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Woman Claims Ubuntu Kept Her From Online Classes

samzenpus posted about 6 years ago | from the learning-is-hard dept.

It's funny.  Laugh. 1654

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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Expected (-1, Flamebait)

Lulfas (1140109) | about 6 years ago | (#26466397)

This is the sort of thing that is going to happen when you give a normal person *nix. Sadly, in this case, Windows "just works."

Re:Expected (5, Insightful)

samtihen (798412) | about 6 years ago | (#26466425)

Well, I was going to go into a tirade about how stupid the girl is, but the reality is that she called to explain the mixup and Dell somehow convinced her to keep Ubuntu. Dell, if someone calls and says they got a Ubuntu computer by mistake, just have them ship it back. It isn't worth it.

Re:Expected (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#26466731)

Believe it or not, our linux enthusiasts here are as enthusiastic as many slashdot posters.

That she needs and deserves Windows probably escaped the rep...

Thank you for your suggestion (5, Funny)

DragonHawk (21256) | about 6 years ago | (#26466783)

"Dell, if someone calls and says they got a Ubuntu computer by mistake, just have them ship it back. "

We'll get right on that.


All of Dell (we all read Slashdot, but just share this one account)

Re:Expected (4, Insightful)

mark72005 (1233572) | about 6 years ago | (#26466817)

Don't they include OpenOffice with these?

If the Dell support rep could have just given her two or three helpful tips, she could have probably been fine. OpenOffice is a perfect replacement for Word. I don't know about her Verizon situation, but I'm sure there is a workaround for that.

The problem is, as I've been flamed for before, Linux is still nowhere near the point where a non-techie will consider adopting it. Although it's much better than it was even a few years ago, it's still not an idiot-friendly OS where things 'just work', compared to what people are used to.

Re:Expected (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#26466467)

This is the sort of thing that is going to happen when you give a normal person *nix. Sadly, in this case, Windows "just works."

Considering the Verizon software is probably for a 3G-Wireless usb card, yes I could see windows exclusivly, although WINE may have been able to accomplish it ( never tried ) As for Word? ROFL! Wine+MSOffice, or OpenOffice... next

Re:Expected (2, Insightful)

Lulfas (1140109) | about 6 years ago | (#26466579)

But there is no reason for a normal person to find some ad-hoc work around to the software not working on an OS they have no special love for. Most people don't care what OS they have, and they aren't going to bend over backwards like you often have to do in a *nix system to run what everyone expects you to be able to run. In most people's minds, Office = MS. They aren't going to go looking for random alternatives just because they are out there. That isn't the way people work. The only reason to ever look for an alternative is when it DOESN'T work.

Re:Expected (1, Troll)

thtrgremlin (1158085) | about 6 years ago | (#26466627)

is ndiswrapper too much to expect of anyone to use, even the easy as hell to use gui for wireless because it isn't installed by default?

I am sure this must have been University of Phoenix, they are really behind in the times. They really caught a trend decades ago, but they have done nothing technology-wise to keep up to date.

Re:Expected (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#26466693)

This is the sort of thing that is going to happen when you give a normal person *nix. Sadly, in this case, Windows "just works."

Considering the Verizon software is probably for a 3G-Wireless usb card, yes I could see windows exclusivly, although WINE may have been able to accomplish it ( never tried ) As for Word? ROFL! Wine+MSOffice, or OpenOffice... next

Considering that my 3g connection is detected by the network manager by default, i'm surprised there is any conversation about this at all.

maybe we just can't expect everyone to finish college, some people are just not bright. serioulsy, do you want this person to be a doctor or manage your finances if she can't be bothered to click on the "network" icon in the top right corner of the screen? what kind of problem solving skills does she have.

Re:Expected (4, Insightful)

fooby12 (770356) | about 6 years ago | (#26466477)

That's true, and anyone who has ever passed on a Linux distribution to a friend or family member would know the importance of leaving behind a system that does just work. To me this just looks like someone trying to pass blame. I guess she feels swindled, when in fact she was simply sold something different.

