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Author Topic: the award for most clueless pc user ever - my candidate.  (Read 22231 times)
nudone
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« on: March 01, 2008, 02:27:16 AM »

i set a new machine up for a retired couple this week as they were tired of their old windows 95 based machine. i knew they weren't really keen on computers nor the internet but they've sent emails and done the basics for several years.

so, i was dismayed when i got a phone call from them one day after setting the new computer up for them...

them: "hello, there seems to be a problem. i can't get the computer to turn on."

me: "so the power button doesn't work?"

them: "the power button?"

me: "the silver button on the front of the tower case."

them: "oh, i have to press the button on the THE TOWER? that's strange."

me: "well, it's the same process to what you did with the previous computer."

them: "oh!"


second phone call...

them: "i'm having trouble with the mouse now. i can't click on anything."

me: "so when you click on an icon or button nothing happens?"

them: "i can't click on anything because there aren't any buttons on the mouse."

me: "er. the buttons are in the usual position at the front either side of the wheel."

them: "oh, let me try again. yes, you are right. i couldn't see the buttons so i didn't think there were any."

me: "no problem, just let me know if you need any further help. good bye"


beat that. they've been using a computer for several years and were completely lost the minute they tried to use a new machine. i expect they'll not be able to do anything at all with it - i've shown them how to connect to the internet and use gmail - something they'll never be able to do ever again i expect.
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f0dder
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« Reply #1 on: March 01, 2008, 06:27:29 AM »

 ohmy
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- carpe noctem
yotta
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« Reply #2 on: March 01, 2008, 07:05:30 AM »

bur their new computer cant be that different from 95 for basic tasks, can it?
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nudone
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« Reply #3 on: March 01, 2008, 07:39:38 AM »

to be fair, they don't use the computer very often - i'm amazed they managed to send a single email on the old computer - maybe they didn't after i'd shown them (regardless of the detailed step by step notes they wrote down to help remember).

the mouse problem that the phone call was about can be understood a little. they thought the scroll wheel was the mouse button so they'd been pressing that all the time.

i can't quite understand how they thought they'd be able to turn the computer on without pressing the power button on the tower - what else is there? maybe they thought you only had to press the power button on the monitor - they did give me the impression that they thought the mouse button did everything - including acting as the power button for the computer.

perhaps they would have been better with an apple machine?
« Last Edit: March 01, 2008, 07:42:16 AM by nudone » Logged
Gothi[c]
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« Reply #4 on: March 01, 2008, 07:59:19 AM »

Quote
perhaps they would have been better with an apple machine?
one of those old mac's where the computer is 'in' the monitor, and a one-huge-button mouse Wink
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Renegade
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« Reply #5 on: March 01, 2008, 08:20:34 AM »

Not sure if this beats it, but...

I've got one customer that emails me periodically with "something". Most often it's something along the lines of, 'This other software that has a different purpose than yours does can do X. Why doesn't your software do X? Please put it in. And make sure there are no bugs. Other companies make software with bugs.'

Well, one of the first emails from him a while after he'd bought my software was that he couldn't open an audio file with it. Seemed strange to me, but after somewhere between 15~20 emails later I finally figure out that he HAS NOT INSTALLED IT YET!

Whenever I get an email from him, I just start laughing before I even open it, anticipating something that's just off-the-wall. He never fails to disappoint. And while I'm quite sure most developers would refund his money and tell him to go away (that has happened to him before), I think he's well intentioned, but just, well, whatever. He gives me a laugh.

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Slow Down Music - Where I commit thought crimes...

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nudone
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« Reply #6 on: March 01, 2008, 10:14:28 AM »

that sounds kind of typical with a few non techie people i know - they don't quite get the idea of actually 'installing'.

if they can see that there is something on their computer that has the right name then what else is there to do?

in other words, they can see an icon on their desktop saying 'superprog' hence superprog must be working - even though it is just the installation file for superprog that they've downloaded onto their desktop. (superprog being a name i've made up.)

i've had this a few times from one person i know - they must use the computer at least a couple of times a week but they 'refuse' to remember how to get around the problem.
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tomos
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« Reply #7 on: March 01, 2008, 11:43:00 AM »

you might enjoy this one..
(vaguely related)

http://www.dilbert.com/co...ive/dilbert-20080212.html

where the boss gets ideas
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Tom
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« Reply #8 on: March 01, 2008, 12:17:18 PM »

i can't quite understand how they thought they'd be able to turn the computer on without pressing the power button on the tower - what else is there? maybe they thought you only had to press the power button on the monitor

Isn't that silly of them -- not a mistake  that I'd make!

