0763: "Workaround"

This forum is for the individual discussion thread that goes with each new comic.

Moderators: Moderators General, Prelates, Magistrates

squareroot
Posts: 548
Joined: Tue Jan 12, 2010 1:04 am UTC
Contact:

Re: "Workaround" discussion

Postby squareroot » Wed Jul 07, 2010 5:00 pm UTC

MSPaint, pssh... this is why I use GIMP. The only problem, of course, being that it takes something like 10 times longer to get ready. So I just always keep it open.

cjf wrote:All these stories make me feel so much better about my parents. My mom has no concept of a file system. She was looking for a word document, I asked her where she saved it, her response was "In Word" /facepalm. Needless to say after 10 minutes trying to explain that you can't save files to Word itself I gave up. I did eventually find the file though, I swear people with unorganized file drive me nuts. I don't look for any file ever.

My file drive pretty much consists of tons of nested folders on my laptop - each only containing 4 or 5 files, usually - and a horrid amalgamation of files in my Documents folder. It never takes me more than 5 seconds, tops, to grab a file. My dad, however, is CRAZY organized... (Until Windows Vista came out. The "Library" system, which sadly is also present in Win 7, broke it a bit... but the structure is still pretty organized.

I must say, listening to these stories make me feel like my parents are fricking computer GENIUSES. The time I was most disappointed in my mom, probably, was when she fell for one of those stupid ads that say, "We have detected 372 threats on your computer. Click here to remove viruses." She didn't get far enough to do anything bad, though. Oh, and my dad's e-mail always disappoints me. He stores it on a server at his work, and reads it through PuTTy. Except sometimes he does it through the web. And PuTTy clears any images, and their associated links. So he'll forward me an important message where clearly there was an image link... but now there's not, and it's impossible to get it back. >.>

Ah, well, my Grandmas (both of them) are somewhat of a nightmare sometimes. But I've learned to accept that. The one that lives on a farm...well, she doesn't talk about the computer much. The foreign Grandma is still unclear on the concept of "e-mail", luckily her daughter lives with her and can keep her in contact. Oh, and my Great-aunt is tragic... I'll spare the xkcd-ians most of the stories, though. Just one: "You mean the British kids have the SAME internet we do?"
<signature content="" style="tag:html;" overused meta />
Good fucking job Will Yu, you found me - __ -

endolith
Posts: 229
Joined: Tue Jan 01, 2008 2:14 am UTC
Location: New York, NY
Contact:

Re: "Workaround" discussion

Postby endolith » Wed Jul 07, 2010 5:15 pm UTC

glasnt wrote:Printing a generated report, only to annotate it with a pen, then fax to a co-worker, only to have them scan it back in and email it within a word doc back to the developer... *shudder* I've had that happen.


A coworker once sent me an email, containing nothing but a several MB JPG, which was a scan of a piece of paper, which was a printout of a Wikipedia article, which had a section highlighted in yellow highlighter.

User avatar
uncivlengr
Posts: 1202
Joined: Fri Nov 14, 2008 10:35 pm UTC
Location: N 49°19.01 W 123°04.41

Re: "Workaround" discussion

Postby uncivlengr » Wed Jul 07, 2010 5:19 pm UTC

My grandmother is a good typist, but she learned on a typewriter. Dad bought her a netbook for Christmas this year, and she can't get used to the fact that the keys aren't where they've always been.

She also has a lot of friends that email her those garbage chain letters with pictures of kittens and cutesy jokes. She'll open up her mailbox, see 50 unread messages, and just close it in disgust. "Blanche always sends me ones that are interesting, but the ones Shirley sends are just stupid." Whenever I'm over I have to clear her mailbox for her, and explain that she doesn't have to read them all, she can just delete them.
I don't know what to do for you

endolith
Posts: 229
Joined: Tue Jan 01, 2008 2:14 am UTC
Location: New York, NY
Contact:

Re: "Workaround" discussion

Postby endolith » Wed Jul 07, 2010 5:21 pm UTC

compro01 wrote:lots of people used to do that to send me screenshots of error messages when i did tech support.


Another coworker responded to a request to "send a screenshot" by taking a picture of his screen with a digital camera.

(Granted, this is legit when you aren't able to do it in software, but he was.)

endolith
Posts: 229
Joined: Tue Jan 01, 2008 2:14 am UTC
Location: New York, NY
Contact:

Re: "Workaround" discussion

Postby endolith » Wed Jul 07, 2010 5:42 pm UTC

phillipsjk wrote:Sure disk-space is cheap nowdays, but bandwidth is still relatively expensive when you e-mail it. Word conversion raises the size by a factor of 10. Base-64 encoding (for e-mail) raises the size by a factor of 1.33.
Edit: Why would you want to embed YouTube videos in an E-mail? just send a link and short description.


