Simple Advice .. Plugging It Up

From: Mike Robinson 
------------------------------------------------------
> We need more bourgeois and simple troubleshooting advice. Sometimes =
the
> computer is actually unplugged and the guy/gal on the other end needs =
to be
> told to plug it up.

Perhaps I'm dating myself, but "way back in the 80's" at UTC when =
terminals connected to an HP-2000 were the norm, and "computer anxiety" =
was being talked-about a lot, I encountered it first hand.  A young =
woman came in to the terminal room (yeah, I'm dating myself) and asked =
for help.  She had everything prepared:  her BASIC program neatly =
lettered in the coding-forms .. everything.

(P.S.  My first program was eight lines long, took me six months to =
write .. the PC wouldn't be invented for a decade yet .. and had a bug =
in it.  My genuine fascination with this wonder-machine continues =
happily to the present day.)

She said:  "I typed it in and nothing's happening."  I:  "Okay, let me =
see." =20

I reached to the back of the terminal and flipped it on.  She said =
firmly:  "stop." =20

I looked at her quizzically ... read her expression ... guessed ... said =
nothing ... nodded, and left.

The instructions did not say ...

... She aced the course.  And I daresay all the other courses, too.  I =
say that because I'm N-O-T making a "D.U. joke" at her expense.  Quite =
the opposite.  She taught me a lesson I never forgot.

Computer technology is, actually, profoundly difficult.  Still. =20

Unlike nearly every other human thing, it's totally unforgiving, because =
(well...) it ISN'T "a human thing" at all.  It's:  a machine.  Faster =
than ever ... unthinking as ever.  Some things never change:  they just =
get a whole lot faster.

If "we're good at it," it's because we have a knack for anticipating and =
working-within the (still) extreme strictures of the ... machine.  It's =
surely an acquired taste. =20

CUE:  Slip pocket-protector into pocket.  You KNOW you have one.  ;-) =20=


And if not ... please don't act surprised:  =
http://www.pocketprotectors.com  (Oh, c'mon, you're just kickin' =
yourself because you didn't think of it first ...)

---------
Mike Robinson
Technical Director
Sundial Services International, LLC
http://www.sundialservices.com
miker@sundialservices.com
(615) 268-3829
http://www.linkedin.com/pub/mike-robinson/51/532/5a











=============================================================== From: Ed King ------------------------------------------------------ --- On Thu, 3/14/13, Mike Robinson wrote: From: Mike Robinson Perhaps I'm dating myself, but "way back in the 80's" at UTC when terminals connected to an HP-2000 were the norm, ---- we may have crossed paths. my first programming class was writing Fortran on the HP-3000 terminals, late 80's

=============================================================== From: Dave Brockman ------------------------------------------------------ -----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE----- Hash: SHA1 And if you're in the business, it's not just the computers... hell, they are the easy side of the equation these days. Lots o cores and lots o ram, and I'll take the 250W power supplies please. Oh, now add your hypervisor. Your Guest OSes. Your Network. Your Storage. Your Storage Network. And you have to be fairly intimate with all of those, because they all play together, and if any part(s) aren't playing nicely, your users are blowing up your phone. Something like that... there is a (mostly simple) logic that we "get" that seems lost on the other segment of the population. Then there are the truly rare ones, we are blessed with several on this very list, the ones who can take scraps of documentation, completely foreign technology, and nothing but a known end result "success" code, and make it happen. I've actually been accused of much worse :) Regards, dtb -----BEGIN PGP SIGNATURE----- Version: GnuPG v2.0.17 (MingW32) Comment: Using GnuPG with Thunderbird - http://www.enigmail.net/ iQEcBAEBAgAGBQJRQpHkAAoJEMP+wtEOVbcdtrkH/jkdGkFtQIjThKB14Z2NYooB R3Yv/m/Z98HNxgcc8YBNO1za1lGAQHp5KbrwL/ZdsjOzQa6itkHhpIbqVat13NJs 5lhHBNxx0cqzg2quQv7aKIfrTFwTaMn19RttqnoAiAZcH4mu/7IX7KtIjbGkyFah PzEnq/C6W3w88kGXAejHwer1FDk8B4wX7K/HyyQw9VVP6icLMrWiDqXHsQIAdiL3 rSOVFB3l+deLhgn2ivpYCiSmO1voMO70vtzA+bPvg4E4Og1xGYR0jHTnDD52sTlo 5dpRFSZ4mvNFdgH/MEebCifKqVtBha2R6Y2dEO9UuVnLfZdKfWIMswmfP9u8GZE= =2pOd -----END PGP SIGNATURE-----

=============================================================== From: Eric Wolf ------------------------------------------------------ I argue that being "good at" computers is not "getting" logic or a knack at anticipating what the computer does... Being "good at" computers simply means you have a high tolerance for frustration. -=--=---=----=----=---=--=-=--=---=----=---=--=-=- Eric B. Wolf 720-334-7734

=============================================================== From: Chad Smith ------------------------------------------------------ +5 Insightful Also this: http://xkcd.com/627/ *- Chad W. Smith*

=============================================================== From: Benjamin Stewart ------------------------------------------------------ I agree -- perseverance is key. So is not being afraid of the computer, regardless of one's skill level. A healthy respect is good, but fear leads to stupid user tricks!