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This is a question Oldies vs Computers

As someone who is "good with computers" I get a lot of calls from people who've got problems. Some of them even have problems with their computers.

Back many years ago working for a telecoms company, I was called to a senior secretary who "had put a disk into the drive and couldn't get it out". She had one of the first Mac II machines with two drive slots. But only one drive.

Opening up the case revealed stacks of floppy disks that she'd been posting through the hole in the case for weeks. She'd only decided there was a problem when her boss wanted one of them back...

(, Fri 22 Sep 2006, 13:58)
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This question is now closed.

I was called out at 3am in the morning to help a 30K+ area manager log on to a company machine....

He was told to press CTRL ALT and DEL to log on. When I asked him to show me what he was doing, needless to say he was pressing CTRL and ALT, but like a complete flid he was pressing a massive DELL logo on the f**king monitor!!!!

thirty thousand squid a year. tis a travesty!
(, Sun 24 Sep 2006, 21:51, Reply)
*sigh* I've got a degree in computers you know
which qualifies me to solve tricky puzzles like the following:

nice old lady at work phones me:
"hello bb, I have a terrible problem with my computer, it's completely frozen. I keep restarting it but it still comes back on the same frozen screen".

so I wander round to have a look...

...and I see she's switching the monitor on and off repeatedly, wondering why that "restart" wasn't clearing the problem.

(, Sun 24 Sep 2006, 21:49, Reply)
My Pa -
I once tried to teach my Dad how to use a computer (running Windows XP) from scratch.
I mean it - he didn't know squat. He didn't know what a monitor was.
We eventually got logged on, and he was 'practicing' opening and closing various windows.
(Wow - makes you seem like you take the principal on windows an Start Bars for granted, eh?)
He tried to close an IE window, and as he hovered over the red X icon, the generic little yellow info box popped up offering "Close", as in 'get-rid-of'.
He tried to click the X, and being old and shaky, he missed.
He then asked if the little yellow box was telling that he was close.
(, Sun 24 Sep 2006, 21:40, Reply)
what all this then
a few months after leaving home and leaving behind my fully working Pc and getting a brand spanking new one for myself i recieved a phone call then went a bit like this....

mum: i think the pc is broken
me: whats makes you say that??
mum: there is a siren noise and nothing works
me: oh.. sounds like its proper fucked
mum: yeah, what should i do?
me: wait til tomorrow and i will come round and have a look
mum: what about the noise?
me: what do you mean
mum: well its been making the noise for about 2 hours now....

needless to say when the fan falls off a cpu and a heat alert siren goes off and off and off and off the normal thing to do would be to turn off the pc and wait for help..... never mind.
got the pc up and running again with the help of a new fan only for it to get clogged up with "P0rn" that came from no where and crappy programs from a teenage sister....oh the joys of knowing about 'dem com-put-ers
(, Sun 24 Sep 2006, 21:24, Reply)
Whilst staying in Scotland with the Grandfolks, without the parents, i got many a phone call from mother about the computer.
"Kellie - how do you do the 'at' sign?"
I had to explain six times before she got it, and left her to break the hardrive or something. Everyday for the next week she phoned and asked the same thing.
But now she's some data processor or something, and ive only had one phone call about the @ button so far.
(, Sun 24 Sep 2006, 20:31, Reply)
She needs to know the lingo...
My nan has rather ridiculous names for all things computery.

Email address = Email number
Email = Letter
Video call = phoning
*Any other form of communication* = phoning
Typing in a web address = did you just click that up?

It really pisses me off actually,being a pedantic virgo!
(, Sun 24 Sep 2006, 19:58, Reply)
Turning tables on IT experts
I have no IT qualifications whatsoever but I managed to confound a former network administrator and a cretin on my work's IT helpdesk a with a simple bit of trickery.

When said ex-network administrator got up from his desk, I pressed "Ctrl" + "Print Screen" on his PC and pasted the resulting image of his desktop into a Paint file. I set the picture to be the desktop background, hid the toolbar and deleted all the shortcuts from the desktop.

When he got back to his desk, the desktop looked exactly the way he left it. Cue lots of rebooting and calls to the helpdesk ("None of my shortcuts work . . . the screen's frozen . . . I can start any programs").

Eventually I put them out of their misery, because, despite their combined experience and numerous qualifications, the fuckwits were no nearer working out what was wrong.
(, Sun 24 Sep 2006, 19:32, Reply)
Ok folks, this question is going to be an Urban Legend field day. So, what the hell, let's take bets on the favourite! Here we go:

Holding document up to monitor to make a copy: 50/1.

Tipex on the monitor: 20/1.

Failure to find the "any key": 10/1.

Computer not working due to power cut: 5/1.

CD tray cupholder: Dead cert (see below).

Place your bets now!
(, Sun 24 Sep 2006, 18:12, Reply)
A few weeks back
I was charged with trying to rationalise the mess which was the Internet Orders customer support email computer.

Given that they insist on keeping all mails available for over a year (and around 80,000 are sent/received across the course of a year), this had to be made pretty straightforward, but needed regular archiving as 99% of the work would be carried out on mail received from the past month or so.

