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computer stupidities

By radar bunny in MLP
Mon Nov 13, 2000 at 02:54:47 PM EST
Tags: etc (all tags)

In response to a resent story posted about the lack of humor here at k5, I would like to throw out this link. It's simply a collection of stories and antidotes about people showing their dumber sides when dealing with computers. I'm sure most of the K5 community could add plenty to this from our observations and also add a small amount of comic relief just in time for monday.


Voxel dot net
o Managed Hosting
o VoxCAST Content Delivery
o Raw Infrastructure


Related Links
o this
o Also by radar bunny

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computer stupidities | 18 comments (9 topical, 9 editorial, 0 hidden)
On-topic Book Recommendation... (3.25 / 4) (#6)
by Speare on Sun Nov 12, 2000 at 10:46:23 PM EST

If you like this sort of thing, check out a book that has many of the urban legends, jokes and true stories of the earlier days of computing.

The Devouring Fungus: tales of the computer age, by Karla Jennings.

    Researchers finally completed a powerful computer for use in long-term planning by the Pentagon. A five-star general had the honor of asking it its first question. Aware he was onstage, the general, in one of those madcap moments to whch generals are prone, told the clerk to ask the machine, "Will it be peace or war?"

    The clerk typed in the query, and the machine answered YES.

    Annoyed, the general shouted, "Yes, WHAT?!"

    The machine replied, YES, SIR.

My favorite accounts were semi-true stories about the famous personalities of the era (1950s, 60s, 70s). Norbert Wiener, mathematician, was quite an odd fellow, if even half of his reported eccentricities were true.

[ e d @ h a l l e y . c c ]
More fun stuff. (4.00 / 1) (#8)
by Trracer on Mon Nov 13, 2000 at 02:09:10 AM EST

I also suggest going to Techtales.
Been reading that one for years.

-- Inoshiro är en räksmugglare!
I work in tech support (1.66 / 3) (#11)
by unstable on Mon Nov 13, 2000 at 09:58:10 AM EST

I deal with this kind of stupidity all day. I dont need to be reminded of it. And if I hear the fscking one about the cup holder again I am going to strangle someone.

I not having a good day and its only 10:00 am.

Reverend Unstable
all praise the almighty Bob
and be filled with slack

Not exactly funny haha.. (1.75 / 4) (#12)
by fester on Mon Nov 13, 2000 at 11:43:07 AM EST

...more like funny-painful. If even that. Every once and a while I get asked things like "Do you need a zip drive to use WinZip?" Ugh. Seeing a whole website dedicated to that kind of crap is pretty sad.

the mark of the monkey (1.33 / 3) (#14)
by khallow on Mon Nov 13, 2000 at 01:40:55 PM EST

And the site is topped with a "shock the monkey" banner ad. So you know it's good. Personally, I'm waiting for the chaingun. :-)

Stating the obvious since 1969.

I think I can explain this one... (3.50 / 2) (#15)
by Parity on Mon Nov 13, 2000 at 03:09:38 PM EST

Under the programming section, one person complains that the shellscript s/he is asked to maintain contains the lines,
display=`env | grep DISPLAY | sed 's/[^=]*=//g'`
export DISPLAY
and claims that this is a complete no-op, the same as DISPLAY=$DISPLAY; but that's not quite so... it strips off any leading equals signs from the value of $DISPLAY. If you switch among the different shells it's easy to get extra equals signs in your environment variables... the right thing to do, of course, is to remind yourself of (or outright -learn-) the syntax differences between shells, but it looks to me like someone came up with a more, erm, creative solution.

Parity None

I'll submit one... (3.00 / 2) (#16)
by Skippy on Mon Nov 13, 2000 at 04:28:27 PM EST

Sadly, the below is a true story

While working as a technician I recieved a call that a machine was making funny noises and could I come look at it. So I made the trip and found a generic minitower in a cubbyhole almost EXACTLY the same size as the PC. So pulled it out and turned it on. It promptly shot flame out of every orifice on the machine. I unplugged it and waited a minute. No more flames appeared during that time so I took a closer look. Because of the lack of proper airflow in the cubby the power supply fan was completely blocked with (now charred) dust and incapable of moving. When I opened the PC a whole bunch (nearly the volume of the interior) of burnt dust bunnies fell out. Something had gotten too warm or sparked and the dust bunnies ignited. Having seen all this the person who had called me said, "So I guess this means I can't use it now, huh?"

# I am now finished talking out my ass about things that I am not qualified to discuss. #

Clueless tech supporters... rrr.... (5.00 / 2) (#17)
by delmoi on Tue Nov 14, 2000 at 12:09:46 PM EST

I think it's interesting the way idiots seem to make fun of people one rung below them in the 'food chain' or whatever.

I hate these 'tech support nightmares' stories, because quite frankly a lot of tech support people are morons.

Here’s an example, last summer my monitor broke while I was moving it out of my dorm, I called up and got it replaced. I had an Acer79g, witch is normally a very beautiful monitor (1900x1400 *usable* on a 17incher!). Unfortunately my replacement had a nasty habit of fading to an ugly shade of brown for a while, and over the month or so that I had it gradually got worse and more frequent until it worked correctly about 1% of the time, was an ugly brown color about 10% of the time, and pitch black the rest of the time. So I called up to get a replacement.

I called Acer tech support, and they told me it was a driver problem

I don’t see why these people seem to think they’re so smart, I mean if they were why would they be working tech-support?

There was a story on one of these pages about a woman who called her computer (the case part with the mobo, ram, hd's etc inside) an 'engine' and didn't know what a tech support person meant when he called it a 'CPU'. The only problem is, it's not supposed to be called a CPU! a CPU usually refers to the microprocessor sitting on the motherboard nowadays.

Look, if I went into a hospital with a pain or something, I wouldn't know the difference between my appendix and my gull-bladder that doesn’t mean I'm an idiot. Not everyone is a 'super smart IT-worker' like these Tech support people, who I'm sure are just doing this as a day job before the venture capital comes in and makes them into the next Bill Gates.

A while ago I read in the Dilbert newsletter about a guy who brought his pager into the store because it was broken. The worker took the batter out, switched the polarity of the battery, and the pager worked fine. The guy had just stuck the battery in backwards. Idiot you say? Maybe, but the guy who did it was Scott Adams himself. Smart people can do stupid things, on occasion, and that doesn’t mean that their morons all around.

These tech support people need to get off their high-horse, and stop cracking jokes that illustrate their stupidity as much as their clients…
"'argumentation' is not a word, idiot." -- thelizman
We have a name for them too... (none / 0) (#18)
by unstable on Wed Nov 15, 2000 at 12:43:47 PM EST

Luser[1] Bobs[2] is the name we give tech support people without two braincells to rub together. Part of the reason we are bastards is we are paid to be nice to people who call up and
a: can't follow directions
b: yell at us
c: threaten us
d: refuse[3] to follow directions
etc etc

we need to vent and this provides a way to do so.

1: http://www.comedia.com/hot/jargon_3.0/JARGON_L/LUSER.HTML
2: http://www.chebucto.ns.ca/~af380/atsrfaq.html#xx1224xx
3: this is diffrent that not being able to

Reverend Unstable
all praise the almighty Bob
and be filled with slack

[ Parent ]
computer stupidities | 18 comments (9 topical, 9 editorial, 0 hidden)
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