b3ta.com qotw
You are not logged in. Login or Signup
Home » Question of the Week » Oldies vs Computers » Popular | Search
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)
Pages: Latest, 12, 11, 10, 9, 8, ... 1

This question is now closed.

different skills
My Nana can't send an email with an attachment, but she can......grow veg and cook her own food from scratch, wire a plug, remember everyones birthday, fill out a tax form, deliver a baby, drive a tractor.....
I can use emails, but I wish i had her skills and knowledge instead.
(, Fri 22 Sep 2006, 20:57, Reply)
Narrow the search down Mum
My mum told me the other day she had seen an unusual bird in the garden she thought she knew the variety of, but wanted to confirm it, so she went on google images and did a general search......for ......TITS!

Made Dads day that did!
(, Fri 22 Sep 2006, 19:36, Reply)
Dumb Polish punter
I don't think that he was dumb because he was Polish, but he WAS dumb. I was answering a call at our other site, a good 20 minute walk away. I was going there because i'd received this call. "Hello, my mouse is the wrong way round, can you fix it". Now, rather than try and talk the punter through the hideous complexities of changing the right and left click order of his mouse in the control panel i thought i'd go and do it for him. I arrived and began to fix the problem, but was dismayed to see that the left and right clicks were in their normal place. I asked the punter about this and he said.."Oh no, the clicks are fine...but look the mouse is on the wrong side.". The mouse was on the left hand side of his keyboard and he wanted it on the right. I picked it up and put it on the other side. He said "Thank You". I stared dumbfounded. He was using a laptop too. What kind of pillock do you have to be to call IT to move your mouse from one side of your laptop to the other? I left the helpdesk that week and have never been back.
(, Fri 22 Sep 2006, 17:19, Reply)
Something that actually happened to me at work.

At work, we had a need to ensure that PC's weren't left logged in and unattended.

So, my boss asked me to find a solution. I thought "Aha! A screensasver should do it".

Being a bit of a keen Programmer, I set about writing one. This screensaver would reboot the machine immediately (no nice chances to save) when activated.

When I finished coding, I went to test it. Only then (as the PC restarted) did I realise that I had not saved what I as doing and actually lost all the source code.
(, Tue 26 Sep 2006, 23:52, Reply)
I Feel Like.....
Cassandra. Tells the truth but doomed for people not to believe me...For the record, all of my tales are essentially true but may be a wee bit exaggerated for comedic effect. Except the ones that are obvious jokes.

And Denty? My drinking, fighting pulling partner of yesteryear? He's the head of the maths department at a public school. Not seen him in donkeys...


As a techy I've had to deal with the problems that have since become Urban Legends. The woman who photocopied her floppy disks when asked to make a copy. A guy who managed to jam *3* 5 1/4 inch floppies into his drive at the same time, the exec who was trying to fax a document by holding it to the screen and hitting the fax button in Word. Yup - I've had those and many, many more. The next tale happened at my last place of work.

I was working on 2nd/3rd line in a service desk and every once in a while the firstliners would put a call through to me that they couldn't deal with or if they didn't know which team it was supposed to go to. So one day a call was put through to me from the Headmistress of a local school.

"Hi - you're speaking to legless, what seems to be the problem" I said

"It's the children’s computers" this incredibly posh voice bleated "They're riddled with pornography and it keeps popping up all over the screen"

"OK - exactly what kind of pornography?" I asked

"COCKS!!! BIG BLACK COCKS!!!" screamed the head excitedly.

I corpsed. Hit the mute button and wet myself...

BTW - might have told this one before. Your memory starts to go when you reach my age.....

(, Fri 22 Sep 2006, 16:31, Reply)
WOOFIRST! But not, actually. verdammt.
My dad does not have an affinity for computers, or indeed many electrical devices.

We were in a university talk on fees and being an engineering course everyone is quite geeky which extends to parents. So the guy at the front says something that sends everybody for their calculators.

Theres tapping, and then theres a noise unlike any other. A swish-clack, swish-clack noise.