Until the point at Windows doesn't "just work" (0, Flamebait)

Viol8 (599362) | about 6 years ago | (#26466487)

Can you say "malware", "virus", "trojan"?

Re:Until the point at Windows doesn't "just work" (4, Insightful)

Telvin_3d (855514) | about 6 years ago | (#26466565)

If the computer doesn't do what she needs it to do in the first place, why does better security matter? She could put a rock on the desk, call it a computer and be just as productive and free from computer viruses.

Re:Expected (1)

Maxo-Texas (864189) | about 6 years ago | (#26466517)

I agree-- however part of the reason that it "just works" is because the vendors assume windows will be on every machine.

It's the same reason people have less problems with console games than they do with PC games.

I think the days of assuming windows is on every machine are ending and linux is reaching critical mass.

With the economy the way it is, governments and businesses are looking very hard at software costs.

Re:Expected (1)

colmore (56499) | about 6 years ago | (#26466653)

"Critical Mass" of what? Gear heads who are willing to read manuals and tinker with things until they work?

Sure. But there's a lot of the population who don't and never will have that relationship with their computers. And a lot of these people use their machines for more than just the mythical "web and email."

If someone knows Windows well enough, there simply isn't a non-partisan reason to make the switch. It's too much effort.

Re:Expected (3, Insightful)

Directrix1 (157787) | about 6 years ago | (#26466799)

Windows requires just as much tinkering as Linux, just in different ways.

Re:Expected (2, Insightful)

Ravalox (640829) | about 6 years ago | (#26466523)

I have to agree, reading this can be frustrating to a seasoned posix user but the truth is linux just isn't that simplified iPod solution that appeals to the vast majority of consumers. I use Ubuntu almost exclusively and thrive in a linux environment but my girlfriend doesn't want to use my computer. It's not that she isn't smart, it's that she sees it as this obtuse, obnoxious affront to the status quo. We know it's not, but that's an example of one of several perceptual barriers Linux is going to have to vault over.

Re:Expected (1)

mewshi_nya (1394329) | about 6 years ago | (#26466757)

Unlucky you :P

After my girlfriend's computer died, she inherited Kenny (my first home-built machine, circa 2005). Installed Sabayon on there, then after a few kernel upgrades and such, it started having issues. Installed Ubuntu, works beautifully, other than, you know, Dolphin freezing.

She loves it, partly because it's new, and interesting, but also because it's free. You should have seen the look on her face when I told her how much a retail copy of Windows costs.

She's mine, you can't have her, by the way.

Re:Expected (4, Informative)

sucker_muts (776572) | about 6 years ago | (#26466553)

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 (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#26466619)

I attended the same school as this chick, and 90% of my syllabuses said that works *must* be submitted in Microsoft Word format. It is a technical college, preparing people for real jobs where Microsoft products are extremely relevant. In the real world, people can't afford to be technical non-conformists.

Re:Expected (3, Informative)

mewshi_nya (1394329) | about 6 years ago | (#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!!"

Re:Expected (0, Redundant)

trolltalk.com (1108067) | about 6 years ago | (#26466809)

I attended the same school as this chick, and 90% of my syllabuses said that works *must* be submitted in Microsoft Word format. It is a technical college, preparing people for real jobs where Microsoft products are extremely relevant. In the real world, people can't afford to be technical non-conformists.

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

Re:Expected (4, Insightful)

capnkr (1153623) | about 6 years ago | (#26466629)

No, this is the sort of thing which makes "Idiocracy" [wikipedia.org] seem to be an insightful and predictive documentary...

Re:Expected (2, Flamebait)

Cajun Hell (725246) | about 6 years ago | (#26466665)

in this case, Windows "just works."

Yep, downloads and executes (or autoloads from freshly inserted disk) and installs malware without all that pesky save-as, chmod +x crap.

C'mon, the article explicitly says she wants internet access. You've got to be insane to give Windows to a "normal person" if you know they're going to be connected to the internet, precisely because of the "dangerous stuff 'just works'" problem. These three things just don't go together: 1) Windows 2) networks 3) computer novices. Change any 1 and you can have a working system, but all 3 together are lethal.

