US woman says Ubuntu can't access internet



  • The Register writes:



    An American woman has told a TV station in Madison, Wisconsin that something called Ubuntu prevented her from joining online classes at her local technical college.



    According to WKOW TV, Abbie Schubert recently ordered a Dell laptop, expecting "your classic bread-and-butter computer." But when she unboxed the $1,100 machine that arrived, she didn't find bread and butter. She found Ubuntu.



    WKOW TV called Ubuntu "an operating system for your computer similar to Windows that runs off the Linux system."



    "It's been a mess," Schubert said. "I regret ordering the computer."



    She had never heard of Ubuntu. So she called Dell. Dell said there was still time replace her Ubuntu. Then Dell told her not to. "The person I was talking to said Ubuntu was great, college students loved it, it was compatible with everything I needed," she explained.



    So she kept Ubuntu, giving up her chance for bread and the butter. Then she decided that Ubuntu doesn't always work like Windows. Her Verizon internet wouldn't load. She couldn't install Microsoft Word. And she said without Word and the internet, she couldn't take online classes at Milwaukee Area Technical College.



    So she dropped out of the college's fall and spring semesters.



    Then Dell said it was too late for bread and butter.



    "I'm extremely frustrated," Schubert said. "I wanted to get back to school, but I needed a computer to be able to do that."



    Yes, that's fall and spring semesters. At Milwaukee Area Technical College. ®



  • You made me kind of hungry. I'm going to get meself some bread. With a bit of garlic butter.



  •  Fortunately for her, stupidity doesn't hurt. Otherwise, the pain would kill her.



  •  I... I don't know where to begin... this is like a Jenga tower of WTFs.



  • The problem here is Dell should have made it clearer that Linux was probably not for her - simple test: "Have you heard of Linux?" No? Then it's not for you.

    The fact is that Linux is not suited to the vast majority of computer users out there. I've used quite a few of the distros out there over the last 14 years and none of them were to my taste for a personal OS, mainly because of hardware problems. On a professional level, I develop applications primarily for Windows so it's not a good fit here either.

    Most people just want a computer to work and they want it to look like every other computer they've ever used. They also want to be able to stick in a CD from their ISP and have the CD run and configure their network settings for them. That is not an unreasonable request; I know very little about dentistry, fund management, PR, or journalism, why should those people have to know anything about system administration?

    Some of the other directors in my company use Linux on their desktop machines because they are technically proficient and they dislike spending money on Microsoft licences. This all works great until I send them Word docs and OpenOffice messes up the formatting when they make an edit and resave. Linux has a long way to go to overcome these problems and get onto the desktop of anyone other than a few hobbyists and fan-boys.



  • @Phill said:

    Linux has a long way to go to overcome these problems and get onto the desktop of anyone other than a few hobbyists and fan-boys.
    Let the Windows/Linux argument commence.



  • @wf_tmro said:

    So she dropped out of the college's fall and spring semesters.
     

    Did anyone else read this as "So she dropped out of the college's fail and spring semesters"?

     



  • @DOA said:

    @Phill said:

    Linux has a long way to go to overcome these problems and get onto the desktop of anyone other than a few hobbyists and fan-boys.
    Let the Windows/Linux argument commence.

    Let's not. At least not now, in the year of the Linux desktop!



  • @DOA said:

    @Phill said:

    Linux has a long way to go to overcome these problems and get onto the desktop of anyone other than a few hobbyists and fan-boys.
    Let the Windows/Linux argument commence.

     

    I really wasn't baiting there. This argument has been done too many times.

    I simply meant that this lady's getting a hard time for this and being treated like a moron (in the original article's comments) because she wasn't able to use Linux. I don't think the problem lies completely with her.



  • @Phill said:

    I simply meant that this lady's getting a hard time for this and being treated like a moron (in the original article's comments) because she wasn't able to use Linux. I don't think the problem lies completely with her.
    I, like you, don't consider her to be the moron.  The Dell rep is the moron.



  • @belgariontheking said:

    I, like you, don't consider her to be the moron.  The Dell rep is the moron.
     

    QFT.



  •  The Dell rep certainly didn't help matters, no, but he isn't the only moron.  I've ordered from Dell before, and I find it very, very hard to believe that she managed to get through the entire ordering process without noticing a lack of Microsoft logos.  I mean come on, just to get to the Ubunutu systems on Dell's site takes quite a bit of doing, in my experience.  You ask me, the lady went for the cheapest computer she could find with the most under the hood, and thats definitely going to be the linux systems.  Computers get a lot cheaper when you don't have to pay an additional $200+ for the operating system.

     Also, linux is hardly confusable with windows in any facet at ALL.  I mean good Lord, how could she not know she wouldn't be able to use Word and her Verizon service the first day she had the computer?  What on Earth was she doing with the thing?

