'My computer only allows me to save 15 files'



  • Looking back at my 'dumb user' Start Menu WTF, a few others are coming to mind. Here are two of my favourites.



    'My computer only allows me to save 15 files'.



    Quite an irate user, this one. For several months she'd been using her
    new PC and with only a small number of complaints, was relatively
    well-behaved for a new user. Then she got a promotion and the irate
    call came a few weeks later.

    She'd never noticed this problem before, since her old job required the
    use of only 2 or 3 documents. Her new one was more involved with her
    computer, and this is where the problem came in. she could only save 15
    files before the computer forgot one of the other ones, which she'd
    promtly have to recreate, much to her chagrin. This was only an
    annoyance until her "allthedataintheworld.xls" file fell victim. That's
    where I came in, when I was promptly told to either fix her computer
    and give it a "memory upgrade" (as diagnosed by this technical expert).

    Hopefully most of you reading have figured this out by now... Her
    filing system was entirely contained within the "Start
    Menu>Documents" shortcuts list. No amount of explanation was good
    enough, so I "installed the upgrade" (turned the Recent Docs folder off
    in the registry) and told her how to use "the new system" (A link to
    "C:\Documents" in the start menu).





    'I want it bigger!!'



    "This stupid spreadsheet won't work right" I had screamed at me.

    "What's wrong with it?"

    "It's too small, I can't read all of that tiny writing. I have eye troubles!!"

    "OK OK let's have a look..... Ah, you have it set to 'fit to page' Let's set it to 100%"

    "That looks better, thank you"

    (Five minutes later)

    "You broke my spreadsheet!!"

    (mutters and walks down there)

    "What's wrong with it? Looks fine to me"

    "IT PRINTS OFF ON THREE PAGES, THAT'S WHAT'S WRONG WITH IT!!! GET IT BACK ON ONE PAGE RIGHT AWAY!"

    (Sigh) "Fine, back on one page."

    "Now it's too small again, make it bigger!"

    "..........."

    (walks away, never to come back)





    People who've never had the misfortune to work with end users don't know how lucky they are...




  • No technology upgrade will ever compensate for clueless users. However, you can have some fun with them. For the latter fellow, try printing 3 normal-sized pages, but superimpose the images on one sheet of paper. Then tell the guy that it's printed in layers, and to move the page closer to/further from his face to see the different data. Then when he can't, tell him that since his vision isn't up to it (this works better with older users), you can just print it out on 3 separate pages for him.

    Of course it only works when the underlying application supports superposition, but on those occasions, it's something to have fun with.



  • @RayS said:



    'I want it bigger!!'



    "This stupid spreadsheet won't work right" I had screamed at me.

    "What's wrong with it?"

    "It's too small, I can't read all of that tiny writing. I have eye troubles!!"

    "OK OK let's have a look..... Ah, you have it set to 'fit to page' Let's set it to 100%"

    "That looks better, thank you"

    (Five minutes later)

    "You broke my spreadsheet!!"

    (mutters and walks down there)

    "What's wrong with it? Looks fine to me"

    "IT PRINTS OFF ON THREE PAGES, THAT'S WHAT'S WRONG WITH IT!!! GET IT BACK ON ONE PAGE RIGHT AWAY!"




    Ctrl-A Del. Now it prints on one page, without tiny writing. Problem solved. Run.



  • @ammoQ said:

    @RayS said:

    'I want it bigger!!'

    "This stupid spreadsheet won't work right" I had screamed at me.
    "What's wrong with it?"
    "It's too small, I can't read all of that tiny writing. I have eye troubles!!"
    "OK OK let's have a look..... Ah, you have it set to 'fit to page' Let's set it to 100%"
    "That looks better, thank you"
    (Five minutes later)
    "You broke my spreadsheet!!"
    (mutters and walks down there)
    "What's wrong with it? Looks fine to me"
    "IT PRINTS OFF ON THREE PAGES, THAT'S WHAT'S WRONG WITH IT!!! GET IT BACK ON ONE PAGE RIGHT AWAY!"



    Ctrl-A Del. Now it prints on one page, without tiny writing. Problem solved. Run.

    You are cold. I like!

    Someone in the next cube just suggested to print all 3 pages on 1 sheet, using the tinyest print possible, then tell the user to take it Kinko's, where they have a special enlargement-upgrade, and for a modest fee, they'll make the prnit, and the page, as big as he needs 😉



  • Your second story reminds me of my own experiences designing web-based data input forms.

    The users demanded:

    • 45 to 50 input boxes, all with names to identify them
    • organized in a specific order
    • all on one page
    • make the names of the input boxes readable (a.k.a. at least 14 pt font)
    • they don't want to scroll at all

    I did the best I could, but got complaints from all sides from every user.

    The font is too small. The font is too big. The text boxes aren't long enough. I have to scroll on my 640x480 monitor.

    They couldn't understand how this task was impossible. I was shown a drawing on a piece of paper that clearly proved it can be put on one page.



  • @Manni said:

    Your second story reminds me of my own experiences designing web-based data input forms.

    The users demanded:

    • 45 to 50 input boxes, all with names to identify them
    • organized in a specific order
    • all on one page
    • make the names of the input boxes readable (a.k.a. at least 14 pt font)
    • they don't want to scroll at all

    I did the best I could, but got complaints from all sides from every user.

