MCFARLAND (WKOW) -- Abbie Schubert paid more than $1,100 for a Dell laptop hoping to enroll in online classes at MATC.
But something stopped her: Ubuntu.
That's an operating system for your computer similar to Windows that runs off the Linux system.
Schubert says she ordered her laptop online at Dell.com expecting to buy your classic bread-and-butter computer.
She didn't realize until the next morning her laptop defaulted to the Ubuntu operating system.
"It's been a mess," she said. "I regret ordering the computer."
Schubert says she never heard of Ubuntu before learning that's when she accidentally bought. She called Dell the very next day and says the representative told her there was still time to change back to Windows.
But she says Dell discouraged her.
"The person I was talking to said Ubuntu was great, college students loved it, it was compatible with everything I needed," said Schubert.
So she stuck with it.
Later, she discovered Ubuntu might look like Windows, but it doesn't always act like it.
Her Verizon High-Speed Internet CD won't load, so she can't access the internet. She also can't install Microsoft Word, which she says is a requirement for MATC's online classes.
As a result, with no internet and no Microsoft Word, Schubert dropped out of MATC's fall and spring semesters.
She also says Dell claimed it was now too late to get Windows and any changes she made herself would void her warranty.
"I'm extremely frustrated," said Schubert. "I wanted to get back to school, but I needed a computer to be able to do that."
27 News contacted Dell, but the company has not responded to us yet.
However, we think we've helped her get back to school.
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.
OpenOffice, anyone? It opens Word documents, and it's free.
This is the problem Linux faces for mainstream adoption: most people don't know any more about their computers than they do about their toasters. This person was dumbfounded that a Windows application didn't install as-is in Linux. Not just the blonde, but evidently the reporter as well. So what do you do? You can't expect people to know as much about computers as we do. They're not interested. Just like some of us aren't interested in knowing the rules of Soccer. To me, that seems to be the obstacle right there.
Edited by Seal, 14 January 2009 - 07:44 PM.