'True' Computer Illiteracy Stories
True' Computer Illiteracy Stories
A guy called and said, "My computer blew up!" But, really, he had only experienced the 'starfield' screensaver.
When one person wanted to use with the mouse, they picked it up, pointed it at the screen and clicked it like a remote control.
I was in the Univ. of Crete and a senior student asked me to move my disks because they were close to her disks and they might catch a virus.
One night working at technical support, this old lady called and told me that she recieved our disk and said that she's afraid of it.
Tech: Well, ma'am there is nothing to be afraid of. It's for your computer.
Cust: Well, I don't have a computer. The directions say "install and run".
I'm too old to run.
Tech: Ma'am could you please hold? (screams with laughter) Tech: Ma'am I can insure you that you are ok.
Cust: Ok. Should I call the police?
Tech: No, ma'am, just throw it away.
Cust: Well, there is a silver thing that slides across and it clicks. What is that?
Tech: It is safe to throw it away. It's for a computer, ok?
Cust: But is this a bomb?
Tech: No, ma'am, just throw it away.
Tech: Yes, if you like.
Cust: Son, you saved my life! Thank you and have a nice day.
Back in the days before pre-loaded software, a guy bought a computer and received training from the computer store that sold to him. The instructor made it clear that to use a new disk, you have to format it first. Welllllll, this guy went back home, and proceeded to format all of his program disks since they were new and he wanted to use them (load them onto his harddrive). Needless to say, he had a *problem*.
I am in charge of Internet services at a University and people come here to get their new internet account. Once, someone came in with a
3.5" disk and said, "Can you copy the internet for me on this diskette?"
One of my coworkers asked me, "If I had a color monitor, would my printer print in color?"
I was teaching Excel and I kept telling the class that they needed to have their pointer on the cell and then click the mouse button to select it. One lady was having a terrible time until I noticed she was literally pointing with her FINGER, and clicking the mouse.
Had a woman call and ask if we also taught "Don'ts" in the "Dos" class, and she was dead serious.
A friend had to go over to a bank and set everyone's software up.
Since all the internet software his company supports runs under MS Windows, he asked the manager "Do you have Windows?" The manager stared at him blankly and said, "No, we've got air conditioning."
This happened about 10 years ago to my father who was the manager of a company's publications department. A couple of data-entry clerks were instructed to do a large amount of word processing for an urgent project. By the end of the day, the work had been completed and the clerks saved the files to 5.25" diskettes. To make certain that the manager would find the diskettes, they neatly clipped them to the source documents using their magnetic clipboards.
There was a fellow who set his type color to black, just after setting the background color to black. Took him a couple days of blind typing to get things back again.
Tech: Sir, I need you to click ONCE on your America Online icon.
User: Ok...clicka..clicka..clicka..clicka..clicka..clicka..clicka Uh, 'invalid path'.
Tech: Ok, can you click on the icon ONE time for me?
User: clicka..clicka..clicka..clicka..clicka..clicka..clicka..clicka Icon still says 'invalid path'.
Tech: Could you PLEASE CLICK ONE TIME, and ONLY ONE TIME on the America Online icon.
User: Uh, just one time?
This old man (probably around 75) was trying to figure out how to work the new computers that the library has installed. He asked me to help him, so I went over and told him he had to use the mouse to move around the screen. After he got through laughing because it is called a mouse, he asked how it works, and I told him, but instead of rolling it on the mouse pad, he picked it up and started rubbing it on the screen.
A person couldn't get the fax to work. He was trying to hold a paper up to the screen and hit enter!
One tech support person told a lady to insert a clean disk into the drive. She washed it first.
I've heard of a man (PhD in heavy engineering!) who got the message "Bad sectors on disk" and cleaned the disk up. With *glasspaper*.
I caught the end of one of those cable tv internet programs. In the last five minutes, the host said, "Every week we get thousands of pieces of e-mail asking 'How do I get online?'" Neat trick.
One customer held the mouse in the air and pointed it at the screen, all the while clicking madly.
A customer was perplexed by an error that would appear every time he tried to print. The computer would say, "Looking for LaserWriter" and after a while, "Can't find LaserWriter." His solution? He turned the Mac so that the screen faced the printer.
A new technician was sent to install a new video card. About the time they began to wonder if something was wrong, the technician called. "I have the monitor apart, I just can't figure out where to install the video card."
There was a new computer user who was religious about backing up his hard disk to floppies once a week and labelling them carefully so he knew exactly what they contained. To make them readily available, he kept them in plain sight on the metal file cabinet next to his desk...
with refrigerator magnets.
I gave a disk to a secretary so that she could make copies for some students. She wrote down the instructions on a memo, then PAPER CLIPPED IT TO THE FLOPPY! It was a 5 1/4 floppy, and became creased and useless.
I installed a simple peer to peer network for a client with 2 PC's, and a printer. Everything was fine for a while when I got a panic call:
User: Help me, I can't print or read so-and-so's files anymore.
Tech: Well, can she print and access the files?
User: No, she's not here today.
Tech: Well, go to her pc and try to print the file.
User: Ok, but I'm kinda busy and it takes so long for her PC to boot up when I turn it on!
Tech: You mean you're trying to print to a printer hooked to her PC and access files on her computer and it's not turned on?!
User: No, it's not on; does it have to be?
A client had sent in a floppy with a letter complaining that the software didn't work properly. The software man called the client and suggested that the client's secretary had sent the letter. "How on earth did you know it wasn't me?" the client asked. "The floppy's stapled to the letter."
In class, we were told to load a BASIC program from a floppy disk, run and use it. After using the program, a student sitting next to me asked: "How do I put the program back on the floppy from the memory?"
She thought that loading a file erases it from the disk...!
I once had to pick up the Cobol training of a college intern. All of her code had move statements to put the data back where it came from.
How do you explain this to someone without having them feel *really* dumb?!