Because it's not 1990 anymore? Do you also protest against HTML email?

Axantur
Posts: 3
Joined: Mon Aug 20, 2007 10:28 pm UTC
Location: Mipitas, CA

Re: "Workaround" discussion

Postby Axantur » Wed Jul 07, 2010 5:44 pm UTC

jspenguin wrote:title text: "I once worked on a friend's dad's computer. He had the hard drive divided into eight partitions, C: through H:, with a 'Documents' directory tree on each one. Each new file appeared to be saved to a partition at random. I knew enough not to ask."


You kids will be too young to remember this, but in the old days before FAT32, FAT16 is what we used (as recently as Windows 95!), and this means that a disk partition of any size was divided into 65535 clusters for the table. If you had N sectors, and N was greater than 65535, then you would get N/65535 sectors/cluster, and 65517 clusters available for files (19 were consumed).

Although FAT16 had a maximum single-partition size of 2 or 4 GB (depending on 2^15-1 or 2^16-1 cluster size support), this means the cluster sizes were either 32 or 64 KB. If you wrote a one-line text file, that file would consume 32KB. You could write a hundred one-line text files and use 3 (or 6!) MB. The thousands of .ini files Windows 95 would like to write would generally use only 1-2 KB of each allocated 32KB cluster. This gross waste of space became an issue as drives grew larger.

The common practice was to use a large number of smaller partitions so the number of sectors per cluster are kept relatively small and there is less gross waste of space.

This became unnecessary after FAT32 really (although despite its moniker it only used 28 bits for cluster id, this is still more than enough to get e.g. a 4KB cluster size on a 1TB drive) and was never an issue in NTFS/HPFS, but because a lot of people who were given computers (at home or at work) were told to be concerned about partition size and number, and may not have fully understood the reasons why or when those reasons may have evaporated, it can still be seen in quite a few modern systems despite no longer being a necessity.

It is a habit...a dated conventional wisdom.

User avatar
XbHW_TestEngr
Posts: 96
Joined: Sat Jan 17, 2009 9:29 pm UTC
Location: Kirkland, WA
Contact:

Re: "Workaround" discussion

Postby XbHW_TestEngr » Wed Jul 07, 2010 5:56 pm UTC

The one who in my family who doesn't "get" computers is my daughter. Then again, she is the one with the BA in music. The only part of computers she really enjoys is email with YouTube links, and her orchestration/notation S/W package. That s/w was the best ~$800 I've spent on her.

My dad (74, PhD-EE) and mom (RIP) is/was MAC users. They were so geeky they would be sitting in the same room and email each other. When it comes to using technology, my parents and most of their (still living) friends are impressive. That's right ... my AARP member posse can kick your AARP member posse's arse! :D

It comes down to being teachable. Change happens; adapt or die.
... and there will be cake.

I have traveled from 1960 to be a member of the unofficial Council of Elders. Phear M3

benbald72 wrote:I feel connected to the author and therefore appreciate the comic, regardless of whether or not I understand the joke ....

Bratmon
Posts: 24
Joined: Sun Aug 30, 2009 7:54 pm UTC

Re: "Workaround" discussion

Postby Bratmon » Wed Jul 07, 2010 6:09 pm UTC

RANDALL IS LYING TO US IN THE ALT TEXT.
He says "He had the hard drive divided into eight partitions". Forget the mountpoints, Windows only supports primary partitions, and those can only have four per drive.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Primary_pa ... tion_types

User avatar
Ephemeron
Posts: 282
Joined: Sun Jan 31, 2010 12:39 pm UTC

Re: "Workaround" discussion

Postby Ephemeron » Wed Jul 07, 2010 6:10 pm UTC

Probably the most bizarre workaround I've done was once when I heard a song on a TV programme, and wanted to use software on the internet to recognise it. Long story short, it involved placing the headphones - connected to the TV - just next to a microphone - connected to the computer, allowing the computer to 'hear' what the TV was playing. This required turning the TV volume up to maximum, not to mention that my TV and my compouter are a good 5+ metres apart from each other. So I had to physically move the computer tower so that the cables were in reach. And I also had to run between rooms, starting the recording soon after I started the TV playing.

And it STILL failed to recognise the the tune. Midomi sucks.

Moreover, workarounds like this should not have to be done in the physical world, using real life objects.

Wallydraigle
Posts: 10
Joined: Mon Dec 21, 2009 6:58 pm UTC

Re: "Workaround" discussion

Postby Wallydraigle » Wed Jul 07, 2010 6:18 pm UTC

A while back my mom wanted me to help her make a cassette tape of some stuff from youtube. So I had her install a Youtube downloader add-on (Yeah, she uses Firefox, she's the coolest mom in the world) so she could get the stuff on her computer. So then she tells me she's ready with all the stuff and she tells me that her tape recorder has a plug in for a microphone, so I buy a double ended headphone jack cable thingy from a local video store, and show up ready to make cassette tape gravy. Only it doesn't have a plug in, built-in mic only.

