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The basic issue I take with that particular question is that the OP was asking for a solution, not an answer to a particular problem. They didn't say, "I don't know how to open a file" or "I don't know how to append two strings". They presented a spec and expected a solution that fit that spec. Like I said, that's work for free.
Sometimes presenting a spec is the simplest way to explain your problem and what solution you need. You can still give an answer that gives them the info they need to know to solve it themselves. You also Always have the third option, to move on.
I don't really like that particular question, regardless of the questioner being a beginner. It sounds as if they are not a programmer; they are just a person trying to use programming to get a particular task done.
Sounds like DD! so what is your point?
The report of my death was an exaggeration - Mark Twain
A friend asked me if I could sort out his laptop last week. After a couple of hours with it I gave it back saying thta I had cured the startup problem, removed a virus, and decrapified it, removing stuff that noone ever uses, such as AOL etc.
"AOL is my ISP" sasys he.
"Doh!" say I
========================================================= I'm an optoholic - my glass is always half full of vodka. =========================================================
Is it just me, or do people who use AOL tend to know less about using their browsers and computers in general? I know several long-term AOL members. One is a lady in her 50s. She's a smart gal and business owner. But a few weeks ago I had to explain how to copy and paste to her. And she's been using computers for years. My older brother (AOL user) complained a few years ago about how his Win XP machine was slowing down. I asked him how often he defragged. His reply: "Defrag? What's that?" I know another AOL user who's had the same machine for years. She emailed me one day wondering how to find out what version of Windows she had. Maybe it's just coincidence but it seems odd that so many AOL users lack a lot of the general knowledge most other "non-IT" users have. I'm not being snarky, just curious if anyone else has noticed this.
Good point. I had AOL for a few days many years ago. They kept calling me trying to sell me low-end cameras and other junk merchandise. I dropped them after about a week and a half. Been with Yahoo ever since. They're not perfect, but at least they're not AOL.
Many users don't know anything beyond; to get internet double click on the AOL icon, to write a letter double click on the icon that looks like a letter, etc.. They have no concept of how the computer works and don't care to learn.
Yikes! Just noticing the 'Quote Selected Text' is not working...probably this unwanted new version of IE. Anyhow, I think you are on to something with the lack of what we consider to be basic computer skills, by people who have been using them for over a decade now. I spend a lot of time on remotes with end users, and occasionally family, and really try to use these remotes to train them...mostly so they don't call back. This strategy seems to be failing, as the remote has become the easiest and quickest way to resolve customer or family IT issues. At a side job, they are changing software providers. Migration of the active customer list missed quite a few fields. I tried to explain to the manager how to copy and past between the systems, but she immediately dismissed it as too complicated. I didn't argue. I still have customers who have no idea what the clipboard is...they keep expecting something to happen when they copy something!
I once sent my brother a funny animated GIF but AOL wouldn't play it. It just displayed the first frame. So he emailed me asking what was so funny and eventually we ended up on the phone (again). I asked him what web browser he used and he didn't have a clue what I was talking about. He "just launches AOL." I got him to try IE and he thought it was way too complicated. He's an ace with MS Office because it's vital to his business. Beyond that he's helpless.
Sometimes the true reward for completing a task is not the money, but instead the satisfaction of a job well done. But it's usually the money.
To be fair defragging on modern enormous hard disks running NTFS is far less necessary than it used to be.
And I'm sure they do know less, because the only reason you'd ever have started using them is if you didn't know it was a bad idea, and the only way you'd still be using them is if you hadn't worked out it's a bad idea since.