By the way, I'm glad you mentioned the power button on the monitor.
I've been waiting absolutely ages for that blank screensaver to go away (since about 2002, I think)!

Computing is much more fun now that I have pictures on the screens!

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Chris
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« Reply #9 on: March 07, 2008, 05:43:28 AM »

I got into computers about thirteen years ago, just a few years ahead of the general public.  A few years later folks started coming to me for suggestions on getting a computer for their home.  After a few unpleasant experiences I started asking people if they had a VCR at home and if so, what time the clock was displaying.  If they said it was flashing 12:00 because they had never set it, I told them they didn't want a computer. 
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dmg
nudone
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« Reply #10 on: March 07, 2008, 05:50:54 AM »

 Grin
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hollowlife1987
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« Reply #11 on: March 07, 2008, 06:01:20 AM »

OK, my mom gets regular "spam" from her old high school buddy's and in some of the emails there are power point attachments.
So I get my mom power point viewer from Microsoft and install it for her so all she has to do is open the file and it will start the power point.

After explaining to her how to go forward or back slides with it I go and to do my own thing.
Few minutes later i hear the monitor turning on and off a few times then finally she asks me "Why wont this thing exit?"

I had to contain my laughter while i explain to her the monitor just displays stuff the power button on it doesn't effect input to the computer, and finally show her the "Esc" key on the keyboard.
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nudone
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« Reply #12 on: March 07, 2008, 06:21:59 AM »

it looks like the monitor power button is a common cause for confusion. i suppose the mistake is that a pc is like a television.

i remember when i bought a very cheap second hand computer from someone years ago. they informed me they only had the "floppy drive" to sell as they'd already sold the "computer".

translation:

the "computer" was the monitor.

the "floppy drive" was the desktop computer (old style flat case thing unlike a tower).

so i bought the pc at the "floppy drive" price.
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tomos
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« Reply #13 on: March 07, 2008, 06:35:57 AM »

so i bought the pc at the "floppy drive" price.

 Grin Grin
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Tom
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« Reply #14 on: March 07, 2008, 11:25:44 AM »

I regularly get people calling the computer the "hard drive".

This is at a university.  Said by people with Phd's.  Higher learning ya know.

Now I just accept the fact that everyone here has lied on their resume.

Today, I did a call where the user reported that all of the programs on his Start Menu had disappeared.  He had "Personalized Menus" turned on, which hides all but the most used programs on the Start Menu. I suppose he was being truthful, but I am always freaked by this sort of thing because he never once thought to click on the arrow at the bottom of the menu, used to reveal the hidden entries.

Did I mention the Phd part?

Then there was last week where the professor couldn't do *ANY* work because her computer was all messed up by a virus. Turns out the virus was sloppy mousing that somehow ended docked the Windows taskbar on the left side of the screen.

Did I mention the Phd part?

I'd pull my hair out 'ceptin' that I'm already freakin' bald!

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nudone
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« Reply #15 on: March 07, 2008, 11:33:31 AM »

 Grin

i'm sure we've all heard the saying "if ain't broke don't try to fix it" or something like that.

i think something similar is appropriate for people afraid to try anything on their computer, i.e. "if it ain't working, don't try to click it" - or something like that.

hmm, that's actually the opposite of what they should be doing though, maybe "if it ain't working, just click it" or "if it ain't working, please, just have a try, go on, just click it - it won't explode, believe, i'm not lying to you".

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Deozaan
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« Reply #16 on: March 07, 2008, 06:04:42 PM »

Grin

i'm sure we've all heard the saying "if ain't broke don't try to fix it" or something like that.

i think something similar is appropriate for people afraid to try anything on their computer, i.e. "if it ain't working, don't try to click it" - or something like that.

hmm, that's actually the opposite of what they should be doing though, maybe "if it ain't working, just click it" or "if it ain't working, please, just have a try, go on, just click it - it won't explode, believe, i'm not lying to you".

The problem with this is that it's those stray clicks the really mess them up. I don't know how my grandma does it, but she gets her task bar docked to the side or top of the screen, gets her display turned sideways (for monitors that can rotate), gets her resolution changed... All kinds of things that seem impossible for someone who doesn't know what they're doing.

