How to ask questions

I really don’t know what is it with lusers and asking technical questions. I swear I have a fruitless conversation that goes like this almost every day:

luser: I am having a problem with my computer
me: Ok, what’s the problem?
luser: I have like a thing pop up sometimes
me: Is it an error message? What does it say?
luser: I don’t know…
me: When does it pop up?
luser: I don’t know… Sometimes it does, but other times it does not.
me: But approximately when? When you turn it on? When you go on the internet? When you check your email?
luser: Yes.
me: Yes to which one?
luser: I don’t know. It just pops up whenever.
me: ok, when it pops up next, write down what it says and call me back
luser: Do you think it’s a virus? Am I going to lose all my stuff?
me: Yes.
luser: Yes to which one?
me: I don’t know.

People never actually write down the error messages they get. They don’t even consider trying to remember the circumstances in which they occurred. They don’t consider that stuff to be relevant for some reason. But it gets worse than that when you don’t talk to them in person but instead get an email. Or hell, even a blog comment like this one:

This was actually posted in the comment section recently

Yes, this is an actual comment from this very blog. The original along with my response can be seen here.

Now, I would love to know what was the thought process behind that comment. I mean she stumbled onto my post from 2007 about talking to Dell warranty support people on the phone, only to leave a comment about some sort of a Facebook problem. I mean… I could understand the confusion if I was writing about Facebook but Dell? Maybe she assumed that since her computer is a Dell she should google Dell tech support and somehow found my post? I don’t know.

Either way, can you guys figure out what is Karen’s problem? Personally I have no clue. Karen makes many fundamental mistakes here:

  1. She assumes prior knowledge.

    Like many people Karen assumes that IT folks are walking encyclopedias of computer wisdom, and that all they need to diagnose a problem is a buzzword or two. Basically, they think they are going to call in saying: “My computer is acting funny” and hear nothing short of “Ah, the funny acting thing. No problem, I know exactly what it is. I will just remotely reverse the polarity of your tychon transmodulator and… There you go. All fixed!”

    Similarly Karen assumes that I know what FILTER is. I am sure it makes perfect sense in her head because that is the only FILTER she was ever exposed to. She also probably assumes that my IT know-how makes me an instant expert on Facebook. That I somehow magically know where Facebook hides all the settings – even after they change the website layout. I mean, why wouldn’t I? Isn’t that what they teach us computer people in school?

    Then again, it might be a bit of our fault to because sometimes we do seem omnipotent. For example, I had a user call almost in tears because their keyboard stopped working. Or rather it was typing the wrong characters. I instantly knew what the problem was: NumLock. The user had a Dell laptop in which NumLock causes the UIOPJKLM block act as a pretend-num-pad. The user was impressed: “Sonovagun! How did you know?”. I knew because I have seen this problem way to many times.

  2. She fails to use proper terminology.

    Most people refuse to learn basic computing terminology. The popular assumption is that you do not need to know what parts of the computer are called in order to use it. This assumption is wrong. You do need basic knowledge – just like you need to learn basic automotive jargon in order to drive a car. You need to know about the fuel tank, about the gears and transmission, about breaks and how they work under different conditions. Same with computers – some basic knowledge is necessary. For example you should know the difference between main memory and storage – so that you don’t freak out about losing data when someone upgrades your RAM. Or at least to recognize what is jargon and what is not.

    For example, have you heard this gem: “Hmm… This is weird. Every time I delete cookies it logs me out of Facebook…”

    Karen seems to have no clue what she is talking about so she is trying to use some words that she doubtlessly seen on the screen somewhere hoping that I will know what the hell is going on. It was the filter! She assumes that it is a computer jargon of some sort even when it is not.

  3. She fails to specify the circumstances.

    Karen is probably unaware that you can filter and display pictures in many ways. Her issue could be related to the view settings in her windows explorer. Or it could be related to some settings in her browser. Or it could be something she did to her Facebook settings. It is impossible to tell what exactly did she do from just that message.

    It is astounding how many people never realize that what you were doing prior to receiving the error may be related to it’s nature. Despite popular belief computers are not magical. Errors don’t just happen. There is always cause and effect – and being able to replicate an error is the prerequisite first step to resolving it.

    But it makes perfect sense to Karen, because she probably accesses her pictures in only one particular way. She thinks I do the same thing so describing what she was doing seems redundant and silly – but it is not.

