Flags

Discussion in 'other software & services' started by Saraceno, May 8, 2009.

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  1. Saraceno

    Saraceno Registered Member

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    I have a short story to tell about a guy I used to work with. Have to tell someone.

    He's been using a laptop for about six years (that I know of), and during this time, has had me solve all sorts of problems, such as format his hard drive, reinstall his operating system, and on one occasion, remove a 'bot' like attack, where another user had full control of his system. This user repeatedly tried to log-in to his internet banking account, and only stopped after his bank notified him, and he game me a call. did he give me a call (I reinstalled his operating system - Nod, Kaspersky and several others could block 'explorer.exe' but not remove the problem).

    Anyway, more recently, he asked me to send him some 'training' files in excel format. After I emailed him, he kept replying 'he could not locate these files'.

    What was happening, was that he was saving the files to IE or Firefox's default folder, and had no idea how to search for the files. I came up with a solution, to send him files over MSN.

    After sending him the excel spreadsheet, I watched as the file was idle for several minutes. After I messaged and said, 'you saving the file?', he replied, 'yes, trying to!'. I was patient, and cancelled the request, then sent it again. And again, and again. After the last attempt, I said, 'ok, now open the file', and he replied, 'I don't have it'.

    I was still patient, so I said, 'yes you do, tell me where MSN is wanting to save the file?' He kept replying, 'I don't have it, you never sent it.' I couldn't stand it anymore and just logged off.

    Anyway, yesterday another problem emerged. His cable modem was failing to connect, so he gave me a call saying 'something's not working!'. Knowing how long the call might turn out to be, I said, 'look here, this is the technical support number, they're open till midnight, give them a call'.

    To which he freaked out and said, 'what will they get me to do?!'. I said, 'they will guide you through the process, most likely, reset your modem settings, which is really easy to do, so don't worry about it'.

    After a few hours had passed, I received another call, to which he was 'hysterical' by now. ;) I have to say, I found this quite amusing as I knew this call would come.

    He was screaming, 'I've been on the phone for hours!!! They aren't able to help me!!! They kept saying, click on the start button! Click on the start button!!! THERE IS NO START BUTTON, WHERE'S THIS START BUTTON?!!'

    I said, 'hold on a second there, what do you mean, you don't know where the start button is?'

    He replied screaming, 'THERE'S NO START BUTTON!!!! $&$($! @*@(! THERE'S NO START BUTTON!! I CAN'T STAND THIS ANYMORE!! HELP MEE!!!!' (then started crying, I think, well sounded like it)

    I started to laugh, and said, 'what do you think that button is you click on in the bottom left-hand-corner of the screen, you think that might be it?'

    He said, 'THAT...THAT'S JUST SOME FLAGS!!!!'

    I was really finding this amusing by now, the guy couldn't find the start button, something everyone clicks on, and he thinks it's just a picture of some 'flags', like decoration!

    I was shocked. I know we all have different skill levels, but thinking the start button is nothing more than just 'flags', that is by far one of the most unbelievable things I've ever heard.

    This all coming from a guy who logs on to the net everyday for the past several years. I've heard it all! I mean, how many others are there like him out there?! :argh: :)

    Note: Maybe Vista (and Windows 7) made a mistake removing the word 'start'! ;)

    confederate-flags.jpg
     
  2. ahriman

    ahriman Registered Member

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    Saraceno, great story! It's hard to know whether to laugh or cry,
    so choosing 'laugh' is the way to go. BTW, you have great patience :)
     
  3. NoIos

    NoIos Registered Member

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    The story is amusing but guys like your friend are what I call public enemy.
     
  4. Peter2150

    Peter2150 Global Moderator

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    ROFL. Well when you think about it clicking the start button does reflect on some misguided soul somewhere. Be kinda like calling the piece of equipment on every auto engine used to start the engine a "stopper" Picture taking your care to a mechanic and saying my stopper doesn't work.