Her Verizon High-Speed Internet CD won't load, so she can't access the internet.

Ubuntu can't network out-of-the-box, and needs a Verizon CD? Whoa!

She also can't install Microsoft Word, which she says is a requirement for MATC's online classes. .. MATC also says it promises to accept any of Schubert's papers or class documents using whatever software she has installed.

Sounds like somebody doesn't have their story straight. FUD should be consistent within an article if you want people to believe it.

Re:Expected (4, Informative)

PalmKiller (174161) | about 6 years ago | (#26466667)

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 (1)

PalmKiller (174161) | about 6 years ago | (#26466775)

My bad, I guess I should have RTFA. :) At any rate its good that verizon is gonna get her online, and open office should do her just fine...unless hey online classes require internet explorer (which tends to be the case).

Re:Expected (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#26466777)

Nothing to do with the OS. This person would have the same class of problems if she were given a Mac.

Idea (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#26466409)

Get someone smarter to do your work....like a rock.

it figures, (0, Troll)

madcarrots (308916) | about 6 years ago | (#26466419)

why are the cute ones always dumb?

Re:it figures, (5, Funny)

Shakrai (717556) | about 6 years ago | (#26466453)

why are the cute ones always dumb?

Take comfort in Judge Judy's quote: Beauty fades, but dumb is forever.

Re:it figures, (4, Funny)

Spazztastic (814296) | about 6 years ago | (#26466499)

why are the cute ones always dumb?

Take comfort in Judge Judy's quote: Beauty fades, but dumb is forever.

Or Ron White's line: You can't fix stupid.

Re:it figures, (5, Funny)

Todd Fisher (680265) | about 6 years ago | (#26466633)

Or Forrest Gump's line: Lieutenant Dannnn! Ice Cream!

Re:it figures, (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#26466721)

why are the cute ones always dumb?

My theory is this:
Because pretty people get a lot more attention than other people from a young age, they do not need to study hard or think more to prove themselves. They'll be happy with all this attention without doing anything for it.

Of course, this theory does not mean that all pretty people are stupid, only that it's more likely that pretty people are less smart because they perhaps never learned to make an effort. :-)

Humor? Entertainment? (4, Insightful)

Thyamine (531612) | about 6 years ago | (#26466435)

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 (4, Insightful)

daveschroeder (516195) | about 6 years ago | (#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:Humor? Entertainment? (3, Insightful)

gblackwo (1087063) | about 6 years ago | (#26466547)

There is a difference.

This woman didn't want to try to use it, she got stuck with it on accident and then failed to make use of it. A few google searches by her would have revealed at least how to use Word or Open Office. And has it been shown that she really has a verizon card?- or does she just think she needs the magic cd that came with her cable modem?

Re:Humor? Entertainment? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#26466707)

"A few google searches" ?

She couldn't connect !

Re:Humor? Entertainment? (5, Insightful)

elrous0 (869638) | about 6 years ago | (#26466715)

We geeks tend to live in a bit of an echo chamber and so we can lose perspective on just how ignorant and computer illiterate the average citizen is. Just the response "A few google searches by her would have revealed..." is just one example. There are a LOT of people (probably the *majority* of people) out there who have no idea what a "google search" is. Most of the people that I work with (and these are college-educated people, mind you), don't know what a browser is (they refer to Internet Explorer as "the internet"). And no, I'm not joking (I wish I was).

Re:Humor? Entertainment? (5, Insightful)

MightyYar (622222) | about 6 years ago | (#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!

Re:Humor? Entertainment? (1)

trolltalk.com (1108067) | about 6 years ago | (#26466607)

It's funny because she claims she couldn't get online because her Verizon install CD didn't work. She should have checked to see if she wasn't already online before complaining - I've seen people bitch about "I can't run my install" when all they needed to do was click on the browser - they were already online.

If you read the article, this is someone who was just looking for an excuse to abandon the courses. It's not like openoffice doesn't work, or that networking under linux isn't pretty much "plug it in and go online."

Re:Humor? Entertainment? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#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.

Re:Humor? Entertainment? (5, Insightful)

TheLinuxSRC (683475) | about 6 years ago | (#26466773)

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.

