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ComputerWorld's Help Form Elicits Some Laughs

Zonk posted more than 8 years ago | from the read-before-you-send dept.

85

PetManimal writes "Like many websites, Computerworld has a 'help' Web form for users to submit website-related questions. The page asks people not to ask about general Web problems, or other issues not related to Computerworld, but that hasn't stopped a regular stream of funny submissions, ranging from a question about using a computer to watch soap operas, to questions about troubleshooting printer problems."

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Not funny. (4, Funny)

CosmeticLobotamy (155360) | more than 8 years ago | (#15803742)

Did those make anyone else really sad? I was feeling pretty good a minute ago, but now I think I'm going to go lay down for a while.

Re:Not funny. (1)

ResidntGeek (772730) | more than 8 years ago | (#15803760)

Yep. Did that to me too. Maybe playing some guitar will cheer me up. If not, I might go beat stupid people with bats.

Re:Not funny. (1)

Lam1969 (911085) | more than 8 years ago | (#15803782)

The baseball player is quite sad. But some of the others really should have known better.

Re:Not funny. (5, Funny)

JanneM (7445) | more than 8 years ago | (#15803804)

The baseball player is quite sad.

Why sad? Sounds like he's mentally a perfect fit for pro sports already.

Re:Not funny. (1)

lexarius (560925) | more than 8 years ago | (#15803894)

Perhaps, though I'd like to know how he got to a computer magazine's website to ask that question. The computer science student, on the other hand, was really sad. I've met a guy who was kinda like that ("What's HTML? And what's wrong with red text on a pink background for our software? You say the instructions shouldn't be in all caps?")

Re:Not funny. (1)

Lobster Quadrille (965591) | more than 8 years ago | (#15804173)

okay... It'd be funnier if I didn't deal with worse every day. Today I had a guy who couldn't use our web application. He hired a IT person to help him out, and was the middle man on the phone yelling things to the IT girl... I ask what browser he's using, he says he doesn't know.... Okay, I can understand there's people who aren't computer illiterate- at least he's smart enough to hire somebody... but I hear him ask her what browser he's using, she responds that she doesn't know what I'm asking....

he said his IT person was ready to quit because she was frustrated with our company... I told him to let her go.

Re:Not funny. (1)

British (51765) | more than 8 years ago | (#15804497)

That seems about right. It seems in computer science they teach you nothing for street smarts.

Re:Not funny. (1)

Jonner (189691) | more than 8 years ago | (#15806472)

Everything I know about HTML I learned on the wrong side of the tracks.

Re:Not funny. (1)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 8 years ago | (#15810895)

Everything I know about HTML I learned on the wrong side of the tracks.

<table> and <font>, then?

Re:Not funny. (1)

donaldrobertson (990935) | more than 8 years ago | (#15803809)

I also didn't think they were all that funny. My thoughts were more along the lines of "well that's typical" as opposed to sad.

Re:Not funny. (1)

Ohreally_factor (593551) | more than 8 years ago | (#15803815)

It didn't make me feel sad, but neither was it that funny. Just the typical off-the-wall questions we've all come to expect. No real gems in the bunch.

Re:Not funny. (2, Insightful)

evilviper (135110) | more than 8 years ago | (#15803893)

Not funny, not sad, just a waste of time.

The problem with the internet is that you have no way to tell if a message came for a 7 year-old kid, someone who is mentally handicapped, some foreigner who can hardly understand the language, etc. I certainly don't believe those messages are representative of the public at large.

Re:Not funny. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15803979)

I run an IT department. Yes, these are typical.

Re:Not funny. (3, Insightful)

Atzanteol (99067) | more than 8 years ago | (#15805513)

I certainly don't believe those messages are representative of the public at large.

You need to meet more people. :-)

Re:Not funny. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15803983)

Yeah, it depresses me that people like this actually exist. I couldn't imagine having a happy life if I fall for every scam or get easily manipulated by people.

Really, I can't wait for the day when we can modify our own intelligence and end this eternal suffering of humanity.

Re:Not funny. (2, Funny)

Helpadingoatemybaby (629248) | more than 8 years ago | (#15806123)

My favorite gag website for the new user is BlankSheetofPaper.com [blanksheetofpaper.com] -- it's a utility for printing blank sheets of paper from the printer in case you need a blank sheet (apparently the "input tray" is too confusing) -- as it states in the testimonials:

"I had a big meeting, but had no blank paper to write on! It was an emergency! After a quick Google, I found your site and sure enough after reading the FAQ's and online manual, boom, there was a blank sheet of paper for me to use from the printer! Thanks blanksheetof paper.com!" -- Earl, from Dallas

It also states "Extend the Life of your Print Cartridge! Print Blank Sheets!"

