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My top 6 simple things the Average computer user doen't know how to do

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Max    50
It's not uncommon to find Vista Sp1 machines even today that have not been updated to sp2

Yes, and some of the time I find RTM versions hanging around. At which point I facepalm. Especially when the windows are all laggy and crashing because Vista RTM was poo.

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ajua    61

Good list!

One of the funniest stories I have is related to a 56K modem. Ages ago I sold and installed one to an old couple and during the first week the wife called me everyday because she was worried about the sounds the computer was making when she connected to the internet. Don't even ask what I went through to teach them how to connect in the first place!

When I was in college studying Systems Automation Engineering, I heard one guy in the classroom ask another how to format a computer to reinstall Windows. The answer was " Format C ". So much for an Engineer...

In the first days of my studies, professors asked the students why they choose that career.

At least 40% of the classroom answered that they liked to chat.

Many average users are just lazy, that's why they don't learn how to do the basic things. Everytime a friend brings me a computer to solve a problem and show them how to do something, they expect me to sit and do the freaking thing. Instead, I tell them to sit down and then I explain what to do and guide them. I'm a very patient man, I know :(

@xpablo

My mom and dad were the first people in my hometown to have computers, back in the DOS days. They started a group with some of their friends and they took classes. Only they and another couple got hooked with computers. My dad's experience ceased with Windows 3.11 and he only uses to chat with me and brothers, check e-mail and store photos from his digital camera. I have to explain to him even the most basics things because he even forgot that you can cut files instead of just copy them. He copied files to a location, then deleted the ones left behind...

My mom is a "geeky" woman. She kept interested and I usually tech them new stuff. She knows most things except the "power user" or system-related things. She can format and install/configure everything, though.

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medium_pimpin    202

Some people just shouldn't own a computer.

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Guest xiphi   

I've learned people don't know they can uninstall programs and change their home page. A while back, my Mom didn't even know what at Taskbar was!

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Angel Blue01    8

Unfortunately I have to agree with all of the OP, expect the terms "pretty picture" and "thumbstick" ;)

  • Like 1

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amon91    41

I fully agree with your list. Let me just add multitasking: they don't get that. When I put a window next to another, my mom goes "whaaa... how did you do that?".

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Omar Hussain    8

Yes to be honest not everyone is very computer-capable as you are.

Clearly you get paid to do this so it is your job. I don't understand why you're complaining. The whole point of your job is to enable others, its why you have a job.

Fair enough people don't know much about computers but you should realise all those hours you spend in front of your computer and doing computer related things (which you are fully entitled to do and love) some of those people may just have other things to do that they find important and don't relate to computers.

I know some highly skilled doctors who prefer just using pen and paper as opposed all this modern computerised systems to take patient notes. Just because they don't know anything about computers, they would probably argue that they have better things to do in life than sit on a computer and learn what a "desktop" or "thumbdrive" is.

just my 2 cents worth.

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Rohdekill    775

what cracks me up is seeing IT professionals actually typing in "http://www." as well as ".com" when all you need to do is type "google" and ctrl-enter. It's 10 times faster.

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speedstr3789    32

I just wonder how many of you geniuses can change a flat tire? Change your own oil? Know how to fix a broken toilet?

yet everyone uses them daily.

Every one has their level of experience.

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Rohdekill    775

I just wonder how many of you geniuses can change a flat tire? Change your own oil? Know how to fix a broken toilet?

yet everyone uses them daily.

Every one has their level of experience.

There is a slight difference between knowing how to "fix" something, than knowing how to "operate" something.

Most people know what the start button or address bar is on windows. It's part of operating, not fixing. Just like most people know what a steering wheel is on a car. If you were a car mechanic and someone said "What is a steering wheel?", you would make humor of it as well.