This is a real problem (5, Insightful)

daveschroeder (516195) | about 6 years ago | (#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.)

Re:This is a real problem (5, Insightful)

db32 (862117) | about 6 years ago | (#26466621)

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.

Re:This is a real problem (1)

javilon (99157) | about 6 years ago | (#26466675)

This is not the mainstream we want :-)

We want the mainstream with IQ > 70

Re:This is a real problem (5, Funny)

TheRealMindChild (743925) | about 6 years ago | (#26466695)

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"...

Semantics Problem, Actually (2, Informative)

mfh (56) | about 6 years ago | (#26466805)

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:This is a real problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#26466821)

Generate a database of signatures for things like the "Verizon High Speed Internet CD" so that a Gnome/KDE desktop can "do the right thing" when these are inserted. Present a dialog saying "it's already installed, click here to use it". User doesn't care how that happens, as long as enough of the process makes sense ("I installed the CD, and now I have internet").

This is pretty awesome *for* linux. (5, Insightful)

Maxo-Texas (864189) | about 6 years ago | (#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.

Re:This is pretty awesome *for* linux. (2, Insightful)

chemosh6969 (632048) | about 6 years ago | (#26466569)

I was wondering how many people wouldn't stop to think before they replied, blaming her in the process. Not everyone is a computer whiz or cares to be one. Do you know everything about everything? Most people, probably including you, has bought something at a point where they have no interest in learning everything about it and has asked someone for advice. If they gave you advice that didn't help you after purchasing it, why should the people that understand what you did wrong blame you?

Re:This is pretty awesome *for* linux. (0)

Lulfas (1140109) | about 6 years ago | (#26466659)

Let's be honest. The Linux "market segment" is mostly businesses, servers, and an extremely small amount of computer geeks. Of those, Verizon needs to worry about the geeks, who know how to run Wine if they want to run Verizon's software. There is no monetary advantage for Verizon to make their software *nix capable, therefore they won't.

Re:This is pretty awesome *for* linux. (2, Insightful)

Archangel Michael (180766) | about 6 years ago | (#26466725)

I wish I had mod points. (+1) Insightful here

Two parts to the complain, one is on Verizon (do they support Mac and not Linux???). Which isn't Linux or even Ubuntu's fault. In fact, I suspect that if Verizon gave the specs for their device to Linux community, there would be a driver and management software available within a couple of days. No development costs to Verizon at all, and I'm sure they would get all sorts of "attaboys" from the Linux community.

Second part is Word isn't needed to type papers. In fact, if I were Professor at a big U, I wouldn't accept .doc files. Print it, or submit in an open standard. Hell, I'd probably require them to be .txt just so people would have to focus on content, and not on making it "pretty".


Idle? (0, Offtopic)

ari_j (90255) | about 6 years ago | (#26466445)

You know that new Idle section y'all put so much work into creating? Please at least use it.

So I guess no one told her about (1)

Erie Ed (1254426) | about 6 years ago | (#26466457)

So let's see here...there's open office, I believe you can still use your dsl connection in ubuntu, and even if she couldn't I'm sure there's a cable ISP out there. Humm seems that the fault is on her.

In Other News... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#26466459)

There is a Wisconsin woman, who has no business going back to school over the Internet.

Re:In Other News... (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#26466577)

No...There is a Wisconsin WOMAN. This WOMAN has Linux on a laptop. This WOMAN needs help. Come on guys, how big an opening do you need?!?


MightyYar (622222) | about 6 years ago | (#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 (5, Insightful)

ianare (1132971) | about 6 years ago | (#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 (5, Insightful)

MightyYar (622222) | about 6 years ago | (#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.

Re:No problem (1)

PeterFranks (523503) | about 6 years ago | (#26466735)

I think the real problem here is her, not the computer, the school, the operating system, or the internet. She bought something that she did not research, she didn't take the time to learn about it afterward, she panicked, and then she tried to blame everybody else but herself. It happens in every other industry besides computers, making this instance of buyer's remorse nothing special. But since it involves a blonde trying to use a computer, it seems different. Oh well.

