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9 Types of Computer Users


9 Types of Computer Users

  1. El Explicito:
    "I tried the thing, ya know, and it worked,

    ya know, but now it doesn't, ya know?"
    Advantages: Provides

    interesting communication challanges.
    Disadvantages: So do

    Symptoms: Complete inability to use proper nouns

    Case: One user walked up to a certain Armenian pod manager and said, "I

    can't get what I want!" The pod manager leaned back, put his hands on his

    belt-buckle, and said, "Well, ma'am, you've come to the right place."

  2. Mad Bomber:
    "Well, I hit Alt-f6, shift-f8, Cntrl-f10, f4,

    and f9, and now it looks all weird."
    Advantages: Will try to

    find own solution to problems.
    Disadvantages: User might have

    translated document to Navajo without meaning to.
    Symptoms: More than

    six stopped jobs in UNIX, a 2:1 code-to-letter ratio in WordPerfect

    Case: One user came in complaining that his WordPerfect document was

    underlined. When I used reveal codes on it, I found that he'd set and unset

    underline more than fifty times in his document.

  3. Frying Pan/Fire Tactician:
    "It didn't work with the data set

    we had, so I fed in my aunt's recipe for key lime

    Advantages: Will usually fix

    Disadvantages: 'Fix' is defined VERY loosely

    Symptoms: A tendancy to delete lines that get errors instead of

    fixing them.
    Real Case: One user complained that their program

    executed, but didn't do anything. The scon looked at it for twenty minutes

    before realizing that they'd commented out EVERY LINE. The user said, "Well,

    that was the only way I could get it to compile."

  4. Shaman:
    "Last week, when the moon was full, the clouds were

    thick, and formahaut was above the horizon, I typed f77, and lo, it did

    Advantages: Gives insight into primative

    Disadvantages: Few scons are anthropology

    Symptoms: Frequent questions about irrelavent

    Real Case: One user complained that all information on one of

    their disks got erased (as Norton Utilities showed nothing but empty sectors, I

    suspect nothing had ever been on it). Reasoning that the deleted information

    went *somewhere*, they wouldn't shut up until the scon checked four different

    disks for the missing information.

  5. X-user:
    "Will you look at those...um, that resolution, quite

    impressive, really."
    Advantages: Using the cutting-edge in

    graphics technology.
    Disadvantages: Has little or no idea how to use

    the cutting-edge in graphics technology.
    Symptoms: Fuzzy hands,

    Real Case: When I was off duty, two users sat down in front

    of me at DEC station 5000/200s that systems was reconfiguring. I suppressed my

    laughter while, for twenty minutes, they sat down and did their best to act like

    they were doing exectly what they wanted to do, even though they couldn't log


  6. Miracle Worker:
    "But it read a file from it yesterday!"

    'Sir, at a guess, this disk has been swollowed and regurgitated.' "But I did

    that a month ago, and it read a file from it

    Advantages: Apparently has remarkable luck when you

    aren't around.
    Disadvantages: People complain when scons actually use

    the word "horse-puckey".
    Symptoms: Loses all ability to do impossible

    when you're around. Must be the kryptonite in your pocket.
    Real Case:

    At least three users have claimed that they've loaded IBM WordPerfect from

    Macintosh disks.

  7. Taskmaster:
    "Well, this is a file in MacWrite. Do you know

    how I can upload it to MUSIC, transfer it over to UNIX from there, download it

    onto an IBM, convert it to WordPerfect, and put it in three-column

    Advantages: Bold new

    Disadvantages: Makes one wish to be a garbage

    Symptoms: An inability to keep quiet. Strong tendancies to

    make machines do things they don't want to do.
    Real Case: One user

    tried to get a scon to find out what another person's E-mail address was even

    though the user didn't know his target's home system, account name, or real


  8. Maestro:
    "Well, first I sat down, like this. Then I logged

    on, like this, and after that, I typed in my password, like this, and after that

    I edited my file, like this, and after that I went to this line here, like this,

    and after that I picked my nose, like this..."

    Willing to show you exactly what they did to get an

    Disadvantages: For as long as five or six

    Symptoms: Selective deafness to the phrases, "Right, right,

    okay, but what was the ERROR?", and a strong fondness for the phrase, "Well, I'm

    getting to that."
    Real Case: I once had to spend half an hour looking

    over a user's shoulder while they continuously retrieved a document into itself

    and denied that they did it (the user was complaining that their document was 87

    copies of the same thing).

  9. Princess:
    "I need a Mac, and someone's got the one I like

    reserved, would you please garrote him and put him in the paper recycling

    Advantages: Flatters you with their high standards for

    your service.
    Disadvantages: Impresses you with their obliviousness to

    other people on this planet.
    Symptoms: Inability to communicate except

    by complaining.
    Real Case: One asked a scon to remove the message of

    the day because he (the user) didn't like it.

    Return to The Lighter Side


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