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ECT News Community   »   LinuxInsider Talkback   »   Re: Woman Quits College, Blames Ubuntu, Is Flamed by Overzealous Fanboys

Re: Woman Quits College, Blames Ubuntu, Is Flamed by Overzealous Fanboys
Posted by: Katherine Noyes 2009-01-19 09:47:27
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Operating systems have been charged with a variety of grievances over the years, but perhaps none so dire as the one that was laid at Linux's door last week. Yes, last week Linux -- or, more specifically, Ubuntu -- was blamed for nothing short of ending a Wisconsin student's college career. How could that be possible, you may ask? Well, the student in question -- we won't reproduce her full name here for fear of worsening the response she's apparently already gotten -- accidentally ordered Ubuntu on her new Dell computer.

We have all missed something here
Posted by: molex333 2009-01-20 06:08:05 In reply to: Katherine Noyes
Okay, first things first. If she bought the computer with Ubuntu from Dell, she could easily have talked to a support representative and recieved a Dell restore disk with Windows for a small fee (most likely less than the fees she had to pay for dropping out of school). Second, I used to install Verizon Internet for customers (as a sub-contractor) and rarely if ever did thier install CD work on Windows systems. Most times we had to call in to the support line and have them do the set-up from thier end manually anyway (the install would go about half-way and give the customer an error and tell them to call support). Third is that I use Ubuntu at home and I go to school on-line. Every class claims that you need to have Word and IE. You never "have to have them". Also, the last time I checked, computers do not ship with Microsoft Office anyway (unless you pay extra). Would this woman have quit school if she had gotten Windows on the machine and it did not have office? There has got to be a lot more to this story! I switched my parents over to Linux (this was thier second computer). They had no problem making the switch. In fact, Ubuntu has gotten so close to windows at this point that you can do almost everything you can woth windows (except I-tunes and some games). If the machine comes with Ubuntu already installed and configured, the hardest part is already over. People do not drop out of school because thier computer doesn't work. Is she going to school in Guam? Does her school not have a computer lab? What about her local library? If you are determined to go to college you will find a way to make it work, not drop out at the first sign of trouble and blame an operating system! There were obviously other issues at hand.

She went to the News ... Hello!
Posted by: perspectoff 2009-01-20 05:17:34 In reply to: Katherine Noyes
This isn't just a problem with a silly stupid woman.

She went to the news to get this published all over the world.

Who does that sort of thing?

Usually someone who is paid to do it, or someone who is desperate for attention. She got plenty of attention, so if she was paid (by Microsoft), hopefully she was well-paid.

Think this doesn't fit with Microsoft's idiotic ad campaigns recently? Go watch them again, where you get "everyday" dolts raving about their computer.

No, this whole story reeks of the Microsoft marketing department.

it wasn't meant for front-page world news--HELLO
Posted by: kenearlg 2009-01-20 11:26:48 In reply to: perspectoff
Just to put the original story in it's context, the "silly stupid woman" contacted the department of that local news station called "27 News Troubleshooter" NOT to tell the world, but just to get her little problem straightened out. It's like a help desk that people can call when they don't know where else to turn to.

I wish people would give the poor girl a break, she had no idea what was coming. The TV station and the editor could have handled the situation much differently to avoid it blowing out of control like it did but they just wanted that stupid story to fill in the time. Well, it's all water under the bridge a week later except for the young woman who's probably still a nervous wreck!

Re: it wasn't meant for front-page world news--HELLO
Posted by: kramlat 2015-06-12 04:45:26 In reply to: kenearlg
any chance someone will tell her about wine, cedega, and crossover (by codeweavers)? She might be able to install Word after all, no joke and ie8 as well. That is what I would do, as for verizon, I agree that they are part of the problem and that the college itself could have done better, but from my point of view, everyone is to blame here, the linux community, Microsoft's linux FUD, dell for trying to send linux to the unprepared, the education system for force feeding kids with Windows all the way into college, microsoft partners like Verizon for attempting to do everything in their power to bar non-Windows operating systems from their service (anti-competitive like a cartel indeed) the linux community with its flame wars and finally her for not asking the right questions to the right people. I would have loved to help a new linux user out in the best way I could. I would have solved every problem except the verizon one rather quickly with apt get (to install wine and winetools as well as unity integration for winetools) for her assuming she wanted word working. I would even have taught her how to install word using wine. By hell I got skyrim working with wine on a shitty laptop. I use gentoo but know how to use every distro's package manager (the latest I learned was pacman in arch) and know Windows(3.x and above, know how to use dos as well), Linux(my first distro was redhat 6.2 with kde 1.1 and kernel 2.2.14), and Mac (Classic, including System 6 and above and OSX 10.0 and above) pretty well too.

Isn't there an Ubuntu Code of Conduct?
Posted by: fluxboxxy 2009-01-19 10:19:00 In reply to: Katherine Noyes
I'm happy to say that I was one of the ones who defended the poor woman, who only believed what she was told.

The real culprit here is Verizon. I've been using a Verizon connection with Linux operating systems for several years, but I've had Verizon support staff tell me that it can't be done. In order to initiate the account, I had to install Windows on my machine. It was a pirated system, but I only ran it long enough to establish the connection, and to get myself a username and password. I deleted the Windows system, and from that point on, I've been using my Verizon connection with Linux.

That was a couple of years ago. Maybe things have changed, but the refusal to support Linux that I have experienced from Verizon seems positively willful. To put some Unix compatible software on the installation disk, or to allow me to initiate a connection by phone, should have been easy for a huge corporation like verizon. I'm frankly amazed that selective support of operating systems is legal-- especially considering that, as a distributor of MSN services, Verizon is a Microsoft partner. This seems to be the very definition of anticompetative practice.

Please, everybody, stop flaming the unfortunate people who don't get it. If you want Linux to succeed, please skip the anger and go straight to the opportunity to educate.

Working Without A Net
Posted by: Africord 2009-01-19 10:05:08 In reply to: Katherine Noyes
Its not a major surprise that Ubuntu didn't work out for this student. We keep forgetting that people other than those who are intrigued by computers use them everyday. We also forget that the default support structure for most colleges and their student's desktops is Windows. If you use Linux or a Mac, your likely response from the college will be: you are on your own. Many people in the world treat their computers like their toaster. And when it doesn't work, they want an easy, and I emphasize, EASY solution to get them down the road. Not easy for people with a technical bent. Easy for everyone. Until we create open support communities to supplement our open source communities and make them broadly available and broadly known, Linux will continue to be the desktop solution only used by a fringe of population. Yes, its much better today than a few years ago. I spent weeks getting my first Red Hat desktop setup and working in my small office in 2004. I configured Opensuse 11.1 on my spare desktop last night in about an hour, including WiFi, and Evolution and without downloading any additional software. This is partly due to I'm a little smarter now than then, but mostly the distro anticipated my questions.
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