New users' heads always explode when they see this one.

Re:Not funny. (1)

devilspgd (652955) | more than 7 years ago | (#15829189)

The version history isn't bad either...

# v. 0.9 -- Did not print blank sheet
# v. 1.0 -- Printed slightly non-blank sheet.
# v. 1.1 -- Printed all black sheet -- getting closer!
# v. 1.2 -- Fire!
# v. 1.3 -- Printed text to "O Solo Mio", don't understand why.
# v. 1.4 -- New version 50% more blank.
# v. 1.5 -- Improved speed, 62% faster.
# v. 1.6 -- "unitray" support -- eliminated need to retrieve paper from output tray,

Should replied to the lotto winner (2, Insightful)

Tweekster (949766) | more than 8 years ago | (#15803773)

"Yes, it is legit, send 500 dollars imediately"

Help the concept of seperating a fool from his money

Re:Should replied to the lotto winner (1)

JunkmanUK (909293) | more than 8 years ago | (#15804984)

probably better:

"In order to safeguard your identity please send the payment to me and I will then send it on to the destination"

oh, and these are pretty standard - sorry, I did hear a funny one from my brother who was warned that one of the execs in his company were going after him because 'Microsoft Word asked him if he wanted to save a document and he said no but then changed his mind and it should have saved a copy anyway just in case'. You have to wonder how some people reach those kinds of career heights....

reminds me of.... (5, Funny)

William Robinson (875390) | more than 8 years ago | (#15803778)

Definition of programming.

Programming is race between Programmers, to produce idiot proof apps, and God, to create better idiots.

So far God is winning.

Re:reminds me of.... (0, Redundant)

tubapro12 (896596) | more than 8 years ago | (#15803807)

great one. something tells me there went my post getting modded funny. lol

Re:reminds me of.... (4, Insightful)

Red Alastor (742410) | more than 8 years ago | (#15803871)

Definition of programming. Programming is race between Programmers, to produce idiot proof apps, and God, to create better idiots. So far God is winning.

Of course, since idiots get into programming too.

Check the Daily WTF if you want exemples : http://thedailywtf.com/ [thedailywtf.com]

Re:reminds me of.... (3, Insightful)

TheDreadSlashdotterD (966361) | more than 8 years ago | (#15803912)

In case you haven't noticed, people make better idiots all on their own. It doesn't take any help from God to make people breed.

Re:reminds me of.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15811222)

I had a client tell me once there is no such thing as idiot proof, only idiot resistant...

Its more like it makes me feel like... (2, Funny)

tubapro12 (896596) | more than 8 years ago | (#15803779)

...wasting good time just to go pk stupid people.

Re:Its more like it makes me feel like... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15803827)

...wasting good time just to go pk stupid people.

I used to want to PPK people that asked questions like those.

The new pills they give me help a lot now.

Gotta go, Harvey's bringing me some lime jello.

Re:Its more like it makes me feel like... (1)

donaggie03 (769758) | more than 8 years ago | (#15803947)

Slashdot: the one online community where a majority of users catch the bunny references.

Re:Its more like it makes me feel like... (1)

Turn-X Alphonse (789240) | more than 8 years ago | (#15803890)

What makes you think you're any better than these people? How about you go and perform brain surgery or rebuild a plane if you're so smart. Not everyone can know everything and while some of these maybe really stupid to us, to others they seem legit.

Not to mention who's never sent an IM to the wrong person when getting confused with so many tabs or windows, some of these seem to just be that except with web forms.

Untill you're perfect stop pointing fingers and being a dick. If you ever become perfect you may also want to check your ego out because I can promise you that no one will know everything and be completely perfect in at least the next few million years.

Re:Its more like it makes me feel like... (4, Funny)

Harmonious Botch (921977) | more than 8 years ago | (#15803941)

Ok, ok! We're sorry. We wouldn't have said all those mean things if we had known. We had no idea that you wrote one of the questions.

Re:Its more like it makes me feel like... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15804791)

Impossible, Turn-X can spell.

