Business user emails are nearly as bad as SOAP



  • I just received an email with an attached jpeg of a (badly cropped) screen shot of a Word document containing an embedded screen shot of a completely text-based screen.

    Yes.

    Yes, it is true.

    I just thought you'd all like to know.

     

    Why do I receive these so frequently?? Is someone in the company explicitly training folks to communicate this way?? Aaarrg



  • Proof or it didn't happen.



  • @Xyro said:

    I just received an email with an attached jpeg of a (badly cropped) screen shot of a Word document containing an embedded screen shot of a completely text-based screen.

    Yes.

    Yes, it is true.

    I just thought you'd all like to know.

     

    Why do I receive these so frequently?? Is someone in the company explicitly training folks to communicate this way?? Aaarrg

    How could someone go to that much trouble and forget the wooden table?



  •  Unless it was a scan of a fax of a photo of the the Word doc laying on a wooden table, then it wasn't a real WTF.  🙂



  • Not quite as contrived, but I did once have a user who, instead of using the fully functional network scanner on the photocopier that was located within a couple of meters of his desk, took a document to reception and used the fax machione there to send it to the network fax device thingy we still had at the time[1], then got the receptionist to call me because it hadn't instantly appeared in her inbox so she could forward it to him.

    But then, this was the same guy who once complained that "someone" was remotely typing nonsense on his computer. I looked, and sure enough, odd text was appearing. He'd managed to activate the Language Bar and turn on the not all that good speech recognition function.

    [1] When people still cared about faxes



  • The last time I asked for a screenshot.  The person took out their camera phone, pointed a light at the monitor, and then took the picture.  They then sent it as a text to me...



  • At my workplace we have cameras on the walls, not to spy on the guys working but so that people in each of one of our two rooms can see people in the other room.

    One of my associates once asked for a screenshot of something, only he'd forgotten what he wanted was on hiw own screen already. So someone else zoomed the camera on his screen, took a pic and sent it to him.



  • @Xyro said:

    I just received an email with an attached jpeg of a (badly cropped) screen shot of a Word document containing an embedded screen shot of a completely text-based screen.
     

     

    This is SOP for office workers. They understand how to use Word, they know printscreen takes an image and puts it on a clipboard.  Now from that standpoint how do you get it to display?  You paste it into word of course. Now I bet the request was for a screen shot to be sent, not a word document, so go back to the print screen thing this time getting an image of word with the prior screen shot, and paste into email  There you have the generational WTF as an office worker logically creates it.

     



  • [quote user="Renan "C#" Sousa"]At my workplace we have cameras on the walls, not to spy on the guys working but so that people in each of one of our two rooms can see people in the other room.[/quote] 

     

    Seem to me that "so you can see people in the other room" is just another way of saying, "spy on the guys working"

    If you are seeing them not working when they should isn't someone going to do something about that?

    Here there are cameras for security that point down the halls and isles, but none can actually look into any office or cubical.  So while you can watch someone wandering the halls, you can not see us as we goof off and sleep at our desks.



  • [quote user="Renan "C#" Sousa"]

    At my workplace we have cameras on the walls, not to spy on the guys working but so that people in each of one of our two rooms can see people in the other room.

    One of my associates once asked for a screenshot of something, only he'd forgotten what he wanted was on hiw own screen already. So someone else zoomed the camera on his screen, took a pic and sent it to him.

    [/quote] That's cool...but creepy.


  • @KattMan said:

    [quote user="Renan "C#" Sousa"]At my workplace we have cameras on the walls, not to spy on the guys working but so that people in each of one of our two rooms can see people in the other room.

     

     

    Seem to me that "so you can see people in the other room" is just another way of saying, "spy on the guys working"

    If you are seeing them not working when they should isn't someone going to do something about that?

    Here there are cameras for security that point down the halls and isles, but none can actually look into any office or cubical.  So while you can watch someone wandering the halls, you can not see us as we goof off and sleep at our desks.

    [/quote]

    The camera here only see about half the machines (the other half is turned the other way), and really, we don't care about cameras for seeing whether someone is working or not... We're all working together, in the same room. If I want to see whether my colleagues are working all I have to do is stretch my neck a little.

    But to add further to the OP, at least nowadays you get stuff by email. Someone here once asked a secretary to copy a floppy disc, and back then people used the 5 1/4" ones. She xeroxed the disc, then stappled it (yeah, right on the spot where the disc showed in its square casing) to the "copy".

    And by both Murphy and Irony laws, that disc had the last copy of a very important document having to do with our version of what is called IRS in the US. In other words, that caused a large snafu and a lot of money was lost.



