'User' or 'Loser'?

The Loony Bin ( loonies@bloodaxe.demon.co.uk )
Wed, 17 Sep 1997 12:05:33 -0400 (EDT)

Hiya Loonies...

I hope this doesn't describe any of you...this was sent in by Alan...

Wishes & Dreams...


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*******************Internet Goddess********************

  ------- Forwarded foolishness follows -------

Terms to know to understand this;

Scon is short for Student Consultant.  Scons are people hired to help 
users learn and work with the university's machinery.  

A pod is a UNM term for a place where such machinery is made available.

The nine types of users

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 chimps.
Symptoms:  Complete inability to use proper nouns
Real 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."

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
Real 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.

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 pie."
Advantages:  Will usually fix error.
Disadvantages:  'Fix' is defined VERY loosely here.
Symptoms:  A tendancy to delete lines that get errors instead of fixing
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."

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 compile."
Advantages:  Gives insight into primative mythology.
Disadvantages:  Few scons are anthropology majors.
Symptoms:  Frequent questions about irrelavent objects.
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.

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, blindness
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 in.

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 yesterday!"
Advantages:  Apparently has remarkable luck when you aren't around.
Disadvantages:  People complain when scons actually use the word 'horse-
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.

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 challanges.
Disadvantages:  Makes one wish to be a garbage collector.
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 name.

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. . ."
Advantages:  Willing to show you exactly what they did to get an error.
Disadvantages:  For as long as five or six hours.
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).

Princess (unfair, perhaps, as these tend, overwhelmingly, to be males) -
"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 bin?"
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.

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