Never deterred, I find one of those cables with a fake cassette tape on the end that people use to play CDs in their car without a built in CD player, and I have her hook that up to the headphone jack on her laptop, put the fake tape in the tape recorder (Her's has two decks and can record from one to the other) and record from that.

I'm pretty sure it was the most ghetto recording job I've ever done, but the day was saved, the cassette was completed, and the peasants rejoiced. I didn't ask her where she found blank cassette tapes still for sale.

tias42
Posts: 32
Joined: Sun Oct 04, 2009 10:56 am UTC

Re: "Workaround" discussion

Postby tias42 » Wed Jul 07, 2010 6:38 pm UTC

Probably the most bizarre workaround I've done was once when I heard a song on a TV programme, and wanted to use software on the internet to recognise it. Long story short, it involved placing the headphones - connected to the TV - just next to a microphone - connected to the computer, allowing the computer to 'hear' what the TV was playing. This required turning the TV volume up to maximum, not to mention that my TV and my compouter are a good 5+ metres apart from each other. So I had to physically move the computer tower so that the cables were in reach. And I also had to run between rooms, starting the recording soon after I started the TV playing.

And it STILL failed to recognise the the tune. Midomi sucks.

Moreover, workarounds like this should not have to be done in the physical world, using real life objects.


Why didn't you just watch the credits?

taj_mutthall
Posts: 4
Joined: Wed Jul 07, 2010 6:37 pm UTC

Re: "Workaround" discussion

Postby taj_mutthall » Wed Jul 07, 2010 6:45 pm UTC

Laughed till I cried on this one!

Loving everyone's stories.

My dad (who was a computer genius, literally, but, well, 40-50 years ago) spends half his day every day on a PC but still hasn't figured out so many things. He loses track of files all the time. Has 4 or 5 old computers he never uses but doesn't want to get rid of because he's pretty sure there are files on them that are important but he can't find them.

I post a lot of my own photos on the web and send the link to the photo site to my family. He prints all the photos (on plain copier paper) and then offers copies of them to me and my sisters. He also prints copies of my blog posts and offers them to me in case I want them for my files.

He says that copy and paste doesn't work on his system, so he always retypes everything (particularly URLs). Every time I've sat with him at his computer and showed him how to select, then copy and paste (keyboard shortcut or menu-based), it works fine, but he insists it never works when he tries it. And because windows are confusing, he usually prints the email with the link in it so he can see it to type it into the browser. (Oh, yeah, and clicking on links never works for him, either.)

paramecium
Posts: 20
Joined: Mon Jun 21, 2010 10:58 pm UTC

Re: "Workaround" discussion

Postby paramecium » Wed Jul 07, 2010 6:55 pm UTC

Bratmon wrote:RANDALL IS LYING TO US IN THE ALT TEXT.
He says "He had the hard drive divided into eight partitions". Forget the mountpoints, Windows only supports primary partitions, and those can only have four per drive.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Primary_pa ... tion_types


Who said he's using Windows?


Also, under the Master Boot Record, you can have 4 primary partitions, but one of those can be an extended partition, inside of which you can have any number of logical partitions, only limited by the amount of disk space, which is supported by Windows.
Last edited by paramecium on Wed Jul 07, 2010 7:02 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.

Code: Select all

//

User avatar
cjmcjmcjmcjm
Posts: 1158
Joined: Tue Jan 05, 2010 5:15 am UTC
Location: Anywhere the internet is strong

Re: "Workaround" discussion

Postby cjmcjmcjmcjm » Wed Jul 07, 2010 6:55 pm UTC

My mom is a bit of a computer n00b, but I usually don't have a problem with her. She didn't notice that things were different when I installed Linux when the family computer asploded and was impressed with the ease of using the macs at MicroCenter. My dad works with computers and has some strange habits. The one that I get in trouble for violating the most is that he insists on putting the cable modem to "standby" for the night, claiming something about security. I don't think our old Dell has support for wake on LAN and I like being to wake up at night and check the tubes without venturing out of bed to the kitchen to bush the damn button.
XbHW_TestEngr wrote:The one who in my family who doesn't "get" computers is my daughter. Then again, she is the one with the BA in music. The only part of computers she really enjoys is email with YouTube links, and her orchestration/notation S/W package. That s/w was the best ~$800 I've spent on her.

Is if Finale?
cypher wrote:The best windows solution for getting pics of things on screen is and always will be the little known snipping tool. Youtube! Unfortunately, you have to manually create a button to activate it...

