a university with strong engineering offerings, or it can refer to a type of community college that is strictly focused on teaching job related skills at a level roughly equivalent to that of upperclassmen at a leading high school.

    Generally, admission criteria for the latter are quite low, the idea being to give these people with minimal skills enough skills to become productive in jobs such as auto mechanic, etc.

    I suspect this person went to this second type of "technical college".

  • I love a small ISP (Score:5, Informative)

    by grahamsz (150076) on Thursday January 15, 2009 @01:59PM (#26469413) Homepage Journal

    I'm with mesa networks and they are awesome.

    Had a tech out diagnosing some problem and he was quite happy with a root prompt on my laptop to test things.

    Saw my router and immediately asked if i'd gone with DD-WRT or something else.

    I pay a little more than comcast, but that's a small price to pay for not dealing with comcast.

  • Couple Observations (Score:4, Informative)

    by HermMunster (972336) on Thursday January 15, 2009 @02:18PM (#26469833)

    None of the issues she had appear to be due to Ubuntu. They appear to be in this order:

    1) she didn't get what she wanted -- didn't know what she wanted and maybe randomly picked, but what she says she wanted was a bread and butter PC.

    2) She didn't know how to get her DSL active without the CD.

    3) She didn't know how to create .doc files without Word.

    First things first. A couple of questions:

    1) What if the CD for the DSL activation didn't work? Would she still have skipped 2 semesters (which is almost a whole year of school).

    2) Did she realize that it would have cost her money to purchase Office? If she didn't know that would she also have dropped out?

    The point behind these questions is that it seems far too questionable that any one or both of those issues would have resulted in someone deciding not to enroll for not one semester of college but two. If something that simple was happening just about anything could have set her off and caused her to decide not to enroll.

    There are computer labs, there are neighbors and friends, there are computer shops to help configure and repair--what's more important going to anyone of those or wasting a year of your life by waiting for a solution to any of those two given problems? So, she didn't waste the time, but she did delay her education for a year. And why not more than 2 semesters as it seems no one has given her a solution yet.

    And for someone whom it seems is unable to accept anything but the status quo she seems pretty well posed in the picture, as if she's using it.

    On to the Verison DSL. She should have called Verison and had them activate her modem or send a technician out to do it, or get friend's laptop to activate the modem.

    The obvious problem with that is that Verision wants to take ownership of her computer by branding it and by tracking her via software they install. I generally uninstall that stuff when I see it and I inform them that it is optional software completely unnecessary. So, she could have borrowed a computer or had a friend come over and activate the modem but she didn't know it because Verison wasn't performing full disclosure as to what that software does and whether it is necessary once the modem is active.

    She may not have been aware that Office costs a pretty penny, unless of course she knew this and was after the college's student & home version of Office (for non-commercial use only). And she didn't know that using crossover office or even Wine she could have it up and running.

    She probably wasn't aware that she also could use Open Office, which many pointed out here. And yes, there are many formatting issues and yes, instructors do grade you down for mis-spellings and poor formatting--they only give you so much credit for the actual content of what you write.

    But nonetheless if they were using the proper filters she could have used ODT as her file format and it would have been up to them to ensure that they used a product that could read it and format it properly, as ODT is an ISO standard. In this sense she would have been right and they would have had the burden to accept industry standard file formats that are accepted by a world-wide standards organization. Which is what the schools should be doing as they are governmentally funded.

    Foremost in all this the issue had nothing to do with Ubuntu nor its usability. Her installation of the Verison CD could have failed under Windows, easily. There are many problems that crop up when installing drivers and software under windows and if that was sufficient to stop her education under Ubuntu it should have been sufficient to stop her education under Windows--so this is a no-go for blaming Ubuntu.

    Her college stated they'd take whatever format she chose to submit her assignments in showing that at least they had some modicum of technical knowledge so Open Office documents submitted in ODT format should have sufficed. The end result is that she let her educati

  • Re:Exactly (Score:2, Informative)

    by johnmat (650076) on Thursday January 15, 2009 @04:22PM (#26472539)
    It is easy without Windows - I just went through this with a Verizon DSL install. When I called and told them I was installing from a Mac, they talked me through logging directly into the modem from Safari, and setting it up through its web interface. No Windows required! (so is that the chicken, or the egg?)
  • Re:Expected (Score:0, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 15, 2009 @04:34PM (#26472813)
    The word you are looking for is "moot", you fucking retard.
  • by LingNoi (1066278) on Thursday January 15, 2009 @05:25PM (#26473829)

    Your analogy fails because under said analogy, she went to the mechanic who told her everything was fine and not to worry about it.

    and this is where your analogy fails because there was nothing wrong with her computer. You're going under the general assumption that something is wrong or fails to complete the tasks she needs it to do.

    By reading the article you'll see that she is happily using her new ubuntu machine now she knows how it works.

  • Re:dell and modems (Score:5, Informative)

    by centuren (106470) on Thursday January 15, 2009 @05:34PM (#26474007) Homepage Journal

    The Comcast CD that came with my Internet self-install officially supported Windows and OSX, so I could install it on my laptop at least -- or so I thought until I tried. It also specifically required Internet Explorer 5 for Mac, a product not available even through the MS website anymore.

    Of course, the whole situation was moot. Those install CD-ROMs aren't required to use the modem. I just called Comcast and told them to activate my modem, and I was online in minutes.

    Verizon DSL is similarly not limited to Windows. The article actually says that Verizon supports Ubuntu, and that they are going to send over tech support.

    This really shouldn't have made news anywhere, it basically amounts to "Woman has trouble setting up her Internet connection, complains to the press before receiving support from her ISP."

  • Re:Exactly (Score:2, Informative)

    by JavaHead85 (1452211) on Thursday January 15, 2009 @07:04PM (#26475685)

    flash in Linux closely resembles that of video drivers about five years ago

    Um No. Not only has flash progessed in leaps and bounds on the Linux front, Linux is ahead supporting 64 bit Flash. Windows is playing catch-up here not Linux http://labs.adobe.com/downloads/flashplayer10.html [adobe.com]

  • by way2trivial (601132) on Thursday January 15, 2009 @08:32PM (#26476699) Homepage Journal

    You are multiply wrong.
    It's easy to find linux on the dell website

    go to dell.com
    choose 'for home' and go down to 'laptops'

    look on the left side.
    "Ubuntu Linux"

    now- go to dell.com
    choose 'for home' and go down to desktops
    look on the left side
    Ubuntu Linux &
    FreeDOS

    go to dell.com
    go to desktops-buisness-small business
    see on the left?
    FreeDOS and Linux
    64-BIT OS

    =

    BUT NONE IF IT MATTERS- CAUSE IT'S CLEAR IN THE FUCKING SUMMARY THAT SHE CALLED! NOT ORDERED ONLINE!

    RTFS if not the FA next time

    (me, laughing cause the captcha is impudent)

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