Re:Its more like it makes me feel like... (1)

JahToasted (517101) | more than 8 years ago | (#15808692)

He has a point. I see a huge amount of posts on here that get modded +5 Insightful that are about as stupid with respect to real life as some of these people are with technology. Take even an intro course in economics and then read slashdot (at +5 even) and you'll have a good laugh about how stupid some people here are. Anyone with any experience in debating will be amused by how poor the discourse it here. And let's not even mention political discussion here.

Hell, even in the technology field, many posts here are pretty silly, with fanboys on all sides completely unwilling to admit their favourite technology's weaknesses.

Re:Its more like it makes me feel like... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15803944)

Pot, meet kettle.

What makes you think you're so smart, buddy?

Re:Its more like it makes me feel like... (1)

tubapro12 (896596) | more than 8 years ago | (#15803971)

You mean I haven't been born yet? :P

the spyware on my brain caught the following thought...
my karma can take a hit anyhow

Re:Its more like it makes me feel like... (4, Funny)

jlarocco (851450) | more than 8 years ago | (#15804672)

What makes you think you're any better than these people? How about you go and perform brain surgery or rebuild a plane if you're so smart. Not everyone can know everything and while some of these maybe really stupid to us, to others they seem legit.

Well for one, I'm not a fucking moron. From an email in the article:

please check this websit out for me this guy email that I have won 263,some owe dollars allI need to do is pick a courier and pay $500.00 for the winnings thanks for your help marva please write me right back before I pay this guy one penny this may be for real so I really need to know ASAP

That's barely even English. I'm surprised that dumbass can even breath. My 6 year old neice writes better than that. That guy shouldn't be allowed to operate a fork, much less a computer.

And you know what the difference between brain surgery and using a computer is? Billions of fucking idiots think they're fully qualified to use a computer. They should consider themselves lucky they're only being mocked, cause it should be illegal to be that stupid.

Re:Its more like it makes me feel like... (1)

rts008 (812749) | more than 8 years ago | (#15804718)

"And you know what the difference between brain surgery and using a computer is? Billions of fucking idiots think they're fully qualified to use a computer. They should consider themselves lucky they're only being mocked, cause it should be illegal to be that stupid."

Truely, but not likely to passed into law (especially by Ted Stevens!), as all of the congresscritter's internets are getting clogged up in the tubes- arriving days late.

Re:Its more like it makes me feel like... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15809848)

That's barely even English. I'm surprised that dumbass can even breath.

Oh, the irony.

Re:Its more like it makes me feel like... (1)

mstahl (701501) | more than 8 years ago | (#15807045)

I really think you're taking this way too personally. I used to work in IT at my university, first supporting students who actually brought their computers in, then supporting computers, faculty, and staff with their networking problems over the phone. EVERYBODY has problems and calls us. The very few 1337 folk who didn't were either people who actually knew what they were doing (read: extremely small minority composed almost entirely of my computer science bretheren) or wannabes that we would have to shut down for pulling something shady like using eight network cards to circumvent our bandwidth caps. All that aside, this article isn't about looking at these questions and thinking "Oh wow. Look at how stupid those people are!" It's more about looking at those e-mails and thinking, "Wow. Support staff have to sift through a huge amount of crap every day."

It's true that when I received an issue at work that said, only (and I swear this is exactly how it was written), "I have lost all of my mailes can you tell me what happends?", even though I genuinely did want to try to figure out what had happends to this guy's mailes (they were gone forever, by the way, because he deleted them), there was a part of me that was really amused. I don't feel like I have a superiourity complex, and I don't think that many people on slashdot do even though it really does look that way sometimes. I just feel like thinking that e-mail was hilarious and remembering it like I have was a pretty nice way of dealing with the day-to-day stresses of managing e-mail and networking problems for a whole campus of folks.

Re:Its more like it makes me feel like... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15807858)

hi I have this guy's head open but i can't find the hippocampus, I'm trying to fix my brother's memory because he keeps losing his keys, someone help please? -- Posted to Brain Surgery Forum

i'm in a spin but when I pull back on the stick it just gets worse please advise fast, we're all going to die -- Posted to Airplane Pilot Forum

As soon as you see me posting something like the above, then you can feel free to say we shouldn't point fingers.

These kinds of posts will look stupid to anybody. I mean, posting a request for a baseball scout to a computer magazine's help form? You don't have to be a computer genius to know that's idiotic, just like you don't have to be a brain surgeon to know that home operations on your brother are a very bad idea.

