b3ta.com qotw
You are not logged in. Login or Signup
Home » Question of the Week » Oldies vs Computers » Page 1 | 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, ... 4, 3, 2, 1

This question is now closed.

The things they say!
I came across a pygmy from the upper reaches of the congo and I thought I'd introduce him to a car. Well, he got in it and he didn't know how to use the pedals or the gears or anything. Imagine! He just couldn't drive!

Of COURSE many old people can't understand modern technology! Maybe on the SAGA website they're laughing that we don't know how to grow our own veg or rewire a kettle.

This ain't funny - and it's getting more pitiful by the minute. Scrap it now and keep your dignity.
(, Fri 22 Sep 2006, 15:02, Reply)
Isnt this QOTW rather similar to:
This one
(, Fri 22 Sep 2006, 14:56, Reply)
not strictly computers
but i work for a company who manufacture freeview boxes..
you would not beleive the ammount of people we speak to

US:could you press the ok button sir
Fogey:what button
US:the OK button, sir please press it
Fogey:what does it look like
US:its the big button on the remote that says OK on it in big letters
Fogey:ohh that ok button
Us:yes sir, please press it
Fogey:what do you want me to do it
US:press it!
US:press the button please, that button, the button that says ok. could you press it.
Fogey:ohh i can't do this, im going to hire someone to come out.

by this stage we're so stressed trying to explain the most simple of things to someone, who you would hope in phoning you, would be prepared to listen to the information you are giving them. that you're short temptered and unintentionally get shirty with the next person who takes offense and writes in a letter of complaint!
(, Fri 22 Sep 2006, 14:54, Reply)
mother's mouse
When we first got a home computer, I caught my mother trying to move the cursor by lifting the mouse up and down in the air. Nuts, huh?
(, Fri 22 Sep 2006, 14:54, Reply)
Parents.....I'd kill them, but the inheritance isn't worth it.
My Mother constantly rings me up and asks me things like: "How do I send an email to more than one person at the same time", or other things like that.

She's been using the same piece of crap Windows machine for six years.

My Father bought it because the Australian Government was handing out tax breaks if you bought a computer before the GST came in. He's never used it. Ever. He can't even look at pics off the digital camera he has.

And they constantly ask me for advice on how to do things on it. Yet my Brother works in IT.

(, Fri 22 Sep 2006, 14:53, Reply)
Short, but crap.
I am not sure if he was old, but I worked on support for a company that made and sold software to risk analysts - the theory being the senior staff in a large company have all the secretarial work done centrally, so they can sack all the secretaries employed locally, and close the branch offices.

This particular firm had taken delivery of a laptop to each of their senior guys, who were not all that happy about having to work from home, and some of whom clearly had never used a computer before.

One particular analyst was really struggling starting the application up, a talked him through moving the pointer to the icon, but each time he double-clicked, the pointer had moved. This happened about 10 times, and I was thinkthat that it was a hardware problem until I asked how he was holding the mouse.

It turns out, he was holding it in the palm of his hand, and using the mouse ball with his thumb. Each time he wet to double-click, he turned the move over, therby dislodging the ball.

I like to think he was gently cupping the mouse like a perfectly rounded breast, but I suspect that it was more like holding a dead pigeon that the cat has brought in.
(, Fri 22 Sep 2006, 14:50, Reply)
Mutiny aboard the good ship b3ta
Im totally in agreement that this question is not very inspiring.

I saw the floppy disk drive story in a few tech support joke e-mails that did the rounds a while ago.

Bring on the real qotws!

Chthonic Edit: a tech support joke email? Really? Because, as I've already said below, it really did happen. I swear. She was very embarrassed about it.
(, Fri 22 Sep 2006, 14:49, Reply)
Souper Computer
Whilst working on the hell-desk years ago, i got stuck with a weird call - the keyboard was randomly printing out the wrong characters. After about an hour of trouble shooting i was at my wit's end - i couldn't send out a replacement keyboard until i had definatively found the problem.
one thing stuck in my mind though - the problem had occured straight after lunch. i asked her if someone could have messed around with her PC while she was at lunch, they couldn't have, she replied as she's been at her desk all lunch, except for five minutes to get a cup-a-soup, and to rinse the keyboard.
I asked exactly what she meant by that. She told me that she had spilled some cup-a-soup on the keyboard, and taken it to the kitchen area to rinse the cup-a-soup out of the keyboard! She was really sure she's gotten all the bits out, so that couldn't be the problem.
I explaind that that wasn't actually covered by the warranty. She was not impressed.
(, Fri 22 Sep 2006, 14:48, Reply)
Idiots I work with
In my last job, I was working away beside the bank of shared computers used by staff. Next to me was the training manager who was showing the recently-introduced learning directory to one of the commercial managers.

I overheard the training manager say: "Now, the only pages that apply to you are these ones here, but unfortunately we can't print just these ones out."