My dad had pulled a slide rule from his pocket.
(, Fri 22 Sep 2006, 14:16, Reply)
One stormy night (well, early evening)...
{sorry, I said I’d leave off this QOTW I know, but I’ve got to squeeze at least one in – user stupidity is one of my specialist subjects, after all}

…I had to pull a late one at work to replace a shitload of network hardware that was getting a bit twitchy after 5 solid years of use – an operation which would render the entire company network inoperable for about 2 hours. I planned to get a start 30mins after the traditional end of the business day. Simple and painless.

Of course, I sent no less than three emails warning my company’s users about this, giving them literally days’ notice and a reminder the very day of the planned presto-chango action. Taking the lack of enquiries as a sign that everyone had gotten the message, I took the site offline as planned and began taking stuff to bits. Not more than 10 minutes after I had gotten started, I got a call on my mobile from a manager in one of our branch offices, a stroppy menopausal bint whose offensive mouth was a known fact – the conversation went like this:

ME: Good ev…
MSB: It’s not working!

I’d already guessed what was going on but her rudeness from the offset got my back up, so I decided to give her enough rope to hang herself. Non-geeks often fail to realise that IT folk are like waiters - woe betide you if you piss us off, and you won't know of our retribution until its too late. We have much more power than most people realise. So anyway:

ME: I’m dandy, thanks for asking – what can I do for you?
MSB: I’ve already told you – {idiot voice} I-T-S N-O-T W-O-R-K-I-N-G!
ME: {stroppy bint’s name}, you know that I’m responsible for a good few systems here – I’m going to need some specifics.
MSB: There's nothing specific about it - {more idiot voice} N-O-T-H-I-N-G I-S W-O-R-K-I-N-G! We’ve got no database, no email, no nothing – what are you going to do about it? I'll tell you now, whatever you do you’ll have to do it quick!
ME: Tell me, did you get the emails I’ve been sending about planned network downtime the past few days?
MSB: {incredulously} I never read those! My time's too valuable to waste on that jargonny stuff!
ME: I see. Okay, for one, I’m most definitely not a sympathetic ear to the view that my emails aren’t worth reading and two, if you or indeed anyone else in your office had bothered to read even one of the emails, you’d now be with the rest of the company in knowing that the network is going to be offline – ENTIRELY – for a couple of hours starting about fifteen minutes ago.
MSB: That’s not good enough! I can’t finish this with no network – you’ll have to bring it back now!
ME: I’m sorry, that’s not possible. You see, as I stated in the email, I’m replacing a number of pieces of network hardware tonight and I’ve already half-dismantled what was in there to start with – I mean to go ahead and replace the parts as planned.
MSB: {muttered profanities} I can’t believe this! {my boss’ name} is going to face some stern words tomorrow, and you can take that to the bank!
ME: That’s your perogative, of course, but remember that in this case your problem is in fact your own fault for ignoring official instructions. You see, I don’t send emails with high importance simply to remind you that I exist – I send them when I feel there’s something you need to know. {my boss’ name} will most probably tell you the same.
MSB: {impatient sigh} Okay, so when’s it going to be back on? I need to get this done before 6pm, y’know.
ME: Also included in the emails were the timescales for this, but since you, er, missed them, I’ll clue you up. I originally expected to be done by 7:30 for 8, but it may take a little longer now.
MSB: {more muttered profanities and cant-believe-this'es} Oh, and why’s that then?
ME: Because of the time I’m wasting on this call. With that in mind, is there anything else I can help you with?
MSB: Oh, fuck off {click}.
ME: My sentiments exactly - bye then.

She did call my boss the next day, recommending that I be disciplined for my attitude, and naturally my boss collared me about it. I detailed our telephone conversation and my boss agreed both that she was being a needlessly stroppy and abusive cunt and that she deserved everything she got for ignoring my emails in any case. I even got to sit by and overhear the conversation where my boss told her exactly that, though he was slightly more diplomatic about the stroppy cunt part. She must have gotten arsey with him too because he added that if she kept better track of her work deadlines, she wouldn't find herself in such situations. Silent applause from me for the coup de gras there.