  • @Alargule said:

    Proof or it didn't happen.
    Yes, we demand a screenshot of that email.



  • I could scream when I think of how many times I have asked someone to e-mail me an image, and what I get is a Word document or a PowerPoint presentation or a PDF file with the image inside it. Lots of times I have had to put it up on my screen and take a screenshot (then crop it) in order to get myself a JPG file.

    This is not "Summer vacation" stuff; this is "What image do you want at the top of the web site I'm building for you?" Argh!

     

     

     



  • @KattMan said:

    This is SOP for office workers. They understand how to use Word, they know printscreen takes an image and puts it on a clipboard. 
     

    I just installed Word 2010 on Windows 7 and there's actually a "Insert Screenshot" button (it shows you a list of other un-minimised windows), which makes it even easier to send docx files around the place, instead of png. Maybe someone did that, sent it to another support person, who then couldn't figure out how to get the image out of Word, so just took a grab and pasted to you?

    Badly cropping because they don't know about Alt-Printscreen and they didn't want you to see their taskbar. And/or trying to make it "easier" showing you the "relevant" problem, ignoring the fact they probably cropped out something you needed, like a version number in a corner or something.



  • Reading stuff like this, I am soooo glad my coworkers know about gyazo.com 🙂

    I just get gyazo URLs when I ask them for a screenshot. (Unfortunately, gyazo starting adding adds on their screenshot links recently)



  • @Shinhan said:

    Reading stuff like this, I am soooo glad my coworkers know about gyazo.com 🙂

    I just get gyazo URLs when I ask them for a screenshot. (Unfortunately, gyazo starting adding adds on their screenshot links recently)

     

    Wow. THAT is a must have.

     



  • @gobes said:

    @Shinhan said:

    Reading stuff like this, I am soooo glad my coworkers know about gyazo.com 🙂

    I just get gyazo URLs when I ask them for a screenshot. (Unfortunately, gyazo starting adding adds on their screenshot links recently)

     

    Wow. THAT is a must have.

    Makes you wonder how hard it would be to roll your own.

    Hint: not very hard, but probaby harder than using an already existing service.

     



  • @Zecc said:

    Makes you wonder how hard it would be to roll your own.

    Hint: not very hard, but probaby harder than using an already existing service.

    If you're in Windows, any "screencap-y" tech is trivial until you get DirectX involved. (Hell, .net has a 1-liner for taking non-DirectX screencaps. Graphics.CopyFromScreen();) If you dive into DirectX, then it involves hooking functions and ... gets very messy.

    But... yeah, you need a better reason than that to develop something that already exists.



  • @blakeyrat said:

    If you're in Windows, any "screencap-y" tech is trivial until you get DirectX involved. (Hell, .net has a 1-liner for taking non-DirectX screencaps. Graphics.CopyFromScreen();) If you dive into DirectX, then it involves hooking functions and ... gets very messy.

    But... yeah, you need a better reason than that to develop something that already exists.

    Depends what you're trying to do. For some reason, both Apple and Microsoft don't permit the cursor to appear in the screenshot (although it used to appear in classic Mac OS so long as you weren't capturing a window or a rect) – Windows visibly hides it, although on my Win2k PII the cursor used to sit in a video overlay because the shadow's gamma didn't match the gamma of the main desktop (which I'd altered -- I don't think the NVIDIA drivers permitted altering overlay gamma).

    Programs in Windows can obtain the cursor bitmap and draw it back in, but I've never seen anyone able to call into ZwDrawOurVerySpecialNonPhotoshoppableCursorShadow() function, so the only way to get a 100% realistic cursor is to capture it from Virtual PC or equivalent (this is trivial for 24-bit cursors and lower, but extremely hard with 32-bit antialiased cursors that are available now) and manually restore it to the image afterwards.

    Also, there are cursors that are unreadable even to screenshot tools (such as the drag-copy and drag-move cursors), and 32-bit overlay windows created to show items being dragged that a lot of tools don't capture. Windows's default facility covers those, but if you install a program that will capture the cursor, I would find that they frequently couldn't capture overlay windows. Some tools can't deal with multiple monitors either, and taking screenshots during drag operations or while a key is held down, typically requires a timer, since no-one will/can implemement promiscuous key capture (e.g. obey pressing F8 even if shift/ctrl/alt already held down).

    Getting a 100% accurate copy of what's on the screen has been mind-blowingly difficult ever since the demise of classic Mac OS.