  4. She fails to describe the nature of the error.

    Once again, this seems to be related to the language barrier. Karen simply does not have the vocabulary to express what exactly is happening to her pictures. Are they not showing up at all? Are they missing descriptions? Are they missing tool tips? Who knows.

    Troubleshooting over the phone can be torture if the person on the other end does not know how to describe what they are seeing on the screen. Think about it. Hell, try it yourself – describe a simple problem without ever using words such as window, dialog, toolbar, icon, panel, browser, etc.. What do you end up with?

    “I get a thing, like on the bottom and it says something script something… And when I open it it won’t upload that green stuff on the side… You know, like where you click… With the mouse? That doesn’t upload…”

    Any idea what was the problem above? No takers? Well, let me explain.

    User had the compatibility mode switched on in IE8. The non-compliant mode for some reason caused the jQuery Accordion UI effect to throw some nondescript Javascript error. As a result the green tinted menu on the sidebar did not expand properly. Or in other words it did not “upload”.

    Quick aside: I honestly believe that upload and download are the most favorite two words of all my users but I have yet to hear them being used in a proper context. It is pretty much a given that when my user says download he or she really means upload and vice-versa. Installing things from the internet is called “uploading into the computer”. Installing from CD is “downloading into the computer” (you know, just to switch it up). One of my users also “uploaded” his Outlook to the Windows 7 version (installed Office 2007) all by himself. Sometimes I feel like I should distribute a memo with some vocab words on it – then again I don’t want to sound like a condescending BOFH.

    Anyways, do you know how I figured out the problem above? VNC. That’s how. If I had to do this blind and over the phone it would take me hours if not days. If you haven’t done this already, get yourself some remote desktop access software. It saves lives.

    Now you don’t need extensive jargon vocabulary to describe a problem. I usually tell people to explain their problem to me as if I was a child. Tell me exactly what they see on the screen – describe the box, it’s colors, icon shapes, etc.. But it does help if you know what a toolbar is.

I sometimes wonder if people do this to other professionals. Do people call a plumber and instead of telling him about a clogged sink drain they say something like:

“Yeah, I have a problem with my water related thing. It’s in the room with that window. Do you think it will cost a lot of money to repair?”

Do they visit a doctor to say something like:

“My son has been acting funny lately. I can’t really describe how, but its odd. Do you think its a virus? Does he need antibiotics?”

No, they don’t. That’s because they know a little bit about plumbing and about medicine. They can recognize a clogged pipe versus a leak. They know that doctor will ask them whether or not hey had a fever. They know to take note of symptoms of the problem and relay them to the person they want to fix it. But with computers, all the bets are off. They don’t even try to enumerate the symptoms, and they lack vocabulary to explain what is going on. They don’t know a difference between a window and a dialog or a balloon pop up message. So usually they end up talking about the “thing with the thing that is popping up a thing”.

What is the solution to this? Force people to learn basic vocabulary and concepts. Each school should have a basic computer competency course. Start as early as possible – hell, as soon as they can read basic words they should be learning computers. Just have the kids name parts of the computer and parts of the user interface. Teach the kids about the file system and how to navigate it and arrange files at an early age. Teach them about the conceptual difference between memory and storage. Then just build on top of that. By the time they are in college they should be competent enough to actually articulate their problems. At least one would hope so.

I said it before and I’ll say it again – once an average person knows about as much about computer usage as they know about the inner workings of their car we should be in a much better place as a society. I mean, there will always be stupid people out there – who forget the car needs gas or that the engine needs oil, that tires need air… But even those folks can sort of identify their failure once you tell them about it. When they get stranded or fuck up their engine once, they tend to learn.

People fuck up their computer all the time and learn nothing from the experience. We should change that. And don’t tell me that if people became more competent about using their machines IT sector would suffer. No it wouldn’t. There would still be problems out there that an average person wouldn’t be able to fix themselves. We just wouldn’t be slammed with calls from people who can’t find the save button, or just downloaded 30 GB of malware and rendered the system inoperable.

Btw, I’m only using Karen’s post because it is public. I always feel bad when I copy and paste snippets from personal emails – even if I remove all identifying information. After all private correspondence is private. Karen posted her cry for help in a public forum for everyone to see.

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23 Responses to How to ask questions

  1. Hector SPAIN Google Chrome Linux says:

    In item number 3, about the cause and effect, I’d mention also the “denial” thing. “Did you change something?” “No, nothing” “Sure?” “yeah, sure, nothing, I didn’t touch nothing”. Well, you know how it goes…

    I have a 4 year old son, and in school they are starting to learn to use computers. So far just drawing, matching color games, and similar, but I suppose it is a good start. With a little luck in a few years from now we’ll reach a status similar to driving… though I am afraid I am too optimistic.