The follow-up is much more interesting... (5, Informative)

RotsiserMho (918539) | about 6 years ago | (#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]

blame Dell, seriously (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#26466485)

Their tech support is cr*ptacular.

They argued with me for half an hour the other day that the $1000 monitor I bought doesn't come with any cables and that I had to buy them separately.

In other news... (5, Insightful)

pato101 (851725) | about 6 years ago | (#26466495)

...a guy couldn't finish his work because a virus killed his Windows HP computer... and blames HP for it...

Re:In other news... (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#26466641)

A girl couldn't finish her paper because her pc ate it and went beep beep beep beeep.

it was a really good paper.

RTFM? (3, Insightful)

OglinTatas (710589) | about 6 years ago | (#26466497)

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

Idiocy (5, Funny)

Thanshin (1188877) | about 6 years ago | (#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? (4, Insightful)

Logical Zebra (1423045) | about 6 years ago | (#26466505)

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

She must have talked to a slashdotter (1, Funny)

elrous0 (869638) | about 6 years ago | (#26466521)

she has called Dell to request Windows instead however was talked out of it"

dumb (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#26466525)

dumb dumb

So what just happened here? (1, Insightful)

Minwee (522556) | about 6 years ago | (#26466529)

A customer ordered a product, received something quite different which was not only not what she wanted but not something which she could use, called the vendor to complain and was told to just keep it "because it's better", instead of trying to return it. As a result, she couldn't get any of her work done as it required the original product which she had actually requested.

Why would I be surprised to find that she was dealing with Dell? Or that some smug bastard here has called it 'funny'?

Re:So what just happened here? (1)

Todd Knarr (15451) | about 6 years ago | (#26466751)

Actually, it shouldn't require the original product. She doesn't need to install Verizon's access disk, for example, she simply needs to get her Internet connection up and running. On Linux that should just be a matter of configuring the network interface, and Ubuntu should have prompted her for it when it detected her network card the first time she fired the system up. Mostly it's just a matter of entering the username and password your ISP gave you. That Verizon tries to claim you must use their software when you don't is a Verizon issue. Similarly for Word. She doesn't need to use Word, she needs to open and create Word documents. Ubuntu comes with several pieces of software that do just that.

The problem is that too many people today confuse using a tool vs. doing a task. It's as pathetic as a mechanic standing looking at a toolbox full of Snap-on wrenches in all sizes and complaining that he can't do his job, he doesn't have a Matco #870334 wrench to tighten a nut with when it's a standard 3/4" nut, there's 5 3/4" wrenches staring him in the face and his "problem" is that he's confused "having the right brand name" with "being the right tool". If a mechanic held a 3/4" Snap-on box-end wrench in your face and said "I can't use this to tighten this 3/4" nut, it's not a Matco.", you'd laugh in his face.

Re:So what just happened here? (1)

infalliable (1239578) | about 6 years ago | (#26466753)

Problem is she didn't know what they hell she had or wanted.

The way it's worded, she called and said she had something other than Windows and the computer wasn't working. The tech/customer service rep said that Ubuntu would work, it's a good OS. Then she did an "Uh, okay."

Dell, in general, is pretty good about sending replacements and correcting orders in my experience. I've done it multiple times. I've got replacement RAM, audio cards, Hard drives, and monitors out of them without ever being a PITA. You have to sit through some garbage first depending on the issue ("is the PC plugged in?"), but they'll do it. I've even talked to reps and had them honor last weeks sale prices without any trouble. You just have to know what you want.

She had no clue.

Ironically... (1)

rarel (697734) | about 6 years ago | (#26466535)

... what TFA doesn't say is that she wanted to take online classes from that school. [dartmouth.edu]

i am doing it (1)

He who knows (1376995) | about 6 years ago | (#26466551)

I am doing both at the moment while using Ubuntu.

