The original article on the station:WKOW – ‘Woman blames Dell for missing online classes’. Maybe an antagonizing title as it brought many Dell and Ubuntu users online to blast the TV station and the woman. And why did Ubuntu users do this? Well – this person wanted Windows instead of Ubuntu.
The story starts out where the Abbie wanted a laptop for her studies. She bought one from Dell for $1100. The machine came loaded with Ubuntu – which Abbie hadn’t heard about until that point. When she called Dell, they told her that Ubuntu is a great OS and will work well for her.
For Abbie, she is not in tune with the computer world as much as a lot of other people are. And rightfully so – I don’t normally rebuild cars, so I don’t know what parts I should use – I don’t build houses, but I (as everyone else) will rent and own houses. For Abbie, she needs a computer that will work when she turns it on, and Ubuntu wasn’t doing that.
The Verizon internet software only came with a Windows install disk. For someone that doesn’t really even know the Windows Operating system that can get frustrating. To be asking her to put the square peg in the round hole would have to be downright aggravating.
Her online class requires Microsoft Word. While OpenOffice is a great program (I use it a lot), it is simply not Word. It doesn’t have things like the Ribbon, therefore, when the instructor is telling her exactly what to do – she is getting confused.
She called Dell to resolve this, but wasn’t getting answers. Therefore Abbie decided to take it to a local media. The end result was more than either ever expected.
Abbie began to get hateful comments. The news station also got comments of poor reporting. Certain Linux usergroups picked up the story and pushed the article to the front page which caused more comments on how Abbie was ‘Lazy’, ‘dumb’, and ‘not worthy of a college degree’.
If you go to the article on the Inquisitr, you will find the headline read: ‘Worlds Dumbest Woman Blames Ubuntu for College Failure’ (due to the fact Abbie cancelled the courses since she could not get the computer to work right). Not really accurate reporting, eh Inquisitr? I suppose it was better than Gizmodo – they didn’t even get her name right.
I talk about Linux, Ubuntu and the level of knowledge needed to run the OS many times. While Ubuntu is a great system, it really does need to take in the fact some users don’t want to know what ‘Sudo’ is. Computers are becoming more of an appliance like a television. How many people would watch TV if they had to open it up and adjust the picture?
Still, this story should have never turned out the way it did. Abbie was just trying to further her education. Yes, Ubuntu could have been a great OS if she was able to use it a little easier. But sometimes you just have to take one educational experience at a time.
I suppose it could have gotten worse. The Mac users could have stepped in and said “If you got a Mac, you could run MS Word”. Then there is the whole Verizon issue. Yes, there are instructions on how to install on Ubuntu, but do any of those instructions come from Verizon itself? I would venture a guess to say if I had Verizon and called them up looking for instruction, I would get something like “We don’t really support that, but there are a few good articles out on the internet…”
Now Abbie could get Windows programs to load on Ubuntu. That would take a program like WineHQ – That needs to be searched for and installed – And it doesn’t insure those programs will even work with Ubuntu. A real case where open source becomes ‘Confusing Source’.
In the last couple weeks I’ve gone back and forth on how a paid for OS can still be beating out a free one. It’s not a case of “you get what you pay for”. Just look at the Vista woes. Nonetheless, it’s still a case of “Where do I go now”? I’ve personally been on sites that have told me how to fix a problem in Ubuntu and in reality they are making the issue worse.
Still, the bottom line is we shouldn’t hate because someone is trying to do something as simple as taking an online course. Hopefully in a couple years this won’t be an issue: Virtual apps working in any OS environment. Cloud computing taking the OS out of the picture if need be. That should be the focus. Who knows – Maybe Abbie takes her coursed which lead her to development, then she creates a software program that does the one thing that frustrates her now…
The original story is here: http://www.wkowtv.com/Global/story.asp?S=9667184&nav=menu1362_8_6