    Getting a screenshot of a remote desktop is a nightmare too, because there's no interest in controlling pecking order -- I can't force a key to be captured on my local machine at any cost, and NEVER EVER sent to the remote machine when that program is trying to thieve all my keys. There are various keys like scroll lock and pause that are free for that. Also, I can't pause my music in Winamp when working on a remote machine with the pause key...

    Computers are great, so long as you like being restricted to a very simple set of working patterns. As soon as you start to get dissatisfied and try to alter the way things work, you fall into a bottomless spiral of pain. The only way to avoid this is to be smart enough to write low level hooks and drivers and physically reprogram the desktop and if needed, running software -- for example Classic Shell. That way, no matter how much the megacorps ignore everyone's cries and the lone shareware developers have no time for you, and every third party tool and TweakUI setting you introduce to fix one problem causes a dozen more, you can still work your way around it.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @blakeyrat said:

    If you're in Windows, any "screencap-y" tech is trivial until you get DirectX involved. (Hell, .net has a 1-liner for taking non-DirectX screencaps. Graphics.CopyFromScreen();) If you dive into DirectX, then it involves hooking functions and ... gets very messy.
    Actually, DirectX screenshots have become easier now that Aero exists and our desktops run in DirectX. It was never really THAT difficult to get a DX screenshot, you just had to read the framebuffer back in from the video card, which is a supported thing already for framebuffer effects. 



  • @Weng said:

    It was never really THAT difficult to get a DX screenshot, you just had to read the framebuffer back in from the video card, which is a supported thing already for framebuffer effects. 

    Yeah, but you had to have administrative permissions, and hook the process to gain access to the framebuffer in the first place. Which means you need to know the process name, to get a process handle before that. (Which usually means asking the user which currently running app uses DirectX.) Then you have to stitch the DirectX framebuffer back into the screenshot in the correct position.

    It's not (all-caps) THAT difficult, but there's a good reason most screencasting software doesn't do it by default. (Or, alternatively, only screencasts the DirectX surface and ignores the rest of the screen-- LiveStream Podcaster works that way.)



  • BTW if you know of an app that can screencast exactly what I'm seeing on my monitor (including any DirectX apps) to someone in real-time at a decent framerate, by all means spill the beans. An app like that would be extremely useful to me... I'm literally aiming a webcam at the screen to accomplish that right now.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    A bloody Windows printscreen screenshot captures DirectX windows just fine now (I know this for a fact because I've been taking demo screenshots of a DirectX app). Perhaps there's a screencast app that abuses the powers afforded to it by printscreen?

     

    What it doesn't do is certain video players (particularly of the HDCP-compliant variety).

     

    A hardware widget to capture VGA or DVI would probably be your ideal world bet.



  • @Weng said:

    A bloody Windows printscreen screenshot captures DirectX windows just fine now (I know this for a fact because I've been taking demo screenshots of a DirectX app). Perhaps there's a screencast app that abuses the powers afforded to it by printscreen?

     

    What it doesn't do is certain video players (particularly of the HDCP-compliant variety).

    Interesting.  As an experiment, I just fired up VLC in overlay mode with non-DRM'd material in win2k; prtscrn captured it just fine.  I did think it might be just the fact of being in overlay mode itself that did it, but guess not.




  • @blakeyrat said:

    BTW if you know of an app that can screencast exactly what I'm seeing on my monitor (including any DirectX apps) to someone in real-time at a decent framerate, by all means spill the beans. An app like that would be extremely useful to me...
    Try VirtualDub. It's not the easiest to set up, but I've had no problems with it capturing whole screen at 30FPS. I recommend you use the ZLib Motion Block Video Codec from DOSBox during recording, as it's very fast, and produces decently small files with typical screen contents.


    To set up capturing, start VirtualDub, go into Capture mode (File -> Capture AVI), click on Device -> Screen capture, then to select the area you want to capture, first click on Video -> Set custom format and choose frame size (and if you're using the ZMBV codec, set the Data format to 32bit ARGB). Next click on Video -> Source, and select what to capture (fixed area, follow mouse pointer etc.). Also, depending on your OS and graphic card, using OpenGL may either speed up captures a lot, or make them not work at all - this is something you have to test yourself. Set the codec in Video -> Compression. You can set the framerate by clicking the button in the status bar. The good news is, that these settings are remembered, so you only have to do them once. Finally, set the file to capture to (File -> Set capture file), and click Capture -> Capture video.@DaveK said:
    As an experiment, I just fired up VLC in overlay mode with non-DRM'd material in win2k; prtscrn captured it just fine.  I did think it might be just the fact of being in overlay mode itself that did it, but guess not.
    Are you sure it actually worked? If it's a true overlay mode, then the only thing VLC is displaying is a rectangle of uniform colour (usually either almost black or magenta), and any window that would cover it with that same colour would have the video show through (so if you made a screenshot, then displayed that screenshot approximately in the same location as the player, you'd see the video in it, possibly even playing).



