Computer stupidities – part 1 Operating Systems

I open here a new series of topics regarding „Computer stupidities”. Many of them comes from or from other sources.

… collection of stories and anecdotes about clueless computer users. It’s a baffling phenomenon that in today’s society an individual, who might in other circumstances be considered smart and wise, can sit down in front of a computer screen and instantly lose every last shred of common sense he ever possessed. Complicate this phenomenon with a case of „computerphobia,” and you end up with tech support personnel having phone conversations that are funny in retrospect but seem like perfectly valid motives for wild machine gun shooting sprees at the time. You will read stories in this file that will convince you that among the human race are human-shaped artichokes futilely attempting to break the highly regarded social convention that vegetables should not operate electronic equipment. And yet, amidst the vast, surging quantities of stupidity are perfectly excusable technological mishaps — but that are amusing nonetheless. After all, even the best of us engages in a little brainless folly every once in a while. Rink Works

Let’s begin, with part 1 Operating Systems:

* Customer: „My machine won’t do anything.”
* Tech Support: „What’s on the screen right now?”
* Customer: „It’s frozen, it’s showing my Windows desktop.”
* Tech Support: „Try hitting Ctrl-Alt-Delete, tell me what happens.”
* Customer: (taptaptap) „Nothing.”
* Tech Support: „Did you hit all of them at once?”
* Customer: „Umm…just a second.” (taptaptap) „I did that time. Nothing happened.”
* Tech Support: „Try it again.”
* Customer: (taptaptap) „No, it’s just sitting there.”
* Tech Support: „Move the mouse around. What happens?”
* Customer: „Nothing, the arrow doesn’t move.”
* Tech Support: „Ok, last try, hit Ctrl-Alt-Delete again.”
* Customer: „Still nothing.”
* Tech Support: „Hit your numlock key. Does the light flash?”
* Customer: „No.”
* Tech Support: „Ok, you’re going to have to shut your computer off. Just press the power button, wait for a couple of seconds, and turn it on again.”
* Customer: „I’ve heard that’s bad for Windows.”
* Tech Support: „Um, well, you can’t do anything else, right?”
* Customer: „No.”
* Tech Support: „Well, you can’t hurt it any worse then.”
* Customer: „But I’ve heard it’s bad for Windows to just shut it off without shutting down first.”
* Tech Support: „Yes, but it’s locked up. There’s nothing else you can do.”
* Customer: „Will it hurt my Windows?”
* Tech Support: „Probably no worse than it already was by locking up.”
* Customer: „Well…ok…but if it doesn’t work, will you come over and fix it for me?”

* My Friend: „I just installed Windows 98.”
* Me: „Cool. But…it’s 2001. Why not Windows 2000 or wait for XP to come out?”
* My Friend: „Oh, 98 is more easily hacked, so I want it.”
* Me: „You want to get hacked?”
* My Friend: „Yes! Wouldn’t you?”
* Me: „No….”
* My Friend: „When you get hacked you get a lot of money! That’s a good thing!”
* Me: „???”

A customer called in with modem problems.

* Tech Support: „Ok, we’re going to check your modem settings. First thing we need to do is make sure all programs are closed.”
* Customer: „How do I know if everything is closed?”
* Me: „Make sure all windows are closed.”
* Customer: „But…I’m in the basement. I don’t have any windows here.”

Lucky me, I made it to the the mute button in time!

* Customer: „I installed Windows 98 on my computer, and it doesn’t work.”
* Tech Support: „Ok, what happens when you turn on your computer?”
* Customer: „Boy, are you listening? I said it doesn’t work.”
* Tech Support: „Well, what happens when you TRY to turn it on?”
* Customer: „Look, I’m not a computer person. Talk regular English, not this computer talk, ok?”
* Tech Support: „Ok, let’s assume your computer is turned off, and you just sat down in front of it, and want to use it. What do you do?”
* Customer: „Don’t talk like I’m stupid, boy. I turn it on.”
* Tech Support: „And then what happens?”
* Customer: „What do you mean?”
* Tech Support: „Does anything appear on your monitor? I mean, the TV part.”
* Customer: „The same thing I saw last time I tried.”
* Tech Support: „And that is what?”
* Customer: „Are you sure you know what you’re doing?”
* Tech Support: „Yes, sir. What is on your screen?”
* Customer: „A bunch of little pictures.”
* Tech Support: „Ok, in the upper left corner, do you see ‘My Computer’.”
* Customer: „No, all I see is that little red circle thing with the chunk out of it.”
* Tech Support: „You mean an apple?”
* Customer: „I guess it kind of looks like an apple.”