     And one more thing, being someone going to college, I also find it very hard to believe that she had to drop TWO SEMESTERS of school because her computer didn't run Windows.  For crying out loud, if you're desperate enough to drop $1100 on a computer, you should be desperate enough to go to the damn computer lab or library and use one of their dinosaurs until you can get it sorted out.  And come on, getting something like this taken care of would take a couple months at the absolute most, not a whole school year.

     Sorry, but I think this lady is priming herself for a stupid lawsuit.



  • @wf_tmro said:

    your classic bread-and-butter computer
     

    what is a "bread-and-butter computer" ?



  • @Phill said:

    The problem here is Dell should have made it clearer that Linux was probably not for her - simple test: "Have you heard of Linux?" No? Then it's not for you.

    While I agree that the rep she called shouldn't have told her that "UBUNTU IS TEH BEST!!!", it is hardly possible to accidentally buy a Dell Ubuntu machine. AFAIK, you will have to find this page somehow, (by specifically choosing "Open Source PC" from the "Desktops" menu). And then it is still telling you to gtfo if you're unsure whether "Open Source is for You".

    Thus, I think, that woman is still a moron, even if a victim to foul play by the ubuntu-fanboyish rep.



  • @Master Chief said:

    Computers get a lot cheaper when you don't have to pay an additional $200+ for the operating system.

     

    At Dell they get $61 cheaper.  



  • @derula said:

    @Phill said:
    The problem here is Dell should have made it clearer that Linux was probably not for her - simple test: "Have you heard of Linux?" No? Then it's not for you.

    While I agree that the rep she called shouldn't have told her that "UBUNTU IS TEH BEST!!!", it is hardly possible to accidentally buy a Dell Ubuntu machine. AFAIK, you will have to find this page somehow, (by specifically choosing "Open Source PC" from the "Desktops" menu). And then it is still telling you to gtfo if you're unsure whether "Open Source is for You".

     

    not true.  If you go to dell.com and click on home ->"Desktops and all-in-ones," you will see options along the left hand side.  Among them is an "Operating System" list which includes Vista, XP, Free DOS, and Ubuntu.    

    Also, lets not jump to conclusions.  She could have very well ordered over the phone and not mentioned anything about operating system (since she probably doesn't even know what one is) and some stupid sales rep put it in as Ubuntu.

     



  • @tster said:

    not true.  If you go to dell.com and click on home ->"Desktops and all-in-ones," you will see options along the left hand side.  Among them is an "Operating System" list which includes Vista, XP, Free DOS, and Ubuntu.

    Yes... you're right. Still unlikely to click "Ubuntu" and then wonder about wtf Ubuntu is when you receive the PC (you would have wondered earlier. Or I, that is.)

    @tster said:

    She could have very well ordered over the phone and not mentioned anything about operating system (since she probably doesn't even know what one is) and some stupid sales rep put it in as Ubuntu.

    You're right, could be. However in that case, it would be a major Dell WTF. But, of course, thinkable, e.g. if she ordered from the same guy who recommended her to keep Ubuntu later on (or an equally-stupid one).



  • The WTF is that on-line classes at Milwaukee Area Technical College require MS Word.



  • @tster said:

    Among them is an "Operating System" list which includes Vista, XP, Free DOS

    Wait, what? Why would you want to buy a computer with FreeDOS preinstalled?



  • @Spectre said:

    @tster said:
    Among them is an "Operating System" list which includes Vista, XP, Free DOS

    Wait, what? Why would you want to buy a computer with FreeDOS preinstalled?

    I suppose that"FreeDOS" is the closest option they have for: "Don't install an OS - I'll do it myself"



  • @Spectre said:

    @tster said:
    Among them is an "Operating System" list which includes Vista, XP, Free DOS

    Wait, what? Why would you want to buy a computer with FreeDOS preinstalled?

    It's not preinstalled: "FreeDOS™ included in the box, ready to install"



  • The "getting online" part seems to be an EVDO modem from Verizon Wireless which "apparently" requires custom software.

    Funny, the one my wife's work has given her has masquerades as a COM port on XP. Haven't plugged it into one of my many Ubuntu boxes to see if it works.

     

    It could work and it's not supported, or it could just not work at all.

    Either way, it appears that she didn't have a 802.11 or wired connection her laptop could use.

    I would expect someone attending a technical college to have a bit of self-taught experience--or at least enough determination to attempt to solve her problems. Then again, I've frequented #ubuntu on Freenode. Some visitors there confuse determination with "annoy everyone else persistently asking the same question"

     

    --BK



  • @Nelle said:

    @wf_tmro said:

    your classic bread-and-butter computer
     

    what is a "bread-and-butter computer" ?

