About Me

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Cromer, Norfolk, United Kingdom

I'm a former hospital radio/club/mobile DJ, avid record collector and amateur musician (playing guitar, keyboards, recorder, harmonica and percussion.) I've even filled in on bass guitar for a couple of local bands as well (although that was quite a few years ago). Also interested in Motorsports, Wrestling/Mixed Martial Arts and Classic Television and Radio from the 1960s - 1980s.

Why am I on here? Well, I'm just trying to make some sense of life before it's too late...but who cares anyway?

Friday, 15 July 2016

A Cautionary Computer Tale

Just browsing through You Tube for something to do when I came across this story from 2009 featuring a woman who bought a laptop which had Ubuntu installed instead of Windows -

The woman at the centre of our tale, Abbie Schubert, who had bought the laptop in the hope that she could do some online courses got in touch with WKOW in Madison, WI to see if they could help via their "Troubleshooter" segment. It was after the story first went out that it went absolutely viral as the second video explains....

 (Click here for UPDATE: Ubuntu Causes Girl To Drop Out Of College)

Basically, Abbie received several derogatory comments including "lazy," "a dumb girl," and "not worthy of a college degree."  - and that's a selection of the least virulent ones.

Ubuntu has a loyal (and passionate) fan base - and in their eyes the report on WKOW portrayed the operating system in a bad light according to Adam Wiesenfarth, who is a technology consultant at UW-Madison.

"If you're not a computer tinkerer, and you're not willing to do research and digging, it may not be for you."

Abbie also got back in touch with the station, noting that Ubuntu users were also harassing her on Facebook.  All she wanted was some help with her issues (which, as far as I understand were resolved) but (as I understand it) the negative publicity had simply got out of hand.

Now since I bought my current Dell PC (which incidentally didn't come with an operating system) I had been using different free programs like "Puppy Linux" to keep it going, before I had a stroke of luck when I discovered that an old slimline DVD drive which I thought had packed up had the same internal connection as the CD-ROM which was already on the machine.  So I swapped the two over, and since downloading and installing the latest version of Ubuntu I haven't looked back.  True, I've had to use a few workarounds to make sure I can do all the stuff I'm able to do on a Windows PC, but on the whole, I'm generally pleased with how the system is working.

As for Abbie, I wonder how she's doing these days...