You don't know my brother. (1)

Maow (620678) | more than 8 years ago | (#15820423)

You don't have to be a computer genius to know that's idiotic, just like you don't have to be a brain surgeon to know that home operations on your brother are a very bad idea.

You don't know my brother.

Funny? (0)

alshithead (981606) | more than 8 years ago | (#15803818)

I had a funnier post but it never transmitted after I held it up to my monitor and pushed on my foot pedal thingie.

Re:Funny? (1)

SCPaPaJoe (767952) | more than 8 years ago | (#15805148)

Maybe your tube is blocked.

so what? (1)

jigjigga (903943) | more than 8 years ago | (#15803826)

My dog has done funnier things while he was asleep. Moving on...

Missing operating system... (1)

ninjaz (1202) | more than 8 years ago | (#15803833)

This is actually a legit error.

See http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb; en-us;321626 [microsoft.com]

I remember it from installing Linux on a DOS system some years back and markting the Linux partition active without having installed LILO on the boot block.

Re:Missing operating system... (1)

lexarius (560925) | more than 8 years ago | (#15803869)

It may be a legit error, but the site in question does not do technical support. The help form is specifically for problems with the company's website.

Re:Missing operating system... (1)

ninjaz (1202) | more than 8 years ago | (#15804103)

Thanks for the tip!

Re:Missing operating system... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15804784)

posted by ninjaz (1202) <====<

>>> This is actually a legit error.
>>> See http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb [microsoft.com] ; en-us;321626
>>> I remember it from installing Linux on a DOS system some years back and markting the Linux partition active without having installed LILO on the boot block.

>> It may be a legit error, but the site in question does not do technical support. The help form is specifically for problems with the company's website.

>Thanks for the tip!

Seriously, how much did you pay on eBay for that four-digit UID? Be honest...

Re:Missing operating system... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15805244)

What's worse is some of the entries on our Public Abuse Report form. It's high up on google when you search for Abuse Report or Report Abuse [google.com] .

Most submissions are not related to the website in question. Some make you wish you could help. Almost all unrelated submissions are more "surprising" than those in the article.

My experience (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15803836)

I have my email address on my web site as well as a FAQ for a certain model of cell phone. I get all sorts of drivel as email.

Just yesterday I got someone asking about functionality for a different model. The message stream looked something like this:

Him: How do I foo with model 5000?
Me: I don't know. I only have a 200.
Him: So how do I do it with the 5000?
Me: Quote first email. Point out again that I don't know as I only have a 200.
Him: I have a 5000.

At that point I gave up.

Re:My experience (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15804326)

You: My 200 is the latest and greatest. You cannot possibly have a 5000. You must have STOLEN it from their research labs. I'm reporting you to the AOL police, because STEALING IS WRONG!

Re:My experience (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15805315)

Hey dada21, thanks for the t809 FAQ. It's been more than helpful. Unfortunately, crap like you mention above is what you get when you try to help the clueless...

Re:My experience (1)

Kuvter (882697) | more than 8 years ago | (#15806808)

This reminds me of a SLC Punk quote:
Mark: Now you see the problem with water beds is that they have these waves like this, Right? But you see this water bed is special, you see? It has no waves.
Stevo: Why didn't you just get a normal bed... that has no waves?
Mark: But this HAS no waves.

This is supposed to be funny? (2, Funny)

MMaestro (585010) | more than 8 years ago | (#15803838)

my question is to help me out getting to the cbs soap operas as the guiding light as the world turns ok since its computer thing looks like that i could go at start of these two soap operas and watch them when they first started on cbs tv i mean watch them over from the very start.

Wtf? On /. a post like this wouldn't even be worth a -1 Offtopic mod point.

Anyone who has ever worked in customer support/public relations has heard far, far more humorous (and serious) help requests. (Remember the story about a grandma who baked her Mac laptop a while back?) Some of these jokes are extremely old as well.

some prob in my PC, send yuor man to check it out, i unable to use internet.

How original. The late-90's just called, they want their joke back.

Re:This is supposed to be funny? (1)

megaditto (982598) | more than 8 years ago | (#15803884)

It is funny. The one thing normal newbies are good at is finding pirated movies, music, and viruses.

I rather enjoyed the lottery question though. Thinking of starting such 'send in $500 to claim your $283 prize' lottery business myself.

