Author Topic: Confessions from a Computer Technician  (Read 4905 times)

Spectere

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Confessions from a Computer Technician
« on: September 20, 2010, 03:35:02 AM »
At the residential office where I work work, the office manager was recounting a customer issue to me when I was dropping something off there last week.  One of our customers is one of these "tinkerers."  One of the people who write those shitty, uninformed, damaging reviews on Newegg.  His computer is a terribly constructed Athlon X2 system.  It's one of those classic stories where he spent a bundle of money on a case, threw in a cheap, piece of shit power supply, threw in three hard drives (each of them partitioned with at least four NTFS partitions, most of them empty), threw in a gaming video card (a 8800GTX in this case) to render Internet Explorer windows, bought two gigs of cheap RAM, bought the fastest processor that he could get at the time, and put in the cheapest AM2 motherboard on the market.  Needless to say, it runs like shit.

His power supply wound up blowing out.  Strangely enough, three hard drives and a power-guzzling processor and video card don't work well with a 350W power supply.  We diagnosed the issue and started running into boot issues.  After slapping in a decent power supply (my company buys Thermaltake PSUs, not the cheap shit), the customer decided that he wanted us to clone his OS drive to his empty 2TB data drive.  The clone went well, I grew the partitions, and all was well for about a day, then the system refused to boot.  When the store manager explained this to the customer, he got an earful about how he needs to "bridge the pins" (the guy is clearly too smart to know that the proper term is "jumper") to configure the drive.  When the manager tried to explain that those pins don't change the addressing like they do on IDE drives, the customer started acting like a condescending jackass until he finally rang off.

A little bit of knowledge in this field goes...precisely nowhere.  If you're relying on old knowledge (many models in the IBM PS/2 line -- introduced in the late 80s -- used cable select on IDE by default) about a nearly-obsolete (it's been a good run, IDE) technology, don't fucking act like you know anything about the new stuff.  If I were working independently and that idiot would have told me that, I would have told him that he was more than welcome to start jumpering pins.  Not like it would have done anything.  Guess what...the drive motor was completely fucking dead!  Jumpering random pins certainly isn't going to fix that.

Next up: my feelings on people who say "Foxfire" instead of "Firefox" and "UBS" instead of "USB," even when the said terms are printed very clearly on the fucking computer monitor.




Actually, I think I'm going to get that off my chest now.

QUIT TRYING TO ACT LIKE YOU'RE DOING THAT BECAUSE YOU DON'T KNOW MUCH ABOUT COMPUTERS.  DON'T EXCUSE YOUR INABILITY TO FUCKING PAY ATTENTION TO THE TEXT ON YOUR LACK OF COMPUTING KNOWLEDGE.  IT'S READING.  SIMPLE.  READING.  YOU LEARNED THIS SHIT IN KINDERGARTEN.  YOU'RE JUST TOO GODDAMN LAZY TO ACTUALLY PAY ATTENTION TO WHAT YOU'RE DOING, WHICH IS WHY YOU LET YOUR ANTIVIRUS LAPSE, WHY YOU CLICKED ON THAT SUSPICIOUS LOOKING POPUP (EVEN THOUGH YOUR FRIENDLY COMPUTER TECHNICIAN TOLD YOU NUMEROUS TIMES IN THE PAST THAT STUFF LIKE THAT WAS BAD, M'KAY), WHY YOU SPECIFICALLY GAVE THAT ROGUE ANTIVIRUS PACKAGE PERMISSION TO RUN, WHY YOU GAVE THOSE THIEVING BASTARDS YOUR CREDIT CARD NUMBER, AND WHY YOU CAN'T READ A SIMPLE FUCKING WORD.  WHY DON'T YOU GO BACK TO SOMETHING THAT YOU CAN HANDLE, LIKE A SPEAK-AND-SPELL.

Whew...I feel better already!
« Last Edit: September 20, 2010, 03:37:03 AM by Spectere »
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NewF

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Re: Confessions from a Computer Technician
« Reply #1 on: September 20, 2010, 03:54:40 AM »
Somebody needs a hug. <3

p.s - People are dumb. Throw a brick at them.