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  2. Zel FRANCE Mozilla Firefox Windows Terminalist says:

    Poor Karen, what would have been a relatively ignored comment posted on a 3 years old page now makes the front page. I don’t think she’ll be posting here again, after you meticulously detailed how she failed in asking her question :).

    The worst offenders as far as I’ve seen are people who try to use computer jargon but don’t know what they’re talking about. Often, said persons, confident in their knowledge, tried to solve the problem themselves, read all sorts of loosely related things on the Internet and installed lots of software/malware. It usually makes things worse, as they use actual words but for the wrong things : very confusing.

    On another note, I’m impressed you noticed her comment at all. Do you read *all* of them, even on several years old pages ?

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  3. Luke Maciak UNITED STATES Mozilla Firefox Linux Terminalist says:

    @ Hector:

    Heh! Good point. Then you figure out what they did and they reluctantly admit to it. “Why didn’t you tell me you did this in the first place?” And they go: “Uh… Well, I didn’t think it would have anything to do with the problem”.

    Re: kids – my biggest fear is that when I have children they will be all into sports and reality TV and hate computers and/or science fiction. I mean, I’d love them anyway but if I think I would secretly cry myself to sleep every night. LP

    @ Zel:

    Yeah, I pretty much read every single comment. WordPress sends me an email every time someone posts something so I can pretty much see comments going in in real time. :) One day when I’m rich and famous I may have too many comments to keep track of – but for now I it is relatively easy for me to read every single one.

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  4. IceBrain PORTUGAL Mozilla Firefox Linux Terminalist says:

    Zel wrote:

    On another note, I’m impressed you noticed her comment at all. Do you read *all* of them, even on several years old pages ?

    I haven’t used WordPress, so I’m not sure of it’s option (good lord, I must not be a proper IT guy!) but I would think it can notify the author of any comment, just like we can choose to be notified on a per-post basis.

    About the post:
    In my country we now have mandatory IT classes in the eighth and ninth grade, and you have to learn about window elements and take tests about them.
    Unfortunately, the rest of the course is just learning the basics of Word and Excel and some stuff like basic HTML, which no one really ends up understanding (people memorize the dozen of tags shown and their corresponding description, without really using them).
    They also boot a Linux distro, but its advantages are completely disregarded; it’s treated as a cheap Windows clone that doesn’t run games and other apps, and that nobody will ever need because their laptop will come with Windows anyway.
    It’s a shame, because it could be a really useful course, and just ends up being a place where kids spend their time logging to Hi5 and IMs or playing flash games.

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  5. Matt` UNITED KINGDOM Mozilla Firefox Windows Terminalist says:

    It does seem to be a case of lacking the knowledge required to even talk about what went wrong or properly identify what the problem is. Like the oft-quoted cases of people calling tech support to complain that they can’t get to their email, which turns out to be because the power is down.

    Probably also a fair bit of misdirected anthropomorphism, failure to appreciate the cause-effect nature of things and denial of responsibility by claiming to have “not done anything”, like “I was just sitting here, when it decided to crash all of a sudden because it hates me”.

    Either train people in the basic concepts until they have some understanding, or at the very least train them to be observant and honest so that they can say “after I deleted that random file for no good reason, my bookmarks disappeared” instead of “I can’t get to Facebook, does my computer have a virus?” (which of course makes sense because they only ever use the bookmark someone else set up for them to get to Facebook, and anything bad that happens on a computer must be caused by a virus)

    Re: kids – my biggest fear is that when I have children they will be all into sports and reality TV and hate computers and/or science fiction. I mean, I’d love them anyway but if I think I would secretly cry myself to sleep every night.

    Wouldn’t worry too much; kids learn by imitation for a critical period, so if you spent a lot of time while bringing them up treating sports as an Important Thing™ they’d get all into that. Otherwise they find out about it later and wonder what this strange practice is. Then they become sedentary computer people and go to an early grave with heart disease… or something like that :mrgreen:

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  6. Luke Maciak UNITED STATES Mozilla Firefox Linux Terminalist says:

    @ IceBrain:

    When I was in college we were expected to learn how to use Unix. The lab for computer science students had Sun SPARK machines all networked up, with NFS mounted partitions and etc.. They had gcc and Java installed and that’s where they really expected us to write our programs.

