Never doubt the stupidity of the general computing population

Discussion in 'Community' started by mac-er, Sep 12, 2005.

  1. mac-er macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2003
    #1
    Hi. I'm a moron.

    Maybe I should be nicer to people that may not know about things I do. I'm sure old Maureen might know something I don't know, but this seems pretty simple.

    I will bet two things:
    1. Maureen uses Windows.
    2. Maureen's computer is loaded full of spyware and adware.

    EDIT: I do like how Safari's "Clear History" is the most user friendly of the 4 browsers. You think Netscape could add a few more steps in there?
     
  2. wrxguy macrumors 6502a

    wrxguy

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    #2
    I wouldn't go as far as calling her a moron...she is probably just a Mom who only uses her comp for emails and putting picutres of her dogs and kids as screen savers....if she would have messed around for more than 5 seconds she could have figured it out, dumb..yes...oblivious...yes....moron...i wouldn't say so....any of us with mothers that use computers have at one time or another had to answer stupid questions like that for them.
     
  3. kolache macrumors member

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    Dallas, TX
    #3
    I wonder what dirty sites she's trying to hide from her husband?
     
  4. mac-er thread starter macrumors 65816

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    #4
    Well, if she hasn't been erasing her history...he's already found them. :) She probably has every site she ever visited since she owned the computer in her history.
     
  5. clayj macrumors 604

    clayj

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    visiting from downstream
    #5
    To a better-than-average user, yes, this is a very simple task. But to someone who is a novice user, there are NO easy tasks beyond what they've been shown how to do. (I worked in tech support for a looooong time... the first thing we learned is to never assume that the customer knows what you're talking about. You have to be ready to explain EVERYTHING.)

    1. You've got a 95% chance of being right just because of how the market share breaks down.
    2. If she's running Windows, there's a good chance you're right... but I wouldn't bet TOO much on it. A Dell with Windows XP SP-2 and anti-virus software is actually going to be VERY resistant to spyware and adware.
     
  6. jsw Moderator emeritus

    jsw

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    Andover, MA
    #6
    Funny how many people assume she's older and married.

    Anyway, erasing browser histories is not intuitive in Netscape or IE. And, if you don't know that the term for sites you've visited is "history", then none of the browsers is intuitive.

    Believe it or not, some people actually didn't grow up using the internet.
     
  7. mac-er thread starter macrumors 65816

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    #7
    True, but I figure she is a Windows user because of her obliviousness (is that word?).

    I get the feeling that Maureen is clicking on every pop-up and opening up every attachment the comes along. And, we know that most "Maureens" are using anti-virus software based on consumer research.
     
  8. clayj macrumors 604

    clayj

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    #8
    Yes, that's a word.

    But I think it's silly for you to assume that she's a Windows user because she doesn't know how to do something. You are spoiled, perhaps, into thinking that all Mac users are computer scientists because of the people you see on this board... I'd bet that the proportion of clueless Mac users is identical to the proportion of clueless Windows users. (Possibly higher: After all, the Mac is marketed as "easier to use", which means it might attract even more people who are computer-illiterate.)
     
  9. jsw Moderator emeritus

    jsw

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    #9
    I don't think "How do I erase the listing of web pages visited from my browser history?" indicates that she is oblivious or a moron - just ignorant of a way to do something which she assumes is possible.

    I consider using Safari's Debug menu to set the user agent to MSIE6 for sites that "require Windows" to be an obvious thing to do - but almost daily questions here on that topic prove otherwise.
     
  10. dcv macrumors G3

    Joined:
    May 24, 2005
    #10
    I get the feeling that 'Maureen' doesn't actually exist. her question does sound pretty fabricated, i mean anyone who knows the term 'browser history' already knows more than the average 'mum' out there and therefore would also probably know how to clear it.
     
  11. mac-er thread starter macrumors 65816

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    #11
    I would be interested to see stats on this. I would posit that Mac users, as a general population, know a bit more about computers than Windows users. I would also surmise that Mac users, as a population, probably have more formal education than Windows users.