    It's an old design based around a bit-slice processor - oh, and some rams.



  • @derula said:

    While I agree that the rep she called shouldn't have told her that "UBUNTU IS TEH BEST!!!", it is hardly possible to accidentally buy a Dell Ubuntu machine. AFAIK, you will have to find this page somehow, (by specifically choosing "Open Source PC" from the "Desktops" menu). And then it is still telling you to gtfo if you're unsure whether "Open Source is for You".
     

    Given that the article was partly about her being unable to access the internet (and thus not being able to complete her courses), does it make sense to you that she would have ordered this computer online?



  • @bjolling said:

    @Spectre said:

    @tster said:
    Among them is an "Operating System" list which includes Vista, XP, Free DOS

    Wait, what? Why would you want to buy a computer with FreeDOS preinstalled?

    I suppose that"FreeDOS" is the closest option they have for: "Don't install an OS - I'll do it myself"

    Precisely.  IIRC, Dell does this to satisfy Microsoft's request that no computer be sold without an OS.  I do feel kind of sorry for FreeDOS, though.  It seems the only reason FreeDOS exists is so the CDs can be thrown away.  Hell, I'm not sure if it actually exists.



  • @Spectre said:

    Wait, what? Why would you want to buy a computer with FreeDOS preinstalled?
     

    So I could run a Tandy Color Computer emulator.

     



  • @morbiuswilters said:

    I do feel kind of sorry for FreeDOS, though.  It seems the only reason FreeDOS exists is so the CDs can be thrown away.  Hell, I'm not sure if it actually exists.

     

    The CDs are actually copies of John Tesh's Greatest Hits with new labels pasted on.  So far, nobody else has noticed.



  • I am facepalming this article, Dell and half the people in this thread.  The woman was sold what is, for all intents and purposes, a defective product.  Some of you need to spend some time in the real world where a lot of computer users don't know what Linux is and could easily make the same mistake.  Hell, a lot of people barely know the difference between different versions of Windows and for all this woman might have known, "Ubuntu" could have been a version of Windows.  It's about as descriptive of a name as "Vista".

     

    The whole attitude being expressed here is precisely why Linux will never be mainstream.  The community is full of pathetic nerds who only see Linux as some kind of status symbol or rebellion and not as a practical tool.  At the very least, the "desktop Linux" crowd should have taken this opportunity to help the woman and demonstrate that Linux isn't that "scary" but it seems they would prefer to mock the poor woman for inadvertently using their product.  PROTIP: That is not how you build a successful competitor to Windows.  See, Microsoft got to where they are by throwing their efforts into helping regular people get their work done.  It seems that FOSS community (which almost never creates anything new and just emulates popular apps from other platforms) can't be bothered with actually producing and supporting a useful, practical product.

     

    This would make me ashamed to be a Linux user, except for the fact that I've always known Linux is not a mainstream OS and never will be.  This behavior isn't unexpected, it's just fucking pathetic. 



  • @Aaron said:

    @morbiuswilters said:

    I do feel kind of sorry for FreeDOS, though.  It seems the only reason FreeDOS exists is so the CDs can be thrown away.  Hell, I'm not sure if it actually exists.

     

    The CDs are actually copies of John Tesh's Greatest Hits with new labels pasted on.  So far, nobody else has noticed.

    In that case, I'm glad the CDs are being thrown away.



  • @morbiuswilters said:

    PROTIP: That is not how you build a successful competitor to Windows.  See, Microsoft got to where they are by throwing their efforts into helping regular people get their work done.

    And that also illustrates why Linux will always face issues. There is no cohesive "Linux" company driving the market place. Instead its a case of "lets throw as much shit at the wall as possible and see what sticks". And where everyone is throwing their own personal version of shit (because that's what is important to them). As a result they fail to see people like this woman and just roll over her.

    On the other hand MS has a marketing dept that at least tries to determine what the mainstream crowd wants and sort of heads in that direction.

    Likewise the most successful Linux desktop isn't linux, its a *BSD ... OS X



  • @OzPeter said:

    @morbiuswilters said:
    PROTIP: That is not how you build a successful competitor to Windows.  See, Microsoft got to where they are by throwing their efforts into helping regular people get their work done. 

    And that also illustrates why Linux will always face issues. There is no cohesive "Linux" company driving the market place. Instead its a case of "lets throw as much shit at the wall as possible and see what sticks". And where everyone is throwing their own personal version of shit (because that's what is important to them). As a result they fail to see people like this woman and just roll over her.

    On the other hand MS has a marketing dept that at least tries to determine what the mainstream crowd wants and sort of heads in that direction.