I don't know why people think they never need to read anything on the computer. A dialog could pop up saying "Warning! Are you sure you want to install this virus that will wipe out your computer completely and release a new strain of the black plague which will destroy humanity?" and someone would just click "okay" because they never read those things.
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« Reply #17 on: March 07, 2008, 06:38:22 PM »

I regularly get people calling the computer the "hard drive".

Yes...  in my household, the computer is now called the hard drive, the monitor is called the computer, and I will never forgive Microsoft calling their web browser "Internet Explorer" when there was already something called "Explorer" in their OS.

Oh, and whenever I get a "tech support call" (that's someone yelling down the stairs for help), my first step is to ask if they've restarted the machine.  Works 90% of the time.
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Deozaan
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« Reply #18 on: March 08, 2008, 08:31:34 PM »

Oh, and whenever I get a "tech support call" (that's someone yelling down the stairs for help), my first step is to ask if they've restarted the machine.  Works 90% of the time.

That's how it was for me when I still lived with my mom.
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« Reply #19 on: March 08, 2008, 09:10:11 PM »

i have a friend who used to work in tech support. I said that there were so many people out there who asked the strangest of questions. Like this one woman who called cuz she did not know where to put a disk. and when he told her, she was like "ohhhhhhh, i thought that was a cup holder"

though i really cant laff at stuff like that. Cuz i do some really stupid stuff on the computer and get all frustrated and need gothic to "fix" it for me. which usually is just one click. heheeh.... tongue
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Curt
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« Reply #20 on: March 09, 2008, 04:17:38 AM »

I will like to thank you all for the gentle way you speak about me. All these posts about me, but not even once did you spell out my name. This is why I just love to hang out at DC. You are so tender - Thank You, guys!  Kiss


 embarassed


... it's those stray clicks that really mess them up. I don't know how my grandma does it, but she gets her task bar docked to the side or top of the screen, gets her display turned sideways (for monitors that can rotate), gets her resolution changed... All kinds of things that seem impossible for someone who doesn't know what they're doing.

This is so true! I believe it is one of those flaws that is so 'cute' about the women we love; they really like to click! Clicking all the time all over the place - click, click, click. My dearest friend comes twice a week to use my unstable PC to check her hotmail and facebook accounts, giving both of us a challenge. Mine is to stay a gentleman, and hers is to let go of the mouse and wait for the chosen feature to respond and for the page to load. Only, she can never wait that long. Over and over she will start clicking here and there and everywhere, always making the problem a lot worse. What is it about a woman and a mouse? I mean, I am an IT-analphabetic, but even I have learned to let go of that mouse, but, these women? No: click click click click click click click click click click click click click click click click click click click click click click click click click click click click click click click click click click click click click click click click click click click click click click click click click click click click click click click click click click click click click click click click click click click click click click click click click click click click click click click click click click click click click click click click click click click click click click click click click click click click click click click click click click click click click click click click click click click click click click click click click click click click click - "hey, Curt, why wont this machine do anything?", she says. I really love her.
« Last Edit: March 09, 2008, 04:21:44 AM by Curt » Logged
nudone
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« Reply #21 on: March 09, 2008, 04:38:39 AM »

 Grin

i've not seen anyone do that before. i've seen the 'double click on absolutely everything' habit (when only a single click is required) with several people - one of which really, really should have known better as they'd been using the computer every day for several years.
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« Reply #22 on: March 09, 2008, 05:00:43 AM »

yeah, what's up with double clicking internet links?

And I get the occasional SMS/call from my mom about stuff like this. "The text on the PC, specifically hotmail [i.e. internet explorer] is huge again! How do I fix it?"

This is one of the thing a menu is for, although for this particular problem I just SMS her a short message "Ctrl+mousewheel" Wink

The menu in any program must seem very scary to a lot of people... weird.
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nudone
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« Reply #23 on: March 09, 2008, 05:20:46 AM »

maybe it's because the menu is hidden away - therefore it must be something strange - only for the very brave to peer upon. only technical experts may venture into the arcane depths of the mysterious menu(s). perhaps another reason why no one reads the help files.
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jgpaiva
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« Reply #24 on: March 09, 2008, 06:51:34 AM »

Actually, i think we are the ones not seeing it right. The people who double-click everything are the ones who are right. I know quite a few people that do that same thing, most computer-illiterate do.
The reason is because windows doesn't follow a "standard", you have to know what you have to use double-click and what to use single-click.
I mean.. They allowed developers to have single-click OR double-click on tray icons, how stupid is that?
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