RE: FW: Technologically Challenged

From: Brock Hinzmann (
Date: Fri Mar 27 1998 - 20:16:05 EET

Although RP can do little to fix directly the challenging technological
problems described on Jeff's list, the relationship to RP is stronger than
appears on the surface. The people in his examples may appear foolish, but
they are genuine customers and they were genuinely frustrated by the
products they paid genuine good money for. The earlier in the design process
you can get a physical prototype in the hands of users and the sooner the
tech writers can get a shot at describing how to use it, the sooner you'll
find out what us fools will do with it and either change the design or
change the manual to avoid potentially disastrous results. As someone on this
mailing list used to sign off, (to the effect that) There is no such
thing as foolproof to a sufficiently ingenious fool. The bottom line to that
is, however, that nothing you produce is foolproof, you are just making a
business decision about how close to foolproof you want to try to be. And
once you build your reputation (and pricing structure) on being close to
foolproof, you had better stick to it, or the competition will eat you

Brock, the Badger
Technology Navigator

Dark, Jeffrey T wrote:
>This is too good not to post, Mike! Maybe the average intelligence of
>homo sapiens is dramatically lower than we RPers believe!
>> Jeff Dark
>> Tech Focal/Lead Engineer
>> BCAG Rapid Prototyping Center
>> Boeing Company M/S 17-PE
>> ph: (206) 655-4366
>> Fax: (206) 655-0934
>> Technologically Challenged
>> 1. Compaq is considering changing the command "Press Any Key" to
>> "Press Return Key" because of the flood of calls asking where the
>> "Any" key is.
>> 2. AST technical support had a caller complaining that her mouse was
>> hard to control with the dust cover on. The cover turned out to be
>> the plastic bag the mouse was packaged in.
>> 3. Another Compaq technician received a call from a man complaining
>> that the system wouldn't read word processing files from his old (5
>> 1/4)
>> diskettes. After trouble-shooting for magnets and heat failed to
>> diagnose the problem, it was found that the customer had labeled
>> the diskettes, then rolled them into the typewriter to type the
>> labels.
>> 4. Another AST customer was asked to send a copy of her defective
>> diskettes. A few days later a letter arrived from the customer along
>> with photocopies of the floppies.
>> 5. A Dell technician advised his customer to put his troubled floppy
>> back in the drive and close the door. The customer asked the tech to
>> hold on, and was heard putting the phone down, getting up and going
>> across the room to close the door.
>> 6. Another Dell customer called to say he couldn't get his computer
>> to
>> fax anything. After 40 minutes of trouble-shooting, the technician
>> discovered the man was trying to fax a piece of paper by holding
>> it in front of the monitor screen and hitting the "send" key.
>> 7. Yet another Dell customer called to complain that his keyboard no
>> longer worked. He had cleaned it by filling up his tub with soap and
>> water and soaking the keyboard for a day, then removing all the keys
>> and washing them individually.
>> 8. A Dell technician received a call from a customer who was enraged
>> because his computer had told him he was "bad and an invalid". The
>> tech explained that the computer's "bad command" and "invalid"
>> responses shouldn't be taken personally.
>> 9. A confused caller to IBM was having troubles printing documents.
>> He told the technician that the computer had said it "couldn't find
>> printer". The user had even tried turning the computer screen to
>> face
>> the printer - but his computer still couldn't "see" the printer.
>> 10. An exasperated caller to Dell Computer Tech Support couldn't get
>> her new Dell Computer to turn on. After ensuring the computer was
>> plugged in, the technician asked her what happened when she pushed
>> the power button. Her response, "I pushed and pushed on this foot
>> pedal
>> and nothing happened." The "foot pedal" turned out to be the mouse!
>> 11. Another customer called Compaq tech support to say her brand-new
>> computer wouldn't work. She said she unpacked the unit, plugged it
>> in
>> and sat there for 20 minutes waiting for something to happen. When
>> asked what happened when she pressed the power switch, she asked
>> "What power switch?"
>> 12.True story from a Novell NetWire SysOp:
>> Caller: "Hello, is this Tech Support?"
>> Tech: "Yes, it is. How may I help you?"
>> Caller: "The cup holder on my PC is broken and I am
>> within my warranty period. How do I go about
>> getting that fixed?"
>> Tech: "I'm sorry, but did you say a cup holder?"
>> Caller: "Yes, it's attached to the front of my
>> computer."
>> Tech: "Please excuse me if I seem a bit stumped,
>> it's because I am. Did you receive this as
>> part of a promotion, at a trade show?
>> How did you get this cup holder? Does it
>> have any trademark on it?"
>> Caller: "It came with my computer, I don't know
>> anything about a promotion. It just has
>> '4X' on it."
>> At this point the Tech Rep had to mute the caller, because he
>> couldn't stand it. He was laughing too hard. The caller had been
>> using the load drawer of the CD-ROM drive as a cup holder, and
>> snapped it off the drive.
>> 13. Another IBM customer had troubles installing software and rang
>> for support. "I put in the first disk, and that was OK. It said to
>> put
>> in the second disk, and I had some problems with the disk, but I
>> squeezed it in. When it said to put in the third disk - I couldn't
>> even fit it in..." The user hadn't realized that "Insert Disk 2"
>> meant to remove Disk 1 first.

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