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Posts Tagged ‘computers’

If GM Merged with Microsoft


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In this day of corporate mergers, takeovers, and conglomerates, we end up with some interesting combinations. I did a blog post some time back about this. Today's post is about what would happen if General Motors (a.k.a. Government Motors) merged with Microsoft. Let's take a look at some of the upsides and the downsides.

Computer companies often have a customer service telephone number where lovely young men and women in India try to help customers with their computer woes. GM doesn't have a "help line" for people who don't know how to drive, because people don't buy cars like they buy computers. But if the two companies merged, here are some examples of what calls to GM's HelpLine might sound like as GM had to deal with what computer companies deal with all the time:

HELPLINE: "General Motors HelpLine, how can I help you?"

CUSTOMER: "I got in my car and closed the door, and nothing happened!"

HELPLINE: "Did you put the key in the ignition slot and turn it?"

CUSTOMER: "What's an ignition?"

HELPLINE: "It's a starter motor that draws current from your battery and turns over the engine."

CUSTOMER: "Ignition?! Starter motor?! Battery?! Engine?! How come I have to know all of these technical terms just to use my car?!"
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The Unstoppable Virus


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I thought my readers would like to know about an e-mail virus that may hit them. There's no real cause for alarm — I share this warning mainly so that you will know what has happened when it inevitably hits your computer. Unfortunately even the most advanced programs from Norton or McAfee cannot protect you from this one!

It may have originated in Egypt and seems to affect mainly those who were born prior to 1960. Since there seems to be no remedy for this virus, it has been aptly nicknamed:

picture of unstoppable

Here are the ten most common symptoms of infection:

1. It causes you to send the same e-mail twice.

2. It causes you to send a blank e-mail.
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Is It All Geek to You?


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Do you have a computer geek in your life? Many of my readers know that my summers are spent working at IT Service Desk on campus, "improving life ... one computer at a time." (my motto, not theirs) This Friday ends my summer at IT and that is bittersweet — I really enjoy my work as a tech helping people, but I'm also eager to get back in the classroom.

Even though I like to express my inner geek, I have to admit that there are many aspects of computers that I don't understand and I'm not as geeky as some. To test your level of geekdom (if that's not a word, it should be), see how much of the humor in today's iv is funny to you.

You've heard it said that the first step to recovery is admitting you have a problem. Well, I must admit that I am a digital packrat. (Attribution for the cartoon, unknown at the time of publication, is in the comments section.)

picture of computer cartoon

And you are the beneficiaries of my digital packrattiness ... Exhibit A: today's post. 🙂

When people ask me questions about Microsoft Word, I can honestly plead ignorance. I avoid using that program like the plague — it drives me crazy! So when I find humor poking fun at Word, I automatically love it.
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Summer Upgrades … and Some Aren’t


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June is traditionally the month when there are lots of weddings. This month we have several here in town that we'll be attending and several out of state that we cannot attend. This summer I'm working again at IT ServiceDesk on campus, "improving life, one computer at a time." One of our summer tasks is upgrading software and even some hardware. For today's iv, I'm going to "wed" those two ideas into the theme for the iv - comparing marriage to upgrades of computer programs.

What you're about to read is two fictitious e-mail exchanges between newlyweds and tech support. They are similar in many ways, and yet very different so as to reflect the differences between the genders.

Tech Support Request

Dear Tech Support,
Last year I upgraded Girlfriend 7.0 to Wife 1.0 and found that it's a memory hog leaving very few system resources for other applications. After a few months I noticed that the new program began unexpected child processing that is taking up a lot of space and further valuable resources. No mention of this phenomenon was included in the product brochure, though other users have informed me that this is to be expected due to the nature of the application.

In addition, Wife 1.0 installs itself into all other programs, launches during system initialization, and monitors all other system activity. Applications such as Football 5.0, Hunting and Fishing 7.5, and Racing 3.6 no longer run, crashing the system whenever selected. I can't seem to keep Wife 1.0 in the background while attempting to run my favorite applications, and I can't seem to keep Wife 1.0 from taking over my system. It's too late to uninstall and go back to the Girlfriend 7.0 program. Can you please help me?

Thanks,
Troubled User

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REPLY...

Dear Troubled User:
This is a very common problem men complain about, but it's mostly due to a primary misconception. Many men upgrade from Girlfriend 7.0 to Wife 1.0 with the idea that Wife 1.0 is merely a "Utilities and Entertainment" program.

Wife 1.0 is an operating system and designed to run everything. WARNING – do not try to uninstall, delete, or purge the program from the system once installed! Trying to uninstall or remove Wife 1.0 will destroy valuable system resources. You're right – you cannot go back to Girlfriend 7.0 because Wife 1.0 is not designed to do this.