    Likewise the most successful Linux desktop isn't linux, its a *BSD ... OS X

    Absolutely.  I don't think it's necessarily impossible for non-profit FOSS to satisfy the needs of users, but stories like this only emphasize how immature and detached from reality a lot of FOSS fanbois really are. 



  • @Master Chief said:

     The Dell rep certainly didn't help matters, no, but he isn't the only moron.  I've ordered from Dell before, and I find it very, very hard to believe that she managed to get through the entire ordering process without noticing a lack of Microsoft logos.  I mean come on, just to get to the Ubunutu systems on Dell's site takes quite a bit of doing, in my experience.  You ask me, the lady went for the cheapest computer she could find with the most under the hood, and thats definitely going to be the linux systems.  Computers get a lot cheaper when you don't have to pay an additional $200+ for the operating system.

     

    Many people don't know what Windows does. If you need 'Office' and 'Internet', then you could reasonably think that Windows is neither and is therefore not important, if you even know that not 'every computer has windows on it'. Maybe she was asked what OS she wanted and she chose Windows Ubuntu over Windows XP and Windows Vista.


    Fact: most people don't want Linux. Most people want a computer that does what they expect a computer to do: run Word and Internet Explorer. If a newly bought computer cannot do that, you could reasonably sue.

    This is like buying a car radio and getting one that doesn't receive FM channels because you missed the very technical print about modulation you didn't understand and didn't care about because you wanted a radio that does what every radio is expected to do. And you certainly don't care that AM is highly developed and can carry a signal with a 40 dB signal/noise ratio over a nighttime distance of blah blah.

     

    Of course dropping out of college because of this is stupid (if typically American), and the Dell rep should recognise a woman who doesn't know what a computer is and not sell her Linux. But blaming her because she ended up with an OS that contrary to expectations does not do what every other computer she's ever seen can do is typical Linux fanboi style. Going on to make fun of her because she can't figure out the supposed Next Generation Free As In Birds Transhuman Operating System makes your case worse.



  • The WTF here is either:

    1. With Dell, who neglected to explain to her that OpenOffice is the Linux equivalent of Word and/or that there are programs like Crossover to run Word on Linux, and look into whether she needed any Windoze-only software such as this Internet connection program, whatever it does.
    2. With the college, who may be requiring documents to be submitted in (and/or distributuing them in) Word format, rather than RTF or another cross-platform compatible format (as far too many do), and Verizon requiring proprietary software to use their connection.

      or
    3. With the user who was all like "oh yeah I know computers my son's a 1337 h4x0r" and got something she didn't know how to use, and didn't look up help online or read the manuals.



      Without knowing more about the situation I can't say which is correct, but it boils down to either Dell fails for not explaining how to use the product, the college/Verizon fail for requiring proprietary software, or she fails for being an idiot. (Not knowing how to use Linux doesn't make you an idiot, but not knowing how to look for help - or read the info it gives you on the browser's default home page - certainly contributes.)


  • I agree that Dell rep failed here by not selling her Windows. Also I agree that she's a complete retard if she can't find a solution to such a basic problem herself. But your post is just a flamebait...

    @morbiuswilters said:

    The woman was sold what is, for all intents and purposes, a defective product.

    You mean that the software which I'm using without problems for the last 4 years (at work, university, home) is defective for all intents and purposes? Could you maybe be a little bit more specific? I'm very happy with it so far.

    @morbiuswilters said:

    Hell, a lot of people barely know the difference between different versions of Windows and for all this woman might have known, "Ubuntu" could have been a version of Windows.  It's about as descriptive of a name as "Vista".

    What next? Article about someone whining that they got "7" but wanted "XP" and their internet connection didn't work and they had to get a divorce because of that?

    @morbiuswilters said:

    The whole attitude being expressed here is precisely why Linux will never be mainstream.  The community is full of pathetic nerds who only see Linux as some kind of status symbol or rebellion and not as a practical tool.

    Do you know if she asked anyone for help? If she even tried to resolve the problem? I guess what she could do is go to google (on some university computer) and search for "ubuntu verizon" - second link is http://www.stevehargadon.com/2007/10/ubuntu-710-gutsy-update-and-verizon.html where you get links to 3 places describing installation (ubuntuforums is the last one). What exactly is wrong with that community? I'm not sure what's your problem and what you expect the "community" to do - go to her house and fix it for her?

    @morbiuswilters said:

    At the very least, the "desktop Linux" crowd should have taken this opportunity to help the woman and demonstrate that Linux isn't that "scary" but it seems they would prefer to mock the poor woman for inadvertently using their product.

    I'm not sure what takes more time - moaning about the problem to a TV station, or fixing it. There are step-by-step instructions available. I will mock her if she's too dumb to read them. Finding them is much easier than ordering a new laptop! Also - how was the "desktop Linux" crowd supposed to know she has a problem before she asked a question?

