Monday, May 24, 2010

A User's Complete Guide to Computers

 I'm bored and waiting for a delivery..  Found this in an 11 year old email box of mine (yes, just over 11 years old,  delivered March 1999).. 

Welcome, user! This computer manual has been especially designed with your needs in mind. Us techie types have long realised that users are far too busy to read manuals. In fact, our research shows that the vast majority of you are far too busy to even read the words on computer screens.

So, with that in mind, this computer manual is the first in the world which is engineered specifically NOT TO BE READ! That's right. Nothing contained in this document is in any way useful, but then as an inexperienced user you will know that already.

Got a question about anything even remotely related to computers? Don't read this manual! Just ask your techie friend. Don't worry about what brand of computer or what software he uses (by the way, you're quite right in thinking that only men know about computers)- there is, after all, only one type of techie and they all do the same job and they know everything about every computer and program ever created (all computers and programs are the same anyway).

A techie won't mind if you ask him technical
questions at any time, day or night. In fact, when he has finished work and is relaxing down the pub, that is an ideal time to catch him. Let's say he invites you round to his house to watch some videos- well that's another superb opportunity to bring up that wordprocessing problem you had!

Techies are paid a flat rate by the government and are thus available for consultation at any time and place. They spend several years in college learning the arcane secrets of computing, not to improve their personal work-related skills, but simply to help out complete strangers with their everyday computing tasks- for free! Then, to keep your knowledge up-to-date, they spend hours every week reading manuals for you! You've got it- that's why you don't need to read any computer manuals, not even this one- because someone else will have done all the hard work. You just sit back, relax and fire a few questions at him. Whatever you do, don't offer to pay for his time and experience- he will find this morally offensive.
Another important point to understand is that all computer questions can be answered in just two short sentences. So you don't need to have learned about one topic before you can begin to understand another topic (an obviously silly state of affairs- it would require some effort on your part). If your techie friend starts mumbling on about some deeply uninteresting technical concept, just let your eyes glaze over after the first two sentences- he is, after all,
just playing a prank on you. The first two sentences are all you need to remember. Let your techie friend know that you are "in" on his little joke by starting a conversation with someone else, or if no-one else is available, drumming your fingers on the table, just as soon as his first two sentences are finished.

Computers, as you know, do everything. Once you have a computer (and it doesn't matter what brand) remember that it can do everything straight out of the box. You don't need to purchase any extra programs or components, and neither do you need to spend any time configuring the computer to your specific requirements.

But, horror of horrors, what if your computer does something unexpected when your techie is not available to answer your question? Well here is a handy list of tips to tide you over:
- If a message from your computer pops up on the screen, ALWAYS
select "YES", "I AGREE" or "OKAY". Do not read the message! These messages are designed to be read by techies only. They contain an encoded virus which can enter your brain if you aren't careful! The computer knows what you want to do even if you don't make your requirements very clear, so just agree with whatever it says- it is the easiest option after all!

- Use as many programs at once as possible. Often your computer will complain that it isn't busy enough by rudely turning on it's screen saver or switching off the monitor. Keep it occupied.

-Feed and water your computer twice a day. You will find all number of slots and gaps in the casing, keyboard and monitor to assist you with this task. Cheese is especially good for your PC (Powered by Cheese) or MAC (Must Add Cheese) and you may find that the casing is specifically designed as a "grater" which will enable  smaller flecks of cheese to more quickly reach the CPU (Cheese Processing Unit). The fan inside your computer will help stop the cheese from melting before it can be processed.

- Floppy disks are precious! Treat them with the respect they deserve. You should only ever need two floppy disks- buying more would be far too expensive (don't be fooled by the low cost of your first two disks- this is a special offer designed to trap you into purchasing more at the full rate). NEVER make a note of what is stored on them; firstly, you only have two so everything you want to keep in the world will fit on just those two; and secondly, you may
need to sell your floppy disks at a later date should you fall on hard times, so it is important not to deface the label in any way.

- With the value of floppy disks in mind, if you have just spent five hours writing a word-processor document, but still haven't quite finished; do not save it! Since floppy disk space is precious, only save your document once you are certain that it is perfect. If you need a break, just leave your two-year-old nephew in charge of your computer whilst you go and make a cup of tea.

- CD-ROMS and DVD-ROMS, on the other hand, are invulnerable to all types of abuse (especially the ones which have "Device Drivers" or "Software Installation Setup" written on them). The more money you pay for a CD-ROM, the more invulnerable it is (that's what you pay your money for, after all!). Make sure you write your name on the shiny side of your CD-ROM, in case you loose it.

- Can't quite work out what to do next in with a computer program? Remember to avoid reading the screen as this can hurt your eyes. Whatever you do don't start at the top left and read left to right down the screen like you would for a glossy magazine or romance novel. This technique doesn't work for computers- text on a computer screen is very different to printed text, as you well know! If you really must read the text on a computer screen, start at the bottom right and work outwards in an anticlockwise spiral fashion.

- If you come across a word which you understand as English, but expect it to be computer techie jargon, you're right; it is jargon. Do not even attempt to guess what the word means- wait until your techie friend is available. In computer jargon, disks are not round, servers do not serve things, a proxy does not do things on other people's behalf, memory is not used to store information, a cache is not a store of items, and a protocol is not a set of rules.

  • Avoid using the H.E.L.P. option (Human Execution Licence Program). If you select this option your computer will go psychotic and start to aggressively gang up against you! Do not touch this option -danger of death!

  • Thank-you for not reading this manual.

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