Some have tried to install Girlfriend 7.3 or Wife 2.0 but end up with more problems than the original system. Look in your manual under "Warnings: Alimony/Child Support." I recommend that you keep Wife1.0 and work on improving the situation. I suggest installing the background application "Yes Dear" to alleviate software augmentation. Do not even think of trying to run Girlfriend 7.0 or 7.3 in the background. Eventually Wife 1.0 detects the other program running in the background and a system conflict occurs, this can lead to a non-recoverable system crash.

Having Wife 1.0 installed myself, I might also suggest you read the entire section regarding General Protection Faults (GPF's). You must assume all responsibility for faults and problems that might occur. The best course of action is to enter the command C:\I_APOLOGIZE because ultimately you will have to give the APOLOGIZE command before the system will return to normal anyway. The best course of action will be to push the apologize button then the reset button as soon as a lock-up occurs. System will run smooth as long as you take the blame for all GPF's.

Wife 1.0 is a great program but is very high maintenance. Wife 1.0 comes with several support programs, such as Clean and Sweep 3.0, Cook It 1.5, and Do Bills 4.2. However, be very careful how you use these programs. Improper use will cause the system to launch the program NagNag 9.5. Once this happens, the only way to improve the performance of Wife 1.0 is to purchase additional software. I recommend Flowers 2.1 and Diamonds 5.0.

Suggestions for improved operation of Wife 1.0
-Monthly use of utilities such as TLC and FTD
-Frequently use Communication 5.0

Wishing you the best!
Tech Support

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Dear Tech Support,
Last year I upgraded from Boyfriend 5.0 to Husband 1.0 and noticed that the new program began making unexpected changes to the accounting modules, severely limiting access to wardrobe, flower, and jewelry applications that operated flawlessly under Boyfriend 5.0. No mention of this phenomenon was included before the upgrade.

In addition, Husband 1.0 uninstalls many other valuable programs such as RomanticMovies 7.5, OceansideWalks 3.9, SappyLoveNotes 2.2, and OperaNight 6.1, and it installs new, undesirable programs such as BasketballNight 1.3, SaturdayFootball 5.0, Golf 2.4, and ClutterEverywhere 4.5. Whenever I try to run Communication 5.0, it invariably crashes the system. Under no circumstances will it run Cooking 14.1 or HouseCleaning 2.6. I've tried running NagNag 9.5 to fix Husband 1.0, but this all-purpose utility is of limited effectiveness. Can you help, please?

Thanks,
Desperate

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REPLY...

Dear Desperate,
This is a very common problem women complain about, but it is mostly due to a primary misunderstanding. Many women upgrade from Boyfriend 5.0 to Husband 1.0 with no idea that Boyfriend 5.0 is merely an entertainment program while Husband 1.0 is an operating system that, incidentally, was designed to run as few applications as possible. Furthermore, you cannot purge Husband 1.0 and return to Boyfriend 5.0, because Husband 1.0 is not designed to do this. Hidden operating files within your system would cause Boyfriend 5.0 eventually to emulate Husband 1.0, so nothing is gained. It is impossible to uninstall, delete, or purge the program files from the system, once installed. Any new program files can be installed only once per year, since Husband 1.0 has severely limited memory. Error messages are common, just a normal part of Husband 1.0.

In desperation to play some of their favorite old applications or to get new applications to work, some women have tried to install Boyfriend 6.0, or Husband 2.0. However, these women end up with more problems than encountered with Husband 1.0. Look in your manual under "Warnings: Divorce/Child Support." You will notice that this program runs very poorly and comes bundled with Heartbreak 1.3. I recommend you keep Husband 1.0 and just learn the quirks of this strange and illogical operating system.

Having Husband 1.0 installed myself, I might also suggest you read the entire section regarding General Partnership Faults (GPF's). This is a wonderful feature of Husband 1.0, secretly installed by the parent company as an integral part of the operating system. Husband 1.0 must assume ALL responsibility for ALL faults and problems, regardless of root cause. To activate this great feature, enter the command: C:\I_THOUGHT_YOU_LOVED_ME. You will find that sometimes Tears 6.2 must be run simultaneously while entering the command. Husband 1.0 should then run the applications Apologize 12.3 and Flowers/Chocolates 7.8.

TECH TIP: Avoid excessive use of this feature. Overuse can create additional and more serious GPF's, and ultimately it may be YOU who has to give a C:\I_APOLOGIZE command before the system will return to normal operations. Overuse can also cause Husband 1.0 to default to GrumpySilence 2.5 or Workaholic 6.9.