Now, the directory was a Word document with hyperlinks, so there was no reason whatsoever that it couldn't be printed. I felt I had to interrupt and help out.

It turned out that the only way the training manager knew how to print something was by clicking on the icon of a printer on the toolbar at the top of the screen, which as you know prints the entire document. I showed her how to go to file, print, and choose the page or pages she wanted by typing in the page numbers.

She gave me a pitying glance and said "But Flurble, the pages aren't numbered."

So, I showed her the bar at the bottom with "Page 6/87" on it. She was greatly impressed by this.

I was yet again staggered and depressed that someone earning over 4 times my salary could be so thick. She'd been printing out 87 pages each time, and binning the ones she didn't want. And in colour too!

F x
No apologies ever
(, Fri 22 Sep 2006, 14:44, Reply)
Computer shop
I used to work as a technician in a local computer shop, i was responsible for everything that came in and everything that went out. many, many times i would see custoemrs come in spend around £7-800 quid on a spankly new computer for playing games. I would always offer them the option for me to built their system, especially when the person clearly knew nothing and would likely fuck it up.

note one guy who came in with his mates, bragging on about how good his new system would be, clearly insulted when i said, it'll cost £25 for me to put that together for you. he scoffed and said he could do it no sweat.

the next day he comes in with him tower. "this doesn't work, i want me money back" so i opened up his case to see that instead of using the little brass stand offs to seperate his motherboard from the metal case.. he had used... the FEET from the case!! two of them as well as one single brass stand off. his board was bent like a banana.. his face when i said he'd fucked his warranty for all his stuff was a right picture. needless to say, after forking out a futher £125 for a new board, I built his new system.
(, Fri 22 Sep 2006, 14:39, Reply)
I agree.
This QOTW is going to get really pants really quickly.

I'm going to change it to.....tell us about your experiences with the condescending prats in your IT "support" department. Not much better but i feel like ranting.

IT: Hi chesty this is grzoogrutzt I'm calling about ticket #xxz905556ptsqueak. Is your computer switched on chesty?
Me: yeees.
IT: Is the network cable plugged in chesty?
Me: yeees.
IT: Are you sure chesty?
Me: YES!
IT: So what's the problem chesty?
Me: I can't change my print settings.
IT: Do you get an error message chesty?
Me: Yes, i attached the screenshot to the ticket i just opened
IT: Oh. Yes. Well chesty i dunno what that means chesty, i'll close this ticket and open another ticket and call you back.
Me: Oh thank you so much. You've been a great help.
(, Fri 22 Sep 2006, 14:39, Reply)
My Dad
I will never forget the image of my father on his first encounter with a computer (he had just bought it for me). He held the mouse about two feet above the mousemat and waved it emphatically around in the air.
(, Fri 22 Sep 2006, 14:35, Reply)
My old uni house mate had an enormous amount of pornography
on his computer. He was extremely proud of it.

While he was away on a sports tour, someone stayed in his room and decided to browse online and maybe add to the collection. 5 minutes later the computer is throwing pop ups in every direction and not responding to anything. Then the internet connection dies. Aparently it was sending more than 1000 emails a second and brought down the service for the local area. The system was royally screwed. XP wouldn't boot anymore but I managed to recover his important work with a Live CD. No such luck for the porn which was on a seperate drive corrupted by the virus.

His face was like that of a wheelchair bound child on the 1st floor landing of a burning house when he returned to find his pride and joy in tatters.
(, Fri 22 Sep 2006, 14:33, Reply)
technology is difficult
I was talking an old dear through setting up her ADSL, the phone is on one side of the room and the computer is on the other, so every time I give her a simple instruction she puts the phone down and trots over to the computer. When it's 90% done she comes back to the phone to say she's ready for the next bit, only she sounds like she's talking from the other side of the room. I say "can you hear me?" but she obviously can't because she starts saying - from afar - "hello?! are you still there?!" and is starting to panic. Then suddenly she is coming through loud and clear again. I ask what happened and she says "Oh, I was holding the phone upside down" Yes a corded phone and she was holding it upside down.
(, Fri 22 Sep 2006, 14:31, Reply)
"My computers broken"
..came the call from the very, very attractive young lady. Seriously. Very. And indeed it was. Quite, quite dead. A cursory glance at the gentle curve of her pert, young breasts told me one thing. That I would be fixing this computer. Right here, right now. Maybe, thought I, if I fix this computer well, she will have sex with me.

I opened the lid, and reached inside. No need to remove the cables, keyboard, mouse, power or otherwise, I've done this before, a computer surgeon am I.

She looked on, in obvious awe of my skills, as I reached down into the tower case. I winked. I'm so in there.

But wait a mi..?

I pull out my hand, dripping wet. The bottom of the computer has 3 inches of water in it.

My erection subsiding, it dawns on me that my curse hasn't lifted. Stupid girls, no matter how attractive, do not appeal to me.

