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Old 02-14-2020, 12:26 AM   #16
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One way or another I've been doing computer support work for most of my working life. I started off helping bank branch staff with their terminals and printers (back before PCs were allowed anywhere near the banks). They'd think you were miraculous for knowing when x happened you just had to press y - in once case "y" was bending a little lever inside the printer. When you do it every day, it's obvious. When you do it once a year with very limited interest or background as to why you're doing what you're doing, who's going to remember?

So, no, the stories don't surprise me. I'm more surprised that people expect any different. Almost every day I find myself wondering how people manage to survive their computing experiences because I see myself doing stuff that I only know because I've been at it for so long.
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Old 02-14-2020, 10:47 AM   #17
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On that topic, I just watched a man-on-the-street interview show and they asked this random guy why he should change the air filter in his car, he said: "Because cars can get viruses just like your computer."

I would not be really sure how to respond to that. LOL
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Old 02-14-2020, 12:55 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by gmw View Post
One way or another I've been doing computer support work for most of my working life. I started off helping bank branch staff with their terminals and printers (back before PCs were allowed anywhere near the banks). They'd think you were miraculous for knowing when x happened you just had to press y - in once case "y" was bending a little lever inside the printer. When you do it every day, it's obvious. When you do it once a year with very limited interest or background as to why you're doing what you're doing, who's going to remember?

So, no, the stories don't surprise me. I'm more surprised that people expect any different. Almost every day I find myself wondering how people manage to survive their computing experiences because I see myself doing stuff that I only know because I've been at it for so long.
I just spent an hour, with a steely-eyed missile man options trader (mind you) who reportedly spent a few HOURS yesterday, frustrated, because apparently, the PROTECTED VIEW warning, in Word, about having to "click here" to edit a file in Word that you "downloaded from the Internet" was invisible to him.

I mean...it's one thing to not know something. It's another to not know something that I or we think is "widely known" and lo, it's not. But it's another to STARE at a goddamn prompt and IGNORE IT.

As in the attached. I mean, REALLY? You can't see that, even AFTER I've sent you this image??????

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On that topic, I just watched a man-on-the-street interview show and they asked this random guy why he should change the air filter in his car, he said: "Because cars can get viruses just like your computer."

I would not be really sure how to respond to that. LOL
I laughed, because I assumed it was a joke. Moses on a pony, I certainly hope it was.

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Old 02-14-2020, 01:05 PM   #19
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I laughed, because I assumed it was a joke. Moses on a pony, I certainly hope it was.

Hitch
It was present as serious so either the person was a plant (hopefully) or it was real.
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Old Yesterday, 01:14 AM   #20
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I just spent an hour, with a steely-eyed missile man options trader (mind you) who reportedly spent a few HOURS yesterday, frustrated, because apparently, the PROTECTED VIEW warning, in Word, about having to "click here" to edit a file in Word that you "downloaded from the Internet" was invisible to him.

I mean...it's one thing to not know something. It's another to not know something that I or we think is "widely known" and lo, it's not. But it's another to STARE at a goddamn prompt and IGNORE IT.

As in the attached. I mean, REALLY? You can't see that, even AFTER I've sent you this image??????[...]
Hitch, I am not going to try and claim there are no people in the world who seem unable to follow even simple instructions, but when I feel my patience crumbling I try to remind myself that - just like any remote conversation, like we're having here - it's very easy to get into misunderstandings over very basic assumptions.

Microsoft products are quite notorious for their visual changes between versions, so it can be important to know what version (operating system and product) you are discussing - but even discovering the version can be difficult.

And then you can run into trouble because unless you can actually see the computer at the other end: you don't know what colour scheme is being used; you don't know what brightness and contrast and colour levels are set; you don't know what else might be running on the system that has a stay-on-top window obscuring part of the screen (or maybe a cat sitting on a shelf above the screen with its tail hanging down); you don't know if the person may have movement difficulties (inherent or because of junk on the desk). You don't know whether the person suffers from colour-blindness - there's even a rare one that turns yellows and oranges to pink.

And computer software in general is pretty notorious for bugs. Sometimes the computer at the other end is not doing what you assume it should be doing. I've even had software I've written myself sometimes surprise me thanks to odd interactions with other software in particular installations.

And, finally, there are some people that have difficulty with the basic concepts. Not having spent a life-time acquiring this stuff as second nature, they are so distracted by the idea that when they move this thing on the desk (and remember there are myriad different forms of hardware used to move the mouse pointer on the screen) they don't have much left over for reading everything that's on the screen - not being something they do every day, they don't necessarily know what things to look out for.

