A suggestion re computer support

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12 years 3 days ago #23550 by kiwi_jon
To make thing easier, less confusing and to help members diagnose computer issues

The member requesting help:

Please include a detailed description of the problem including error messages. A screen shot of the error message will help. To create a screen shot hit Ctrl and the PrtSc keys on your keyboard. Open up Paint or any other image manipulation program you may use and in the toolbar go Edit and paste. This will paste your screen into the image program. You can then crop out any unnecessary bits and save the image as a jpeg or gif. Upload this to your post.

Include in your post the operating system you are using e.g Windows 98, XP, Vista etc. If the problem is email related state the email program you are using and the version. If using Outlook is it Outlook Express or Outlook. Is it OE5, OE6, Outlook2000, 2002, 2003, etc etc.

What sort of internet connection do you have, ADSL, satellite, wireless, mobile or dial up.

What AntiVirus/AntiSpyware program are you running.

Any other things that may not seem relevant at the time e.g dodgy internet connection etc.

If the issue is resolved please say so.

The members assisting:

There is enough technical nous on this forum to resolve just about any issue but let one person take the lead role and work with the person having the issue. By all means any one can have an input but work through the person taking the lead. It doesn't help to have 10 people jumping in directly with different ideas. It confuses the member with the issue and can confuse the diagnosis.

Suggesting installing Firefox, Thunderbird or Linux when the member is using Windows, IE or one of the Microsoft mail programs doesn't help resolve the underlying issue. It may work but only masks the main issue and does not fix it.

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12 years 3 days ago #335375 by GrantK
Thanks for posting that Kiwi_Jon :)

If everyone asking for help was to follow your suggestions, it would make resolving the problem a lot easier. Often we end up going around in circles because incomplete information was given at the beginning.

It might be a good idea if Kate was to make this thread a "Sticky" so it stays near the top of the "OT" forum [^]

Live weather data and High/Low records for our farm at: www.keymer.name/weather

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12 years 3 days ago #335379 by kiwi_jon

GrantK;322702 wrote:

If everyone asking for help was to follow your suggestions, it would make resolving the problem a lot easier.

Unfortunately I put up with it almost every day.

Phone rings

'How much does it cost to fix my PC'
'What's wrong with your PC'
'My hard drive is slow'
'How do you mean it's slow'
'It's slow opening'
'You mean it takes a long time to start up'
'No, it's slow loading windows'
Ok, what operating system are you running'
'Windows'
'What version windows'
'Microsoft windows'

.... and eventually

'Oh, you mean websites are slow to load'
'That's what I said. Windows is slow to load'
'What sort of internet connection do you have.'
'Xtra'
'Broadband or dialup'
'Dialup'
'What website are you trying to load'
'Names some graphic intensive flash based site'

.... etc etc[:(!][:(!]

Sometimes just finding out what the problem is, is like pulling teeth.

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12 years 3 days ago #335380 by Ronney
As being one of the most computer illiterate on earth, might I suggest that some sort of "sticky" be made of this? As Kiwi Jon suggests, telling somebody to install Firefox when they are running Windows is hardly helpful and is unlikely to fix the problem.

Cheers,
Ronnie

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12 years 3 days ago #335391 by kate
Stuck [8D]

Web Goddess

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12 years 2 days ago #335443 by FencerMan
Kiwi-Jon, have you seen "The IT crowd"? English comedy? Goes like this . . .**RING RING** IT person answers with "Have you turned it on?"

Might resemble your life by the sounds of it lol

Do something.

Either lead, follow, or get out of the way.

'Ted Turner'

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12 years 2 days ago #335504 by Phaedrus

Suggesting installing Firefox, Thunderbird or Linux when the member is using Windows, IE or one of the Microsoft mail programs doesn't help resolve the underlying issue. It may work but only masks the main issue and does not fix it.

kiwi_jon: I think I need to take issue with this sorry. Personally I'd never tell someone to install Linux in order to fix a problem - at least in the context of a forum such as this - but there are sound reasons to install Firefox, or possibly T-bird, in order to either assist in diagnosing a problem, or get someone going in a situation where otherwise sorting the problem remotely would be technically quite difficult.

This is nothing about masking an issue but as a process it may well resolve the underlaying issue to the point of fixing it.

Different people may well take a different approach to repair, certainly I'd take a different approach to repairing a machine that's in front of me as opposed to one in front of someone else hundreds of miles away. Suggesting that a particular method (for example, install Firefox because a website isn't displaying properly in IE6) is wrong, is in itself wrong IMO.

