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....
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...