Re:This is supposed to be funny? (1)

njh (24312) | more than 8 years ago | (#15804774)

Yeah, I had a laugh about that. And if you actually offered people $283 when they sent you $500 you might not even be committing fraud, legally.

Re:This is supposed to be funny? (1)

NosTROLLdamus (979044) | more than 8 years ago | (#15803909)

my question is to help me out getting to the cbs soap operas as the guiding light as the world turns ok since its computer thing looks like that i could go at start of these two soap operas and watch them when they first started on cbs tv i mean watch them over from the very start.

Wtf? On /. a post like this wouldn't even be worth a -1 Offtopic mod point.

It'd get -1 Redundant as it was actually an "Ask Slashdot" from earlier in the week.

Even funnier computer stories (2, Funny)

QuantumFTL (197300) | more than 8 years ago | (#15803856)

I have thoroughly enjoyed the aptly titled Computer Stupidities [rinkworks.com] . To be fair, may people really have no reason to know better, but there's a few entries in there that show that all too many people are willing to throw logic out the window, or are gullible beyond belief.

True story.... (3, Funny)

transporter_ii (986545) | more than 8 years ago | (#15804172)

One time I went into a computer store with my brother. I was checking out a computer, and the screen was laid out in a manner that made it look like a touch screen monitor. Stupid me, I was sitting their tapping the screen trying to make it load an app. After a brief moment, I'm thinking that this touch screen is broken, and then it hit me that it wasn't a touch screen at all. At this point, I'm looking around, praying that nobody saw me sitting there poking the screen like a freaking idiot.

Another true story. A person I work with is a degreed mechanical engineer, and in school he had to help design a rocket. We were trying to do something and he was wondering aloud why he couldn't get a screw to start with a cordless drill. I was looking at the situation from the opposite side at the moment, but I could see that the drill was in reverse, and I was thinking to myself, "well, I might not be a rocket scientist, but I know why that freaking screw isn't starting."

Transporter_ii

Re:True story.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15804215)

I also once thought a particular computer had a touchscreen. Of course in my defence, the setup had no mouse, it had an onscreen display with buttons set up to look like a touch screen, and I wasn't aware that the only way to access the commands was to type the first letter (not highlighted or underlined) for each "button" :)

Instructions. (2, Informative)

TapeCutter (624760) | more than 8 years ago | (#15803862)

They picked the worst they could find, everyday instructions are often ambiguous. Many moons ago I drove Taxi's, there can be a 180deg difference between...

"Turn right[,] here."

and

"Turn[,] right here."

This is Nothing... (2, Interesting)

shaneFalco (821467) | more than 8 years ago | (#15803866)

Compared to some of the stuff people in tech support see this is absolutely nothing. Check out http://techcomedy.com/ [techcomedy.com] to get a taste of just how stupid some people can be. Knowing computers is a bit of a curse, everyone that knows you assumes you are their own personal computer bitch.

Been there ... (1)

kbahey (102895) | more than 8 years ago | (#15803920)

I have had a stream of mistaken identity emails [baheyeldin.com] on my web site. They range from mistaking my site for the Library of Alexandria, to Sears Kenmore Water softeners and heaters, to an English school admissions department, to a hotel in Cairo, and more ...

Re:Been there ... (4, Interesting)

rs79 (71822) | more than 8 years ago | (#15804440)

"mistaken identity emails"

I wish I'd known earlier. About 10 years ago I used to work with a guy called Kemp Watson and he asked me to grab watson.com for him. I did and handled mail for him.

I'd get bounces for such-and-such@watson.com from IBM and it was obvious that wonks at ibm were sending to @watson.com not @watson.ibm.com (the IBM Thomas Watson research center).

I kept writing to IBM to ask them to wake the fuck up, no no avail.

Finally when I got one that was about nuclear secrets, for your eyes only etc, I got a call back, explaied the problem and never saw another one, ever.

Re:Been there ... (1)

kbahey (102895) | more than 8 years ago | (#15805215)

In your case, it could be a simple misconfiguraton.

They may have been typing jdoe@watson, and the assumption is that the TLD will be appended, so they end up with jdoe@watson.ibm.com.

If their email/DNS is misconfigured, and appends just .com you will end up with what you describe.

