Nun at the Computer I was reading through my emails the other day and I came across one from my brother and thought it was funny enough to share with everyone. This is one that I’m sure many of us geeks can relate to, but unfortunately I’m not sure who to give credit to since the email is just one of those forwards that doesn’t cite any sources.

There are 9 items in total, and after you get done reading them let us know what your favorites are (maybe you can come up with some more to add to the list)…

1: Microsoft Word is the application for everything.

Some people have been using the basics of MS Word since Windows 3.1, and have never wanted or needed to learn to use anything else, but they seem to think that Word is for full desktop publishing, database management and photo printing. They may even have the full suite of Office with Publisher and Access, but no matter what the task, Word will do it. Taking the long route seems to be the way to go, for example in order to print a picture, launch a new Word document, insert a text box, then insert the photo, you can then move the picture around and resize it to whatever size you like, which brings us to the next itch.

2: Incorrect Aspect Ratios.

Whether it’s on a new Widescreen TV, resizing photos in Word (of course), or using some spyware riddled DVD ripper to rip a movie, some people just seem to have no concept of aspect ratio, they don’t seem to mind if Captain Jack Sparrow looks George Costanza with a pirate hat. The amount of bars and pubs that have gone all out to buy their plasma/LCD TVs to hang on the wall, only to run the footy in standard analog stretch to fit nastiness astounds me. Try as you might to explain 16:9 and 4:3 views, the problem continues.

3: Everything Must Be Double Clicked.

It’s quite hard to explain to a not-so computer literate person the difference between icons, buttons and links. They sit there happily browsing the Internet double clicking on all the links like they’ve had too much coffee, it’s a habit that cannot be broken, you can tell them as many times as you like that you needn’t click like crazy to view that video on YouTube, but they will continue with their clicky ways.

4: Getting a faster computer will speed up the internets.

Off to the closest Harvey Norman to pick up the top of the line HP Desktop with all the trimmings, they hand over all their cash, take it home and get there 13 year old son to plug it in. Then you get the phone call or chance meeting where they question you on why the Internet is still slow as buggery, even with this fancy new computer. “What type of connection do you have” you ask them, so naturally they tell you their ISP (Usually Bigpond, or AOL for the US readers), you slowly explain what you mean by your initial question, and 15 minutes later come to the conclusion that they have dial-up. You try and hold it back, but you can’t, you just cry.

5: I won a trip to the Bahamas!

No, no you didn’t.

6: Your desktop wallpaper is NOT your screensaver.

I’m not quite sure how word got around that a desktop wallpaper is the same thing as a screensaver, but so many people seem to get the two mixed up. They can be talking about the background on their phone, or the background on their computer, they keep calling it a screensaver, why? I don’t know how this spread around the non-tech savvy world but it needs to stop, before my eyes start twitching and my head explodes.

7: NO, I DON’T want to fix your cousin’s brother’s uncle’s 10 year old computer.

This one is talked about a lot, hell there’s even t-shirts about it, but it needs to be said. If you’re a tech-savvy person, especially if it’s what you do as a job, people seem to think that you enjoy, and are happy to fix their computer. It’s true, yes we do enjoy a little bit of tinkering every now and then, but it’s a hell of a lot more fun when it’s your own machine, for a start the only person you can piss off is yourself if you manage to screw up, and on top of that, it’s YOUR computer so YOU get the benefits of the upgrade/maintenance. old computers are a bitch, working with old technology (unless it’s 1980s retro) is a bitch, and we don’t like doing it for free. I have no problem doing it for immediate family, and very close friends, but I do not want to get a tech support call from a work colleague’s boyfriend at 8:30 on a Saturday morning (that actually happened to me I might add).

8: The Non-Tech Savvy Geek

There are breeds of human out there who are convinced they are super tech gurus, they’ve sussed out Microsoft Office, and they can program a VCR with their eyes closed, and to top it off, they can talk for hours about stuff they know nothing about, using words they don’t understand. These guys are annoying as hell, and they are dangerous too. If you work with one, they can mess up a whole morning’s work at the blink of an eye. And even more annoying, they always give the other non-tech savvy people false hope, by telling them something is possible when it’s absolutely not, then you cop the bad wrap because you can’t do what they were told was possible. “No I can’t configure your phone to charge via Bluetooth”

9: Why can’t I open this file on my floppy disk?

This one isn’t super common but it’s definitely happened to me a few times. Some people store all their important documents on a floppy disk, arguably one of the most unstable storage methods available bar writing the binary data in sand on a beach. So surely they have backup yes? No, no they don’t, you express sympathy on the outside, but really, you’re shaking your head muttering “you complete idiot”

Yes this list is pretty self righteous, a mechanic or farmer could write a similar list directed at people who know bugger all about their profession, and they probably would, but they can’t work out how to turn on their computer.