Is that the guy narrating from "Walkthrough"?
SlyReaper wrote:
Lathe wrote:
Mishrak wrote:I downloaded a blu-ray movie that's nearly 4 gigs in size. I didn't want my friend to have to spend 8 hours torrenting it, so I was trying to think of a way to get it there because I don't have a dvd burner (that's big even for dvd standards). Is it bad that the first thought that entered my head was "Man I wish I had a good FTP server, then I could get it to his house np!"? It was only after some serious thought that I realized I could buy an 8 gig USB flash drive for $20 and take care of it. Can you imagine how long it would have taken me to upload a 4 gig media file to an FTP server on a normal DSL connection? I remember when the only real way to transfer files on the internet was to FTP something or direct d/l it through IRC. Circa 2000 :P

This reminds me of a quote from "Computer Networks" by Andrew S. Tanenbaum (para-phrased):

"Never underestimate the bandwidth of a station wagon hurtling down the freeway full of magnetic media."


Great bandwidth, terrible latency.

At school, they block .torrent files, but torrenting works fin with txtor. Unless you are on between 02:30 and 07:45, however, acceptable bandwidth is not to be expected. The bandwidth is much higher going to your friend with an 8GB flash drive (or 1TB external HDD) and copying the files (unless you use NTFS/FAT, then copying large numbers of small files takes far longer than it should).
Adacore wrote:On the subject of image manipulation, there must be a better solution than using MS Word to crop and resize images, but I'm yet to find it. If I want to take a screenshot of a particular area of some software (either for testing or documentation), I'll just paste that screen into word, crop and resize as desired, then paste the result into paint and save in appropriate format. Is there a better way? I probably use Word more for image manipulation than anything else - most text I write is in markup language in appropriate TeX or html editors. :D

Try the GIMP or Preview

riddler wrote:
I knew enough not to ask


But did you know enough not to OPEN any of the files?

Partition C: Computer Stuff
Partition D: Family photos
Partition E: Porn
Partition F: Gay Porn
Partition G: Horse Porn
Partition H: Really, really, don't open these files Porn

Usually people aren't too creative and G: is for the gay porn and H: what I copy and give to people who get ticked off by the fact that some people are aroused by bestiality. A more common list is
[list=][*]A: and B: ASCII bukkake and bumblebee porn
[*]C: Windows files, maybe my documents
[*]D: people doing it doggy style, sometimes an expansion of C:
[*]E: Essays (I'm at college, so people actually save this here)
[*]F: Porn with females
[*]G: Gay porn
[*]H: Horse porn[/list]
frezik wrote:Anti-photons move at the speed of dark

DemonDeluxe wrote:Paying to have laws written that allow you to do what you want, is a lot cheaper than paying off the judge every time you want to get away with something shady.

User avatar
MarkGyver
Posts: 41
Joined: Sun Nov 09, 2008 6:56 am UTC

Re: "Workaround" discussion

Postby MarkGyver » Wed Jul 07, 2010 7:18 pm UTC

endolith wrote:
phillipsjk wrote:Sure disk-space is cheap nowdays, but bandwidth is still relatively expensive when you e-mail it. Word conversion raises the size by a factor of 10. Base-64 encoding (for e-mail) raises the size by a factor of 1.33.
Edit: Why would you want to embed YouTube videos in an E-mail? just send a link and short description.


Because it's not 1990 anymore? Do you also protest against HTML email?


Plain text is simpler and doesn't waste bandwidth for recipients on limited Internet connections. HTML in email is okay (though most people making use if it abuse it with giant pink font or other nonsense), but when you start embedding plugin-based content, you've gone too far. If you really want a bunch of fanciness in your electronic messaging, use Wave.
Generation 0: The first time you see this, copy it into your signature and change it so that it looks like you inspired this signature. Social experiment.

User avatar
littlelj
Posts: 140
Joined: Wed Feb 18, 2009 10:40 am UTC

Re: "Workaround" discussion

Postby littlelj » Wed Jul 07, 2010 7:38 pm UTC

Adacore wrote:On the subject of image manipulation, there must be a better solution than using MS Word to crop and resize images, but I'm yet to find it. If I want to take a screenshot of a particular area of some software (either for testing or documentation), I'll just paste that screen into word, crop and resize as desired, then paste the result into paint and save in appropriate format. Is there a better way? I probably use Word more for image manipulation than anything else - most text I write is in markup language in appropriate TeX or html editors. :D


I use Alt-Print Screen which at least doesn't give you the entire monitor. Then I Ctrl-V straight into Paint. Then - and here's the step I guess you haven't got - I use the "crop" function in Paint, to, like, erm, crop it there.

Admittedly if I need to resize I use Picture Manager. That's so easy even my mother can do it.