Just remember! The system will run smoothly and take the blame for all GPF's, but because of this fine feature, it can only intermittently run all applications that Boyfriend 5.0 ran. Husband 1.0 is a great program, but it does have limited memory and cannot learn new applications quickly, not being very intuitive.

Consider buying additional software to improve performance. I personally recommend HotMeals 3.0, Cheerfulness 5.3, LovingPatience 10.1, and Listening 2. Used in combination, these utilities can really help keep Husband 1.0 running smoothly. After several years of use, you will become more familiar with Husband 1.0 and you will find many valuable embedded features such as FixBrokenThings 2.1, Snuggling 4.2, and BestFriend 7.6.

A final word of caution. Do NOT, under any circumstances, install MotherInLaw 1.0. This is not a supported application and will cause selective shutdown of the operating system. Husband 1.0 might run only Fishing 9.4 and Hunting 5.2 until MotherInLaw 1.0 is uninstalled.

I hope these notes have helped. Thank you for choosing to install Husband 1.0, and we here at Tech Support wish you the best in coming years. We trust you will learn to fully enjoy this wonderful product.

Your friends at Tech Support

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Any comments on those exchanges? 😀

quotation...

"Does your planning take priority over your praying? What do you do first, and what do you do most?" - Dr. Chris Barney

=^..^= =^..^=
Rob

"June weddings are the perfect opportunity to sweat in an ugly bridesmaid's dress." - Maxine


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Work Slogans


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Do you like slappy slogans? Today's corporate world often weds a slogan to their eye-catching logos to keep their brand in the minds of those targeted by their advertising. Some are mere hype, almost like motivational posters, while others really are successful at capturing the essence of the company and its services or products.

Our laptop that was recently assailed by spyware/worms/Trojan horses/whatever is an HP Pavilion that we've had for two years. Hewlett-Packard's advertising slogan is "HP Invent." It's concise and sounds kind of neat, but I'm not sure what it is supposed to tell the consumer concerning HP's products. When I ordered the CD's to restore our laptop, HP mailed them to me through FedEx, which I understand is a sister company of HP. I had to pay $14.95 for shipping and handling. When I saw from the tracking that the CD's were picked up in Greenville SC, shipped to Charlotte NC, and then back to where we live in Greenville SC, I labeled it "shipping and mishandling." FedEx's slogan is "Relax, it's FedEx." It's not that I wasn't relaxing, but it was puzzling to watch the tracking, wondering where else my CDs's would go before I got them. And believe it or not, they arrived the day after I ordered them! But I could have driven to pick them up more cheaply than the cost of shipping and mishandling....

I looked in my files to see if I had anything along this line and found some "work slogans." I think that some must be the slogans of the employees rather than the employers.

Slogans at the Work Place

We put the "K" in "Kwality"

Artificial Intelligence is no match for Natural Stupidity

Doing a job RIGHT the first time gets the job done. Doing the job WRONG fourteen times gives you job security

Rome did not create a great empire by having meetings – they did it by killing all those who opposed them

A person who smiles in the face of adversity ... probably has a scapegoat

Never put off until tomorrow what you can avoid altogether

TEAMWORK ... means never having to take all the blame yourself

Never underestimate the power of very stupid people in large groups

If you can stay calm, while all around you is chaos ... then you probably haven't completely understood the situation

We waste time, so you don't have to

Hang in there, retirement is only thirty years away!

When the going gets tough, the tough take a coffee break

INDECISION is the key to FLEXIBILITY

Succeed in spite of management

Aim Low, Reach Your Goals, Avoid Disappointment

We waste more time by 8:00 in the morning than other companies do all day

The beatings will continue until morale improves

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For those who receive the e-mail versions of my blog posts, I'm sorry for the double mailing. It was just part of getting everything back into place when I uploaded the older, uninfected database. I hope I'm on the "far side" of the worm debacle now! A word to the wise (and anyone else reading this) – if you go to a website and get a message that you need to click on something to update your Flash/Shockwave player, don't do it! Go to the Adobe site to do that update! I think that may be how the rootkit got installed on our system.

Today, tomorrow, and Saturday is the annual Living Gallery on campus. If you live close to Greenville to, you really should consider attending one of the identical presentations. There are still seats available.

This Saturday our daughter Megan and grandson Drew will be arriving to spend a week with us. Brace yourself for pictures and stories next week. 😀

Do you have a favorite company slogan? Can you share one that either makes no sense or is just plain wrong?

quotation...

"Every time you sin, you're worshiping the devil." - David Hosaflook

=^..^= =^..^=
Rob

The best way to appreciate your job is to imagine yourself without one.


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