following instructions

September 9, 2014

Instructions:
In order for this to work, you will need to do (A).

User: Help, I need my application to work!
Me: Have you followed the instructions?
User: Yes, I’ve done (B) and (C).
Me: Have you followed the instructions and done (A)?
User: Yes, I’ve now done (B) and (C) twice and it’s still not working. I’ll try (D) next.
Me: You just need to do (A).
User: (D) didn’t work, you’re wasting my time.
Me: Can we go back to the initial instructions, please. Read them carefully and follow all the steps detailed there.
User: I’ve asked around and I’ve been told to do (D) again, and then follow it up with (X), (Y), and (Z). Twice.
Me: Perhaps you could try (A)?
User: (D), (X), (Y) and (Z) didn’t work. You know nothing.

Advertisements

question of the day 2

August 27, 2014

“Hello, a user would like access to XLS Viewer.”

“They have Excel.”

“They need access to XLS Viewer.”

“They have Excel.”

“Yes, but they’ve requested access to XLS Viewer…”

“OK, they can have it. But we have an updated version. it’s called Excel.”

“…”


microsoft prove they just don’t get it

July 22, 2010

Word 2007 and its very own layout fail.


never overcook a computer

July 12, 2010

I have a chum whose sole purpose in life is to do fucked up things to perfectly brilliant computer hardware I assemble for him.

His most recent exploit is to keep his PC running throughout the heatwave, burning DVDs. How jolly!

How not jolly to be woken at 6:20am on Saturday by a text message: “PC won’t switch on, left it overnight burning DVDs, call me when you get this msg.” Well, bollocks was I calling at 6:20am. In fact, bollocks was I calling until about 11am. After all, it had been the warmest night on record since recorded records began being recorded, and I needed some bloody sleep.

“Mate,” he said, when I’d decided to phone. “Mate, the pc had been fine all day…”

“All day?” I said. “You left it on all day on Friday?”

“It was fine all day on Thursday, it ran OK all night, then all day Friday…”

“What?”

“…And then when I went to bed last night, I left it burning a DVD because it takes so long…

“What?!”

“…But when I cam downstairs this morning, the entire box was dead.”

“And you are surprised by this turn of events?”

“Well… yes! What can I do mate? I need my PC!”

So I gave a few basic hints and tips; was it the fuse in the plug? Was it just needing a rest? Was he being a pleb? The usual sort of thing. But no, it seems the computer-box is dead.

“I tellĀ  you what, mate,” (the emphasis was lost), “I’ll build up a spare Ubuntu box and have it to you on Monday, how’s that?”

“That’ll be brilliant, thank you!” And he hung up. Well, it was a hot day on Saturday, and you don’t want to risk your phone overheating and going bang, do you?

So what you can do here is imagine a montage section (you can supply the music, suggestions welcome in the comments):

  • Me finding the parts for a spare computer, digging in boxes.
  • Assembling the parts.
  • Switching the machine on for the first time.
  • The screen lighting up.
  • A wry smile across my face.
  • Taking off my glasses and wiping my arm across my forehead whilst drinking from a mug of coffee.
  • Watching a progress bar slide along the screen.
  • Typing at a keyboard and somehow the text on the screen is projected across my face as I type.
  • Clicking a mouse.
  • Finally placing the top of the computer on and wiping it with a piece of rag before patting it lightly and sighing to myself.

And now we are at this evening. I have just returned from installing the beast. And a beast it is too. It’s a Pentium 3, 733Mhz with 512MB of memory and 32MB of PCI NVidia graphics power behind it. It’s running Ubuntu 10.04.

I figured that PC-Boiling-Chum would want his DVD burner (I really don’t understand why) so thought I’d just slot that in. It would also probably be worthwhile sliding in his PCI-to-USB card too. He has a worrying collection of, ahem, webcams scattered about his desk which he likes to have plugged in.

My only problem was forgetting that his DVD writer is a SATA-based product, although luckily I had also installed a PCI-to-SATA card in the knackered PC. But what would be the chances of Ubuntu working nicely with:

  1. A 10 year old PC
  2. A PCI-to-SATA card it hadn’t known about on install
  3. A SATA dvd burner plugged into the PCI-to-SATA card it hadn’t known about on install

Obviously, it coped magnificently. Having opened the computer up and filled its amazing little riser card full with a video card, some USB ports and a SATA card, it then proceeded to boot and load in no time at all, perfectly happy with all the hardware. Webcams included.

So there we go. Unbelievers, start believing. Install Ubuntu Linux and enjoy.

(And for those of you that think something must have gone wrong somewhere, well, you’re right. The wireless mouse needed some new batteries.)


beware the virus makers

May 12, 2010

From Microsoft .NET Framework 2.0 – Application Development Foundation:

Running code with limited privileges has many benefits given the presence of predators who are foisting viruses and spyware on your users.

Predators?

ZOMG. Dude. There’s a leopard with an ASM assembler in ur filez stealin ur credit card details.


why i’ll never make it as a coderer

April 26, 2010

From the text of .Net Framework 2.0 Application Development Foundation:

…For example, if you want to get and change the extension of a file, you can do so with the Path class, as shown in the following code snippet:

// C#
string ourPath = @"c:\boot.ini";
Console.WriteLine(ourPath);
Console.WriteLine("Ext: {0}", Path.GetExtension(ourPath));
Console.WriteLine("Change Path: {0}", Path.ChangeExtension(ourPath, "bak"));

From the test at the end of the chapter:

3. The following code changes the extension of a file. (True or False)

// C#
string ourPath = @"c:\boot.ini";
Path.ChangeExtension(ourPath, "bak");

A. True
B. False

From the answers in the back of the book:

A. Incorrect: The Path class deals only with the string of a path. It makes no changes to the file system.
B. Correct: The Path class deals only with the string of a path. It makes no changes to the file system.

3. Correct Answer: B

Fuck you, .Net. Fuck you.


pox ridden

April 8, 2010

I have some kind of lurgy. It involves a damnable sore throat, which in turn is covered with ulcers. It’s all very nice. In fact even nicer is when one of the bloody things bursts. Like the big one did.

Any doctors out there wanna take a punt at what it is?

People have hummed and harred and said I should probably be off work, but hell, I just know I’d be missed terribly, and besides I’d go stir crazy if I didn’t go in. For example, it’s nice for one to enjoy some kind of interaction or banter with the one’s work colleagues. Of course, the only thing you get from a bunch of computer geeks is “Morning”, followed eight hours later by “Bye”. Obviously, none of them ever looks you in the eye when talking to you, but it is nice that both words are said in an almost friendly fashion.