Dear lusers: learn 2 internet!

Jesus Christ, I hate stupid people. Seriously! There is nothing worse than watching an idiot try to use internet. It is a rage inducing torture if I have ever seen any. I have no clue how do some of the people out there manage to function when even getting to a website is a wondrous magical journey for them.

Do this experiment for me – observe how some of your friends and loved ones log into Facebook. Watch what they do first. See if you observe this pattern:

  1. The subject erratically moves the mouse in circles while searching for the web browser icon. This usually takes up to a minute if they are using their own computer.
  2. The subject spots the blue E icon and double clicks on it
  3. The since Internet Exploder takes about half an hour to start up, subject invariably double clicks on the shortcut again 3 or 4 times
  4. The subject becomes confused that several windows have opened so he closes them all
  5. The subject stares at the desktop wondering what happened
  6. The subject hunts for the IE icon again, having forgotten where it was due to the fact they have TEN MILLION files on the desktop
  7. The subject opens 5 instances of IE again. This time they manage to close 4 of them leaving one open.
  8. The subject waits 20 minutes for the MSN homepage to load
  9. The subject uses the mouse to click into the address bar and the URL becomes auto-highlighted by default
  10. The subject ignores the highlight, uses the mouse to click on the text to un-highlight it
  11. The subject laboriously re-highlights the URL with the mouse
  12. The subject hits delete key on the keyboard
  13. The subjects uses the mouse again, to make sure they are still in the address box
  14. The subject types in www.google.com
  15. Google page loads, and the search box becomes the active form
  16. The subject ignores the blinking cursor in the search box and uses their mouse to click inside the box
  17. The subject types www.facebook.com into the Google search box
  18. The subject uses the mouse to click on the search button
  19. The subject clicks on the first result

Then when they see me high Ctrl+L, type in facebook and hit Ctrl+Enter they think I’m some kind of wizard. It is painful, PAINFUL to watch you people do this. It’s like watching someone try to drive their car by first sitting in the passenger seat, then laboriously climbing over to the driver seat only to pop the trunk up, then climbing to the back seat, dismantling it, exiting car through the trunk, and then finally walking around to the driver side door. Stop fucking doing this.

Also, can we please stop putting www in front of every fucking web address? I am sick and tired telling people that:

  1. No, you can’t access webmail.your-company-name.com by typing it into Google
  2. Putting www in front of webmail is both unnecessary and counterproductive

Yes folks, using a sub-domain other than www may prevent some people from ever reaching your website – unless of course you create a sub-sub-domain named www. This is fine for blogs and message boards – frankly we do not need this sort of people wasting our bandwidth. But when said site belongs to a company and the employees can’t figure out how to access webmail, scheduling and timesheet sub-domains this is a problem.

I’m not shitting you here – we had a guy call the tech support desk the other day claiming webmail was down. We scrambled to see what was going on. It turned out that he just decided to put www in front of the address. For the record, that guy has been with the company for several years, and the address of the webmail has never been changed.

Here is another example of luser brilliance: I told someone to try downloading Malwarebytes to help with their virus woes. I made sure typing www.malwarebytes.org into Google yielded the correct page. What I did not anticipate was the fact that Malwarebytes just like many similar projects does not have direct downloads. Instead they use a distributed system of popular mirrors – so the default download link will forward the user to Cnet, Majorgeeks or some other site like that. All these download hubs have one thing in common – they are supported by advertising. Guess what my luser did?

He downloaded everything on that website other than actual Malwarebytes executable. Poor guy ended up with Registry Mechanic, Virus Vanquisher, Malware Eradicator and etc… I didn’t really know whether I should laugh or cry.

Oh, and one time we had an outraged dude call the help desk and demand we switch his home page back to the way it was. Apparently MSN changed their layout one day, to be more like Google and the fact that you could no longer have both the stock quotes and juicy celebrity gossip on the same page was unacceptable.

I know that computers are mysterious and magical. I know that things like the hierarchical file system designed to mimic a file cabinet with files and folders is impossible to comprehend without a degree in computer science. But web browsing? How the hell do you not know how to browse the fucking web? I mean, this is ALL YOU FUCKING DO on your computer – and every time you do it, you act as if this was your first time. STOP IT!

In this comment thread we talk about friends, relatives and coworkers failing to internet properly. Please tell me about that one time when you were forced to face palm so hard you almost knocked yourself out.

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122 Responses to Dear lusers: learn 2 internet!

  1. Doug UNITED STATES Google Chrome Windows says:

    My grandpa went to go use quicken, he pulled the disk outa of the case, and couldnt figure out how to open the disk drive on the computer he has had for several years…so he pries open the false front hp puts infront of thier disk drives and…puts it between the disk drives…i had to open the case to get the thing out…

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  2. Cori Tymoszek UNITED STATES Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    Luke, I want you be you when I grow up.
    I already have half of the Polish part. :D

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  3. Boo Radley AUSTRALIA Mozilla Firefox Ubuntu Linux says:

    @Vlad,

    loser has 1 ‘O’.

