Your mom, an un-savvy user who only wants a pre-setup computer to surf and post on Facebook, doesn’t have to worry about getting a wi-fi dongle operating on it and would have freaked if she was told she had to edit the make file. If I didn’t have another computer to search for why the driver didn’t work even though it compiled, and THEN figure out a solution based on one for a different problem, I’d’ve been in deep shit. Even worse if I were less pissed off and not willing to devote hours to fixing it just to show it who’s boss. Even then, my signal strength hovered in the low single digits which, as I mentioned above, turns out to be a common problem with this product and Linux.
I will modify “amateurish.” Linux is fine for turnkey systems like your mom’s and for professional systems, like server farms, where people are paid to do the least interesting, but most vital, crap from the ground up. IMHO, where it falls down is with people like me, people who want more than turnkey but are sick of having to work to get more than that. I’ve been doing this for 35 years and after your eighth operating system learning a new one stops being fun. Plug and Play is a good thing, having a generic Ubuntu installer is good, and Linux will never be ready for prime time until it enters the 1990s.