    Pete
     
  5. Saraceno

    Saraceno Registered Member

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    This guy has great social and people skills, with presentations and so on. But it made me think how it must be to be a software developer, or as Peter said, an engineer or designer.

    Being able to think, create and design for everyone, from the intelligent, to the stubborn, and to the simple. ;)

    Some people either don't understand, or just refuse to store the information, as they already admit, 'it's too hard to understand'.

    It's like many everyday people, who don't know how to 'pop the bonnet of their car', even though they use it everyday.

    You can say, 'hey, here's the latch, just take a look', and they'll respond, 'nah, I take it in for a service, don't wanna look!'

    True story, this girl I know (she's 24), lives at home with her dad. She drives around a little car, cute girl she is too. Anyway, I said to her recently, 'how much do you spend to fill your car up?' which kind of startled her. She goes, 'umm, it's always full!' I said, 'what do you mean, always full?' She goes, 'it just is'. I later found out her father uses her car every week, and I told her he is filling it up for her. She owned the car for a year and didn't seem convinced! :p ha. I finally said, 'you even know how to fill a car up', and she goes, 'never done it!'. She's driven past a million service stations and never had to drive in. Unbelievable.

    So to all of those out there in IT land, or customer service, or 'support', I give you two thumbs up for your patience. :thumb: :thumb:

    Back to that guy, I started thinking about his everyday 'skills'. Not only did he call me again and ask 'why the screen is going black every 15 minutes' to which I said 'it's a screen saver', he still hasn't used his 'gas stove', the one which came with his house, in over a year for fear he'll leave it on and blow the place up. :argh: He went out and bought a small electric stove, like the ones you use camping, to use instead of the one that comes with his house! It sits right next to his 'gas stove'.

    I really thought this world and people in it were moving forward and becoming 'technologically advanced'. But I now realise, I don't think we've stopped to think how many we might have left behind! ;)
     
  6. Saraceno

    Saraceno Registered Member

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    And you're right Peter, maybe he's too forward thinking, I mean, why click the 'start' button, when your computer is already on? :)
     
  7. vizhip

    vizhip Registered Member

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    I think you are getting an idea of what computer support personnel go through all the time...

    One company that I used to work for gets upset with their support personnel if they say anything technical over the phone or ask technical questions... I know... I filled in one day for a lower tier support group and got reemed for asking the user what OS they were using...

    I wont tell you how long it usually took them to solve a tier 1 ticket... Let's just say the old joke about the broken cup holder isn't far off in regards to their users...

    Regards -
    -Bob
     
  8. innerpeace

    innerpeace Registered Member

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    Great stories Saraceno :). I enjoy reading your posts and this was a treat!

    I really agree with the 2 quotes above. Most All of the people I know are the same way. I guess I also enable them as I always give in to fix the machine or look up a problem. I can't help it, it's a male thing LOL. I love fixing problems if I'm able. The scary thing is, I don't know as much as they think I do. Thank goodness for forums and search engines :thumb:
     
  9. vizhip

    vizhip Registered Member

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    I try and let folks know up front that I am in no way an expert... but they still seem to call me for fixing computer problems ...

    Fortunately troubleshooting has always been one of my better skills, and yes, the forums and search engines come in VERY handy... along with the right tools for removing virus and malware... )))

    Regards -
    -Bob
     
  10. ThunderZ

    ThunderZ Registered Member

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    LOL I know exactly what you mean. The average user has no clue as to the actual workings of a PC.

    Many can not grasp that there are actually to separate yet intertwined contents in a computer. Hardware and software. Little on the interaction between the two.

    It is amazing how many people (still) think that the memory is where their programs, music, pictures, etc. are stored. They have no idea what a hard drive is. They have no clue what "running in the background is" Then they load up their PC with all kinds of widgets, and other cute programs that add themselves at start-up and wonder why their PC has slowed to a crawl. Forget the fact that it is a poorly written program which also (possibly) installed some sort of malware. That is just a small example of the general lack of knowledge that is out there.