Sadly, this meant liaising with the manageress of the Customer support dept to try and find a straightforward solution to her woes.

I tried to explain the concept of all email which had been sent or received more than 3 months ago automatically being moved into another folder entitled "All Mail you have sent and received more than 3 months ago is stored in here".

After around 20 minute of explaining, re-explaining, and simple hand-holding exercises designed to get her to understand, she still didn't seem to be able to work out which folder new mail would be stored in, and which folder mail older than 3 months would be in, accused me of making it all far too complicated with veiled threats of complaining to the directors, and demanded it be made simpler.

I relented, put all 80,000 mails in one folder, retired to the happy space under my desk, and wept, as I gently rocked backward and forward.
(, Sun 24 Sep 2006, 16:10, Reply)
When everyone was getting all silly about Y2K, I was 15. I had recently gotten the internet and had made a few friends overseas. Living in New Zealand, our timezone is way ahead of the rest of the world.

One of my friends in Germany asked me to come online as soon as possible after midnight, so I could e-mail her to let her know if our computers would still work.
(, Sun 24 Sep 2006, 14:39, Reply)
This is a 100% genuine incident. It still makes me cringe that we share DNA;

About a week after installing my mum's new Dell computer at home, so she could get on the "information super-highway" (when did THAT catchy name go out of fashion?), she phoned late at night in a bit of a panic. Apparently, the computer had performed an "illegal operation". In a frenzy of fear, she had yanked the modem cable out of the phone socket "before it could call the police"...

(, Sun 24 Sep 2006, 14:34, Reply)
Question Swap...
Thanks to the b3ta newsletter, I found the website Question Swap at I had been diligently asking and answering questions for a while, when I kept getting asked to hit Ctrl+V and send what came up. I quite liked that question so I used it for myself.

The reply I got back? (I paraphrase only slightly...)

"i am not going to do that!!!! i know what it does, it restarts your computer!!! I'M NOT AN IDIOT!!!"


I also had a couple of other nice question/answers, such as

Whats she running from now?

me. Im a rapist

Here's the link to my other favourite answers, in case anyones interested.

Sorry if I'm not very's my first time!
(, Sun 24 Sep 2006, 14:29, Reply)
My father: You know, I really like Windows. I wouldn't mind Vista when it comes out.

Myself: ... over my dead body ...
(, Sun 24 Sep 2006, 13:27, Reply)
My nan
Finally,after lots of pressuring from me and the family,my Nan bought a laptop.

Have since been recieving a phone call every 10 minutes saying "oooh,I think Ive broken it!"

Also,when I showed her Windows Media player,she was utterly baffled,saying "But where's that coming from? Theres no tape in there is there?"

Bloody hell,at least she's paying me to teach her!
(, Sun 24 Sep 2006, 11:11, Reply)
Parents. Wot they like eh??!!
My Dad rang me the other day to say that he'd got a new monitor and it wouldn't work on his computer.

Turned out he'd bought a Nile Monitor, Varanus Niloticus, an enormous carnivorous reptile commonly found in Africa. Apparently the computer shop has an exotic pet store next door to it. How we laughed and laughed and laughed and laughed and laughed and laughed and laughed and laughed and laughed.
(, Sun 24 Sep 2006, 11:08, Reply)
You decide...
My PC was playing up and not displaying picture thumbnails and I ended up taking it to this blokes house, the guy whod originally installed the system a couple of years back, as he did the odd foreigner. He was old for the IT business but knew his stuff. I wasnt the least bit bothered about all the porn that had accumulated, after all, were all men of the world? Anyway, I rang him the next day to see how hed got on and he said hed fixed it and was looking at the rude photos in a certain folder as we spoke. To this day I wonder whether or not he knew she was actually my wife?!!

and did he knock one out over her!!?
(, Sun 24 Sep 2006, 11:04, Reply)
My mum once rang me up in a mad panic becuase the CD with all her lesson plans had broken
After a huge dicussions down the phone it did seems that something was wrong.

When I got home I quickly discovered that she was putting the CD in upside down

(, Sun 24 Sep 2006, 9:39, Reply)
I was quite impressed with my grandparents' computer skills...
They are very competant at uploading digital photos and keeping in touch with everyone through email and my grandmother even has a quilt designer software program. So it was unexpected when I changed their desktop image as a joke and they panicked and had no idea what was wrong with their computer.
(, Sun 24 Sep 2006, 6:14, Reply)
My father

lost a leg a few years back in a forklift driving accident. I always feel sorry for him cos he used to be such a lively outgoing person. Anyway, a couple of months ago he challenged me to a game of Pro Evolution Soccer 5 on the PS2. The jammy sod only went and thrashed me 4-2 on it, and for the last few weeks I've never heard the end of it.

So when I was out last weekend at the Spanish City Arcades with my family and I spotted a football game I thought, this was it, this would be my revenge, this was to be my crowning glory. I challenged him to a rematch. I sweated blood, I developed blisters mid match, and worst of all I paid 1 to get my arse whipped yet again.