Back the fun bus the fuck up (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#26466563)

...big corporations are talking people *into* using Linux?
*fetches champagne*

Fail (1)

MazzThePianoman (996530) | about 6 years ago | (#26466573)

I have never used the discs provided by ISPs to get online. Usually they are just bloatware and if you call them up they can go through line by line what you need to set in your modem/router to get things going. It is sad that so many people think Microsoft is the only thing out there. Everyone who I have shown Firefox to has never been back to IE except for the few rare pages that require it. A little education goes a long way and hopefully this the year where Linux and other similar projects are a little more successful with their marketing.

When can my mom use Linux? (1, Insightful)

Manip (656104) | about 6 years ago | (#26466575)

I've been saying this is Linux's biggest issue for years. I keep on asking when my mom can use Linux herself and keep getting fobbed off...

When will terminal windows, compiling your own software, and configuration files disappear and in place get a consistent modern UI?

Yes, Linux has been doing better in this regard but everyone seems to be going in a completely different direction with a lot of the supporters and developers scuffing at the idea of making Linux easier for the common man.

The real question is: Is Linux for developers and geeks, or is it for everyone? And that is something the Linux community needs to answer before it can move forward.

Re:When can my mom use Linux? (2, Interesting)

Ritz_Just_Ritz (883997) | about 6 years ago | (#26466737)

I don't know about *your* mom, but my 65-ish year old parents Adapted from Windows 2000 to CentOS 5.2 (the desktop version) + OpenOffice 3 in about a day. I just needed about 20-30 minutes of time to show them the little differences in using their new GUI.

Their first comment? "Wow, this is pretty fast. Now we don't have to spend a grand on a new computer. Thanks!" (on a fairly old 2ghz P4 box with 512mb RAM and Matrox...remember them?...video card)

There is hope.


Re:When can my mom use Linux? (1)

Cajun Hell (725246) | about 6 years ago | (#26466781)

When will terminal windows, compiling your own software, and configuration files disappear and in place get a consistent modern UI?

The day you install Linux for her, instead of just giving her a Gentoo stage 1 tarball.

Re:When can my mom use Linux? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#26466823)

My mom uses ubuntu and doesn't know the difference

So let me get this straight... (5, Insightful)

thesolo (131008) | about 6 years ago | (#26466583)

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.

Or it could read... (1)

coolate (1173457) | about 6 years ago | (#26466585)

Woman dumb ass, blames others. This is what drives me nuts, people complain when others do not take care of them or they can not wipe their own butts.

Is her name John Dvorak? (4, Funny)

jollyreaper (513215) | about 6 years ago | (#26466589)

This sounds like one of his troll articles.

"Unaware"? (1)

Dolohov (114209) | about 6 years ago | (#26466605)

If she knew she needed her Verizon Online disk (which I doubt) or Microsoft Word (which I don't), why didn't she ask whoever she talked to at Dell?

Would there have been a similar story about a consumer who didn't realize they had no use for a car with a manual transmission, and then let themselves be talked into keeping it by someone who (rightly?) said that manual transmissions have better performance and are not hard to learn?

Yup (1)

ZekoMal (1404259) | about 6 years ago | (#26466611)

Not that many people are computer literate. Give them an OS that isn't as user friendly as Windows, and they won't be able to figure it out.

But it's not even the user-friendly issue as much as it is the familiarity issue. If you use something every day, it works, is easy, and fast, why switch? It's like saying 'instead of using a knife to butter my toast, I shall use a machine that butters my toast when I input a command. Yes, the machine probably works just as good as the knife, but given the choice, the average person would rather use a knife.

In short, linux is cool for people that know a computer. But the average user would feel much more comfortable with windows. I don't think it's 'entertaining' either; this is a fact, and you can't expect everybody to be comfortable using a new OS (especially not while taking online classes; the added pressure of due dates and tests on top of trying to figure out how to use a whole new OS is not a laughing matter).

I mean, I'm not a computer moron, but the first time I saw an Ubuntu desktop I got pretty tripped up. I've been on Windows OS for nearly 10 years, so it's not like going to Ubuntu in one fell swoop would be a seamless transition to begin with.

um... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#26466615)

that chick is HOT

lol... (0, Troll)

ChimneysCantTalk (1453299) | about 6 years ago | (#26466625)

...women. Hit them with a baseball bat /flame

FUD anyone? (1)

dmomo (256005) | about 6 years ago | (#26466631)

This article reads as if it's saying: "Buyer beware. You get what you pay for.". I'd like to say this is the fault of the woman. This might be true. She could just be looking for attention / someone to blame. As far as my experience goes, Ubuntu "just works" with the internet. But maybe she did have trouble. Understanding the ins and outs of the way different OSs work should not be a requirement to access information. Sure, it does help, though.