    When friends and family tell me I know so much about computers, I hold my thumb and index finger about an inch apart and say "I know this much". Then I spread my arms apart as far as they will go and say "There is this much to know". They think I am being modest. :doubt:
     
  11. Saraceno

    Saraceno Registered Member

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    I agree, thank forums and search engines. In the past, I still relied on the library and newsagency, but I never expected a quick fix for anything.

    An average user, it's scary the potential they have to ruin expensive equipment. They'll take more care with their groceries than they would with their macbook.

    I got to keep using this 'guy' as an example, cause he is like several novice users all rolled into one. You could probably do a study on the workings of his head.

    I remembered something else from a six months ago. He kept talking about buying a new ipod, with an 80GB drive. Spent all his hard earned cash on it. Every cent he had.

    So he buys his new ipod, and spends days transferring every cd he owns on to itunes. A couple of weeks later he complains his laptop keeps shutting off, every hour, just shuts off!

    I made him wait a month or so before checking it out, cause he really is an annoying guy. :D

    So I sit down to this 'crusty old laptop'. I think there's an 'enter key' under those coffee stained keys.

    Anyway, things are really grinding, almost like there's a few of those spyware programs running. A message suddenly pops up as I go to load CCleaner, something along the lines of 'C drive is full'. I said, 'how long has this been going on for?' And he goes, 'for ages! every day' I replied 'sh!t man, did you think to delete some stuff, or that didn't enter your head?'

    And he says, 'I can't!! I need to keep everything'. Anyway, he had something like 15MB free on his drive, and it was shutting off after loading firefox for 10 minutes or so. It was like carrying a bucket of water filled to the top, things were wanting to spill over.

    I found the 'suspect folder', about '80 GB' of music on an 80GB laptop drive! :D

    I said, 'mate, we're going to have to delete some of these tunes, otherwise you won't be able to use this thing. Lets get rid of (and I started reading some album titles)' He starts wailing about how 'music is everything to him and 'none of it can go!!!'.

    I said, 'fine, enjoy your crappy laptop turning off, ok?'.

    After I was about to leave I said, 'look, buy an external hard drive from the post office, and I'll transfer all the music over for you', to which he started carrying on 'he doesn't have the money, he pays bills, he just bought his ipod and wants to enjoy it'.

    I mean, he kept going on about 'why would they sell him an 80GB ipod if it doesn't fit on his drive'. I said, 'cause hard drives come in all different sizes, and not everyone has a ipod with 80GB of music stored on an 80GB hard drive!'

    After a few more weeks passed, I went back and finally deleted a few GBs of music. I didn't tell him though, said I 'found a program that would fix it'. haha :cool:

    Youth of today hey! close to 80GB of music on 80GB laptop drive! Does my head in. ;)
     
  12. axial

    axial Registered Member

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    [post deleted]
     
    Last edited: May 10, 2009
  13. lodore

    lodore Registered Member

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    that is rather execellent LOL.
    when I made a guide for installing vista at college i refered to it as the "start orb"

    Ive always found the start button a good idea and very welcoming.
     
  14. Saraceno

    Saraceno Registered Member

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    Start orb, I like! :thumb: :D

    I have another update, from "captain technology". I'm agreeing with NoIos now, this guy is 'public enemy'.

    He sent a message saying his internet connection is slow, right after downloading a media player.

    Curious as to 'which' media player he decided to download, I gave him a call. I'm feeling like technical support! I will call him "Dick".