Re:Been there ... (1)

87C751 (205250) | more than 8 years ago | (#15805996)

I'd get bounces for such-and-such@watson.com from IBM and it was obvious that wonks at ibm were sending to @watson.com not @watson.ibm.com (the IBM Thomas Watson research center).
I had a similar situation (with the culprit's identity masked, to protect the "innocent"). I registered <name>.com in '96. A couple of years later, a company named <name> started up and, being unable to get <name>.com, settled for <name>-inc.com.

As you may have guessed, I began receiving misdirected mail in my catch-all box. To each, I would politely reply "Perhaps you meant to type <name>-inc.com?" The irony was that the company in question was a computer security consultancy, and I was getting meeting notes, RFP drafts and the like.

Eventually, the company contacted me and bought the domain. That was my little slice of the dot-com boom.

Re:Been there ... (1)

JahToasted (517101) | more than 8 years ago | (#15808643)

pretty scary that they're sending that stuff in plaintext. Shouldn't some training in encrypting email be required before you can get any secuarity clearance?

Eins zwei drei vier funf sechs sieben acht (-1, Offtopic)

Reverend528 (585549) | more than 8 years ago | (#15804011)

One two!

Not News (1)

humble.fool (961528) | more than 8 years ago | (#15804037)

When I subscribed to the general helpline over on Wikipedia, we got buckets and buckets of these sort of things.

This story is not news to ANYONE who's ever been a part of any sort of organization that maintained a public email address. I don't get it.

Now I can retire for the evening... (1)

TheModelEskimo (968202) | more than 8 years ago | (#15804099)

hell
some prob in my PC, send yuor man to check it out, i unable to use internet.
thanks


Somehow that phrase, "send your man to check it out" really made me laugh. The computer science student, on the other hand...wow, how sad.

hmmm (1)

esoterus (66707) | more than 8 years ago | (#15804214)

I wonder how many of these are real. Maybe it's that internet-made cynic in me but most of these just appear to be the email equivalent of "drunk dialing". Ah well, guess they're not calling them at home, 4 AM.

OMfg!!1
wwere were you computr guy out?im sod runk. bet night ever wooo!

AOL front line on the late nite wierdo shift (5, Funny)

buddahfool (123287) | more than 8 years ago | (#15804293)

me: Thanks for calling AOL, how may I help you?
guy: I want to start an online business.
me: Try keyword Busines, just type...
guy: Actually first I wanted to check out other businesses first.
me: O-Kay...
guy: The most successful online business are porn aren't they...
me: ...um, yeah.
guy: Soo.. I was wondering if you could help me find some...

Is /, trying to be Digg? (1)

DigitAl56K (805623) | more than 8 years ago | (#15804334)

+Digg!

ROFLMAO LOLOL! ... not.

Re:Is /, trying to be Digg? (1)

DigitAl56K (805623) | more than 8 years ago | (#15804342)

"/." too.. Oh well. With "Digg" in the subject line somehow the typo seems fitting ;)

Shows the sorry state of search engines (1)

bxbaser (252102) | more than 8 years ago | (#15804370)

most internet users have trouble making heads or tail of search engine results.
Its all about lets get our site in the top ten for the largest number of keywords possible.

probably computerworlds site came up when someone searched for baseball scout,soap operas etc...

Also check the access.log (2, Funny)

dargaud (518470) | more than 8 years ago | (#15804690)

As well as some, but not too many, stupid questions I get through my website (most people are just impolite), I sometimes grep the access.log file for "$how|$why|$when|$where" and get surprisingly funny results. I haven't done this in a while, but some of the best older results are here [gdargaud.net] .

It's also somewhat disturbing (4, Insightful)

pandrijeczko (588093) | more than 8 years ago | (#15804738)

I remember a time when we all used to write things down on paper with pens or pencils and were taught all about capitalisation, punctuation and English grammar in school.

Nowadays, most people can type faster than they can write and have access to all manner of spelling and grammar checkers but just look at the messages on that site (and many others) and it's quite shocking to witness the poor quality of what they've written, excluding the minority where English perhaps isn't their first language.

Maybe some of this change for the worse is down to poorer quality teaching nowadays but I feel it's probably more attributable to simple downright laziness on the part of the writers who just cannot be bothered to take a little more time to communicate effectively.

Re:It's also somewhat disturbing (1)

Idarubicin (579475) | more than 8 years ago | (#15805262)

Nowadays, most people can type faster than they can write and have access to all manner of spelling and grammar checkers but just look at the messages on that site (and many others) and it's quite shocking to witness the poor quality of what they've written, excluding the minority where English perhaps isn't their first language.
...says the master of the run-on sentence....

