[ubuntu-web] Girl gets Ubuntu on a Dell by mistake, absolutely hates it...

Oli Warner oli at thepcspy.com
Thu Jan 15 10:40:37 GMT 2009

Two things to highlight.

Lots of ADSL and cable modems need activating. Doing this requires (or
so I've found in the past) you to use the disk that comes with the
particular modem. This is part of the age-old "it's the vendors fault
but consumers only know it doesn't work" issue. Linux vendors need to
help improve this sort of support either by creating an open source
activation tool (and getting ISPs to submit their various settings) or
getting ISPs to bundle Linux versions of their software. Neither is
likely to happen fast or smoothly.

Secondly, I was almost at the point of shouting "BUT OPENOFFICE IS
COMPATIBLE WITH MICROSOFT OFFICE!!". Ubuntu needs a full-screen
first-boot tour mechanism to highlight the differences between it and
Windows and where alternatives can be had... Ideally, something like
that could have automated tasks and/or exercises. 

Eg: A task called "I need to connect to a wireless network" that checks
for wireless hardware support, if a driver is working, show them where
the network manager applet is and how to use it. If there isn't driver
support, automatically turbohack some ndiswrapper in there, get it up
and running and continue the tour with the network manager applet.

The same goes for printers, scanners, webcams, alternative software;
the scope of this thing is practically limitless but it should go some
distance to bridge the gap between people who are completely unable to
Google things for themselves and a usable system.

And +1 for tying in IRC support into the tour. Eg a text box saying ask
a question than when they click send, it drops them into a nicely themed
IRC box in #ubuntu with the question written out. +1 again if you can
filter the replies so they only see messages prefixed with their
username (to make things less confusing and slightly more magical)

On Thu, 2009-01-15 at 05:14 -0500, Brett Alton wrote:

> She was confused due to
> Ubuntu 7.10's inability to load her Verizon Internet CD (which she
> doesn't actually need) and that Microsoft Office was incompatible with
> it (even though she could use OpenOffice.org).
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