    After I graduated they killed off that lab and replaced the Sun boxes with IBM’s running Windows XP. I almost cried when I found out. :P

    I think that at least a semester long Linux/Unix course should be required in all schools.

    @ Matt`:

    Oh shush! You know what I meant.

    I just don’t want my kid go: “But dad, why do we have to watch Firefly? Can’t you change the channel to ESPN? Also, my computer don’t work again, can you fix it?”

    They can totally play sports if they want to.Though it will probably be interesting if they expect me to teach them. I may need to learn some of that stuff myself. Like how to throw the hand-egg thing. No one in my family knows that trick – we all grew up in Europe so we only kinda-sorta-know soccer. My dad tried to teach me to play soccer when I was a kid. I thought it was an impossibly dull way to spend time.

    I also hated when a distant relative or family friend would get invited to a birthday party and not knowing what I like would buy me me a football/basketball as a present. I’d thank the person then go to my room and be like “What the fuck am I going to do with this thing?”. Then I would neatly stack it on top of 4 or 5 other deflated (never used) balls lying in the corner. Only later I have learned you can re-gift that shit.

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  7. mcai8sh4 Google Chrome Linux Terminalist says:

    /me quickly checks his emails to our overlord to see if he’s guilty of asking stupid ambiguous questions…. hmm might be ok

    I’ve always had the thought that a SIMPLE exam should have to be passed before you can own a computer (or at least go online). Just the basics as mentioned above, and an understanding of directory structures.

    Computers these days are made as user friendly as possible, and so users can get away with knowing nothing (almost literally). At uni we had to use linux, every machine on campus was duel boot (win and *nix) so no matter where you where you could always to things ‘the hard way’ as other people used to put it.

    Karen, if you’re out there please lets have your view on this subject – a different perspective would be nice.

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  8. Sam Weston UNITED KINGDOM Google Chrome Linux says:

    @ Zel:
    I absolutely agree! I am the IT guy for a lot of my friends and family, and unfortunately my generation (I’m 19) seems to remember enough jargon from their school IT lessons to describe a problem using all the wrong words. Phrases like “I think my computer needs a reboot” usually turn out to mean something along the lines of “I’ve managed to get my Windows install so malware ridden that it now takes 10 minutes to boot, can you reformat it for me?”.

    However, I’ve got so used to it now that I can usually understand them better than older people who just plain fail to explain the problem. A lot of my parents friends (my parents have been well trained :P) tend to come out with stuff like “My email won’t work” which then results in me trying to figure out if they’ve got an internet connection, a fault in their mail client or simply forgotten a password.

    I do still find it strangely empowering to be considered a genius by people over twice my age. Even if it does get a bit tiresome sometimes…

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  9. Rob UNITED STATES Mozilla Firefox Windows Terminalist says:

    Huh, I think that’s the first time I’ve seen the IE icon next to someone’s name here in the comments. Wasn’t even sure it existed. I’m somewhat shocked though that she wasn’t using IE 6.

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  10. Sameer Safari Mac OS says:

    @ Rob: Funny story; at my 2nd job our shared computer malfunctioned. Probably because in the 8 months it’s been in use it has not been cleaned once, defragged, or anything else that would even resemble regular maintainence. My shift started as tech support was finishing up the restoration process. “All done, your good to go buddy!” Now, from the desktop we have to log onto the server to get acces to regularly used programs. Nobody uses the server however because it is slow as hell. Opening up IE outside of the server made me quiver. I don’t exactly know why or how but they didn’t upgrade to IE8. I was viewing with IE6…Now, I’m not a highly skilled IT-guy. I try and get by with reason and what I’ve learned throughout the years. But I know that this is just plain sad. Come to think of it. I may have posted here from work a while back. That IE6 tag you saw could have been mine…*softly starts crying*…

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  11. JKjoker ARGENTINA Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    i think the problem is more about their inability to accept that they dont know jack about computers than their lack of knowledge

    say they were trying to automatize something, they hear “servo, servo motor, stepper, actuator, PID control, charge cell, closed loop” and they immediately know they dont have a freaking clue so they ask to be informed, silently get informed (ashamed, as they should) or delegate it to someone idoneous to the task

    but when its about computers, theyve used facebook, theyve sent an email, they might have even heard some it terms used … once… so they think they are at a level much higher than they actually are.

    i think the best solution would be forcing them in highschool to learn and use some programming language with a crappy help feature (forcing them to seek help online) maybe even one of those where the compiler seems to make up errors and always point at the wrong lines, so that they either come out knowing more about computers or at least knowing how much they suck

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  12. copperfish Mozilla Firefox Ubuntu Linux Terminalist says:

    @Luke sticking to this “luser” topic is going to crash your server again ;)

    I think part of the problem is the metaphors that are used to teach people how to use computers. Desktop. Document. Folder. These all have real world analogues, but they aren’t quite the same thing. A desktop in the real world is a solid object with few moving parts. A computer desktop is hardly that simple. I think users assume some sort of similarity and it is misleading.