I have dumbed down my tech support at work to this level. "Right. Open an internet." :oops:
Dudes, I'm a woman.

User avatar
ggrohmann
Posts: 10
Joined: Wed Jul 07, 2010 2:51 pm UTC
Location: Germany

Re: "Workaround" discussion

Postby ggrohmann » Wed Jul 07, 2010 7:55 pm UTC

Hello!

This one is great. The only problem is: it's true. I hate getting mails with .docs containing screenshots, but they keep coming. :shock: When MS advertised Win95 in europe, they used Rolling Stones' song "Start me up" -- but did they listen to the lyrics? "You make a grown man cry" sang Mick Jagger and the START button appeared close up on the tv screen. Nobody got it. He was right, I guess. :D

Guido

User avatar
RebeccaRGB
Posts: 336
Joined: Sat Mar 06, 2010 7:36 am UTC
Location: Lesbians Love Bluetooth
Contact:

Re: "Workaround" discussion

Postby RebeccaRGB » Wed Jul 07, 2010 10:59 pm UTC

My mom pastes everything into Word. Snippets of text, URLs, pictures, EVERYTHING. The file system confuses her; she has no idea where files go when she downloads them, so she just opens the downloaded file, goes to Save As, and saves a copy of it somewhere else where she knows where it is. This results in two or three copies of every email attachment she has ever wanted to save. She drags windows to the bottom of the screen rather than minimizing them. She'll click and drag things randomly without realizing she's doing it; back when Office had millions of toolbars (instead of ribbons), I'd always see some random toolbar in a random location because she dragged it there accidentally. She can't grasp the fact that the language used for spell check is a property of the text itself (just like bold, italic, etc.) and not of the document that contains it (for some reason she often receives documents with the language set to French Canadian, even though it's English text). She doesn't know how to look for the menu or button she needs (she can only find the ones she has memorized). She always forgets about right-click. She cannot read error messages. One time she was trying to install a Flash Player update, and the yellow bar came up ("Firefox prevented this site from installing software on this computer."), and I had to physically point to the Allow button on the right side of the screen before she could even see it. She can't do anything without memorizing it, and at this point she doesn't want to learn anything new. She doesn't know how to use a computer, but she's memorized enough step-by-step instructions to fake it.

You can't use a computer by memorizing instructions. You have to learn this:
http://xkcd.com/627/

Thank you xkcdland for hearing my rant. :D
Stephen Hawking: Great. The entire universe was destroyed.
Fry: Destroyed? Then where are we now?
Al Gore: I don't know. But I can darn well tell you where we're not—the universe!

graatz
Posts: 87
Joined: Thu Oct 29, 2009 7:24 pm UTC

Re: "Workaround" discussion

Postby graatz » Thu Jul 08, 2010 12:03 am UTC

WastedCharlie wrote:Have a Google about for this thing and see what a monster it is. Every time anyone comes seeking assistance and I tell them to open a file or what-have-you, they open this horrible thing and navigate slowly around, using dropboxes for disk drives and everything!


Which led me to this: http://lifehacker.com/399155/five-best- ... e-managers
Which now makes me want to try out an alternative file manager. I'm going to feel like I've wasted a lot of years if one of these turns me into an 1337 poweruser. :evil:

Sunidesus
Posts: 49
Joined: Sat Oct 18, 2008 9:09 pm UTC
Location: Rhode Island
Contact:

Re: "Workaround" discussion

Postby Sunidesus » Thu Jul 08, 2010 1:31 am UTC

My immediate family is pretty good with the whole computer thing. I've had to talk my mom through importing books to her Reader, but that's about it. Grandpa is the problem, and even with him it isn't really a lack of computer knowledge. The problem is that someone showed him the internet and he then managed to find every right-wing conspiracy website and money making scheme. And then he believes them.

Work is a whole other thing. One guy got all indignant when I had to explaint to him that the "up arrow" on the IMing program we use goes back to the previous message. He also refuses to learn the keyboard shortcut for copy/paste and insists on using the right-click/copy/paste option. We have to copy/paste from one program to another fairly frequently and for whatever reason there is no right-click option in that program. So he re-types the entire thing instead of just learning how to hit ctrl+c. And of course he can't touch type and it takes FOREVER for him to type anything.

curiousmath
Posts: 1
Joined: Thu Jul 08, 2010 2:00 am UTC

Please enumerate the 8 partitions c: through h:

Postby curiousmath » Thu Jul 08, 2010 2:05 am UTC

Please enumerate the 8 partitions c: through h: mentioned in the "Workaround" popup. I am curious to see the math. Off-by-2 errors are relatively uncommon.

am3930
Posts: 25
Joined: Fri Jun 18, 2010 5:39 pm UTC

Re: "Workaround" discussion

Postby am3930 » Thu Jul 08, 2010 2:16 am UTC

I heard something earlier that takes the cake on incredible tech support problems. My grandmother was having some serious problems with her new phone. It turns out that no one bothered to tell her to charge it.