Thanks for the tip Bro. ;)

As one of the commenters pointed out below it looks like the list comes from Spiraloz.

There Are 26 Comments

  1. One of my favourites is when people call you up to ask why their computer is “all of a sudden” running so slowly and why they can’t open any new applications. Then, when you check their computer, you can’t tell which applications they actually have running because the task bar is so full of open applications, they’re about 6 pixels wide. And then, when you ask them the last time they rebooted their computer, you get the answer “Oh, around three weeks ago. I heard it’s bad to turn your computer off and on every day.”. Now do you give the computer or the owner the one-finger salute? 8O

  2. Ahh, the classic no-reboot person. I had a local client call me up one time and say that there were no items showing in his Start Menu and he needed me to come out immediately. I was busy at the time and said it would be a few days before I could get over there. He said that he would make it worth my while so I made some time to come out there. I essentially went out there, restarted the computer, and it was fixed. He said that he didn’t know that you should restart the computer…but then I had made $250. :D

  3. The most anoying one I’ve had came from my mothers – boyfriends – sons – friend.
    I tells me that his machine won’t turn on. Naturally I asked him to check the machine was plugged in (like ya do :roll:). Took him through all the other checks and things I could think of. got him to open the case and make sure everything was plugged in and seated in their sockets correctly.

    It took me two and a half hours to get the guy to admit that he’d spilt a beer onto the case, which had a case fan on the top, and blown the damn thing up!!

  4. DuelMonster wrote:
    It took me two and a half hours to get the guy to admit that he’d spilt a beer onto the case, which had a case fan on the top, and blown the damn thing up!!

    Did you continue to help him or just walk away?

  5. I guess beer cooling doesn’t work as well as water cooling on PCs these days…

  6. My least favorite experience is when someone knows you’re good with computers, so they force you to come over… and they’re using a Mac or Linux and you have no idea where to even begin.

    Or when your teacher finds out you know a little bit of Java and forces you to program a javascript menu for the school web site. That sucks too.

    And #5 is my favorite.

  7. When they think the “computer” is the monitor :cry:

  8. When people see other flash websites and think that you (as a html and css coder) can make a site that looks exactly like “that one”. “Oh, so that’s what copyright means?”

  9. How I do make animated pictures using my CPU?? 8O

    1. Animated gifs stopped being cool 10 years ago.
    2. CPU does not stand for….computer! :x

  10. beggari wrote:
    I guess beer cooling doesn’t work as well as water cooling on PCs these days…

    I wouldn’t put it past some people. :D

    Kevin wrote:
    My least favorite experience is when someone knows you’re good with computers, so they force you to come over… and they’re using a Mac or Linux and you have no idea where to even begin.

    I can’t say that I’ve ever come across that one. Everyone that I know sticks with Windows so I guess that I’m fortunate. :D

    Kevin wrote:
    Or when your teacher finds out you know a little bit of Java and forces you to program a javascript menu for the school web site. That sucks too.

    Anytime someone finds out that you know a little bit of programming they expect you to be able to code Windows or something. People never seem to have an appreciation for the knowledge that programmers possess.

    Knight wrote:
    When they think the “computer” is the monitor :cry:

    To most people I think every peripheral is considered to be part of the computer. Just think about how many times people say their computer isn’t working when in reality is their mouse or printer. ;)

    Anonymous wrote:
    CPU does not stand for….computer!

    That’s hilarious! I know that I have heard people referring to computers that way but I hear it so much that I never think to correct it. I’ll have to watch out for that one.

  11. Knight wrote:
    When they think the “computer” is the monitor :cry:

    I don’t know, I’ve known some people who thought the whole computor was contained in the monitor, and that the tower thing that came with was just something extra. :roll:

    I’ve got a weird one. I know someone who bought a computer with no modem because they thought it was built into the monitor. 8O

    I have also heard horror stories of computers at public schools. A friend told me that he was asked to look at one school’s computers because they were not “working right”. He tried opening up IE and it took two minutes. There was no Firefox, out-of-date anti-virus, and no anti-spyware to speak of. :oops: He went online, downloaded Ad-Aware, and ran it. There was supposedly so much spyware it was a miracle the machine even turned on! He deleted the spyware and then promptly installed Firefox and better anti-virus. 8)

  12. I could go on an on about computers in public schools… but I won’t :) As a teacher myself, I am amazed at all of the technology many (not all) schools have, yet they don’t take the time to train the staff. So many teachers are clueless about nearly every aspect of computers, so they just collect dust.
    I’m not teaching right now, but last year while I was a student teacher, I’d create a “good-morning” Power Point for my 2nd graders that gave them instructions for getting started in the morning. It was just a simple, single slide with some fun animations of course, but simple. Other teachers would come in and be so amazed and ask how I did it.