Kulli

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Re: Confessions from a Computer Technician
« Reply #2 on: September 20, 2010, 04:46:23 AM »

Spectere

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Re: Confessions from a Computer Technician
« Reply #3 on: September 20, 2010, 07:05:53 PM »
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Bobbias

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Re: Confessions from a Computer Technician
« Reply #4 on: September 22, 2010, 05:58:30 PM »
Nah, it's "tl;dr retards"

But yeah, I don't even work in IT (though sometimes it feels like I do, since everyone I know comes to me with their problems) and this shit pisses me the hell off. I'm at the point where I'm so close to telling anyone that if they don't want to learn things for themselves properly, I'm not even going to listen to their problem, let alone try to fix it.
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Spectere

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Re: Confessions from a Computer Technician
« Reply #5 on: February 11, 2011, 02:51:23 AM »
So a couple of weeks ago I wound up having to take a nightmare call.  It was the typical deal with a customer reading into things that a person of her skill level most certainly should not be reading into.  Allow me to give a little bit of background first.

Norton Antivirus has improved by quite a bit in recent years.  It actually has a pretty decent detection engine now and the people at Symantec are so confident in its performance now (which, might I add, was compete shit in the 2006 release) that they implemented a performance tab in roughly 2009 that specifically tells how much of the CPU that Norton's components utilized, even giving a nice graph.  Another feature that their performance view has is the ability to check other processes for high CPU utilization.  This certainly isn't a bad idea, considering how much out-of-control processes can slow down in the system, so long as the person who looks at it isn't a complete dunce.

Which leads us back to this customer.  She called in desperation over a program using too much CPU.  The first thing she told me to do was to start getting rid of programs without explaining why.  When she showed me that the performance page in Norton was flagging things like the Firefox Plugin Container (i.e. she was watching YouTube videos with Flash Player), a few games (i.e. card games that use fancy animations), and things of that nature, I explained the issue.  She didn't listen, asking me to remove those things.  Sigh.

So after dumping those executables into the exclusion list in Norton (because I'm sure as fuck not going to delete the Firefox Plugin Container), the issues were pretty mundane.  Delete a few icons here, restore a shortcuts folder that she accidentally deleted, et cetera.  I spent an hour there, got paid, and got the fuck out.

Then, a few days later, I find out from one of the other technicians that she called complaining that I didn't know what I was talking about because of the whole CPU usage thing.  Fine by me; that just means that I won't have to go to that bitch's house ever again.
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Bobbias

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Re: Confessions from a Computer Technician
« Reply #6 on: February 11, 2011, 03:08:05 AM »
Ouch. Yeah, some people just can't seem to grasp that maybe you do actually know what your doing, and they don't know what they are doing (hence why they called you).

Whenever I have to deal with any sort of IT I try to make it clear that I do actually understand what's going on, and only called IT because it was beyond what I knew how to deal with (as in, it's serious shit, and I want someone who knows what the fuck they're doing, and doesn't follow some dumbass booklet of instructions). I love my ISP because they actually employ *gasp* people who know what they're talking about. Whenever I encounter something that looks like it's a problem with my connection, somewhere between my house and the rest of the net, I do checks seeing what's going on on my end (whether it seems like a DNS issue, whether traceroute fails at a certain location, etc. etc.) and have actually had them use that info to help diagonse what was wrong. It's thanks to a time like that when my net was dropping a lot that I asked them what was going on etc. and ended up finding out that the land line to my house is crap.

I've also dealt with bell's retarded scripted, outsourced IT guys.... That was fucking terrible. It took me 45 minutes just to confirm that a problem was something we needed to call someone in for, when anyone who wasn't just going through the steps in a book could have answered my question in about 5 minutes.

Why is it that every IT who knows what they are doing gets stuck with the fucking morons, and the guys who actually know what's up get stuck with the scripted idiots who know less than the average computer user?
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Alice

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Re: Confessions from a Computer Technician
« Reply #7 on: February 11, 2011, 10:02:13 AM »
It bugs me when people call flash drives a "USB"

Congratulations, you've managed to say an extra syllable and fail to capture the concept you were trying to communicate


MortifiedocAlot

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Re: Confessions from a Computer Technician
« Reply #8 on: February 11, 2011, 07:55:43 PM »
It seems like it's that way in most fields, spectere. My drafting teacher, who is also evidently a decently big wig architect in the field, says it happens to him all the time when he hands out estimates. This is largely because people will get other estimates from people who will use supplies well below the code as far as value is concerned.