Then it took me fifteen minutes to convince him that he had a Mac. Even after showing him „About this Macintosh.” I spent another fifteen minutes trying to convince him that Windows 98 wouldn’t work on his Mac. He said it should work because Windows 98 is for PCs, and he had a PowerPC. I think he’s still trying to get it to read that CD, because I never could convince him.

* Tech Support: „Do you have any windows open right now?”
* Customer: „Are you crazy woman, it’s twenty below outside…”

For my work-study job, I work tech support at a small college. One night I was working Help Desk and the phone rings. I pick it up to have a student telling me she can’t get the computer to work.

* Me: „What operating system are you running?”
* Student: „Hunh?”
* Me: „Do you have a Mac or a PC?”
* Student: „Um, I don’t know.”
* Me: „Ok. What does the screen look like?”
* Student: „It’s yellow.”
* Me: „Ok. What does it say on the computer CPU?”
* Student: „What’s that?”
* Me: „The big grey box.”
* Student: „It doesn’t say anything.”
* Me: „Never mind that…do you have a little ‘Start’ button at the bottom of the monitor?”
* Student: „Monitor?”
* Me: „The thing that looks like a TV sceen sitting on the grey box.”
* Student: „Oh! That! No. No start button.”
* Me: „Ok. Is there a little apple symbol anywhere on the screen?”
* Student: (very puzzled) „Why would I have fruit on my computer?”

I saw two older looking ladies trying to figure out the computers at a local store. I knew one of them would say something that I could send to Computer Stupidities, so I tried to listen in.

* Woman 1: „What is that little trash can on the screen?”
* Woman 2: „My son says that is call the ‘recycle bin’. He tells me when I don’t want a Word document anymore and I delete it, it really goes in there.”
* Woman 1: „Why in the recycle thingy? Can’t you just erase it?”
* Woman 2: „Oh no, Word wouldn’t work for very long if I did that, I would run out of blank pages.”
* Woman 1: „Why?”
* Woman 2: „Because it cleans the words off the pages, then sends the blank sheets back to Word so they can be used again. That’s why it’s called the recycle bin.”

* Customer: „Something’s wrong with my computer.”
* Tech Support: „Like what?”
* Customer: „When I turn it on the screen goes all black.”
* Tech Support: „Totally black?”
* Customer: „Yes.”
* Tech Support: „Does it say ‘C:\>’ in the corner?”
* Customer: „Yes.”
* Tech Support: „Then it’s not really all black, is it?”
* Customer: „I guess not.”
* Tech Support: „Type ‘win’ and press the enter key.”

Talking to a Mac user:

* Tech Support: „When was the last time you rebuilt the desktop?”
* Customer: „Did what?”
* Tech Support: „How long have you owned this computer?”
* Customer: „Four years.”

A customer walked into the computer store I work in, wanting to return a computer.

* Me: „Sure, is it defective?”
* Customer: „No, that’s not the problem. When I took it home and turned it on, I realized it was only half programmed.”
* Me: [scratching head] „What do you mean by half programmed?”
* Customer: „Well, look at the computer on display.” [points to the Windows 98 desktop] „Do you see how all the programs are on the left side of the computer?”
* Me: [biting tongue] „Well, you are right sir, I will take your computer back.”

I decided the moron had to solve his life before he could buy a computer.

Back in the early days of Windows 95:

* Customer: „I have Windows Thirty One.”
* Tech Support: „Ok, this program requires either Windows 95 or Win32s. Do you have Win32s on your system?”
* Customer: „No, I have Windows Thirty One, not Thirty Two.”
* Tech Support: „Windows 3.1 is the operating system. Win32s is a program that makes your computer fast like Windows 95.”
* Customer: „What’s Windows Ninety Five got to do with it?”
* Tech Supprort: „You need either Windows 95 or Win32s to run this.”
* Tech Support: (giving up) „Ma’am, your computer is too old. Buy a new one with Windows 95.”
* Customer: „I’ve heard about Windows Three Hundred and Eleven. Wouldn’t that be better than Ninety Five?”

I was calling to sign up with a new DSL provider. When the guy asked what operating system I was using, I said, „Linux.” I was put on hold for five minutes, and then a supervisor came back and told me, „You can’t use Linux to connect to the Internet. It’s a hacker tool, anyway.” I almost fell out of my chair.

* Customer: „How much do Windows cost?”
* Tech Support: „Windows costs about $100.”
* Customer: „Oh, that’s kind of expensive. Can I buy just one window?”

To be continued.