------------------

What really scares me is that I remember when I was little and thought my mom was good with computers. She could pretty much make word documents look exactly how she wants but it called for doing things like typing out hundreds of periods to make index pages look pretty.

These days if I hit the show white space character thingie to see how many spaces she uses instead of tab she freaks out.
Take me out to the black.
Tell them I ain't comin' back.
Burn the land and boil the sea.
You can't take the-


****, they have.

User avatar
BlueNight
Posts: 270
Joined: Sat Aug 18, 2007 3:59 am UTC
Location: Albuquerque
Contact:

Re: "Workaround" discussion

Postby BlueNight » Thu Jul 08, 2010 3:35 am UTC

One from church: our sound board has 1/4" mono input plugs (in addition to the three-pronged ones for stage equipment), and the presentation laptop has a 1/8" stereo out. A stereo 1/8" cord to stereo 1/4" adapter does not work, for some mysterious reason, so we have a 2-foot 1/4" mono male-male cord and a two-foot 1/8" stereo male-female cord connected with the adaptor that doesn't work in the sound board. Somehow it works.

One from work: we convert PDFs to TIFFs to plot blueprints. Customer sends us an 8 1/2"x11" that needs to be blown up 351% to 30x42. EVERY OTHER CO-WORKER runs it through GhostScript and enlarges the resulting TIFF, then tells the customer they need a new PDF because this one is too grainy. Using Acrobat Pro, I "extract all images" and find the original 400dpi 30x42 TIFF the customer put in a PDF the wrong way.
---------
BlueNight

User avatar
Glenn Magus Harvey
Posts: 77
Joined: Wed Mar 26, 2008 8:39 pm UTC

Re: "Workaround" discussion

Postby Glenn Magus Harvey » Thu Jul 08, 2010 5:08 am UTC

I've figured out how you get 8 drives between C: and H: inclusive.

The computer, somehow, ordered them using the German music note naming system.

See, in English we have the notes C, D, E, F, G, A, and B. But in German, "B" means B-flat, for some reason, and "H" means what we call B.

Thus, he has C:, D:, E:, F:, G:, A:, B:, and H:. There. Eight drives.

timmac
Posts: 1
Joined: Thu Jul 08, 2010 7:04 am UTC

Re: "Workaround" discussion

Postby timmac » Thu Jul 08, 2010 7:25 am UTC

Re today's mouseover: once worked in IT support in a company with 3-letter codes for its departments. The secretary of the LBG department always complained about her files mysteriously disappearing. One day we worked it out: in addition to the LBG folder on the network, she'd created LGB. Documents were stored at random in one of the two folders - and sometimes in both, where she'd painstakingly retyped "lost" documents...

LeftClicker
Posts: 7
Joined: Wed Feb 24, 2010 11:42 pm UTC

Re: "Workaround" discussion

Postby LeftClicker » Thu Jul 08, 2010 8:47 am UTC

Someone I know couldn't find files and decided it would be logical to search her machine for "lost files". Upon that failing, she tried Google. This was one of the most painful things I have witnessed.
Image

jeff@orca.lu
Posts: 14
Joined: Mon Jun 08, 2009 12:46 pm UTC

Re: "Workaround" discussion

Postby jeff@orca.lu » Thu Jul 08, 2010 9:10 am UTC

masher wrote:I heard a story about a secretary that kept everything on her computer in "New Folder (n)". New folders inside new folders.

She then had a notebook (a physical paper one) that she kept notes in on which folder each file was in.

Then she lost the notebook.


Haha, that is like erasing the Master File Table on your disk... everything is still there but you don't know where xD

What I used to do before I took a database course* and learned about SQL joins is to:
get line by line from one table in a database, extract the information needed through PHP and use it to concatenate a new query string that I would send to the databse,
get line by line from one table in a database, ...(repeat ad nauseam)
get line by line from one table in a database, extract the information I *actually* needed through PHP.

Probably not as funny but on a different level just as too-much-unnecessary-work-causing as print-scan-copy-word-fax combinations^^

*my lectuer's name is Yaji ans since he knows so much and is so wise I always think of him as Master Yoda :P
Fellow Aberdonians, may the force be with you!

User avatar
PatrickRsGhost
Posts: 2278
Joined: Fri May 04, 2007 5:43 pm UTC
Location: ZZ9PluralZAlpha
Contact:

Re: "Workaround" discussion

Postby PatrickRsGhost » Thu Jul 08, 2010 10:29 am UTC

Didn't see the comic until just now, but last night I was going through some old e-mails I had sent to a friend's sister last October, and this comic reminded me of those e-mails.

