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Thread: My Ubuntu/Linux Story + Discussion

  1. #1
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    My Ubuntu/Linux Story + Discussion

    Hello everyone,

    I think it's really cool that ubuntu forums has a board to help welcome female users of Linux, and wanted to share a little about why I chose to start using Ubuntu/Linux and also pose a question about women using Ubuntu/Linux.

    First off, I have always been really interested in technology and computers since a young age. When I was 4, I was pretty much independently using a teeny tiny Apple computer to print out Kid Pix artwork. When I was older, I started using Windows 95/XP and learned HTML/CSS as part of my middle school/high school education. I asked my dad for help on stuff that was beyond my comprehension, but more recently, I have been able to do my own research and solve my own computer issues successfully.

    Currently, I have two laptops that were given to me as gifts. My new one came pre-installed with Windows 7, the old one came pre-installed with Windows XP. The reason I got a new laptop was mainly because I tried to install Windows 7 on my old one and basically my computer spit that out on the plate and said "NO!" because every time I tried to start up, I had to wait 15 minutes for my PC to update. On top of that, the code I used for installation was only good for one install. So when things stopped working (important things like Windows search) and I wiped my hard drive to reinstall Windows 7, I got the "Your Copy of Windows is Not Genuine" error.

    I'm not one to get in trouble with the law, and I was in no place to buy a new license, so that's where my new laptop came into the picture. I've been happily using Windows 7 on my PC for a while now, however, I'm also traveling this summer out of the country and wanted to leave my new "baby" safe at home. What was left except my old laptop?

    I had two options before I discovered Ubuntu: buy a new license or re-install Windows XP. Neither of those were appealing, so to the internet I turned to see what other options were at my fingertips. That's when I found out that there are free open-source OS's that function just as well as any Mac or Windows OS! It was a miracle!

    After installing Ubuntu, I was so excited. Not only had I learned how to create websites, wipe hard drives, and other lovely things, but I had also installed my first Linux OS. The GUI is awesome, and I definitely don't have to wait 15 minutes every time I start my computer. I love it! The first week I had it installed, I was using my old laptop more than my shiny new one. haha

    It took some getting used to, and I still haven't figured out everything, but for the most part, I'm really excited about using Linux/Ubuntu.

    Here's where my question comes in. Turns out, I needed some tech support the other day, and called up my school's IT team. The first time I called, I got a quick generic answer that Linux simply wasn't supported for what I was trying to do. Of course, I had already done research and saw that it was compatible I just needed some detailed information about the situation. I called again, getting in touch with a different person who seemed slightly more knowledgeable. His first suggestion was that I use Windows 7. I told him about what I looked up online, and again he said "You can't use that with Linux, you need to go to Best Buy and have them reimage your hard drive so you can put Windows 7 on your PC. You'll have to pay for a new license."

    First of all, I already wiped my hard drive twice by myself, and installed a new OS by myself. I really didn't see where he got the idea that I needed to go to Best Buy and have someone else do what I already know how to do. Second of all, I already told him I couldn't use Windows 7 on my PC. It baffled me how he continued to tell me to do what I already told him I wasn't willing to do. Very frustrating. :/

    Have any other ladies experienced a similar reaction when trying to explain something you already know about to someone who assumes you need technological training wheels? How do you react? How do you keep your cool if it's more pointed or sexist?

    Have a great one y'all!

  2. #2
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    Re: My Ubuntu/Linux Story + Discussion

    Really depends on the situation. A generic answer would be if you need help, try to find someone willing to help, either at a local Linux User Group if there is one around where you live, or posting a thread on these forums regarding your issues.

    Many people are not as you describe. I've met all kind of people, from condescending and patronizing to clearly antagonistic. The ones I remember or am still friends with over the years, online or IRL, are not at all like this. Nice and friendly persons, they are the ones I listen to.
    Last edited by bapoumba; June 5th, 2014 at 10:26 PM.
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  3. #3
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    Re: My Ubuntu/Linux Story + Discussion

    First advice, I tend to assume people are not being sexist unless they make it pretty clear that they are (which has happened plenty of times). In this case I'd probably just assume that the support person was stressed out/overworked by having non-technical people call in and ask questions about things they don't support.

    When it is very obvious, how I handle it depends on how much I need them - if it's a store and there's another nearby, I might just leave and take my business elsewhere. If it's someone I actually have to work with I might casually mention something about my experience that makes it clear I know what I'm talking about to give them the opportunity to change the way they're treating me and their assumptions. Or I'll make some kind of joke if I can come up with something. I rarely call people on it directly because that causes them to get defensive. Keeping my cool is helped by the fact that I know there are spaces I can talk about it in later (like here! or with friends, or on social media) where there are sympathetic ears and people who understand being treated poorly.
    Elizabeth Krumbach // pleia2 // lyz@ubuntu.com
    http://princessleia.com

  4. #4
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    Re: My Ubuntu/Linux Story + Discussion

    Quote Originally Posted by bapoumba View Post
    Really depends on the situation. A generic answer would be if you need help, try to find someone willing to help, either at a local Linux User Group if there is one around where you live, or posting a thread on these forums regarding your issues.