Eventually, she pissed off one person too many with her obnoxious tone and got shown the door. A few people have missed her since, but I'm not one of them.
(, Wed 27 Sep 2006, 15:24, Reply)
Cute one from today
My 4-year-old son had made a "computer game" today using some kid k'nex (like the grown-up k'nex but chunkier) and a torch. He showed me how it worked by flashing the torch and making p-yow noises, as is the wont of most 4-year old boys when faced with anything vaguely gun-shaped.

He asked me to have a go, and I dutifully p-yowed and flashed, only for him to look at me wearily, point at a separate pink piece of k'nex and say:

"Daddy, you've got to click on the mouse."
(, Mon 25 Sep 2006, 22:42, Reply)
My Grandmother always backs up onto a 3.5" floppy . . . . . my poor grandad :-S
(, Sat 23 Sep 2006, 17:41, Reply)
Doctors are Wankers
Monday morning, technical support line for GP Surgery Software, dithering angry Shipman type doctor rings up from some Manchester surgery, shouting and generally being an arse as ALL doctors are, conversation goes like this :

Me : Whats the..
Doctor : You lot are usless, i can never get a straight answer, can you help me?
Me : Whats the..
Doctor : phah, i knew i was wasting my time, wot wot, don't you know who i am?
Me : Not yet, Whats the..
Doctor : don't get uppety with me, i want to to fix my problem..
Me : Whats the..

yada yada yada, 10 minutes pass while he bitches and moans about the shit level of service he gets, etc, finally...

Me : Whats the problem sir?
Doctor : No-one can log on to the server, can u see what the problem is?
Me : Whats on the server screen at the moment?
Doctor : How am i supposed to know? you're the technician.
Me : i just need you to check whats on the screen to help me with diagnosis
Doctor : dear lord, it's in a locked office, how inconvienient this is, i'll have to get the key

yada yada yada another 10 minutes while he gets the equally snotty receptionist to find a key, who's also bitching about us in the background until..

Doctor : right, we have a key, lets see......
Me : Hello?
Me : Hello?
Doctor : Right *sheepishly* we've found the problem, we've had a break in. the server is missing.

There was then another 25 minute conversation while i tried to explain "no, we couldn't get your appointment data as it was ON the server that was now in the boot of some charvers' Nova in Manchester somewhere and that it wasn't a good practice to leave your BACKUP tapes IN the server....

Happy Days
(, Mon 25 Sep 2006, 15:05, Reply)
Daddy cool? Daddy fule...
Took a call from Ma Grouch one day. (nb - this back in the days of dialup). Being a somewhat fearsome woman, and not given to waffle, she cut to the point.

MG "There's a £60 phone call on the bill. It's an 08whatever number. Why?"

G "Erm. Um. dunno mum. Sounds like the number my computer dials for the internet."

MG. "You damn well know it's a dialup number. I ask again: why did it cost £60?"

G: "Erm. um. When was the call?"

MG: "Month ago last Tuesday."

At this point I wiped my brow and calmed down.

G: "I was away then."

MG: "I know you were. But your father was here, and he was using your computer."

The penny dropped.

G: "Mum - I think I know what what happened. Would you like me to talk to Dad?"

MG: "I haven't spoke to him for two days, so you may as well."

She puts a rather sheepish-sounding Pa Grouch on the phone. I put on my sternish voice - I'd been waiting for this conversation every since he caught me 'reading' razzle when I was twelve:

G: "What were you doing?"

PG: "I was looking at cars. I must have clicked something my mistake"

G: "No you weren't. You were looking at porn. Mum knows, I know and you know. Pay the bill, never touch my computer again, and I'll never mention it again - and in return you will never again mention the time I set your car on fire."

PG: "'k."... and he rang off.

Postscript: A few weeks later, I go home and got to my machine. Low and behold, dialers everywhere, and the registry peppered with virii. Took me days to fix - and all the time, all I could think of was my dad fwapping away, in my bedroom, to 'Asian Cornhole extreme'.