The short: Her computer crashed, and she had to use an older computer that ran Windows 98. The crashed computer ran Windows Me. She had e-mailed me, asking how to send multiple pictures to friends and family via e-mail, without it taking forever. She was saying that if she tried to attach more than one picture to an e-mail, it would take up to 10 minutes for the e-mail to go through. I told her she could try zipping the files using WinZip, or upload them to Photobucket or Flickr, place them in an album, and send the album link to people she wanted to see. She then went on to say that the only way she could download pictures was if she had a neighbor do it on their computer.

She claimed that she wasn't able to view pictures on her computer. She asked me if there was a program called...

Wait for it...

JPEG! I told her that jpeg was not a program, but a file format. I think I told her that Windows 98 and Me should have come with a picture viewing program preloaded. Hell, she could even view it in Paint. Granted she wouldn't be able to see the entire picture at once, but at least she could view it.

At work I have had my supervisor ask me to print out a document, then scan it as a PDF to his e-mail so he could forward it to someone else. I asked him why not just attach the Word document. He still insisted on sending it as an attached PDF. It would have been one thing if it was a document that had parts filled out in pen, like an executed Option, but these were blank documents.
PRG

An important message for you:

010000100110010100100000011100110
111010101110010011001010010000001
110100011011110010000001100101011
000010111010000100000011110010110
111101110101011100100010000001100
010011000010110001101101111011011
1000101110

User avatar
BioTube
Posts: 362
Joined: Sat Apr 11, 2009 2:11 am UTC

Re: "Workaround" discussion

Postby BioTube » Thu Jul 08, 2010 12:38 pm UTC

PatrickRsGhost wrote:At work I have had my supervisor ask me to print out a document, then scan it as a PDF to his e-mail so he could forward it to someone else. I asked him why not just attach the Word document. He still insisted on sending it as an attached PDF. It would have been one thing if it was a document that had parts filled out in pen, like an executed Option, but these were blank documents.
Don't you people have a "Print to PDF" option?
Frédéric Bastiat wrote:Government is the great fiction through which everybody endeavors to live at the expense of everybody else.

Invertin
Posts: 127
Joined: Fri Mar 20, 2009 8:08 pm UTC

Re: "Workaround" discussion

Postby Invertin » Thu Jul 08, 2010 12:56 pm UTC

I haven't had the same sort of problems said here, but I have noticed that the computer-illiterate seem to think that computers are sentient.

Well, actually I had one problem. It was with RPG Maker, a simplistic but useful program for making, obviously, RPGs. I was trying to use it to make a board game. So I'd configured it so that every single square was an event, every single event contained like, 15 variables, and it would've taken another 3 to get an attack working. And this was one board. The game was intended to have a bunch of different boards with different terrain, but I would have to individually create events for every single square of every single board. And the squares themselves aren't programmed to be accessable or inaccessable, I'd have to program every single square around the inaccessable squares to make that one square inaccessable.

That's EIGHT UNIQUE EVENTS to make ONE SQUARE innaccessable

Fortunately I realized how badly made it was, and the concept itself I decided was stupid. I think I'll stick to making regular RPGs...

graatz
Posts: 87
Joined: Thu Oct 29, 2009 7:24 pm UTC

Re: "Workaround" discussion

Postby graatz » Thu Jul 08, 2010 1:09 pm UTC

PatrickRsGhost wrote:At work I have had my supervisor ask me to print out a document, then scan it as a PDF to his e-mail so he could forward it to someone else. I asked him why not just attach the Word document. He still insisted on sending it as an attached PDF. It would have been one thing if it was a document that had parts filled out in pen, like an executed Option, but these were blank documents.


Actually, I've worked in an environment where PDFs were pretty much essential. We had sales guys who would notoriously make changes to documents, and we were neurotically fearful that clients might change the terms of a proposal or contract. :shock: Thankfully, we all knew how to print/export as PDF from Word.

User avatar
rdm_box
Posts: 22
Joined: Wed Dec 09, 2009 5:09 pm UTC

Re: "Workaround" discussion

Postby rdm_box » Thu Jul 08, 2010 1:42 pm UTC

Adacore wrote:On the subject of image manipulation, there must be a better solution than using MS Word to crop and resize images, but I'm yet to find it. If I want to take a screenshot of a particular area of some software (either for testing or documentation), I'll just paste that screen into word, crop and resize as desired, then paste the result into paint and save in appropriate format. Is there a better way? I probably use Word more for image manipulation than anything else - most text I write is in markup language in appropriate TeX or html editors. :D

Print screen, ms paint, CTRL-V, select wanted area, CTRL+C, CTRL+N, N, CTRL+V, CTRL+S, Enter filename and format, save, and you're done! Very useful to know that sequence for making screenshots. also, ALT+Print screen captures just the selected window.
8)
Regards,

-rdm_box

User avatar
Ephemeron
Posts: 282
Joined: Sun Jan 31, 2010 12:39 pm UTC

Re: Please enumerate the 8 partitions c: through h:

Postby Ephemeron » Thu Jul 08, 2010 2:03 pm UTC

curiousmath wrote:Off-by-2 errors are relatively uncommon.