    ‘Luser’ is a portmanteau of loser (one not adept at winning) and user (one who uses something).

    The developer/user (luser) relationship is framed really well by the term ‘luser’ because users make life difficult when they give mind-boggling feedback and tech requests.

    You have probably been a typical luser on a number of occasions.
    I assume this because you lack perception, which may have been caused by asphyxia during birth or pregnancy.

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  4. Aeiluindae CANADA Google Chrome Windows says:

    I hate watching my dad, who is pretty computer savvy, having done some programming back in the day and kept up his skills since then, and is still decent with the command line in windows and picked some bash up when he got a mac, and who is better at network and printer troubleshooting than me, circle his mouse around the button for something, move it somewhere else, and then come back to click it. Maybe the mouse reflects exactly where he’s looking at the time, I don’t know, but it takes him twice as long to do things with the mouse as it takes me. Apologies for the nasty sentence above. It kinda got away from me.

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  5. M@ntin.it ITALY Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    This post was so illuminating that I decided to translate it in italian for non-english readers.

    You can find it on my site (clicking here or typing http://www.mantini.net/?p=417 on http://www.google.com ;) ).

    P.S.: Don’t hesitate to contact me in case you don’t want your post to be published elsewhere…

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  6. Bonder UNITED STATES Mozilla Firefox Debian GNU/Linux says:

    Great post, I think I’ve been aggravated by everything on the list. I can’t count the number of times I’ve showed my dad the Google search bar in firefox, yet he always goes to http://www.google.com to search (and clicks the search button instead of hitting enter).

    Also, I think people’s reactions are great when they see me use my computer with no icons on the desktop (in windows or linux…linux also has the command line embedded in the desktop and conky serving up system stats and checking my email). They are amazed by how little i use the mouse.

    I will use Google to search for content on a particular website, e.g. site:wikipedia.org luser. This may be annoying to some, but I consistently find what I’m looking for faster than most people I know.

    It also bothers me that microsoft refuses to adopt the Ctrl + L keyboard shortcut. Using Alt + D to get to the explorer or IE address bar is so annoying.

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  7. Linkums UNITED STATES Google Chrome Windows says:

    My mom recently was talking with someone who did not know how to copy and paste. When someone suggested he needed to highlight the text, he needed further explanation. When someone said he needed to click and drag the mouse, he didn’t know what “drag” meant. And of course my grandma on her Mac tried to help saying that “you have to blue it.” The only reason she doesn’t use her default web browser is because I hooked her up with what she calls “Foxfire”. Siiiigh.

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  8. Vampire UNITED STATES Google Chrome Windows says:

    …Who uses IE anymore?

    And yeah my mom is like that. She’s convinced the world will explode if she puts her laptop into hibernate mode >.<

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  9. Josh UNITED STATES Mozilla Firefox Ubuntu Linux says:

    @ Zel:
    pressing F6 works the same as Ctrl+l in most browsers

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  10. Higgins UNITED STATES Google Chrome Windows says:

    Old thread.
    Am I late to the party?
    Ah, well.
    Reading this as well as the entire thread that followed made me smile a little inside. I find myself becoming very irritated while watching many people navigating to sites as simple as Facebook, or simply even the desktop.
    I’ve used many different OS’s, including Linux, various big cats(Apple), and most every Windows since ’98.

    @Luke: I like you. You’re rather well-spoken, especially for someone whose native tongue isn’t English. On another note, I appreciated the disappoint face.

    Any hope jump-starting another conversation?

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  11. Emma Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    Why is it that I am automatically seen as tech support just because I fixed a computer once? The questions I get asked are:

    *Where are my emails gone? They are not on my Google…
    *Can you stop my emails meant for me going to my husbands email? We share the same email address, but your good with these things aren’t you?
    *Can you put all my music back on my iTunes (then wants to hand me a carrier bag of CDs – mainly Meatloaf)
    *WHAT IS THAT FOXFIRE THING?!!!?!? YOU’VE GIVEN ME A VIRUS!!!
    The best facepalm ever, was when this woman told me she had bought the MS Office suite after the 60 day trial ran out because her ‘Computer told her to’ – She doesn’t use MS Office. It came bundled on her laptop, and she opened a Word document once that was attached to one of those FW:FW:FW:FW: ‘chain letter’ style emails.
    I could go on, but it makes my brain melt whenever I think of her. (She’s a colleague)

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  12. Gweg UNITED KINGDOM Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    LOSER! that’s how you spell it!

    love this post btw.

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  13. Morghan UNITED STATES Safari Linux says:

    @ Zack:
    I can see it being easier. If you don’t know com/net/org/etc for the site Googling it actually saves time over trying them all out until you hit the right one.