That, and EVERYONE thinks they know what they are talking about. I don't think I do this, but people seem to refuse to listen to other people even if they obviously have more knowledge about the topic at hand. My friend basically refused to believe that anyone died of smoking when my other friends grandmother did.


Spectere

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Re: Confessions from a Computer Technician
« Reply #9 on: February 12, 2011, 04:57:06 PM »
Ouch.

Hey, no ouch about it.  She was a pain in the ass; I'm glad I never have to deal with her ever again.  It's not like it's the first time I've heard that and it's not like it's going to shake my self-confidence (which, admittedly, does need a ton of work, but not that much work) at all.

It bugs me when people call flash drives a "USB"

Congratulations, you've managed to say an extra syllable and fail to capture the concept you were trying to communicate

At least they aren't calling it a "UBS."  I hear that wayyyy too much.  Same with "Foxfire."  I distinctly recall hearing somebody refer to "Opera" and "Oprah," and "Google" as "Goggle."

It's amazing how many people are incapable of reading anything that's on a computer or computer screen.

It seems like it's that way in most fields, spectere. My drafting teacher, who is also evidently a decently big wig architect in the field, says it happens to him all the time when he hands out estimates. This is largely because people will get other estimates from people who will use supplies well below the code as far as value is concerned.

Oh yeah, I know.

I feel sorry for car mechanics, too.  I imagine they probably get a bunch of people (whose last experience with car repair was fixing a 60's clunker) trying to tell them how to repair a 2011.  It's not the fucking same, people!

On a slightly related note, I also love the idiots who pull the fuse on the ABS/TCS systems in their car, saying that they prefer to have full control of the car.  Guess what?  It's physically impossible for you to do what ABS and traction control do!  Even if you could manage to pump the brake pedal at the same speed as the ABS system pulses, you still won't be able to control the braking strength per each wheel like ABS can.  It's not meant to get you to stop faster, it's meant to keep the car going in a straight line and allow you to control its heading, rather than driving into a ditch and potentially damaging the car and severely injuring you.  Brilliant move, Mr. AWSUM DRIV3R, you fail at technology comprehension.
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MortifiedocAlot

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Re: Confessions from a Computer Technician
« Reply #10 on: February 13, 2011, 03:40:17 AM »
Mechanics tend to want to rip people off tho, in your field it seems MUCH less likely/possible.


Alice

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Re: Confessions from a Computer Technician
« Reply #11 on: February 13, 2011, 01:29:51 PM »
At least they aren't calling it a "UBS."  I hear that wayyyy too much.  Same with "Foxfire."  I distinctly recall hearing somebody refer to "Opera" and "Oprah," and "Google" as "Goggle."

It's amazing how many people are incapable of reading anything that's on a computer or computer screen.
Well, I sometimes call Opera "Oprah" jokingly, not that it changes the fact that I'd much rather use it than Foxfire or Goggle Chrome.

And it's not just written, unfortunately, it's also spoken words.  I work at a place called RidgeviewTel and my mother always calls it ridgetel :(

Spectere

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Re: Confessions from a Computer Technician
« Reply #12 on: February 13, 2011, 04:14:19 PM »
Mechanics tend to want to rip people off tho, in your field it seems MUCH less likely/possible.

Not really.

Even outside of blatant theft, this industry is pretty bad.  One of the biggest problems are the "repair shops" that people run out of their homes where they'll happily charge $50 for a virus and spyware cleanup.  That fucks up the market and, when they inevitably leave in the TDSS rootkit that's causing the issue in the system in the first place, hurts all of the real technicians in the area.

Well, I sometimes call Opera "Oprah" jokingly, not that it changes the fact that I'd much rather use it than Foxfire or Goggle Chrome.

Eh, I jokingly call it that, too.  The problem is the people who seriously think that it's called Oprah.

Despite my aggravation that my old and crusty Mac can't run any version past 10.63 and their web site kept trying to force me to download 11, it made up for it by being the only browser that I can stand to use on that slow machine and OS.

And it's not just written, unfortunately, it's also spoken words.  I work at a place called RidgeviewTel and my mother always calls it ridgetel :(

Well, at least it's just a missing syllable.  If it were on a computer screen she'd have probably have read it as "TelRidge" or "Viewridge." ;)
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