  13. I’m tech support for public schools, and here they take a teacher that can use a keyboard and mouse and give them an additional duty called Sysop. They’re mainly supposed to check the basics like power chord and keyboard plugged in and then submit a work order. The switch feeding the lab went down one day, and instead of putting in a service call he tried to fix it himself first. When we arrived, the first thing he said was ” I tried installing AOL on all the machines, but they still won’t connect to the internet. I don’t understand.”

  14. Joe Jett wrote:
    I’m tech support for public schools, and here they take a teacher that can use a keyboard and mouse and give them an additional duty called Sysop. They’re mainly supposed to check the basics like power chord and keyboard plugged in and then submit a work order. The switch feeding the lab went down one day, and instead of putting in a service call he tried to fix it himself first. When we arrived, the first thing he said was ” I tried installing AOL on all the machines, but they still won’t connect to the internet. I don’t understand.”

    Hahaha… sounds like some of the teachers I have worked with :)

  15. Ooh! Here’s another one to bring back a little nostalgia!

    How about the people who send around the chain letter hoaxes to everybody in their address book, assuring them all that this is real and they should follow its instructions… and you can’t decide whether to “reply to all” or just to the sender with a “carefully worded” :twisted: email stating that the first time you saw this particular hoax was in 1991.

    Step away from the computer… :arrow:

  16. Yeah, you might want to search the internet next time and find the blog (which was Digg-effected into going down) which wrote the post, and actually give them credit for the list.

    [spiraloz.com]

  17. Kat wrote:
    Yeah, you might want to search the internet next time and find the blog (which was Digg-effected into going down) which wrote the post, and actually give them credit for the list.

    [spiraloz.com]

    We appreciate you pointing out the source, but we really didn’t know where it came from. It was received as an email and had we known about the source we would have not copied all of the content. However, being that it was received in an email format there was no way for us to link to the email, so we pasted the content here.

    Even if we did do some searching how would we have found that site to be the source when it was down? :) If it came up as one of the search results we would have clicked on it to see if it was the source. When nothing came up (according to you because of the Digg effect) we would have just ignored the site. So even if we did go looking around there would have been a very slim chance that we had actually found the original site.

    We have added the link to the post though, thanks for pointing it out.

  18. @Ashley: In my comment, I was referring to student incompetence in public schools, but if you want some good teacher stories, check [pcmag.com] out.

    Students can be pretty bad, too, or so I hear. Young ones click on ads and download questionable software, though some schools have better protection such as [faronics.com] in place to prevent such things.

  19. I don’t expect non-techs to know how to rewrite the registry (even though they do that sometimes), but a basic thing like “computers work on electricity” should be common knowledge.
    My favorite unplugged story happened when a client calls me and frantically tells me she can not print. I ask printer questions and after some time extract from her that actually she can not turn on the computer hence she can not print. Deep breath and we continue. After asking the all time favorite question: “is the power cable connected” (with an explanation how a power cable looks like) the client replies “Yes”. I then decide to go and explore further. When I arrive I find to my horror that the power cable was connected to the computer from one side, and a splitter (domino) on the other. The same splitter hosted also the printer, monitor and … the splitter own cable that should be connected to the wall socket !

  20. Yaniv wrote:
    I don’t expect non-techs to know how to rewrite the registry (even though they do that sometimes), but a basic thing like “computers work on electricity” should be common knowledge.
    My favorite unplugged story happened when a client calls me and frantically tells me she can not print. I ask printer questions and after some time extract from her that actually she can not turn on the computer hence she can not print. Deep breath and we continue. After asking the all time favorite question: “is the power cable connected” (with an explanation how a power cable looks like) the client replies “Yes”. I then decide to go and explore further. When I arrive I find to my horror that the power cable was connected to the computer from one side, and a splitter (domino) on the other. The same splitter hosted also the printer, monitor and … the splitter own cable that should be connected to the wall socket !

    That’s hilarious…but not surprising. There are so many things that I think should be common knowledge when it comes to computers, and when I call for support on something the people always walk me through doing things that make me feel stupid. I always end up telling them that I know what I’m doing with computers, so if they just tell me what they want to do I can do it…instead of walking me through all of the menu options to choose from. There are so many people like the one that you mentioned that makes me realize why they have to dumb things down so much. :D

  21. People that think forwarding jokes or little messages on spirituality or self help stuff is proper use of email.

    Oh, and people that send out bulm messages using the “to” field so that every recipient sees all the other email address.

  22. People that copy stuff from a blog site and paste it in their own email and/or website :P

    nah only joking, glad you liked it, thanks for linking it back to me.

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