    @morbiuswilters said:

    See, Microsoft got to where they are by throwing their efforts into helping regular people get their work done.

    I'm sorry, but could you maybe use some examples? I'm not sure what are you talking about... I was trying to fix a network connection (wifi) in Vista some time ago and it seems my only options were:
    - restart system
    - reinstall drivers
    What is it exactly that they are throwing their efforts into? And no - nothing on the first X pages on google suggested a solution to the problem.

     

    @morbiuswilters said:

    It seems that FOSS community (which almost never creates anything new and just emulates popular apps from other platforms) can't be bothered with actually producing and supporting a useful, practical product.

    Why exactly is emulating a successful application bad? And again - what more do you want the community to do? Are you aware, that you can *gasp* BUY SUPPORT for ubuntu if you need it?

    Did you simply want to complain about linux crowd, or did you have some new ideas to offer?



  • @morbiuswilters said:

    Absolutely.  I don't think it's necessarily impossible for non-profit FOSS to satisfy the needs of users, but stories like this only emphasize how immature and detached from reality a lot of FOSS fanbois really are. 

     

    How do you jump from a few people bad-mouthing some lady in this thread to criticizing FOSS in general?

    Let's try to keep our minds open; just because linux isn't successful on the desktop doesn't mean FOSS itself is fucked.



  • The lady is clearly the WTF here. She's goes on TV just to whine and complain. I hate whining. I understand her being dismayed, but blaming her lack of education on Ubuntu? If anybody, blame Dell, but don't blame ubuntu! You don't even know what is !

    "Whahhh, I bought gasoline at chevron last week, and now my car doesn't work, WHAHHH, Chevron makes bad gas and now my life is in shambles, WHAH"

    If this story was more along the lines of "I bought a ubuntu laptop for my grandmother and she couldn't even figure how to install the ajkzhks 4.8 wifi drivers from source, mwa ha ha, what a dumbass" then that would be fanboy-ism.



  • I have a hard time understanding why she would buy an $1,100 computer if she was simply going to be using this PC for taking online classes.  $500-$600 is probably the most she should have been spending.  It sounds like she configured a pretty high-end machine and then decided to cut costs on the Operating System, which is probably the only option she actually needed.  Instead, I'm guessing she got a pretty nice graphics card, a ridiculous amount of RAM and a huge hard drive that will never be fully utilized.

    I'm not a car expert by any stretch of the imagination, but when I bought a new car last year, I made damn sure that I understood all the options and features that were available.  If I wasn't sure of something, I asked someone and/or looked it up online.  I sure as hell didn't just buy the most expensive car on the lot and start selecting/deselecting options on a whim.  If I'm making a purchase of over $500+, I make sure to do plenty of research!

    And I don't understand why this is so hard to remedy.  She might have to pay for a Vista license, but is $100 worth dropping out of college for? If that's more adversity than she can handle, she's in for a rough road ahead.



  • @morbiuswilters said:

    I am facepalming this article, Dell and half the people in this thread.  The woman was sold what is, for all intents and purposes, a defective product.  Some of you need to spend some time in the real world where a lot of computer users don't know what Linux is and could easily make the same mistake.  Hell, a lot of people barely know the difference between different versions of Windows and for all this woman might have known, "Ubuntu" could have been a version of Windows.  It's about as descriptive of a name as "Vista".

     

    The whole attitude being expressed here is precisely why Linux will never be mainstream.  The community is full of pathetic nerds who only see Linux as some kind of status symbol or rebellion and not as a practical tool.  At the very least, the "desktop Linux" crowd should have taken this opportunity to help the woman and demonstrate that Linux isn't that "scary" but it seems they would prefer to mock the poor woman for inadvertently using their product.  PROTIP: That is not how you build a successful competitor to Windows.  See, Microsoft got to where they are by throwing their efforts into helping regular people get their work done.  It seems that FOSS community (which almost never creates anything new and just emulates popular apps from other platforms) can't be bothered with actually producing and supporting a useful, practical product.

     

    This would make me ashamed to be a Linux user, except for the fact that I've always known Linux is not a mainstream OS and never will be.  This behavior isn't unexpected, it's just fucking pathetic. 

     

    She was not sold a defective product, she was sold exactly what she ordered.  I may as well go buy a diesel truck, then complain at the dealer when I put gas in it and destroy the engine.   There is no excuse for such ignorance when purchasing the item in question.  People don't go and buy cars or houses without doing some research (at least, intelligent people) and computers should be no different.  If she had taken the 5 minutes to google "Ubuntu" she would've known that it is not any version of Windows.  Blaming Dell for this is ridiculous, at least any farther than the idiotic rep who didn't do his job.