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giantsnyy    57

I hate when people can't figure out how to type in a website even though you've clearly spelled it out for them. I tell people at least 10 times a day to go to:

ithelp.openroad.com but they'll say it isn't working, or that opendns blocked it. I'll ask them what they typed in and they'll repeat it back to me... then i'll ask them to read the address bar and it's usually either www.ithelp.openroad.com or ithelp.open.road.com and once even www.it.help.open.road.com. Then getting them to navigate to the support section to open up our teamviewer app is even harder even though it's right on the top menu!

It amazes me that they can't even access their webmail unless they do it from a favorite too. It's as if mail.openroad.com is impossible to figure out.

I've even had one before that said her computer wasn't working and that she moved the mouse nothing happened. I opened up the desk where the computer was and hit the power button. This same person came to me two days ago and asked me where her icons and her clock went (the windows 7 clock widget)... I walk over to her computer she's logged in as someone else. I mean... really? Your two names aren't even remotely similar, and it's obviously on the start menu when you click it.

and as for speedstr3789: yes, i can do all of those. Can you replace a connecting rod and a piston in a motor? How about a valve and retainer? It has nothing to do with the extra stuff that we know how to do that they don't. What you really should have asked is have you ever owned and operated a car before (since thats the closest to this topic)? It's all about the fact that this is BASIC computer knowledge, and some of these people are 20-25 years old that I'm working with and can't type in a web address or even realize that their computer is off.

Oh... I had another one... This guy asked me why his saved passwords in autocomplete weren't there anymore. I told him it's because I gave him a new computer today. He asked if there's any way to get his files back... I said no (the hard drive quite literally melted). The guy almost teared up and cried because he couldn't remember any of his passwords and the file he saved them to was on his "backup" folder on the hard drive that fried. I told him to e-mail me and I'll update them when I get around to it and walked away. I can't wait till he remembers that his e-mail password was in that file.

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+warwagon    13,095

There is a slight difference between knowing how to "fix" something, than knowing how to "operate" something.

Now, that's how I was trying to put it before. ..

Oh and on my old car 91 Chevy cavalier I changed the tires, oil and filter.

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AJerman    761

Oh, typically my people know what Updates are, they just choose not to do them either because they've learned from the idiots of the computer world that they will make their computer slower, and they don't want to wait for them to install. They don't seem to grasp that the updates are there for a reason and that your computer is vulnerable without them.

As for my favorites? Oh, I dunno, there are so many. Maybe it's the people who never have a clue what their password is and every time a password box pops up they are baffled as to what to type, so they pull out the piece of paper next to the monitor and start going down the list.

Another one I like is the people who install multiple antivirus applications, thinking it will make it more secure, then they wonder why their computer is incredibly slow.

I'll try to think of some more if I can. These reasons are why I don't like dealing with the general public much. I typically try to stay with businesses. They aren't any better, but they typically don't care at all and will just call you up and let you do your thing. Home users always want to watch you and ask what you're doing. "I'm fixing your *@ing computer, isn't that what you called me for?" laugh.gif

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Harreh    9

What I wanna know is.. how did this happen? Why are there a large number of non-professionals like ourselves who know what an addressbar & what the desktop is etc vs the even larger number of morons?

my friend recently went from Vista to Vista SP2 but refrained from updating because he didn't want to break his computer. "Updates tend to slow my PC down or breaks things". Didn't even know what update Tuesday is. (I forced the update on him, to which he complained throughout on how long it took)

I basically try and avoid helping people as I don't want the reputation of fixing things for people. Also alot of the time you're helping them but you're seen as the bad guy for changing things. Or you just bring problems that have been there for ages to light so that they become a real problem there and then.

I get alot of people seeing things that I've got setup on my computer that look really useful (like outlook, foobar, firefox, nintendo emulators, etc) and they bombard me with questions on how to get it set up and even want ME to set it up for them.

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Brandon H    3,019

yeah it's sad really

especially the address bar one

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billyea    198

I have a had a few problems relating basic computer concepts to new users.

But I've had a fortunate enough stroke of luck that the problems I get called up for are genuine advanced tasks. Things like installing plugins for Firefox.

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gian    19

rename a file.. and more importantly change it's extension.. oh what a headache it is for some people..