I had to restore my back my manhood.......prove I was the king of video gaming. Anyway...crap with computers???, well he wasn't too much cop on the dance mat game I made him play I can tell you that.
(, Sun 24 Sep 2006, 6:10, Reply)
being relatively young
I'm familiar with computers, having used them from a young age.

I knew an older person, and astonishingly in their case this turned out not to be true!
(, Sun 24 Sep 2006, 5:30, Reply)
When my dad uses the computer

he always wears a coat, 2 t-shirts, 3 jumpers, extra thermal pants, 2 pairs of socks, a wooly scarf, a wooly hat, and a condom, all incase he catches a virus.
(, Sun 24 Sep 2006, 4:33, Reply)
To IndecisivePhotoGirl...
"[My dad] is actually fairly competent on the computer, but not so long ago managed to delete an entire, very big national company's (the one he works for, not some random one) payroll two days before payday.

He did fix it the day after but I'd still love to know what would have happened if he hadn't managed to."

Free school dinners.
(, Sun 24 Sep 2006, 2:43, Reply)
My mother-in-law
Or to be more accurate, my ex mother-in-law (though ta the time these stories occurred we were still together). A geordie living down here in New Zealand. Opinionated shrill-voiced crow, but that's not important right here...

She invested in a computer probably three or four years ago. Cue much support coming from my ex, myself and also my kids. Showing nanna how to chat, print etc.

The defining moment in this was one visit down there. As per usual a visit down there was in some form or another prompted by an increasing crescendo of calls to my ex requesting assistance with said computer. According to her her CD drive wasn't working. Put in a CD and nothing happened. Over the phone I had talked her through trouble-shooting stage 1 - open windows explorer, click on D: etc etc. Nothing.

So we turn up and I motor off to the spare room, MIL close behind. I grab a CD, open the CD drive, insert CD and close the drive. Autostart clicks in and voila - no problem with CD drive. MIL shakes her head, wondering what I had done. So I go through the slow-motion "make-believe-you're-talking-to-a-three-year-old" training process. I press the button on the front of the CD drive to eject it, and she asks "what's that" "The CD Drive" I respond, that sinking feeling starting...

At which point MIL leans down and opens the CD storage unit on top of the computer (HP something-or-other) and points to CD sitting there "Isn't this the CD Drive?" she asks....

OMFG... She's had the computer for three years and now this...

I of course had much compassion for her innocent mistake. Sides aching from laughter, I called in my ex and the kids and shared with them what had happened...

Mind you, this is the same woman who, when we gave her a mobile phone, asked if the phone had to be switched on to receive phone calls.....
(, Sat 23 Sep 2006, 23:37, Reply)
I'm Good With Computers, Me...
...and am usually the person who goes here, there and everywhere fixing family & friends PCs. It pays not to know about computers sometimes.

Anyway, to the story.

I decided to go wireless so bought a Router & card from Tesco, easy setup I thought, 15-20 mins, ding dang doo!

You know those plastic "blister packs" stuff like that comes in? Damn hard to cut through sometimes. Even harder when in a f*ckwitted moment you don't realise that you're cutting through the installation CD as well.

Cue wife moaning about waste of money, you can't take it back etc.

Only one thing to do then - cue me eating humble pie as I phoned the tech support line to see if any way of setting up as I'd just cut through my installation CD. And this was around ooh, 9pm at night ot so. Joking aside for one moment, Linksys - you were fantastic. You even tried to stifle your mirth, which I respect. Personally I would have pissed myself.

Strangely enough, I'm a lot more careful now when cutting is involved - but in my defence m'lud, you couldn't see there was a CD in there, honestly...
(, Sat 23 Sep 2006, 22:30, Reply)
Spent hours at home
developing an interlocking GSP uplink sidebar open sporum for the offices line vane decrop systems.

Left for just a moment with the QDQF left in the outer dolling mode.

My 97 year old Grandmother walks in and seeing the sensor side operating light blinking decided to press the slide press open banner button.

Of course that ended my career. I now live in a van down by the river.
(, Sat 23 Sep 2006, 20:55, Reply)
o god
it wasn't even an oldie, it was my mate who's five years younger than me...

She was (and still is) on PAYG dial up, and was whining about how it was getting expensive to write long emails to people while connected to the internet. I suggested it would be easier to write the emails in Word, then copy and paste them into her email client. She said:

"what's copy and paste mean?"

I shit you not...
(, Sat 23 Sep 2006, 19:44, Reply)
My Grandmother always backs up onto a 3.5" floppy . . . . . my poor grandad :-S
(, Sat 23 Sep 2006, 17:41, Reply)
My Grandma

doesn't use the disk drive as a cup holder or try putting bread in there but actually in the toaster, nor does she run her mouse down the table leg when the cursor's at the end of the screen.

I'm really starting to worry about her.
(, Sat 23 Sep 2006, 17:04, Reply)
My great grandma
genuinely impressed me with her computer skills. She managed to browse the internet and see where she wanted to visit, booked a flight, a hotel, all the various travel arrangements to get from one place to another and absolutely everything she would need on her holiday .. on the internet! That day my faith of old people using computers was restored.

(it all worked out well too!)
(, Sat 23 Sep 2006, 16:20, Reply)

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