    The font is too small. The font is too big. The text boxes aren't long enough. I have to scroll on my 640x480 monitor.

    They couldn't understand how this task was impossible. I was shown a drawing on a piece of paper that clearly proved it can be put on one page.

    I had something like that once. It was a very simple, mostly static input page. When the user sketched it out, they used MS Paint to draw the text and input fields, printed it out, and then manually labelled the text as xxx-point via handwriting on the printed page.

    To show them how it was impossible, I created a page in Word, with the same text printed at a variety of font sizes, including the 8-point typeface they had used in Paint, and showed them how it would NOT fit if I used the font sizes they manually indicated. Their response can best be summarized with: Doh!

    Sometimes, end users/marketing/sales folks don't think the implementation through, so you have to hit them over the head with a (visual) sledge hammer.

     



  • @snoofle said:

    I had something like that once. It was a very simple, mostly static input page. When the user sketched it out, they used MS Paint to draw the text and input fields, printed it out, and then manually labelled the text as xxx-point via handwriting on the printed page.

    To show them how it was impossible, I created a page in Word, with the same text printed at a variety of font sizes, including the 8-point typeface they had used in Paint, and showed them how it would NOT fit if I used the font sizes they manually indicated. Their response can best be summarized with: Doh!


    Sometimes, end users/marketing/sales folks don't think the implementation through, so you have to hit them over the head with a (visual) sledge hammer.

    I don't know, I still prefer an actual sledgehammer for such events. I've yet to fail to get the point across in this manner.

    The thing is, these complaints aren't about advanced computing topics that go over the heads of most mortals. They're about very basic spatial awareness. No, you can't fit "War and Peace" in 20pt font onto 1 sheet of A4/letter sized paper. No, you can't fit 200 text boxes and labels into 70% of a 640x480 monitor without scrolling.

    Most of us figure out at a young age that no, the sqare peg WON'T fit into the round hole. I guess these guys just complained that the toy was broken...



  • @RayS said:

    @snoofle said:
    I had something like that once. It was a very simple, mostly static input page. When the user sketched it out, they used MS Paint to draw the text and input fields, printed it out, and then manually labelled the text as xxx-point via handwriting on the printed page.

    To show them how it was impossible, I created a page in Word, with the same text printed at a variety of font sizes, including the 8-point typeface they had used in Paint, and showed them how it would NOT fit if I used the font sizes they manually indicated. Their response can best be summarized with: Doh!


    Sometimes, end users/marketing/sales folks don't think the implementation through, so you have to hit them over the head with a (visual) sledge hammer.

    I don't know, I still prefer an actual sledgehammer for such events. I've yet to fail to get the point across in this manner.

    The thing is, these complaints aren't about advanced computing topics that go over the heads of most mortals. They're about very basic spatial awareness. No, you can't fit "War and Peace" in 20pt font onto 1 sheet of A4/letter sized paper. No, you can't fit 200 text boxes and labels into 70% of a 640x480 monitor without scrolling.

    Most of us figure out at a young age that no, the sqare peg WON'T fit into the round hole. I guess these guys just complained that the toy was broken...

    Those who can, do. Those who can't do, teach those who can. Those who can neither do nor teach, get the big bucks for administering over those who can.



  • @RayS said:


    Most of us figure out at a young age that no, the sqare peg WON'T fit into the round hole. I guess these guys just complained that the toy was broken...


    Maybe we'd see less frivolous tech support calls if we made it a requirement for these people to initiate their calls with a high-pitched, whiny "Momeeeeee...  it doesn't woooorrrrrrrrkkk!!"



  • @RayS said:

    Most of us figure out at a young age that no, the sqare peg WON'T fit into the round hole. I guess these guys just complained that the toy was broken...

     

    Well, not really... it's true unless you have a big hammer - in this case it fits sooner or later - depends on the size of the hammer, just keep away your fingers 🙂



  • @ammoQ said:


    Ctrl-A Del. Now it prints on one page, without tiny writing. Problem solved. Run.

    <font size="5">S</font>nicker!  Actually without any writing.



  • I remember seeing in a computer magazine from many years ago a section called "Brain Dead Users" (redundant, no?)

    A user was having some computer trouble and some data needed to be restored from a backup.
    The conversation went something like this:

    Tech support: Insert the disk that has the backup and start the restore process

    User: I put in the backup disk but the program is asking me to insert disk #1.

    Tech support: So if it is asking for disk #1, what disk do you have in there now?

    User: There is only 1 disk. When I originally created the backup, the computer told me that disk #1 was full, insert another disk. I did not have other floppy disks available so I just hit the enter key and the let it continue the backup.
    The computer finished creating the backup without me having to insert another disk. I found out that if I just use one disk, the computer will just pack the data tighter on the existing disk...

    OK, I know I killed the joke. I hope you got a laugh out of it anyway.



  • @snoofle said:

    For the latter fellow, try printing 3 normal-sized pages, but superimpose the images on one sheet of paper.  ...  Of course it only works when the underlying application supports
    superposition, but on those occasions, it's something to have fun with.
    Three words:

    Manual printer feed.



  • There's also the option (in Word at least) to adjust the line and/or character spacing to 1/3rd. That'd work too.



    See, thinking of ways to be evil to dumb users is fun. 🙂



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