    Crash. Boot. Flash. Again terms that create a false view of what is actually happening.

    I’m not exactly sure how you’d fix this without inventing new words or having really long descriptions, but I do think it has an effect on how people interact with computers.

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  13. k00pa FINLAND Opera Windows Terminalist says:

    Maybe (s)he is just a troll :P

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  14. John UNITED STATES Google Chrome Windows says:

    I got this question by email ( it came several days after it was sent ) A phone call would have been better. LOL

    “John, I sent 3 messages on the computer, one the 30th and two after and both are still in the send box, what can I do? I unpluged the computer and restarted it but that didn”t help. They are still in the out box, this probably will not go either.”

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  15. Kevin Benko UNITED STATES Konqueror Linux says:

    I think that the MOFT (Microsoft) operating system has given *some* relatively clueless people a tool that they really should not, for whatever reason, be using. It seems to me that too many LART-bait have been conditioned to just click “OK” on any pop-up message– as if there is a *big*problem* that will be made OK by clicking OK.

    I run Linux exclusively, and I do use packages that are not yet ready for prime-time. When I get any sort of pop-up message, I do a screen-capture of the error, or I use that pencil-paper thing and make squiggly things on the paper stuff with the pencil-stick to… ya know… make me do that remembering FILTER when I type on that gobble searchy thing on the interweb


    These people need to figure out that a computer is not an appliance, it is a dynamic system, and that when the computer is trying to tell you something… it’s probably important enough to read and understand.

    In my opinion, if the “computer as an appliance” mindset ceased, the Tech-Support experience would probably be improved.

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  16. Matt` UNITED KINGDOM Mozilla Firefox Windows Terminalist says:

    In my opinion, if the “computer as an appliance” mindset ceased, the Tech-Support experience would probably be improved

    Or if more computers actually were like appliances… Apple seem to be doing good trade in devices that don’t really do all the fancy computing stuff like we’d want them to, but are harder to go wrong with.

    Compartmentalise every task into an ‘app’ and (l)users can learn to use said apps without having to understand scary things like browsers and file systems. Take away the options and the complexity and you take away all the avenues by which people who don’t know any better can fuck stuff up.

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  17. Luke Maciak UNITED STATES Mozilla Firefox Linux Terminalist says:

    @ mcai8sh4:

    Nah, I already know the other perspective: “We are elitist pompous assholes for making fan of people who were obviously not born with the rare knack for using a web browser properly”. I am completely uninterested in that perspective because IMHO it is full of crap. :)

    @ Sam Weston:

    True but… Most people don’t actually think you are a genius. They will say stuff like that when they want to get on your good side so that you will fix their machine in the future. Most people I have ever talked to treat it more like an inborn gift – something you just happen to have – not something you have learned the hard way. You just have the gift – the computer stuff just comes easy to you. Not only that – they also think you are loving it. That there is nothing in this world you would be rather doing than removing spyware from their computers.

    Hey, you like technology? I have a broken computer? Wanna fix it for fun? Hell, I’ll even pay you for it – but it’s going to be a fun learning experience for you I bet. Sigh..

    @ Rob:

    Well, some people are forced to use IE at work – so when I see that icon I try not to judge. But yeah, Karen is doubtlessly one of those people who thinks that the big E stands for “Enternet”.

    @ JKjoker:

    Or not even that. Make them use different operating systems. I have already decided that if I have kids, I will expose them to all major operating systems and show them how they differ and where they are almost the same with respect to concepts and UI paradigms. My goal in life is to produce offspring that is completely OS agnostic, and can sit down at any computer and figure it out how to do basic things regardless of what OS it is running.

    I’m beginning to think that High School is way to late to start training these skills – just because by that time the kids are already set in their habits, and already have certain social preconceptions (ie. knowing how to use a computer makes you a nerd and etc..)