Re:It's also somewhat disturbing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15805307)

I don't think you really know what a run-on sentence is.

Re:It's also somewhat disturbing (1)

tomjen (839882) | more than 8 years ago | (#15805495)

I blame time. If I have to write a letter and know it will not be mail for the next two days anyway, I may choose to sleep on the contens maybe rewrite it in the morning. If it is an email I run a spell checker on it (or forget to) but that is pretty much it. If on the other and i am chatting with somebody I will have no time to think so I will type really short messages full of errors.

That ofcause assume that you are writting in you native tongue and not some foreign language (as I am doing now).

I just wish that ./ would install a spell checker.

Re:It's also somewhat disturbing (1)

icepick72 (834363) | more than 8 years ago | (#15806540)

Aha, did you see YOUR spelling mistake? ... Well I didn't either! Dammit it's perfect! I so wanted this one ... wish me happier trolling the next time ... until we meet again ....

Re:It's also somewhat disturbing (1)

chris_eineke (634570) | more than 8 years ago | (#15806772)

(Run-on sentences anyone?)

Please remember that only those who can't do will send those emails. What about people who are perfectly fine using their computer systems? You and I don't hear about them.

That's called skewed statistics.

I get these too (1)

kirun (658684) | more than 8 years ago | (#15804841)

I have on my website a tool called "CSS Preview". Nowhere on my site do I mention MySpace. I have a feedback form for this tool, to let passers-by tell me what they think. Every so often, despite the form having a big "CSS Preview User Survey" label over it, I'll get sent a dump of some MySpace CSS file that my site is supposed to magically interpret.

I also once made a fake homepage for Tony Blair, deliberately designed to look as fake as possible, while matching several criteria for being genuine from a particular "spot real pages" quiz (as a joke for a few friends). I get the occasional e-mail from people who think I'm the PM. I wish I could delete the thing, but I no longer have FTP access to the site it's stored on.

People find ANYTHING challenging, not just PCs (4, Funny)

Jafafa Hots (580169) | more than 8 years ago | (#15804980)

I used to be Senior Consumer Affairs Rep for Fisher-Price. I wish I could remember all of the funny calls I got but after a while they all just blend together. There are a couple I remember, though.

FP sold a kid's outdoor tent for a while and a woman called to report that there were bees in her tent. First rule: Take everything seriously until you know for sure what's going on. It's not inconcievable that she bought a product and opened it to find bees. Strange things happen in warehouses.
So I ask "do you have any idea how they got in there?"She replied "It's in the back yard and the kid must have left it open. How do I get them out?!"
"Well, I would carefully unzip the door and open it, and maybe go to the other side of the tent and try to shake it and shoo them out, or just leave it until they leave by themselves."

"OK, I'll try that! Thanks!" she said breathlessly and sincerely.

Then there was the time a woman called to complain about a toy crescent wrench and bolt. That's all it was, a wrench and a bolt, sold as an accessory for a toy workbench. Her complaint? The wrench and bolt didn't come with instructions. I spent about 15 minutes trying to explain to her how to use a wrench on a bolt, how it fits on it. She couldn't comprehend it. She insisted that we were negligent for not including instructions.

Real life example (1)

Colourspace (563895) | more than 8 years ago | (#15805172)

I worked in a computer store in the early nineties. One day this very sad planespotter type (pan-am bag and all) walks in when the store was empty except me and my colleague behind the counter. He shuffles up and says 'Hi - I'd like a box of five and a quarter inch floppy dicks please'... We laughed him out of the place..

clientcopia (1)

flok (24996) | more than 8 years ago | (#15805221)

This site [clientcopia.com] also has quiet a few hilarious stories about clients who simply don't get it.

Can you print the website for me? (1)

Hero Zzyzzx (525153) | more than 8 years ago | (#15805330)

I was the lead developer on a intranet for a state-wide coalition of legal agencies. One time a staffer called and asked "can you print the website and send it to me every once in a while?" At this point, the site was around 6,000 documents and probably 40,000 to 50,000 scanned pages in PDF - if you ever signed into the site, the enormousness was pretty obvious. We nicely explained to her that there was NO way we could do that. She hung up pretty quickly, obviously embarrassed. It was kind of sad, actually.
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