    Many people are not as you describe. I've met all kind of people, from condescending and patronizing to clearly antagonistic. The ones I remember or am still friends with over the years, online or IRL, are not at all like this. Nice and friendly persons, they are the ones I listen to.
    Yeah, most people I meet are the nice type. Occasionally, though, there are those who aren't so friendly and understanding. I'm glad your experiences have been mostly positive!

  5. #5
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    Re: My Ubuntu/Linux Story + Discussion

    Quote Originally Posted by elizabeth View Post
    First advice, I tend to assume people are not being sexist unless they make it pretty clear that they are (which has happened plenty of times). In this case I'd probably just assume that the support person was stressed out/overworked by having non-technical people call in and ask questions about things they don't support.

    When it is very obvious, how I handle it depends on how much I need them - if it's a store and there's another nearby, I might just leave and take my business elsewhere. If it's someone I actually have to work with I might casually mention something about my experience that makes it clear I know what I'm talking about to give them the opportunity to change the way they're treating me and their assumptions. Or I'll make some kind of joke if I can come up with something. I rarely call people on it directly because that causes them to get defensive. Keeping my cool is helped by the fact that I know there are spaces I can talk about it in later (like here! or with friends, or on social media) where there are sympathetic ears and people who understand being treated poorly.
    Good advice. I realize the way I worded my OP did sound like I was making him out to be sexist,and I didn't think he was being sexist. Like you said, they didn't support Linux, and he probably was busy. My concern for that specific situation was just the insisting that I go use a product I already explained I was not going to be using. I should have stated that directly before I jumped to a similar but separate issue of how the people on ubuntu forums deal with frustrating experiences with sexism.

    I agree, calling people out never really does any good. Especially if you work with them! I'm glad to hear that there are supportive people on ubuntu forums. I've been to many forums for various topics and communities and admittedly it is hard to find nice people sometimes.

  6. #6
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    Re: My Ubuntu/Linux Story + Discussion

    Quote Originally Posted by hannah6 View Post
    Turns out, I needed some tech support the other day, and called up my school's IT team. The first time I called, I got a quick generic answer that Linux simply wasn't supported for what I was trying to do. Of course, I had already done research and saw that it was compatible I just needed some detailed information about the situation.
    If possible, don't reveal you're using Linux, and you can usually get the info you need. I personally don't like being disingenuous, but sometimes it's necessary to avoid the knee-jerk "we don't support Linux" response.

    Anyway, welcome to the forums.

  7. #7
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    Re: My Ubuntu/Linux Story + Discussion

    In my experience, tech support people are generally helpless if you try to do something outside the scope of their manual, like use Linux. Youd be much better off getting support on Linux forums, or from other local Linux users. Ive found that 99% of the problems that I run into I can solve on my own with a bit of patience and googling.

  8. #8
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    Arrow Re: My Ubuntu/Linux Story + Discussion

    Quote Originally Posted by whatthefunk View Post
    In my experience, tech support people are generally helpless if you try to do something outside the scope of their manual, like use Linux. Youd be much better off getting support on Linux forums, or from other local Linux users. Ive found that 99% of the problems that I run into I can solve on my own with a bit of patience and googling.
    This has been my experience as well. I have used Linux distros for 11 years and always get help from forums.
    A friendly & helpful Linux community who has started a large cursor theme project. If you are sick of tiny cursors, go here and get one.
    http://linuxinternationals.org/forum...orum.php?f=166

  9. #9
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    Re: My Ubuntu/Linux Story + Discussion

    Yes, having Ubuntu (Linux) as your main OS is the best way to burst out the happiness and freedoms in your techy mind. Having Linux as open-source and free is the best way to explore an OS especially Unix-like type. Indeed, i just installed Ubuntu just for three weeks ago, and since that time, I created a simple website, learning programming, editing softwares source codes and exploring the world of computer using flexible, fast, reliable and independent operating system. Its just like now you sitting on the central of processor to let you going more deep into it and make a new discovery. For me, Windows 7 and 8 is not good compared with Linux. Of course, closed-source Microsoft Windows operating system is like a jail for who want to explore more and more about computing and how it's worked. I love Linux as my primary operating of my old pc. Furthermore, with great Ubuntu Communities, you get help and solve problems with ease. Complicated PowerShell and not 'that' much use MS-DOS is not standable than Terminal for me. Easy configurations, set up and powerful Bash Scripts that can 'touch & arrange' the engine.

  10. #10
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    Re: My Ubuntu/Linux Story + Discussion

    Oh yes! So true. I have a friend whom I've been nudging towards Linux for years..I used Fire Fox as the gateway oss for him to try..I'm almost there.
    BTW,what's your website?
    A friendly & helpful Linux community who has started a large cursor theme project. If you are sick of tiny cursors, go here and get one.
    http://linuxinternationals.org/forum...orum.php?f=166

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