(, Mon 25 Sep 2006, 12:43, 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)
My Mum
has been using computers for over 20 years...from Digital Darkroom to Creative Suite 2...and she's never once made a picture of a magenta cock spunking on Rolf Harris.
(, Fri 22 Sep 2006, 20:25, Reply)
Library fun
When I was at school the headmaster (in his wisdom) put the all-new Windows 3.1 PC network into the library (main reason being that was the only place big enough to put it). Of course that meant that the library administrators now took on the mantle of network admin, and with it security of the network. Their solution? To give every user a country for a password. Once a couple of us realised the pattern being employed it took us all of about 15 minutes to test everybody's usernames against certain countries until we had a list of just about everyone's passwords. The plan was to sign onto known bullies' accounts and wreak havoc, but unfortunately the old buffers realised what was going on and closed down the accounts immediately. "Damn" thought we, "chaos denied".

After a few days a new security bill was drafted and the accounts were re-opened with new passwords. Shortly after the following conversation ensued:

Me: What's your new password?
Mate: Apple
Me: Mine's banana

Took us ten minutes this time.
(, Wed 27 Sep 2006, 15:26, Reply)
My favourite incident of this situation
is when my old aunt asked me with awed surprise, "Is the internet open on weekends?"
(, Tue 26 Sep 2006, 15:25, Reply)
My Mum, 75, Online 2 years, bless.
Everything is called "the Thing" as in "I pushed the thing and the thing popped up and said" or "the thing won't go in the thing"

Her OS GUI is unique as far as Gold RTM versions go, her's is missing buttons, drop down menus, entire applications, email
clients etc. and she gets unique pages of the Internet.

Doesn't matter if we're on the same web page or in the same application, whatever I tell her to look at or click it isn't there "I swear on my life,
I'm not lying, why would I ... oh there it is" (average 1 min of that, PER step, of a ten step instructional)

All email adresses are still email numbers. after two years.

She calls MSN "S n M" ... I haven't corrected her.

She learned that severe anal injuries like that in the barrymore case can be caused by "something called fisting" :-(

Just remembered this most recent one: One of Mums friends got sent an unwelcome and highly pornographic image by some woman
she'd recently met and it popped up on screen when Mum and her friend were at the friends computer. They were both horrified.

Apparently it was a picture of a man "helping himself into a ladies mouth"

That's how a polite person like my mum would best describe it, I suppose. I laughed almost as much as when I heard her say fisting.
(, Tue 26 Sep 2006, 14:40, Reply)
My Grandma bought gay porn on-line - By Mistake!!!
My grandma in England decided one year to show her web savvie-ness by purchasing a book certificate on-line for my younger brother and sister.

She found a book store that sounded nice in Toronto - the Glad Day bookstore. Lovely - she thought, that sounds wholesome.

My parents duly went with the kids to buy a book at the store. Imagine their surprise when they realised the bookstore was located in the heart of gaytown.

Yes, my grandma had managed to find the only gay bookstore in Toronto selling gift certificates on-line.

So they left the kids sitting on the steps while they went in and explained the situation to the manager, who very kindly agreed to give them the money back.

I dread to think what she'll buy next. She's now armed with a kick ass laptop, a credit card and a willful childlike naivety.
(, Mon 25 Sep 2006, 20:39, Reply)
To all those bitching about this weeks QOTW
1) you're on a website. Moaning that "there's too much about computers" on a website that predominantly revolves about humour made by having a fairly decent knowledge of computer software is a bit thin
2) There's been plenty of QOTW such as "what's the worst thing you've done on drugs?" Drugs make me sick. The idea of it makes me want to hurl, but I don't bitch and moan and take the high horse, because other people seem to enjoy it.
3) If you don't like something, why spoil it for everyone else? Keep quiet, sit on your fingers for a friday, or do some work. Hell, think of a good QOTW and email it to the team. If you have, and it hasnt been asked, it was obviously shit so you're not as funny as you think you are. You may in fact be the office Colin Hunt.

Oh, and my mum found my old Commodore 64 in the loft with all the cassettes. Finding the album sleeves slightly reminiscent of early 80s heavy metal and the like, she slaps Eidelon into the family stereo and turns it up full whack, expecting some thunderous guitar noises. The all-out data screech of her hi-fi trying to read a commodore data tape made her punch the stereo so hard it broke.
My mum's 'ard.
(, Mon 25 Sep 2006, 16:38, Reply)
My mum is old.
My mum once asked me 'which button do I right click with?'.