    Maybe if people thought of computers as what they are, tools to get work done and not magic boxes, they wouldn't run into so many stupid problems like this one.



  • @savar said:

    The lady is clearly the WTF here. She's goes on TV just to whine and complain. I hate whining. I understand her being dismayed, but blaming her lack of education on Ubuntu? If anybody, blame Dell, but don't blame ubuntu! You don't even know what is !

    "Whahhh, I bought gasoline at chevron last week, and now my car doesn't work, WHAHHH, Chevron makes bad gas and now my life is in shambles, WHAH"

     

    If you go to a bar and order the cheapest drink on the menu - say, Schlitz Beer - and what you get resembles horse piss, do you blame the bar?  Okay, maybe they shouldn't be serving it, or should have given you a sternly worded warning that this "might not be for you", but ultimately the problem was with the crap you ordered, not really knowing what it was at the time.  It's on the menu, so obviously somebody drinks it, so how bad can it be, right?

    A lot of people are ignorant on a certain subject but not necessarily stupid.  They know that if they're given a choice, and end up having problems with that choice, then the problem is likely to be with whatever they chose and not with the person who gave them the choice in the first place.

    Now, yes, maybe somebody at Dell could have shown her how to use the "equivalent" open-source products and maybe she would have been fine, but that's exactly the point, isn't it?  Instead of attempting to do that, the freetards browbeat her, tell her that the problem is obviously with her, and leave her to the dogs.

    Newsflash:  When you put out an operating system, this is who you have to support.  If you aren't prepared to do that and would prefer for your system to be marketed toward and used only by geeks, that's okay, but in that case you shouldn't be trying to position it as any kind of competitor to Windows.



  •  ITT: ubuntu fan boys rage.



  • @viraptor said:

    You mean that the software which I'm using without problems for the last 4 years (at work, university, home) is defective for all intents and purposes? Could you maybe be a little bit more specific? I'm very happy with it so far.

    For her purposes, it was.  Linux is not a mainstream OS and a good number of computer buyers aren't going to know that it won't work for them.  Selling an average user a product that requires above-average knowledge to use is not wise.  Hell, average users frequently don't know enough to know they should avoid something like Linux if it doesn't work for them.  It seems Dell failed to provide sufficient warning that Linux was possibly not suitable for her needs.  Then the community treated her like it was her fault.  That's shameful.

     

    @viraptor said:

    What next? Article about someone whining that they got "7" but wanted "XP" and their internet connection didn't work and they had to get a divorce because of that?

    The whole "dropped out of college" angle is clearly a bit much, but I'm not blaming Dell for that.  I think Dell minorly screwed up in not providing good service to the customer.  My main beef was with the FOSS community that treated a dissatisfied customer like dog shit.

     

    @viraptor said:

    Do you know if she asked anyone for help? If she even tried to resolve the problem? I guess what she could do is go to google (on some university computer) and search for "ubuntu verizon" - second link is http://www.stevehargadon.com/2007/10/ubuntu-710-gutsy-update-and-verizon.html where you get links to 3 places describing installation (ubuntuforums is the last one). What exactly is wrong with that community? I'm not sure what's your problem and what you expect the "community" to do - go to her house and fix it for her?

    Obviously she should have Googled for help since average users feel comfortable digging through forums looking for random advice to take.  I'm not saying the forums aren't fine for technically sophisticated users, but expecting mainstream users to support themselves is utter bullshit.  If FOSS wants to compete with Microsoft or Apple, they need to get their shit together and, yes, fix it for her.  That's what supporting users means.  With PCs that usually means a number to call for support.  Apple provides fantastic support right in their stores.  I know Ubuntu isn't really competing against Apple, but at the very least they could provide something better than a goddamn forum.  If not, then no responsible retailer should be selling their garbage without warning labels.

     

    @viraptor said:

    Why exactly is emulating a successful application bad? And again - what more do you want the community to do? Are you aware, that you can gasp BUY SUPPORT for ubuntu if you need it?

    I didn't say it was bad, but my point is that FOSS does a really crappy job of competing which is precisely why it is a niche market.  The products are oftentimes low-quality knock-offs that require an advanced degree of knowledge to properly exploit.  On top of it, the community treats anyone who doesn't "get it" like they are the problem.  Fuck that.

     

    @viraptor said:

    Did you simply want to complain about linux crowd, or did you have some new ideas to offer?

    As a FOSS user and developer, yes, I do want to complain about the Linux crowd.  On the one hand they want to be taken seriously but on the other they don't make a single effort to actually reach customers.  If people don't point this nonsense out it will never get better and FOSS will continue being a steaming pile of mediocrity and Slashdot-esque self-righteous arrogance.  This is constructive criticism and just from the responses I've received I can tell you it looks like FOSS doesn't really want to be taken seriously and that trying to improve things is a losing battle.  Fuck that.