Additionally I happen to think that, in general, Firefox is a superior product so if in the course of getting someone going it's obviously easier to install that and use it rather than spend 3 hours and multiple posts trying to get to the bottom of some obscure IE problem then why not? Now in this case I point out this is merely my opinion, but it's an expert one and the method I would probably use. Others may not, and would perhaps use a different means to achieve an end. Neither way is wrong per se.

T-bird is perhaps a little less defensible but again there are sound reasons to use it, particularly if the option is trying to remotely assist in rebuilding a corrupt OE database or figure out some other equally obscure problem.

I would generally agree however that too many suggestions from different people could be confusing.

In any event if we all used Linux we wouldn't have these problems :p

Cheers, P.

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12 years 1 day ago #335527 by Organix
Customer: "I got this problem. You people sent me this install disk, and now my A: drive won't work."

Tech Support: "Your A drive won't work?"

Customer: "That's what I said. You sent me a bad disk, it got stuck in my drive, now it won't work at all."

Tech Support: "Did it not install properly? What kind of error messages did you get?"

Customer: "I didn't get any error message. The disk got stuck in the drive and wouldn't come out. So I got these pliers and tried to get it out. That didn't work either."

Tech Support: "You did what sir?"

Customer: "I got these pliers, and tried to get the disk out, but it wouldn't budge. I just ended up cracking the plastic stuff a bit."

Tech Support: "I don't understand sir, did you push the eject button?"

Customer: "No, so then I got a stick of butter and melted it and used a turkey baster and put the butter in the drive, around the disk, and that got it loose. Then I used the pliers and it came out fine. I can't believe you would send me a disk that was broken and defective."

Tech Support: "Let me get this clear. You put melted butter in your A:drive and used pliers to pull the disk out?" At this point, I put the call on the speaker phone and motioned at the other techs to listen in.

Tech Support: "Just so I am absolutely clear on this, can you repeat what you just said?"

Customer: "I said I put butter in my A: drive to get your crappy disk out, then I had to use pliers to pull it out."

Tech Support: "Did you push that little button that was sticking out when the disk was in the drive, you know, the thing called the disk eject button?"

Silence.

Tech Support: "Sir?"

Customer: "Yes."

Tech Support: "Sir, did you push the eject button?"

Customer: "No, but you people are going to fix my computer, or I am going to sue you for breaking my computer?"

Tech Support: "Let me get this straight. You are going to sue our company because you put the disk in the A: drive, didn't follow the instructions we sent you, didn't actually seek professional advice, didn't consult your user's manual on how to use your computer properly, instead proceeding to pour butter into the drive and physically rip the disk out?"

Customer: "Ummmm."

Tech Support: "Do you really think you stand a chance, since we do record every call and have it on tape?"

Customer: (now rather humbled) "But you're supposed to help!"

Tech Support: "I am sorry sir, but there is nothing we can do for you. Have a nice day."

Harm Less Solutions.co.nz
NZ & AU distributor of Eco Wood Treatment stains and Bambu Dru bamboo fabrics and clothing

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12 years 1 day ago #335531 by kiwi_jon
Ah, helpdesk stories. This one has been around for a long time.

"WordPerfect Technical Desk, may I help you?"
"Yes, well, I'm having trouble with WordPerfect."
"What sort of trouble?"
"Well, I was just typing along, and all of a sudden the words went away."
"Went away?"
"They disappeared."
"Hmm. So what does your screen look like now?"
"Nothing."
"Nothing?"
"It's blank; it won't accept anything when I type."
"Are you still in WordPerfect, or did you get out?"
"How do I tell?"
"Can you see the C: prompt on the screen?"
"What's a sea-prompt?"
"Never mind. Can you move the cursor around on the screen?
"There isn't any cursor: I told you, it won't accept anything I type.
"Does your monitor have a power indicator?"
"What's a monitor?"
"It's the thing with the screen on it that looks like a TV. Does it have a little light that tells you when it's on?"
"I don't know."
"Well, then look on the back of the monitor and find where the power cord goes into it. Can you see that?"
"Yes, I think so."
"Great. Follow the cord to the plug, and tell me if it's plugged into the wall."
".......Yes, it is."
"When you were behind the monitor, did you notice that there were two cables plugged into the back of it, not just one?"
"No."
"Well, there are. I need you to look back there again and find the other cable."
".............Okay, here it is.
"Follow it for me, and tell me if it's plugged securely into the back of your computer."
"I can't reach."
"Uh huh. Well, can you see if it is?"
"No."
"Even if you maybe put your knee on something and lean way over?"
"Oh, it's not because I don't have the right angle - it's because it's dark."
"Dark?"
"Yes -the office light is off, and the only light I have is coming in through the window"
"Well, turn on the office light then."
"I can't."
"No? Why not?"
"Because there's a power outage."
"A power... A power outage? Aha, Okay, we've got it licked now. Do you still have the boxes and manuals and packing stuff your computer came in?"
"Well, yes, I keep them in the closet."
"Good. Go get them, and unplug your system and pack it up just like it was when you got it. Then take it back to the store you bought it from."
"Really? Is it that bad?"
"Yes, I'm afraid it is."
"Well, all right then, I suppose. What do I tell them?"
"Tell them you're too f***ing stupid to own a computer."

