Posts Tagged ‘idiocy’

Daily Windows Rant

Error messages, people. Error messages. When an “error” occurs, it should be accompanied by an “error message”, which informs the user a) that an error did occur; b) what that error was. It does not even necessarily have to be understandable to mere mortals (although this would be really nice), because understanding it is the job of your IT Guy and/or someone before you who got that error, posted it on a help forum somewhere and got an answer. Thus, mere mortals will Google the error message, and if results == 0, post it to a help forum somewhere.

Now, a “Dee-Dunk” error (available only at your local PC speakers, assuming you have any and they are turned on at the moment, and the volume is turned up, and the error being reported isn’t a soundcard error*) is really hard to Google. Besides that, consider the conversation between the user and the IT guy:

IT Guy: What was the error message?
User: Well, it was kind of like um… a low rumbling, kind of like somebody dragging a department-store mannequin across a warehouse floor strewn with marbles, followed by an orchestra hit.
IT Guy: Was it a high orchestra hit or a low orchestra hit?**
User: Umm…

So for anyone who is dying to know: Under Windows XP, a “doodoodoo” error*** (sounds like the first half of a doo-dink notification repeated three times really fast) when attaching a hardware device means that the device is successfully identified, but its drivers are kinda-sorta-semi-quasi-blacklisted because somebody at one time clicked “STOP Installation” at one of those “This driver has not undergone Windows Logo Extortion Certification and will probably do really terrible things [Continue anyway] [STOP Installation]” screens. From that point forward, the user will never again be prompted to install the driver or change his mind, regardless of how many times the device is subsequently unplugged and plugged back in. To fix: Find the brokenly-installed device in Device Manager, dig down to driver details and ‘Reinstall Driver’; this will allow you to manually force a driver despite any previous accidental blacklistings.

*As with many work PCs, we did not bother hunting down a set of speakers to attach to, for example, our EE lab workstation. This is not unreasonable considering that it is a workstation, not a watch-youtube-station.

**The next version of Windows will communicate with the user entirely by winks, nudges and significant glances. (IT guy: “Are you sure it wasn’t a drum solo? ‘Cuz a drum solo error is really bad.”)

*** or doo-doo-doo or DoDoDo or doodoodoot or boobooboop, or however you would enter it in Google if you thought that might actually work

Comcastic!

So, Friday morning I’m doing some prep for our Cape Cod camping trip online, and I notice a Comcast truck parked in front of the neighbor’s house, and the Comcast guy putting a ladder up against the telephone pole. I go to take a leak, and when I get back, the truck is gone, and hmm, the Intarweb (and TV, for that matter) don’t work no more. This kind of screws my plans for researching stuff to do and directions, but I have to leave in an hour and do so. My housemate comes back later that day and discovers the same thing, and spends 45 min. on the phone with Comcast convincing them that the problem is not that our “modem needs to be reset”, and that they actually need to send a guy out to fix something. Monday, we wait around the house for the cable guy, who must come inside to look at the snow on the TV and the blinking “Connect” light on the modem to decide that there is indeed something wrong with the cable, and climb up the telephone pole to check it out. He comes back 30 seconds later.

“Should be good now.” – Cable guy
“Great. What was it?” – me
“Discon Error.” – cable guy

So… they went out to disconnect some neighbor’s cable Friday, and pulled the wrong one. Given a workorder of “Pull wire #3″… “hey, this says pull #3, but I think I’ll pull #6 instead.” Apparently, this is a common enough occurrence that they have an abbreviation for it…

I’m going to helpfully prorate my bill and payment to reflect the 4-day service interruption, and see what they have to say about it. (Come on, FIOS…)

Only in Medford…