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!