According to Snopes this is a true conversation up to 'power outage'

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12 years 1 day ago #335537 by Stikkibeek
This is probably a daft suggestion given I know how busy many of you seem to be, but anybody considered remote help through team viewer? Won't work on dial-up to solve problems, but anyone on broadband would benefit.

Anyone willing to take it on to help the community, for say, mate's rates, or a bottle of wine?, trade or barter?

It's scary to begin with seeing someone miles away take control of your computer, but you get used to sitting on your hands and watching the mouse go places on the screen, you never thought possible.

:)

Did you know, that what you thought I said, was not what I meant :S

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12 years 1 day ago #335542 by Phaedrus

Stikkibeek;322877 wrote: This is probably a daft suggestion given I know how busy many of you seem to be, but anybody considered remote help through team viewer? Won't work on dial-up to solve problems, but anyone on broadband would benefit.

Well in sorting out Spoooks recent problems for example I may well have used it (or something similar) but so far it's been unecessary. I agree in many instances it's a useful tool, the thing being of course that trusting a random person from a forum - whom you've no doubt not met in person before - to mess with your computer does contain an element of risk... Perhaps some thought into dealing with that little issue would be good?

But other than that it's not a daft idea at all :)

Cheers, P.

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12 years 1 day ago #335543 by Stikkibeek

Phaedrus;322882 wrote: Well in sorting out Spoooks problems I may well have used it (or something similar) but so far it's been unnecessary. I agree in many instances it's a useful tool, the thing being of course that trusting a random person from a forum - whom you've no doubt not met in person before - to mess with your computer does contain an element of risk... Perhaps some thought into dealing with that little issue would be good?

But other than that it's not a daft idea at all :)

Cheers, P.

+

Agree that trust is enormously important. My own experience in this area is through work, dealing with my programme builder. Now he's hardly likely to wreck his own programme, and he either talks with me on the phone at same time, or uses notepad to let me know what he's doing. I can take control of the mouse and terminate the team viewer of course. It sure beats dismantling the system and carting it to an IT specialist, or posting records across town like we used to have to do. Even up loading and down loading files has no more than a half hour turn around.
But that's different I acknowledge, than having someone looking at the background stuff.

Did you know, that what you thought I said, was not what I meant :S

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11 years 10 months ago #342071 by GloPony
Ok, so who recorded all my messages to Help Desks?! [:0]

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11 years 7 months ago #354137 by Sue
Ha, these questions are familiar to me too, "my chook looks sick, what is wrong with it"?

But getting back to computers I'm really greatful to Grant to talking me through my computer problems-everything sweet now Grant!I can easily check back on the now defunct M.Outlook email for addresses etc!

This will be a good reference point should these technical problems crop up for those of us who just hope everything chugs along in this little black box! Though I did manage to fix a problem in my external hard drive yesterday-by following some on screen instructions.

Sue
Labrador lover for yonks, breeder of pedigree Murray Grey cattle for almost as long, and passionate poultry person for more years than I care to count.

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10 years 9 months ago #391147 by Ruth
IE8, which I'm probably going to continue to use unless I can't fix this, has a nasty extra feature I wasn't expecting: it downloads reduced filesized pictures, so that they're nastily pixellated and I can't see photo quality unless I refresh each page. It's damned annoying. Is there a fix? I tried a couple of ticks in different places in the settings, but haven't been able to stop it happening.

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