    Me> "Hey, so just so I know, why did you need another media player, you have windows media player?"
    Dick> "Ummm, yeah, I wanted to play some files I downloaded"
    Me> "You mean P0rn?"
    Dick> "Yeah"
    Me> "So what media player did you download?"
    Dick> "I can't remember,
    Me> "You don't know, no name?"
    Dick> "I don't know. But things have been really slow since I downloaded it."
    Me> "You're not really helping me, where did you download this player?"
    Dick> "I googled it and downloaded from the microsoft site"
    Me> "How do you know it was the even the microsoft site?"
    Dick> "Ummm, I don't know. I googled it."
    Me> "So things are slow?"
    Dick> "Yeah, there's this scanner that keeps appearing. It's scanning files all the time."
    Me> "So no media player?"
    Dick> "I don't know"
    Me> "You got a name of this media player?"
    Dick> "I don't know"
    Me> "Got a name of this scanner that keeps appearing? Sounds like spyware, and must have got past your AV (Avast)."
    Dick> "Ummm, I don't know"
    Me> "Can I tell you something?"
    Dick> "What?"
    Me> "You should stay the **** away from computers, you and them, don't mix"
    Dick> (Groaning sound)
    Me> "Seriously, every week it's something different. Give you a word processor, hell, even a type writer, and a week later it'd be stuffed."
    Dick> (Groaning sound)
    Me> "I can't keep spending time fixing things every week. I'll speak to you later. The scanner won't harm you right now. And before you ask, cause I know you will, don't buy it."


    Just last week I cleaned his system with MBAM and SAS (he doesn't want to pay for any software). He clicked on a link in MSN which said "I got photos of you, check it out". So he did. I asked him if he knew the person.

    He said, "No I didn't, but they had photos of me." o_O

    Tell me honestly, am I dealing with a total head case? :ouch: Talking about this guy on here is relief. Thanks guys! :)
     
  15. crofttk

    crofttk Registered Member

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    LOL, Saraceno, this is a great serial you've got going here! It's scary to think this is a real person.... Well, not scary, more like startling.:eek:

    I look forward to your next installment.:argh:

    Thank goodness I've been able to at least instill a list of no-no's into my kids, small through large.
     
  16. lodore

    lodore Registered Member

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    the thing is some of these people are genrally quite smart but when they are sat at a computers its someone stole their brain and they just click on anything. plus most of the time they dont even tell you whats not working. they just say my computer doesnt work.
    the hard drive full example is a very good one LOL.
    it tells you what to do yet the user still ignores it.
    I know that some error messages dont give any information but some do. sometimes when I fix problems I make it look hard so the user doesnt look stupid.
     
  17. Saraceno

    Saraceno Registered Member

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    This guy is mid 20s. In all seriousness, he might have been left behind with all the internet fad early on, and is too stubborn to learn anything now.

    The MSN virus is a classic example. Firstly, I mentioned disabling MSN messenger from auto-starting once windows loads, as if there is ever a problem, he's opened up a connection right away. He refused.

    Secondly, I said, never click on any links through MSN from people you don't know.

    "I got photos of you, check it out". That's like someone calling out in the street, 'I got cash for you, come get it!', then as you run outside, they beat you over the head. Same situation, his interest, instead of common sense, got the better of him.

    I'm going to let this 'scanner' take hold for awhile. Let him sweat it out. He might even have to pay an IT guy/girl to come out. Then if he pays a few dollars for service, he might appreciate using his brain next time. He's always having someone wipe his backside. I hope he realises the internet isn't just a playground of endless downloads, it can ruin hours of work saved, and the equipment you paid good money for.

    Seriously, I remember saying, 'you realise how serious that is, someone accessing your internet banking account? All because of your downloads.' Because it was an 'attempt' and no cash was taken, it went in one ear, and straight out the other!

