Thursday, December 18, 2008

All I want for Christmas...

First of all, I'm sorry I've been MIA for nearly 3 months. I assure you that doesn't mean everything has been all peachy and jelly doughnuts, but moreso because with a new baby and all, I don't have a lot of time to type my rants more than the 4 times I type them to various people I complain to. But, that aside, it's Christmas time now, and in the spirit of the season, I thought for Christmas this year I would ask for something that doesn't cost any money. This year, I would like for people to commit to answering the question I asked. I really appreciate the attempt to give context, additional information, and general ideas about life, the universe and everything in it, so long as somewhere in those ramblings is the answer to the question I asked.

This becomes especially important in my line of work, which often requires me to troubleshoot technology issues. There seems to be a common misconception that a computer is some magic box where you press some buttons, some crazy voodoo happens, and stuff comes out the other end. Because of this, many people don't apply any logic whatsoever when the computer is not doing what they think it should be.I can state factually that the computer does exactly what it is told. It follows all the laws of physics, and does not involve magic or legerdemain of any kind. As a for instance: if the printer is not working, one should check that it is connected to the computer. This same logic applies for keyboards, mice, monitors, cell phones, iPods, webcams, hard drives... in fact most peripherals one might want to attach to a computer.

Of course, like with anything there are different realms of specialized logic that help in speeding up the resolution process. Seeing that I have a $100k piece of paper that claims I am trained and certified in this manner of thinking, I am completely happy and willing to help when it is required. All I ask in return is that when I ask if anything may have happened... Just tell me. Novel idea I know. But it saves everyone time, effort, and frustration. I am not asking because I want to blame someone for the problem and laugh at them about it, I am asking because I need to know what happened before I can fix it. I like to think I'm a reasonable person. I get that sometimes someone did something and they didn't realize they did it, or there are times when someone legitimately did not do anything, but that's not what we're talking about here. Basically, there are two possible outcomes: 1) I find out what happened and fix the problem. The sooner I find out, the sooner I can fix it and we can both go back to living our lives, making pertinent information worth it's weight in gold. Or 2) I don't figure out what happened, and the problem doesn't get fixed. The point is, there is a direct correlation between learning what happened and fixing it.

So please, please, please... while I do love to hear myself talk, when I ask a question about the problem we are trying to solve, there is a reason for my question. Give me background, give me conjecture, give me the story about how your grandmother loves her cat and thinks it's pretty and likes it when the cat licks her fingers because the cat's rough tongue feels funny on her fingertips and reminds her of how your grandfather used to lick her fingers back in the day when the jitterbug was all the rage and you could buy a coke for a nickel and HEY YOU KIDS GET OFF MY LAWN!... but for the love of Jeff, somewhere in there give me the answer. It will make Christmas that much more merry for everyone.