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Overheard today

February 11, 2008

Two acquaintances were overheard today bemoaning technology and how it doesn’t do “What It Should”.

Bemoaner1 was telling Bemoaner2 that she could no longer open documents sent to her by a third party. There was some muttering, but little clarity, about .docx files being the problem.

Technical note: Anyone who has moved to Office2007 now creates .docx files by default when they save a Word document. Those files can not be opened by anyone using a earlier version of Office/Word. There’s a very simple solution, save the documents as a regular .doc file rather than the .docx file, but not everyone knows that.

Anyhooo, Bemoaner2 sympathised but went on to explain that they understood what had caused the problem. “It’s because she now has Windows7, and we don’t!”

Windows7 anyone?!?

The old joke about a WordPerfect customer support call comes to mind. For those who don’t remember pre-Windows days WordPerfect was (still is?) what Word is today and being pre-Windows users had to use Dos from time to time.

_____________________________________________________________

Alleged dialogue of a former WordPerfect Customer Support employee with a caller:

Customer Support: “Ridge Hall computer assistant; may I help you?”

Caller: “Yes, well, I’m having trouble with WordPerfect.”

CS: “What sort of trouble?”

C: “Well, I was just typing along, and all of a sudden the words went away.”

CS: “Went away?”

C: “They disappeared.”

CS: “Hmm. So what does your screen look like now?”

C: “Nothing.”

CS: “Nothing?”

C: “It’s blank; it won’t accept anything when I type.”

CS: “Are you still in WordPerfect, or did you get out?”

C: “How do I tell?”

CS: “Can you see the C: prompt on the screen?”

C: “What’s a sea-prompt?”

CS: “Never mind. Can you move the cursor around on the screen?”

C: “There isn’t any cursor, I told you, it won’t accept anything I type.”

CS: “Does your monitor have a power indicator?”

C: “What’s a monitor?”

CS: “It’s the thing with the screen on it that looks like a TV. Does it have a little light that tells you when it’s on?”

C: “I don’t know.”

CS: “Well, then look on the back of the monitor and find where the power cord goes into it. Can you see that?”

C: “Yes, I think so.”

CS: “Great. Follow the cord to the plug, and tell me if it’s plugged into the wall.”

C: “…….Yes, it is.”

CS: “When you were behind the monitor, did you notice that there were two cables plugged into the back of it, not just one?”

C: “No.”

CS: “Well, there are. I need you to look back there again and find the other cable.”

C: “…….Okay, here it is.”

CS: “Follow it for me, and tell me if it’s plugged securely into the back of your computer.”

“I can’t reach.”

CS: “Uh huh. Well, can you see if it is?”

C: “No.”

CS: “Even if you maybe put your knee on something and lean way over?”

C: “Oh, it’s not because I don’t have the right angle – it’s because it’s dark.”

CS: “Dark?”

C: “Yes – the office light is off, and the only light I have is coming in from the window.”

CS: “Well, turn on the office light then.”

C: “I can’t.”

CS: “No? Why not?”

C: “Because there’s a power outage.”

CS: “A power… A power outage? Ah, Okay, we’ve got it licked now. Do you still have the boxes and manuals and packing stuff your computer came in?”

C: “Well, yes, I keep them in the closet.”

CS: “Good. Go get them, and unplug your system and pack it up just like it was when you got it. Then take it back to the store you bought it from.”

C: “Really? Is it that bad?”

CS: “Yes, I’m afraid it is.”

C: “Well, all right then, I suppose. What do I tell them?”

CS: “Tell them you’re too stupid to own a computer.”

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