  • @savar said:

    If anybody, blame Dell, but don't blame ubuntu! You don't even know what is !

    Why not blame both?  First, Dell told her it was due to Ubuntu she couldn't accomplish her tasks.  Now, I don't know the ins and outs of the agreement between Ubuntu and Dell, but presumably somebody is supposed to be providing support here and it seems to me that given Ubuntu's status as a very minor player, it falls on them.  Why would any normal user buy Ubuntu if the only suppoer they can expect is derision on Internet forums?  Dell could provide better support, but quite frankly, why should they?  I mean, I do think they failed here, but mostly just because they offered Ubuntu to a non-advanced user.  From Dell's perspective, what is the benefit in paying to support a product like Ubuntu that hardly anyone even wants to buy?  Christ, the only reason they offer it is due to so many Linux users requesting it, not because it actually helps their business appreciably.

     

    @savar said:

    "Whahhh, I bought gasoline at chevron last week, and now my car doesn't work, WHAHHH, Chevron makes bad gas and now my life is in shambles, WHAH"

    I'm pretty sure that if you bought gas that contained impurities from Chevron and those impurities destroyed your fuel injector you'd probably be pretty fucking pissed at Chevron.



  • @bighusker said:

    I have a hard time understanding why she would buy an $1,100 computer if she was simply going to be using this PC for taking online classes.  $500-$600 is probably the most she should have been spending.  It sounds like she configured a pretty high-end machine and then decided to cut costs on the Operating System, which is probably the only option she actually needed.  Instead, I'm guessing she got a pretty nice graphics card, a ridiculous amount of RAM and a huge hard drive that will never be fully utilized.

    How is it any of your business what she bought?  Maybe she likes to play games in her spare time.

     

    @bighusker said:

    I'm not a car expert by any stretch of the imagination, but when I bought a new car last year, I made damn sure that I understood all the options and features that were available.  If I wasn't sure of something, I asked someone and/or looked it up online.  I sure as hell didn't just buy the most expensive car on the lot and start selecting/deselecting options on a whim.  If I'm making a purchase of over $500+, I make sure to do plenty of research!

    Not everybody has the time or ability to research a purchase that thoroughly.  Expecting a consumer to know everything about what they are buying is absurd.  It sounds to me like the product was not clearly presented as the wrong choice for her, which is just bad customer service.  Since she was most likely buying this on the phone, the rep should have made clear she knew what Linux was and what the limitations of it were and what her other options were.  If you go to a car dealership and tell the salesperson you want a pickup capable of pulling a 2 ton trailer and they sell you a truck that cannot tow that, that is mispresentation on their part.  If there is a known limitation of a good that is counter to what is normal, that needs to be disclosed.  In terms of computers, "normal" means "Windows" and the limitations should have been clearly explained before the purchase.

     

    @bighusker said:

    And I don't understand why this is so hard to remedy.  She might have to pay for a Vista license, but is $100 worth dropping out of college for? If that's more adversity than she can handle, she's in for a rough road ahead.

    The college part is silly, but it sounds to me like she tried to contact Dell and was basically told Ubuntu was the problem and when she contacted them again the option to upgrade to Vista was no longer available.  Perhaps I am wrong, but knowing Dell support I would say she was told the bare minimum and wasn't very clear on precisely what was wrong or why she had ended up with the wrong thing and had to pay money to fix it.  Put yourself in her shoes: you spend a good chunk of money on a new computer only to find it doesn't work for the primary task you purchased it for.  You call the supplier and they try to squeeze more money out of you to "fix" the problem.  Now, I know that Dell isn't being unfair expecting her to pay for Windows, but a savvy consumer is going to suspect they are being upsold or that they were "tricked" to begin with.  If your company does not do what is necessary to rememdy this situation then that is just plain bad customer support.

     

    The reason I bring Ubuntu into this is because all of the things she wanted to do could have been done on Ubuntu but their is a major failure in support of the OS.  Whether this is due to a lack of formal support strategy on the part of Ubuntu, I don't know.  However, I do know Ubuntu (and FOSS in general) is determined to "take on" closed-source software and gain a share of the mainstream desktop market.  If they don't step up and help mainstream users use their software, that will never fucking happen.  If this is a systemic problem and not just the case of one or two crappy Dell support techs (and I suspect it is), then Ubuntu and Dell deserve all the bad press they can get for this.  Either it will encourage them to step up and properly support the people who are paying them money or it will give Ubuntu and Linux such a bad name that no average user will ever go near Linux again.  If Ubuntu (and FOSS) aren't willing to take on the actual responsibilities of being a mainstream alternative, then they need to get the fuck out of the game and stop wasting everyone's time and money.