  • @ender said:

    Try VirtualDub. It's not the easiest to set up, but I've had no problems with it capturing whole screen at 30FPS. I recommend you use the ZLib Motion Block Video Codec from DOSBox during recording, as it's very fast, and produces decently small files with typical screen contents.

    I don't want to capture the screen, I want to broadcast it. Sorry; my own fault for using the confusing term "screencast", which refers to about 30 different things.

    Basically, I want a program where I can send a link to a friend of mine, he can click it, and then he can see and hear what I'm seeing and hearing in close to real-time. The aforementioned LiveStream Podcaster works, but since it goes through a website and does post-processing, it ~30 seconds of latency, which is too much. (It also can't composite DirectX and non-DirectX screens together, it broadcasts one or the other. Has a great audio mixer, though.)

    What I'm looking for is a product that cuts the website out of the loop, and just streams the video/audio directly. Exactly what I see/hear from my computer, my buddy should also see/hear.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @blakeyrat said:

    What I'm looking for is a product that cuts the website out of the loop, and just streams the video/audio directly. Exactly what I see/hear from my computer, my buddy should also see/hear.
    ManyCam (virtual webcam driver) fed to VLC's hilariously underdocumented video streaming feature (fun fact: The video streaming feature is the entire reason VLC exists).

     

    I just checked, and ManyCam works just fine with a D3D11 window sitting on Aero. I can't be arsed to try other permutations.



  • @Weng said:

    (fun fact: The video stream recording feature is the entire reason VLC exists).

    FTFY 😉



  • @ender said:

    @DaveK said:
    As an experiment, I just fired up VLC in overlay mode with non-DRM'd material in win2k; prtscrn captured it just fine.  I did think it might be just the fact of being in overlay mode itself that did it, but guess not.
    Are you sure it actually worked? If it's a true overlay mode, then the only thing VLC is displaying is a rectangle of uniform colour (usually either almost black or magenta), and any window that would cover it with that same colour would have the video show through (so if you made a screenshot, then displayed that screenshot approximately in the same location as the player, you'd see the video in it, possibly even playing).

    Ah, you are completely right; I tried to reproduce it and just got black screenshots that when I moved over the player showed the image through.

    It turns out that when you change VLC's preferences between overlay mode on/off, it doesn't take effect if you just restart the current playback using the previous or next buttons to loop it, but it does if you fully stop the video playback and then hit play again, or if you exit and restart VLC.



  • @Shinhan said:

    Unfortunately, gyazo starting adding adds on their screenshot links recently

    Unfortunately it's down: http://www.downforeveryoneorjustme.com/gyazo.com says: It's not just you! http://gyazo.com looks down from here.

    What I would like is an easy way to "paste" an image into a webapp



  • @Zemm said:

    @Shinhan said:
    Unfortunately, gyazo starting adding adds on their screenshot links recently

    Unfortunately it's down: http://www.downforeveryoneorjustme.com/gyazo.com says: It's not just you! http://gyazo.com looks down from here.

    What I would like is an easy way to "paste" an image into a webapp

    Supposedly Gmail on Chrome allows that now, or at least it was in their last patch notes. I haven't tried it myself.



  • @blakeyrat said:

    @ender said:
    Try VirtualDub. It's not the easiest to set up, but I've had no problems with it capturing whole screen at 30FPS. I recommend you use the ZLib Motion Block Video Codec from DOSBox during recording, as it's very fast, and produces decently small files with typical screen contents.

    I don't want to capture the screen, I want to broadcast it. Sorry; my own fault for using the confusing term "screencast", which refers to about 30 different things.

    Basically, I want a program where I can send a link to a friend of mine, he can click it, and then he can see and hear what I'm seeing and hearing in close to real-time. The aforementioned LiveStream Podcaster works, but since it goes through a website and does post-processing, it ~30 seconds of latency, which is too much. (It also can't composite DirectX and non-DirectX screens together, it broadcasts one or the other. Has a great audio mixer, though.)

    What I'm looking for is a product that cuts the website out of the loop, and just streams the video/audio directly. Exactly what I see/hear from my computer, my buddy should also see/hear.

    Have you tried Microsoft Shared View? I don't think it does audio, but I never really played with it much - we went to Webex at work so I stopped researching it.


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