I would blame anyone (like Verizon and perhaps the University) who gives the appearance that Windows is even necessary in the first place.

is this a picture of her (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#26466637)

She looks blond what do you expect. Sarcasm alert. even now i will still get people telling me blonds aren't all stupid. Prediction alert.

Newsflash! (5, Funny)

Qbertino (265505) | about 6 years ago | (#26466655)

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

perfect example of the monopoly effect (-1, Flamebait)

toby (759) | about 6 years ago | (#26466671)

Not only has Microsoft done everything they can to bring about this absurd customer-hostile outcome, they obviously profit by it. Eliminating choice is their aim.

This kind of technical checkmate is a direct result of Microsoft's abuse of its monopoly. No clearer case can be made that avoiding meaningful remedies for their conviction (thankyou Bush) was a disastrous error for computer users and the industry in general.

College isn't for everyone.. (4, Insightful)

RagingFuryBlack (956453) | about 6 years ago | (#26466683)

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.

This is a perfect opportunity (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#26466727)

For some of you geeks in Wisconsin to step up and offer this woman some help. This may actually be your only chance, in your entire life, to get out of your parent's basement and have contact with a real, live, female. Time's-a-wastin' fellas.

Its not Ubuntu's fault (2, Insightful)

reeeh2000 (1328037) | about 6 years ago | (#26466729)

While DELL should have fixed the problem, don't blame Ubuntu. Verizon purposely designs its phones to be unusable with Linux. Verizon has a track record of locking its phones. For example, the Blackberry's built in GPS is inaccessible so that Verizon can charge to use its triangulation based navigation system.

As for the classes, the developers of the online software have an obligation to make it work on as many systems as possible. While Linux developers must continue to work towards compatibility with other systems, the companies behind them must work with us as well.

Finally, before anyone goes calling this woman idiotic for this compliant, we should make an offer to teach her about the technology and how to use non-Linux software through applications such as Wine.

sales and tech support really dropped the ball (4, Interesting)

swanriversean (928620) | about 6 years ago | (#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.

Re:sales and tech support really dropped the ball (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#26466827)

Agent: I can direct you to some user groups online where you can go to get help. Just go to

Woman: Ok. Thanks.

Woman: (it's not working, my internet doesn't work.)

Warranty (2, Insightful)

spicyed (954272) | about 6 years ago | (#26466761)

I don't understand why changing software on your computer would violate the warranty on your hardware.

So, hold on a second... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#26466763)

This person orders ubuntu when, if she spent a second verifying, people at her college and internet say that their stuff requires product windows.

And now this person is upset at UNBUNTU that when they call in, they are told lies that ubuntu will run all her crazy stuff that requires windows?

Talk about blaming the wrong people. Her beef is with Dell for lying to her, and herself for not checking what she was buying first. Unbuntu does NOT run windows products. She needs to run windows products. She didn't buy windows, hence she now has a problem.

What's next? Blaming the metric system because you bought a metric bolt for your car when the repair manual clearly states it needs a standard thread? Sure, you can blame the bolt manufacturer for stating that their metric bolts are fine with standard threaded applications, but at the same time, you need to blame yourself for being dumb enough to buy the wrong product for the application.

Idiots, all of these people. And especially the news for reporting on this as anything but "Dumb woman gets lied to by Dell tech support".

Man claims Porsche kept him from getting laid (3, Funny)

meist3r (1061628) | about 6 years ago | (#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

Professor Farnsworth says: (1)

neonux (1000992) | about 6 years ago | (#26466771)

And you woman! The evil I could tolerate but the stupidity... grr!

This is likely to be MS astroturfing/fake news (5, Insightful)

Qbertino (265505) | about 6 years ago | (#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.

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