[UbuntuWomen] Is it so strange for a woman to use linux?

Caroline Ford caroline.ford.work at googlemail.com
Tue Mar 4 02:02:26 UTC 2008

>  On 04/03/2008, Kathryn <crunchyfroggie at gmail.com> wrote:
>  > Among the few friends of mine who use Linux (we're mostly Biomedical
>  > Science graduates who have gone on to further study - e.g. medicine,
>  > PhD) it seems to be a matter of "Yoda & Luke" - everyone is brought
>  > into the Linux movement by an experienced user who shows them the way.
>  >  I was offered a taste of SuSE/KDE by a male friend a few years ago,
>  > and I immediately loved using Linux but the user interface didn't
>  > impress me and I found a few tasks pointlessly difficult (e.g.
>  > unmounting a USB key).  I wasn't worried by use of command line, or
>  > the various tweaks we had to make, but the standard of "daily
>  > usability" wasn't there.  Ubuntu changed all of that, and now my
>  > personal computers boot to Ubuntu by default... I reluctantly swap to
>  > Windows for uni software that is Windows-only.

I got into it through peer pressure tbh. I was involved in a mud as
one of the few non comp sci graduates and basically I was the one who
didn't use linux, didn't know the difference between free software and
freeware etc.

I installed Mandrake as I wanted to be able to a) run the muds code
base and more importantly b) share files with people via ssh.

As i wasn't running a server with ssh I was excluded...

I ended up in a situation of dependency where people basically fixed
my linux box for me. They had the root password and as long as it
still had network access it was fine. I never learnt anything and they
didn't seem to want to teach me.

I fell out with the person who was helping me and began to teach
myself bits using google. About this time mandriva decided to stop
giving me security updates (the version I had was installed 6 months
previously). I was obviously going to have to learn how to install my
own OS. Looking at Mandriva's website it seemed that all information
involved giving them money - Join the Mandriva Club! I wanted to know
what was going on but it all felt really unhelpful.

About this time I came across dapper -1 (forgotten the name).  I
installed it on my desktop to see if it was suitable to replace my
server with. I managed to break it trying to install the nonfree
nvidia drivers and stuck to my windows partition.

Two things happened that made me switch over to using linux full time
- one (minor) one was the second life native linux client. I *had* to
play with it (as I saw myself as a power user) and so installed dapper
rc1 over my dead ubuntu partition. I was doing a lot of second life at
the time, but also a lot of Everquest 2 (which doesn't even run under
wine). The main one was having my internet cut off - I couldn't do any
gaming any more.

With borrowed wifi all I could do was web browse (slowly) and download
email. Ubuntu did all that for me and wasn't as laggy as windows xp.
XP had also installed some software from Microsoft connected to
looking for pirate copies which kept triggering and annoying me. I
wondered what else they'd installed behind my back!

I'd already used a lot of open source software on windows and was a
bit of a power user - I ran Mozilla not IE, and used audacity. I had
the desire to move to to Ubuntu full time as I knew it was better
after so many years of peer pressure ;) I also had people I knew from
wikipedia evangelising and encouraging me.

I've always been geeky, got my first 8 bit computer aged 9 (an Acorn
Electron) and used to program as a teenager until I went to
university. I'd played with Mandrake on and off after leaving
university but never used it as a primary desktop until dapper :)


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