Hello hello, boys and girls of every age and of every nation. Welcome back to Gileum's Intertubes Experience!
I will be your host, Gileum, as we delve into the world of a Retail store IT guy.
My new job is great. It pays much better than my last job, the people I work with are great. Everyone is super friendly and helpful. There's no stress. I love it. And I get to work on computers, something I have been doing since I was like....5.
However, being an IT guy comes with it's fair share of dumb people. faildesk.net is a lovely example of all the stupid people IT guys (and gals) deal with. I bring to you tonight (or whenever) some of these stories I have had first hand.
My friends tell me as I recant these tales to start a blog! My only rebuttal is that by the end of a single night, I have SO many dumb stories that I literally cannot remember them all. But I will do my best now to bring them to you!
To start, below is a list of frequently asked questions. As well as some frequently uttered statements....If you or a loved one has heard (or asked) one of these before, I am deeply sorry and offer my sincerest condolences...
1. "I need a (brand) (device) to work with my (same brand) computer"
No you do not. If you have a Dell desktop, you can connect an HP monitor to it. The differing brands will not duke it out in a cyber-space duel to the death because they are not the same.
2. "Will this work on my (brand) computer?" As they show me a flash drive.
Yes. Its a USB drive. Universal. Serial. Bus. The operative word being UNIVERSAL. If your computer has an accepting port for this end of the plug, your device WILL work on it.
3. "How do I know if I have a USB port on my computer?"
Is your computer older than 20 some-ought years? No? Then you have USB ports. I've yet to have someone come in with a computer that does not have USB ports, but the day someone shows me their their old Caleco Vision, that's the day I will stand corrected.
4. "I need to buy a new router. Which one do I need?" "How fast is your current internet?" "uhhhhhhhhhh........."
I simply cannot diagnose which router you need based on that response. Your internet speed will only be as fast as your slowest source. For instance (these numbers are not accurate and purely so its easy to understand), if you have a model that provides you with 1000 megabytes per second, and have your devices connected through a router that only works at 500 megabytes per second, you will only get a maximum of 500 MBPS on your devices.
Likewise, if your Modem only provides 500 MBPS, and your router is 1000 MBPS, you will still only get the 500 MBPS your modem has to offer. Without an idea of your internet speed, I cant do jack shit for you other than offer you a router that is clearly overkill just to be safe.
5. "We just got a new (wifi device) and ever since then, the internet keeps going off." (This is a bit of a long one but requires an explanation)
Once again, how fast is your internet? What service do you pay for? Furthermore, HOW MANY DEVICES ARE ON YOUR NETWORK?! If you answered "The most basic internet from (service provider)" and "(More than 5 devices)" Then you need to do one of two things. Turn off some of your wifi enabled devices. Or get faster/stronger internet.
Why do people think that the internet is like...infinite? You are paying for a certain AMOUNT of data to be transferred to your computer at any given time. It's like a well. If you have to many people drinking from the well at the same time, the well will run dry and you have no more Candy Crush. If you pay for a bigger well, you will have more data to draw from! It's that simple. "The most basic internet" is not a measurement of the services you can perform on it. It's a measurement of how MUCH of those services you can do on it.
You need a dual-band router/modem if you have more than 5 devices. Dual-band is more or less a beefier router to help balance your internet usage. I wont get into the technicals of it, but for the layman, thats all you need to know. "Devices" meaning ANYTHING that uses wifi.
To put this in perspective: In my house, I have my desktop, my mom's laptop, my brother's laptop, 3 smartphones, my brother's Xbox, my PS3, my mom's tablet, and a little Netflix/Multimedia box on the living room TV. That's TEN devices. "We only have 2 laptops" does not count. What else ya got? And I pay for Fios Quantum. It's one of the fastest internet services out there with a pretty good router/modem combo to boot. And I STILL experience low bandwidth from time to time. Ladies and gentlemen, please....pay for internet accordingly to how many devices you plan to leave idling on your wifi at any given time....
6. "I don't want a wireless printer. It's too hard. What printers are not wireless?"
None of them, anymore. Almost EVERY printer now is wireless. However, even after I explain that you CAN still manually wire the printer to your computer, they give me a dirty look and a dismissive wave of the hand and tell me they dont want any of that junk.
I don't think you understood me. You CAN still wire it like a wired printer, just like you said you wanted. it just comes with the OPTION of being wirele- No? S-still....Still no? You want an EXCLUSIVELY wired printer that is devoid of any wireless functionality? Allow me to direct you to this quaint little antique shop I know of that has this lovely little dot-matrix printer they've been trying to get rid of....
7. "If someone sends me a link to a video...can my computer watch that video? Do I just go to dubaya dubaya dubaya dot...blah blah blah.....and it will be there? Or do I need to buy something extra to watch movies on my computer?"
I cant even begin to explain the things wrong with this statement. If someone sends you a link, you just click on it. You don't have to type in the whole URL. You do not need a VCR or cable box to watch movies on your computer. I would try and explain that some videos once downloaded require certain codecs or drivers, but for the sake of not exploding their brain with techno mumbo jumbo like "Update your video media player" I usually just tell them "You don't need anything special. Just click on it. It will play."
I'm starting to think desktops are too complicated for these people. It might be time for something simpler, like a tablet. Leap Frog makes these wonderful little gadgets that even children can figure out!
8. "What ink cartridge do I need?" "Whats the brand and model of your printer? I can look it up and tell you the cartridge you want." "Uhhhhhhh.........."
Once again, I cant do very much with "uuhhhhhh" as your answer. If you don't have the cartridge number, thats fine. I can look up the printer and tell you what it uses. If you don't have the model of your printer, I cant do jack shit! "Well I know it's an HP...." This does not help either. Mother fucker, are you aware of how many printers there are? And how many different INKS their are?
Telling me just your brand, and nothing else, is still basically useless. It would be like if I needed a new (important part for a car) for my Toyota. I show up to the repair shop WITHOUT my vehicle, and say "Help me replace this part." And all I can tell them in the way of tracking down which part it is, is that I drive a Toyota. "Okay? Whats the model...Camry? Corola?" Even if I knew the model, I still need the year! And there's over 2,013 of those!
This is the same as saying "I have an HP Photosmart. Cant you figure it out like that?" "Fuck no. There's like 18 HP Photosmart printers that I KNOW of. I cant possibly pinpoint your exact model on that alone."
9. "I have been having a lot of problems with my computer. It's going super slow and there's a lot of programs and toolbars I didn't ask for." "What browser do you use?" "Whats a browser?" "Like...Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome..." "Oh I didn't know there were others. I use Internet Explorer."
I have nothing to say to you. Burn your computer so that it may not infect the others behind our workbench.
10. "How much space is a gigabyte?"/"Will this 128 gig flash drive hold my 4 MS Word documents?"
Exactly one gigabyte. I cant really explain this any simpler. It's a file size. Like X amount of ounces makes Y amount of pounds, makes Z amount of tons. I...I cant...I cant really explain it any other way...Do you want me to measure it in crappy music you have stored on your iTunes? Or maybe in how many old vacation photos you have laying around your desktop.
That's all for now! I am sure I will be getting more and more and more (ad infinitum) stupid questions and statements....But these were the 10 most common ones. I will be posting the unique little gems I come across as they come up.
Thanks for your time and I hope you have enjoyed Gileum's Intertubes Experience...._