A guy in my maths class used to make the mistake of 7 + 4 = 13

MaxKnight
Posts: 2
Joined: Thu Jul 08, 2010 1:59 pm UTC

Re: "Workaround" discussion

Postby MaxKnight » Thu Jul 08, 2010 2:05 pm UTC

So, I found myself needing to register just to get this off my chest... Has no one noticed that the title text on the actual comic page has changed to say

"I once worked on a friend's dad's computer. He had the hard drive divided into six partitions, C: through J:, with a 'Documents' directory tree on each one. Each new file appeared to be saved to a partition at random. I knew enough not to ask."

Everyone's still talking about C: through H: being six instead of eight, but it seems Randall decided to pull a fast one and correct both at once, which has of course broken it again...

wobster109
Posts: 6
Joined: Sat Jul 05, 2008 2:52 am UTC

Re: "Workaround" discussion

Postby wobster109 » Thu Jul 08, 2010 2:44 pm UTC

I definitely noticed that. I was sure that there were 8 before, and never counted the letters from C to H, and was just confused to find 6 now, and counted them on my fingers, and came to the fora wondering what was up. I guess we had it coming.

User avatar
Glenn Magus Harvey
Posts: 77
Joined: Wed Mar 26, 2008 8:39 pm UTC

Re: "Workaround" discussion

Postby Glenn Magus Harvey » Thu Jul 08, 2010 3:24 pm UTC

Damnit, Randall, you broke my totally plausible (and very musical) explanation.

User avatar
gordysc
Posts: 17
Joined: Thu May 13, 2010 1:13 pm UTC

Re: "Workaround" discussion

Postby gordysc » Thu Jul 08, 2010 5:04 pm UTC

Based on a true story:

Parent's find a nice picture online -> parent's don't know how to save an image, so they print the picture -> take a picture of the picture -> download the picture -> sent the picture of the picture to my sister -> resized the picture -> can't attach the picture to an e-mail -> puts the picture on a thumbdrive -> mails the thumbdrive with the picture of the picture of the picture to me, asking me to just get the original picture -> cried in my sleep -> resized/cropped the picture they wanted -> mailed the thumbdrive and the picture to my parents -> parents scan in the picture -> parents then decided to send the picture of the picture of the picture to my grand parents....who can't use e-mail.

User avatar
Loyal Lurker
Posts: 5
Joined: Mon Jun 21, 2010 3:08 pm UTC

Re: "Workaround" discussion

Postby Loyal Lurker » Thu Jul 08, 2010 6:01 pm UTC

My friend's mother believes that files exist only within the program that uses it. By her logic, music files only exist inside iTunes. Explaining how to copy music from one computer to another using the file explorer took ages.

xnick
Posts: 35
Joined: Fri Oct 10, 2008 8:40 pm UTC

Re: "Workaround" discussion

Postby xnick » Thu Jul 08, 2010 6:03 pm UTC

phillipsjk wrote:The comic probably gives good advice.
xnick: A database is just a series of (structured) tables. For a small database, Excel is fine.
Edit: Why would you want to embed YouTube videos in an E-mail? just send a link and short description.


Trust me, this ain't no small database; its a detailed annual report on activities of over 50 persons for each department.

It ocurred to me that embedding the video will have more of "surprise element", because when you enter youtube you first see the title of the video, before it loads, with might become a spoiler. The embedded video would avoid the display of the title.

Curiously enough, a workaround is to embed the youtube video in your personal website, and mail the link to this and not to the originial at youtube
(its also possible to embed youtube in powerpoint).

raphael75
Posts: 1
Joined: Thu Jul 08, 2010 6:51 pm UTC

Re: "Workaround" discussion

Postby raphael75 » Thu Jul 08, 2010 6:58 pm UTC

I had been working at my job as a front end web programmer about a week. I was asked to go to the vice president over Internet - a 60-something year old lady - and find out why she couldn't open an email attachment my manager had sent her. So I went to her office and asked her what was going on. She had no idea. I said, "Did you double click on it?"

She said, "Yes, I clicked on it Friday, and then I clicked on it again today."

Sadly, I am still at this place...


Return to “Individual XKCD Comic Threads”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: mscha and 43 guests