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  14. Morghan UNITED STATES Safari Linux says:

    Firewall Saga tie in?

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  15. Andy UNITED STATES Google Chrome Mac OS says:

    You know what I hate? Assholes who think the only important thing in life is knowing how to use a computer.

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  16. Luke Maciak UNITED STATES Mozilla Firefox Windows Terminalist says:

    @ Andy:

    You know what I hate Andy? Abominable sacks of shit that think their privileged un-wiped asses are too good to actually learn how to use the most basic tool a human being needs to use in order to survive in the twenty first century. If you don’t think learning how to use a computer is one of the most important things in your life, please get the fuck off the internet. Go live in a forest with the rest of the ludite, tree humping hippies and stop wasting my bandwidth. There is no place for you and your ilk in civilized society. You are a burden on those around you who do care to keep up with technological progress. You however fell of the curve – you will be left behind.

    Your repugnant idiocy is tainting my RAM with lack of any kind of logic. Please get cancer.

    Good day sir.

    Also, your mother was a hamster and your father smelled of elderberries. I fart in your general direction.

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  17. halygram UNITED STATES Safari Mac OS says:

    this. is. hilarious.
    & too true.
    ahaha, I definitely feel your pain.

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  18. Evil Creamsicle UNITED STATES Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    @ Vlad:
    *loser, you loser.

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  19. Evil Creamsicle UNITED STATES Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    @ Alex:
    This is really only true if you have some of the tablet features enabled, where it puts the check boxes next to your folder items and highlights everything… you can disable that crap and make it behave normally though.

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  20. John UNITED STATES Google Chrome Mac OS says:

    I have a career in data security, so these gravely serious issues that frustrate you do not apply to me. I would, however, comment that the fact that you think people that don’t know the Internet (with a capital “I”, stupid) as well as you are stupid is ridiculous. That is my mom you are talking about. Just because she isn’t as familiar as someone with your superiority doesn’t make her stupid. You should strongly consider how much something like this should matter to you.

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  21. Luke Maciak UNITED STATES Mozilla Firefox Windows Terminalist says:

    @ John:

    Please keep in mind the following:

    1. You are responding to a blog post that is 2 years old
    2. Said blog post is also written tongue in cheek – you would know that if you read my other posts about teaching technology to beginners, user friendly UI design and etc…
    3. You read an angry nerd rant and automatically assumed it is about your mom???

    You should strongly consider how much a completely random, incoherent post by some nobody on the internet should matter to you. You will never get back the two minutes you spent angrily typing this comment. Just something to ponder. :)

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  22. I just revisited this article since you linked to it today. I think I now understand why the address bar is totally broken for several of the major browsers: it’s because only a handful of people like us ever use it! This must include the developers for these browsers (or they don’t eat their own dogfood), since they’re also oblivious to the problem.

    Internet Explorer: The address bar automatically highlights when you click it … sometimes. Sometimes it doesn’t, such as in the first 10 or so seconds after it comes up. It’s a weird little bug that’s been there for as long as I can remember. In older versions, hitting CTRL+L, the standard keybinding for focusing on the address bar, IE would pop up a separate modal window for entering the URL into a plain, dumb textbox, rather than focus the address bar. How did that even get implemented?

    Next, try selecting part of the URL before the address bar is focused. For example, if a regular text box is not focused and you click and drag inside it, you’ll select text across the drag points. Not so in the address bar. Your drag is ignored and the entire thing is highlighted. You have to focus the address bar, and then select the substring you want to edit/copy.

    The address bar is itty-bitty. Editing a long URL is a real pain in the ass. I can only assume no one on the IE team at Microsoft has ever tried to do this (or they’re all using Firefox or Chrome for actual browsing).

    All my machines have useful host names on the network (named after Greek gods and Game of Thrones characters), and it’s not unusual for me to run little webservers on them for quick access (e.g. python SimpleHTTPServer). On good browsers I can type “hostname:8001/” to visit one of these temporary servers (port 8001 in this case). The slash hints to the browser that it’s a URL and a search shouldn’t be performed. Not so in Internet Explorer. It will immediately search for that as a term. I need to type in the “http://” part if I want it to treat it as a URL. If it doesn’t have a TDL (.com, .net, etc.) it doesn’t think it’s a URL. (Outlook has a really annoying similar bug.)

    Android Browser: You know, that weird Chrome port to Android. I don’t use IE casually, so all that is only an annoyance when I’m doing webdev, but I do use the Android browser regularly. It has most of the problems as above, but instead of searching for “hostname:8080/” it will try “www.hostname.com:8080”, which is harder to edit, especially on a phone. I think they’ve fixed it on recent releases, but thanks to Android fragmentation (hi Samsung!) I don’t have access to the fixes.

    (Side note: it looks like once you’ve hit a certain number of comments, the preview stops working, probably because it wants to place it on another comments page.)

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