How many words were on that image you sent? You and I know where to expect things to appear, but some people have to read what's there, all of it, and if they're feeling under pressure (and if we're losing our patience they probably are feeling under pressure), they're probably skimming and missing it. One thing I would suggest is do not draw your red-pointer arrows in a neat horizontal or vertical, they look too much like part of what is actually on your screen. The person is likely to go looking for a neat red arrow on their screen and not find it. Scrawl the arrow across the page, the more hand-drawn it looks the better - not saying that's a panacea, but it might help a bit.


ETA: Hmm... I worry the above might sound a bit holier-than-thou or something. I should point out that my wife plays a game of picking who I am speaking with by the tone of my voice, and counting how often I have to repeat myself. Sometimes patience can be hard to find.

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Old Yesterday, 05:38 AM   #21
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Hitch, I am not going to try and claim there are no people in the world who seem unable to follow even simple instructions, but when I feel my patience crumbling I try to remind myself that - just like any remote conversation, like we're having here - it's very easy to get into misunderstandings over very basic assumptions.

Microsoft products are quite notorious for their visual changes between versions, so it can be important to know what version (operating system and product) you are discussing - but even discovering the version can be difficult.

<snippage>

And computer software in general is pretty notorious for bugs. Sometimes the computer at the other end is not doing what you assume it should be doing. I've even had software I've written myself sometimes surprise me thanks to odd interactions with other software in particular installations.

And, finally, there are some people that have difficulty with the basic concepts. Not having spent a life-time acquiring this stuff as second nature, they are so distracted by the idea that when they move this thing on the desk (and remember there are myriad different forms of hardware used to move the mouse pointer on the screen) they don't have much left over for reading everything that's on the screen - not being something they do every day, they don't necessarily know what things to look out for.

How many words were on that image you sent? You and I know where to expect things to appear, but some people have to read what's there, all of it, and if they're feeling under pressure (and if we're losing our patience they probably are feeling under pressure), they're probably skimming and missing it. One thing I would suggest is do not draw your red-pointer arrows in a neat horizontal or vertical, they look too much like part of what is actually on your screen. The person is likely to go looking for a neat red arrow on their screen and not find it. Scrawl the arrow across the page, the more hand-drawn it looks the better - not saying that's a panacea, but it might help a bit.


ETA: Hmm... I worry the above might sound a bit holier-than-thou or something. I should point out that my wife plays a game of picking who I am speaking with by the tone of my voice, and counting how often I have to repeat myself. Sometimes patience can be hard to find.
FWIW:

I sent him an email, with the image, and I told him that on his version of Word, the "bar" might be yellow. Might be pink. But that he should look for the notification. (We hear this about how people "can't" edit in the downloaded Word file all the time, so...I'm accustomed to instructing people--who apparently, CANNOT READ the WARNING below the menu ribbon, mind you). I said, in the email, that sometimes, MS/Office will refuse to open a file, because of security measures, yadda. I told him to look below the ribbon, and I sent him the image.

And yes, he said he was using Word 2016/Office 365, so...AFAIK, there should not have been any real significant differences.

(Also--there have been repeated incidences with this pair of authors, in their apparent inability to READ. So, I might be less forgiving than I might be for others.)

I just...I don't understand how people can effing sit there, look at a piece of software, and see that yellow bar and not say "oh, gosh, what's THAT SAY?" I mean...really?????? These two are writing some big how-to book. I constantly wonder, how do they expect anyone to understand what they've written, given their own behavior of not bloody reading?

I'm simply tired of it. I fear that I'm getting dangerously close to replying to people who are asking me the same s**t, over and over, that we've ALREADY answered, in our handouts, by sending them the same damn documents or links again, with some canned thing that says "please read the materials we gave you previously." I mean, the utterly cavalier attitude, that our time is worth NOTHING, so it's okay not to read what we tell them to read, but instead, waste our time basically sending them the same info that we previously gave them, by effectively "reading it to them" in an email...it's infuriating.

I never ask a software provider for assistance unless/until I've tried to read all the available materials, read forums, etc. Never. I just will never understand people who just won't bother to at least TRY to understand something first.

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Old Yesterday, 06:19 AM   #22
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[...] I never ask a software provider for assistance unless/until I've tried to read all the available materials, read forums, etc. Never. I just will never understand people who just won't bother to at least TRY to understand something first.