I wanted to die.
(, Fri 22 Sep 2006, 18:13, Reply)
nan vs the computer
my nan had just got a computer and she was on microsoft word and she
wanted to know what was wrong because one of her words had been
underlined in red so i told her it was a spelling mistake and
to RIGHT CLICK to see how the word should be spelt.

next thing she shouted its not working. so i went over to see what
was wrong and pissed myself laughing

she'd wrote CLICK in the middle of the page.

aww bless her
(, Fri 22 Sep 2006, 16:38, 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)
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)
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 pride.....win 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)
My computers quite old

and a few of the keys are loose so whenever my dad uses the computer I always swap the 'c' and 'k' buttons to confuse him. After an hours use or so he always goes storming off saying "That internet's bloody shite, the searches are fucking useless"

With the use of autocomplete I've managed to find some of his searches, such as, kumshots, kunts, kolossal jugs, and women with kokcs.
(, Sat 23 Sep 2006, 15:21, Reply)
Mrs. Kourosism's grandad bought himself a laptop a few years ago. After much time spent talking him through it, he managed to send his first email, which he sent to me at my home address. He was rather disappointed when I didn't reply to let him know I'd received it (I was stood next to him at the time).

About a year ago he upgraded to a desktop, with a bigger screen, more memory, bigger hard drive etc.

He uploads photos from his digital camera onto the machine, and has begun scanning in photos from the war over as well. He makes his own newsletter for the Neighbourhood Watch on it, writes more emails than I do, and has even got to grips with upgrading the software on his recently purchased TomTom.

Considering he's on the other side of 90, I'd suggest he's doing very well. In the Oldie Vs. Computer battle, I think Gramps is winning.
(, Fri 22 Sep 2006, 15:27, Reply)
not all the oldies are thick
One works here, and done a magical trick.

Before he come into work, he setup www.logmein.com on his home comp; a magical website which I'd recommend to most peeps (remote access via a web browser). He'd set it up to keep an eye on his downloads in the house from work.

He happens to glance at the remote viewing screen, and notice that his daughter's in the house on Messenger talking to one of her mates. So for a laugh, he types in some jumbled letters into her text box. She deletes them, then types to her friend that she might have a virus.

He types in quick as a flash "NO YOU HAVEN'T."

The computer went off in about 8 seconds.

When he got home from work later she was apparently terrified and hiding upstairs in her bedroom.

He pissed himself laughing the next day in work telling us. When I become a dad, I wanna torture me kids just like him :D
(, Mon 25 Sep 2006, 19:34, Reply)
I must admit

the first time I had cyber sex it took 3 firemen to free my nob from the disc drive.
(, Fri 22 Sep 2006, 17:04, Reply)
Not even that old...
I colleague of mine was having PC problems and asked for my help. I went and stood behind her and pointed to the screen, saying "Go to My Computer".

Just then she got up and walked away. I was confused for a few moments until I realised she was standing by my laptop, happily awaiting my next instruction.
(, Fri 22 Sep 2006, 16:59, Reply)
Well done Grandad.
Grandad was a top fellah.

My old dear Grandad learned how to surf the net, send emails and what-not at the age of 80 odd. Which is really nice and cool (although dissapointingly unfunny).

* But he once put a shovel full of coal into the toilet.

So it kind of balances out.
(, Tue 26 Sep 2006, 23:09, Reply)
One the other way
My first computer was the Commodore 64. For christmas I recieved the computer, a tapebox with 4 tapes inside them. American 3D Pool, Agent X and Rollerball. The other tape actually came with the computer and was entitled "Commodore 64 Utilities Tape". As well as this, it had "Toolbox" written on the tape. It wouldn't work, producing Syntax, Out Of Data and Load errors at regular intervals.

We had myself, my uncle Mike (who knew all about computers because he had an Amiga) and Tandy look into it, and none of us could get it to work.

In the end, it took the more technically inept mother to take out the tape, and put it into the Hi-fi. It was a help tape for the computer.
(, Tue 26 Sep 2006, 20:00, Reply)

This question is now closed.

Pages: Latest, 12, 11, 10, 9, 8, ... 1