  •  

    a) Why did she order a PC with Linux on it if she didn't know what Linux was?

    b) Why didn't Dell support tell her to install Wine to use MS Office. (also Ubuntu comes with OpenOffice)

    c) The Verison CD is probably unnecessary; config might be possible using web browser and accessing modem with e.g. http://192.168.1.1

     

     



  • @samanddeanus said:

    a) Why did she order a PC with Linux on it if she didn't know what Linux was?

    b) Why didn't Dell support tell her to install Wine to use MS Office. (also Ubuntu comes with OpenOffice)

    c) The Verison CD is probably unnecessary; config might be possible using web browser and accessing modem with e.g. http://192.168.1.1

    a) It's been speculated already that either the Dell sales rep did a poor job of selling her the system or she was too focused on getting whatever was cheapest.  ("Would you like Windows, or would you like to save -" "Yeah yeah yeah, whatever's cheapest.")

    b) If YOU didn't know a thing about Linux, does this sound like a reasonable solution to you?

    c) Again, if you were the sort that only knew to "click on the little E for internet", would you think to do this?  If I told you to do this, would you have the foggiest clue what I was going on about?

     



  • @morbiuswilters said:

    The reason I bring Ubuntu into this is because all of the things she wanted to do could have been done on Ubuntu but their is a major failure in support of the OS.  Whether this is due to a lack of formal support strategy on the part of Ubuntu, I don't know.
     

    I don't think that, from a consumer standpoint, Ubuntu's support strategy is much different from that of Microsoft. Most people I know ask a knowledgable friend or familymember for support, and only contact the supplier if the hardware is defective. I don't get the impression a lot of people expect their supplier to help them with such kind of problems. No one blames microsoft if they can't get there internet connection to work. Why is it now suddenly Ubuntu's, or the FOSS community's problem?

    I don't expect everyone to know everything about computers. And a mistake like this is understandable*, but it is in now way ubuntu's, or the FOSS community's fault. Either DELL didn't fully inform her, or she made a mistake somewhere. 

     What anoys me is the tone of the article. Instead of just concluding someone made a mistake somewhere, the conclusion is somehow: My internet and Word don't work, and it's all the fault of bloody Ubuntu thingy. While the 'victim' might have been ill informed, the reporter should have known better. This could have been an informative article telling people that computers do not necessarily run windows, and that you should keep that in mind when buying a new PC.

    I don't think most people laugh at her because she accidentaly bought a PC preinstalled with Ubuntu, and couldn't get it to work. It's her reaction! I don't see how this could have led to any signifficant problems at school and I find it hilarious that she seeks public attention for something so trivial.

    Anyway, the main problem with Ubuntu is that it isn't Windows. People expect Windows to run on a PC, and while I understand that, I do think it is a sad state of afairs. It would be nice, for everyone, if Windows had some real competition on the desktop, from the perspective of the average consumer. The biggest obstacle for linux as a serious competitor aren't technical, it's educational.

    PS. I apparently broke my english spell-checker. My apologies :P



  • @Phill said:

    I know very little about dentistry, fund management, PR, or journalism, why should those people have to know anything about system administration?

    Thank you!  That quote sums it up perfectly.



  • @belgariontheking said:

    @Phill said:

    I simply meant that this lady's getting a hard time for this and being treated like a moron (in the original article's comments) because she wasn't able to use Linux. I don't think the problem lies completely with her.
    I, like you, don't consider her to be the moron.  The Dell rep is the moron.

     

    As somebody who has used Linux extensively for both work and hobby stuff: The Dell rep is a moron.



  • @Phill said:

    I know very little about dentistry, fund management, PR, or journalism, why
    should those people have to know anything about system administration?

    I presume you don't rip teeth, manage funds, and so on. However, if you own a computer, you [i]have to[/i] administrate it. You can't just buy a computer and expect it to DWIM. I'm not saying every user should read [url=http://tools.ietf.org/html/rfc1122]RFC 1122[/url] before connecting to the net, but choosing Ubuntu without knowing what it is is rather unwise.

    That said, the second encounter with Dell still makes me think WTF. Ubuntu is compatible with everything she needed? College students love it? If she wants to replace it, just replace it.

    Oh, and requiring custom software for the Internet connection is a WTF as well.



  • @Spectre said:

    Oh, and requiring custom software for the Internet connection is a WTF as well.
    A non-technical friend of mine signed up at a local ISP recently and spoke about 'just popping in the CD'. That sounded a bit strange to me, since it was an ADSL line with a router included. Turns out the router is shipped in bridge mode, and the software walks the user through the PPPoE setup. Makes sense to me actually, since the users that know better won't use the CD, and those that don't won't have to phone them about port-forwarding and IP's etc.


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