Hitch
Oh, yes. There is definitely a "two groups of people" thing going on with this stuff: those that prefer to help themselves and those that prefer to be told what to do. I find that the middle ground seems sparsely populated. Not only do I get those people looking for help, but I also run into trouble with those that have helped themselves beyond their own understanding and so made a problem worse; or I make what seems to be an innocent change to my software only to discover that someone helping themselves has been using the software in ways I had never imagined and I just "broke" something that was never supposed to exist. It seems churlish to complain in such situations, but it can be as frustrating as the reverse.
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Old Yesterday, 01:59 PM   #23
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Oh, yes. There is definitely a "two groups of people" thing going on with this stuff: those that prefer to help themselves and those that prefer to be told what to do. I find that the middle ground seems sparsely populated. Not only do I get those people looking for help, but I also run into trouble with those that have helped themselves beyond their own understanding and so made a problem worse; or I make what seems to be an innocent change to my software only to discover that someone helping themselves has been using the software in ways I had never imagined and I just "broke" something that was never supposed to exist. It seems churlish to complain in such situations, but it can be as frustrating as the reverse.
Yes, good point. The "well, I did this and read that and then I fixed it" group, who come up with...er, intriguing ways of fixing things, that can be bonkers-making, too.

We had a client that "fixed" her ePUB by some tortured method, that she cobbled together from various blogs online...converted the ePUB to PDF, using Calibre (sigh), then downloaded a free trial of Adobe Acrobat DC; then edited the PDF, using DC and then converted that mess BACK to ePUB using, yes, Calibre. Worse, she sent that abortion back to us, expecting us to be able to see the edits that she'd made, to make those in her print version, too. (Yes, sure, I know what edits you made. I promise to only use this superpower for Good!)

Heeeey-hoooooo, you betcha! (Not).

It's a no-win.

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Old Yesterday, 02:36 PM   #24
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OMG, I get that one all the time! How is it that people don't know what the URL bar is, or does? It's simply horrifying.

OTOH...I drive cars and can't fix them, either. Perhaps I'm a hypocrite?

Hitch
Years ago I watched someone and they didn't have the address bar visible and they would always go to a page by typing whatever it was into the search box on their home page. It was quite effective.
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Old Yesterday, 02:38 PM   #25
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On that topic, I just watched a man-on-the-street interview show and they asked this random guy why he should change the air filter in his car, he said: "Because cars can get viruses just like your computer."

I would not be really sure how to respond to that. LOL
My car is dying from the Corolla virus.
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Old Yesterday, 11:35 PM   #26
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Yes, good point. The "well, I did this and read that and then I fixed it" group, who come up with...er, intriguing ways of fixing things, that can be bonkers-making, too.

We had a client that "fixed" her ePUB by some tortured method, that she cobbled together from various blogs online...converted the ePUB to PDF, using Calibre (sigh), then downloaded a free trial of Adobe Acrobat DC; then edited the PDF, using DC and then converted that mess BACK to ePUB using, yes, Calibre. Worse, she sent that abortion back to us, expecting us to be able to see the edits that she'd made, to make those in her print version, too. (Yes, sure, I know what edits you made. I promise to only use this superpower for Good!)

Heeeey-hoooooo, you betcha! (Not).

It's a no-win.

Hitch

OH, come on. It is easy! Just print both versions out on light weight paper and hold them up to a light and you can literally just see the differences.

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Old Today, 01:14 AM   #27
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OH, come on. It is easy! Just print both versions out on light weight paper and hold them up to a light and you can literally just see the differences.

OMG, I'm sooooo stupid. I never thought of that! Duh. Good thing my clients aren't reading this, I'd be right outta work.

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Old Today, 01:21 AM   #28
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As for prices of Adobe's DRM - may be editionguard.com service will help here (they provide outsourced ACS server among other things with no upfront price)
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Old Today, 01:58 AM   #29
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As for prices of Adobe's DRM - may be editionguard.com service will help here (they provide outsourced ACS server among other things with no upfront price)
Yes--for, what $2/download? Right? It's $1.99/fulfilment? With a full API integration?

Might be cheaper to buy it, seriously. If he has someone who can do the API integration, yes, that might work. (FWIW, it's not clear to me that the MOBI version works as advertised, but I freely admit, I haven't tested it. Anybody here tested it? From what I see--which could be out of date, on their site--it appears that they are saying that they "convert" the MOBI to ePUB and then apply the .acsm, etc.)

Anybody know?

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