"oh" she says, unknowingly finishing off my erection. Probably for a few days.

She continued, "I poured a vase full of water in there earlier. Would that have done it?"



I thought for a moment.


"Probably not. But there is a way you can make amends. Come with me. We have a curse to lift."

True story. Except for last bit. But she was FIT. And her surname was Jagger.
(, Fri 22 Sep 2006, 14:30, Reply)
"Because you never know...."
My mother likes to keep things, and is forever uttering the irritating words "you never know when you might need it".

As an administrator she has always kept meticulous paper records of everything she does.

Now that it's all computerised, she still keeps meticulous paper records of everything she does, every email she ever sends or receives etc. And I mean every one. Even crappy little one-line messages that are totally unimportant, get printed out and filed away.

Which wouldn't in itself be so bad, were it not for the fact that she keeps a copy on the computer itself as well ("because you never know when I might need it and not have the paper copy to hand").

Every time she starts running out of space on her computer which is 4 times the size of mine, I plead with her to delete things - normally she just gets herself some more memory.

She also uses Excel to keep a note of her personal finances. This caused something of a panic a few years back when her entire accounts file corrupted. Turns out that single file had accounts going back about 5 years ("because you never know when I might need to check back and see how much I spent at Tesco on the 4th of June 1945")

The file was rescued, she was suitably reprimanded and advised to split it into smaller parts. 6 months later it happened all over again.

The irony is I think that's the only thing on her computer that she doesn't have a paper back-up copy of...
(, Fri 22 Sep 2006, 14:26, Reply)
A couple of my personal favourites.
I do some PC work in the transport industry (bus companies mostly) and that's where I've found most of the really interesting computer abuse.

First off was a computer with a partially melted keyboard. Apparently someone had spilled coffee on it and subsequently tried to dry it out with one of the heat guns that they use for fitting bonded windscreens.

Second was the guy who was fed up with having his keyboard pinched. There was a second PC in the office that was only supposed to operate as a communications server, so it had a screen but no keyboard. But people used to tinker with it, and they used to steal this guy's keyboard to do it, and rarely bothered to bring it back. One day he'd had enough, so he carefully drilled two holes through the keyboard and screwed it to his desk. He took great care to drill between the keys, so was quite taken aback when the keyboard didn't work afterwards.
(, Fri 22 Sep 2006, 14:26, Reply)
Got a few of these
but one that immediately springs to mind is online shopping. One of my pals mums isn't very good with technology, and overhearing a conversation I was having with my mate about buying tickets for a gig online, she looked interested and asked "So, does that mean you can do your shopping on the computer?" Obviously, yes, but afterwards she asked "Oh, if it's done on a computer do you still have to pay for it?"

oh dear.
(, Fri 22 Sep 2006, 14:22, Reply)
76 Pages
of suggestions for QOTW (I've read them all) and not one suggested this topic! What's up! Suggestions for QOTW are much funnier than what's actually put up.
(, Fri 22 Sep 2006, 14:21, Reply)
Defeated by Technology
"Right", she said after my not inconsiderable help over the period of several hours on a brand new just-out-of-the-box Pentium Everything With MS Office Idiots Edition, "I've finished writing that letter to the bank. Now what?"

"You print it out. Where's the printer?"

"You need a printer?"

(, Fri 22 Sep 2006, 14:21, Reply)
Not an oldie, but still a good 'un
My brother (who thinks he knows everything about computers) once spent six hours trying to work out why certain keys on his laptop, that were supposed to produce letters, were producing numbers.

Several virus scans and god knows what else later, the solution came to him...

Num lock was on.
(, Fri 22 Sep 2006, 14:17, 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)
Normal stuff
Boss nearly kicking the computer because it won't work.

He says the screen's broken.

I lean over, and turn it on.

Problem solved.
(, Fri 22 Sep 2006, 14:16, Reply)
oldies just cant cope with technology but then again im 19 and im useless with computers as well. once thought my speakers were broken when id plugged them in the wrong hole . took me 3 days to realise
(, Fri 22 Sep 2006, 14:16, Reply)
my father in law
bought a laptop from dell, he's 'used to using computers'

30 minutes after unpacking it he's on the phone asking where the screen is.
(, Fri 22 Sep 2006, 14:15, Reply)
Thats an urban myth isnt it?
ooh first. I work in tech support. i shall fill this page within the hour.

Chthonic edit: absolutely not. This really did happen - I had to tape over the hole.
(, Fri 22 Sep 2006, 14:15, Reply)
Understanding Computers is Shit
You have no idea what its like explaining to a woman in her 50's why it's bad to have chocolate and mouse poo in her computer

These challenges are on a slippery slope downhill.
(, Fri 22 Sep 2006, 14:15, Reply)

This question is now closed.

Pages: Latest, 12, 11, 10, 9, 8, ... 4, 3, 2, 1