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Jan    402

"Don't remove the Windows Vista sticker otherwise the OS will be corrupted"

"Let's install Windows 95 so you can learn French with this program?"

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metheweirdo    3

my friend recently went from Vista to Vista SP2 but refrained from updating because he didn't want to break his computer. "Updates tend to slow my PC down or breaks things". Didn't even know what update Tuesday is. (I forced the update on him, to which he complained throughout on how long it took)

I basically try and avoid helping people as I don't want the reputation of fixing things for people. Also alot of the time you're helping them but you're seen as the bad guy for changing things. Or you just bring problems that have been there for ages to light so that they become a real problem there and then.

I get alot of people seeing things that I've got setup on my computer that look really useful (like outlook, foobar, firefox, nintendo emulators, etc) and they bombard me with questions on how to get it set up and even want ME to set it up for them.

agrreed with your whole post, ive seen so many computers just in my block running vista rtm with no updates AT ALL :o

bad thing for also is that i already have that damn "hell fix it" reputation and they expect me to do it for free, now if they paid....i wouldnt mind at all :p

and my computer has alot of things set up to make it look pretty, though its a piece of crap but faster than most computers here

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SyntaxError    26

I've been working with computers since the Apple 2e and I agree with everyone here basically saying that most end users are morons. It's exactly why I quit working on other people's computers.

After nearly 30 years of dealing with morons, retards, idiots, snapperheads, whatever you want to call them, I'm sick of it.

And it's always the same people with the same minor problems, the same stupid questions every week, the same half working hardware, the same heavily toolbar'd Internet Explorer, etc.

You fix it today, they screw it up an hour later. It's a never ending cavalcade of stupidity. And the money is not worth it.

I just wonder how many of you geniuses can change a flat tire? Change your own oil? Know how to fix a broken toilet?

yet everyone uses them daily.

Every one has their level of experience.

FYI, I've rebuilt an engine, repaired many engines, swapped out a couple transmissions, installed stereo systems, replaced various parts, regularly serviced my vehicles, etc all my life. I do as much of my own work as possible, not just on my vehicles, but home maintenance, yard work, gardening, home improvement, carpentry, electrical, plumbing, you name it.

I have many talents and I'm by no means a genius or an expert on anything.

If I can do all these things and plenty more, why can't other people? Because they are ****ing stupid, that's why.

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RGSPro    1

I'd more or less say there are people who can get by without much help, there are power users like us who know how things really work, and people who just completely do not understand whats going on with their computer so they are afraid to start clicking things or trying things a new way... They are usually the ones who call for tech support.

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Osirus23    1

I just wonder how many of you geniuses can change a flat tire? Change your own oil? Know how to fix a broken toilet?

yet everyone uses them daily.

Every one has their level of experience.

I do all of those things and have never had any formal training.

Its funny how people always have to jump in to defend computer idiocy like its a virtue.

You probably defend Geek Squad's $200 fee for hooking up a PS3.

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Bhav    18

What annoys me is when people say they need to "reboot" their computer when they're referring to reinstalling Windows...I mean WTF...now whenever someone says reboot (and I don't know them very well), I have to pretend to be an idiot and try to decode what they actually mean :angry:

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msn_crazy_100    3

What annoys me is when people say they need to "reboot" their computer when they're referring to reinstalling Windows...I mean WTF...now whenever someone says reboot (and I don't know them very well), I have to pretend to be an idiot and try to decode what they actually mean :angry:

My friend asked me this once, it annoys me so much! At first I just whent along with it and told him he will need his installation disc, to format his drive etc. I also told him it is not called rebooting. An hour later he asked me to explain how to "reboot" his computer again... I told him to shut it down and then turn it back on again, then walked off. :)

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primexx    372

what cracks me up is seeing IT professionals actually typing in "http://www." as well as ".com" when all you need to do is type "google" and ctrl-enter. It's 10 times faster.

or you could just type "google" and let google find it for you (Firefox & Chrome :p)

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