    @ copperfish:

    Well, I think we picked these metaphors in order to make it easy for people to visualize and understand what was going on. I mean we could call them moops and wiples for example, but for some reason I don’t think that would help much.

    I think that the problem here is that a lot of people have trouble dealing with abstractions. After all things like windows, folder, desktops, panels, files and etc are abstract concepts that don’t actually exist anywhere. A file is a virtual construct that represents a collection of bytes scattered across the hard drive. It is not a physical thing – and it does not behave like a physical thing.

    @ John:

    I personally love this one:

    “Is the server down?”
    “Not that I know of… Let me check… It’s working fine.”
    “Oh… Ok… Cause I can’t get out on the Google… It says something about Mozilla page… Did you guys update the google recently?”

    Turns out his internet was down due to a local outage.

    Kevin Benko wrote:

    In my opinion, if the “computer as an appliance” mindset ceased, the Tech-Support experience would probably be improved.

    I completely agree with this. Computers are not appliances and they should not be treated as such.

    @ Matt`:

    Personally I don’t like this direction. It seems like a step backwards IMHO. We are replacing complex general purpose machines with limited utility purpose appliances. That does not seem right. Besides, it is not working the way it should.

    When iPhones first came out most people who got them knew how to use a smartphone. Now that smartphones are a thing, all the “computer illiterate” people want them, and then realize they are also “phone illiterate”.

    People already ask me all the time to set up their email, to download iPhone apps for them and etc. I’m like “dude, I don’t even own one of these. I have a POS Storm that keeps freezing up”.

    And the phones are becoming more complex. They have fully fledged web browsers and file systems. The new batch of phones like HTC Incredible and NexusOne approach the power and capacity of regular desktop computers from 4-5 years ago. And are only slightly less complex – mostly due to the fact they are not supposed to be general purpose devices but communication platforms. Plus they can be easily flashed and backed up and people don’t have as much data tied up in their phones yet. But they will eventually.

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  18. Hector SPAIN Google Chrome Linux says:

    About kids, high school is way to late. You should start to expose them to computers as early as possible. 3yo max. Obviously I mean games, drawing, and with help and supervision. You’d be surprised how fast they learn.

    The fact that you use the computer also helps get them used to it. As toddlers they love to do whatever you do, and it makes them feel important just to sit on your lap and see what is going on on the screen. A simple text editor at full screen, with over-sized fonts, let them hit the keyboard and see letters appear on the screen, and they’ll will be delighted. And even more when they start to learn to spell.

    I agree with Luke on the OS agnosticism. I want them to learn to use computers, even more, to learn how to learn about computers, not just some restricted set of tools. At my kid’s school they use windows (I think schools should be forced to show different possibilities, but that’s another story), at home I installed an old computer with Ubuntu and some packages from the Edubuntu suite. At 4-5 years old they don’t need any help to boot it up, start Tux or some of the games, and play on their own. And probably as soon as they read/write with some fluency is time to start with the console and some programming. I haven’t get there yet…

    The problem with computers at school, is also this terrible luser idea that learning “computers” means learning very basic Windows, “Enternet”, and MSOffice. And the fact is that more often than not “decision makers” are lusers. At least where I live.

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  19. Matt` UNITED KINGDOM Mozilla Firefox Windows Terminalist says:

    Personally I don’t like this direction. It seems like a step backwards IMHO. We are replacing complex general purpose machines with limited utility purpose appliances. That does not seem right. Besides, it is not working the way it should.

    Didn’t say I like it :P Just seems to be the way things are going. It is however an unfortunate truth that lusers are going to continue to luse, whatever we do to try to stop them.

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  20. Karen UNITED STATES Internet Explorer Windows says:

    Just so EVERYONE knows – the Karen in question is NOT me….

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  21. umm I tried to click the link to that post but the page didn’t do the thing and when when I finally got though, it wouldn’t let me do the word thing because of ugh computers.

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  23. Andrew Zimmerman UNITED STATES Google Chrome Windows Terminalist says:

    Generally people don’t understand how to ask questions because they usually just “Go to someone” and “they’ll do it” for them.
    If some of their questions were asked on forums, and they actually had to research their problems they would inherently understand how the problem is solved, just by searching the forums. So many forums..

    It’s too bad when they are trolled though.
    Maybe an automatic function from google to Google it for them sounds correct. Or windows Binging them to the right spot, for a randomized, simplified answer, who knows..
    OR MAYBE, automatic answers from bots which google the questions! :D

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