    Anyway, I am wondering how long it will take for this scanner to bring some more friends to the pop-up party. :)
     
  18. Creer

    Creer Registered Member

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    LOL really funny stories, Saraceno you have to be very patient guy :D
     
  19. dbknox

    dbknox Registered Member

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    Sorry Saraceno I don't mean to hi-jack your thread.( I really enjoyed your stories and maybe this would be a good thread to hear some others)
    I had to relate one myself not nearly as entertaining but it shows how some minds work ( or fail to work) My friend has owned a computer for a few years now ( about 5 and he is now 72 years young) the two of us just updated to Vista a while back when that was all you could buy in a new computer. He lives about 70 miles from me and I usually can help him fix any troubles over the phone, ( he is smart) but I ran into a particularly hard problem I just couldn't seem to fix over the phone. His printer apparently was only printing about half of a picture and I tried getting him to search for new drivers for vista but nothing helped. Finally I went in to visit him and I searched for a newer driver for him ( without first trying to print a picture). After installing the latest driver I could find, I inserted a 4x6 photo paper and printed a nice picture, he was happy.
    The next day he phoned and said he had the old problem back. I asked him to describe exactly what the picture looked like and he said "only half of the picture, is printing and ther is a blank spot at the top and bottom". ( I am going by memory here). A little "bulb" went off in my head and I said " humour me turn on your pinter and put another 4x6 photo paper in but this time turn it so it is facing lentgh ways up and down". He started laughing, " I feel so dumb", he said " of course that's what's wrong, what an idiot ,I am".
     
  20. crofttk

    crofttk Registered Member

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    Hehe, for those of you who remember the "stiction" issue on a certain brand of hard drives some years back (WD or Seagate?), that's what dbknox's story reminds me of but in a mental context. To be frank, I think even the sharpest of us suffers that issue from time to time.;)

    P.S. Everybody, please remeber where you parked your heads....:argh:
     
  21. ThunderZ

    ThunderZ Registered Member

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    No problem there. Just can`t always remember where I put the keys to start the brain. o_O :D
     
  22. Peter2150

    Peter2150 Global Moderator

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    Well I have to admit, recently I pulled on of those dumb dumb moves on myself. I get all my voicemails as email attachments, works great, and one day, I knew it had been working, as I'd heard some voicemails earlier, but when I went to listen to one, no audio.

    So I started trouble shooting. Tried different software, checked my audio was turned on, tried a different media player, checked my speaker connections, and everything was fine.

    Then I started digging deeper, and had to follow the trail of the power cord to make sure the speakers were powered up. Then the big duh struck. The speakers were plugged into the apc unit I use for my big laptop, and I had turned it off. Total time wasted 45 minutes.

    Pete
     
  23. dbknox

    dbknox Registered Member

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    Good one Pete, I say, he who has not had similar episodes either doesn't do anything or just plain tells little white lies. Saraceno's "friend" is a case of downright laziness, he just refuses to take time to learn and as reported here by others Saraceno has a lot of patience far more then I have.
     
  24. Saraceno

    Saraceno Registered Member

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    dbknox, I like that printer story. :thumb:

    But you're right, we're all guilty of stuffing up on one or many occasions. ;)

    About that guy I know, this is one of the programs he downloaded, he recalled the name (which is positive) through email:
    http://www.411-spyware.com/remove-regtool

    I have him running MBAM, wrote him a list of instructions (to update, and run a full scan) as it's previously installed on his system.

    About what Peter mentioned, total time wasted, a family member and I were trying to figure out why his laptop was taking a long time to bootup (several minutes+). Tried all sorts of diagnostic tools, checking the connections/battery. Eventually as the logon screen wouldn't show, started a re-install from scratch, but even the installation disk would pause and hang for 30 minutes or so. After several attempts, and it finally completed, the laptop still had the bootup problem.

    Only afterwards, this family member read of a similar problem on forums about static electricity. Removed the battery, held the power-button for 15-30 seconds to release static etc. Problem fixed. Total time wasted (including boot-up problems during installation), a whole ****ing day! ;)
     
  25. crofttk

    crofttk Registered Member

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    Ugh, this is a bit ominous. I got sent to Shanghai in the last couple of years and ended up pissed off at my the AC adapter for my personal laptop for having a grounding prong and at my travel adapter(s) and the Shanghainese hotel for not having a third hole, so I snapped it off. I wonder if I'm tempting the same problem..... nothing has gone awry so far.:cautious:
     
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