    I believe there is a good number of Windows users who base their decision on price and because "that's what everyone gets" or its what is available at the Circuit City.
     
  12. yellow Moderator emeritus

    yellow

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    #12
    Maybe Maureen doesn't exist, but was a creation of some Yahoo! webslinger who got tired of answering similar questions and simply created her?
     
  13. Zaid macrumors 6502

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    London
    #13
    Which is of course a specific example of the more general rule:
    Never underestimate the stupidity of the general population

    Though in fairness there are many otherwise very intelligent people who are clueless when it comes to computers and many computer-geeks who are clueless at real life :) guess it comes down to experience
     
  14. quigleybc macrumors 68030

    quigleybc

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    #14


    Damn that's pretty harsh.. It's posts like this that make people not want to ask simple questions on line or on message boards. There's always got to be someone who finds comfort in making fun of that person.

    I didn't know the finder from the trash when I first got my Mac...
     
  15. yippy macrumors 68020

    yippy

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    #15
    That actually isn't to bad of a question. Many people never look farther than what is directly under a menu to find the answer. Meaning, if they click on "File" and none of what they see solves their problem just by clicking it they give up and ask someone to make sure they are doing it right.

    I work in tech support and it is amazing how many people would consider that an advanced question. So many need help being walked through a windows setup Wizard, they won't click next unless they are told by a human being to do so. What is even worse is when you get someone who doesn't understand what a button looks like :eek: . I have actually had to describe over the phone to someone what the "Ok" button looked like and how to click on it even though it was right in front of them.
     
  16. mac-er thread starter macrumors 65816

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    #16

    Hey, I'd readily admit there are plenty of things I am moron about.
     
  17. yippy macrumors 68020

    yippy

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    #17
    That is very true. The tech support I do is for a University which means 99% of the people I help are either professors or college students. Although to be fair the worst questions are usually from retired professors who never used a computer until after they retired.
     
  18. Jaffa Cake macrumors Core

    Jaffa Cake

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    #18
    In all fairness, you have to remember that we're all (mostly!) computer literate – there are a lot of people out there who find computers daunting and baffling. If you're familiar with a computer and you want to find out how to do something, chances are you'll have a play around and see if you can work it out yourself – however, a lot of people don't have that comfort zone and worry about deleting something they shouldn't or breaking the internet.

    We were all new to computers once, you know...
     
  19. emw macrumors G4

    emw

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    #19
    I would be interested as well, because my assumption is that you are incorrect. I think that Mac users in general may not need to know more about computers than Windows users because of ease-of-use. Windows users probably know more about installing software (especially spyware detectors, etc.), drivers, and such than Mac users, who just plug things in.

    As for education, that's difficult to measure. There are more Windows users out there, many of whom are highly educated engineers, doctors, scientists, MBAs, lawyers, etc., but those are also offset by people with perhaps less formal education that use Windows in a difference context.

    Many Mac users are students, graphic designers, artists, photographers, etc., whose formal education may be more limited (this is not a comment on intelligence, by the way).

    Just because someone asks a question about something that appears obvious to you does not make them a moron. Just the other day I had to talk my Dad through powering down his XP system. Is he a moron? No, he just has a more limited experience base than I do in that area.
     
  20. lmalave macrumors 68000

    lmalave

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    #20
    Pretty harsh. Just because you're more familiar with computers (specifically browsers) than Maureen, doesn't mean she's a moron. To a physicist physics seems obvious, to an accountant accounting rules seem obvious, etc.

    There's nothing "natural" about a browser interface at all. Or a GUI interface for that matter. In fact, it is totally removed from the everyday experience of people that have never used computers. Trust me, my mom is an attorney, and I remember the time less than 10 years ago when I had to show her how to use a mouse.
     
  21. skunk macrumors G4

    skunk

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    #21
    Agreed. What someone should also have pointed out to Maureen is that she still has a record of Sites visited in her Browser Cache and her Cookies.
     
  22. mac-er thread starter macrumors 65816

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    #22
    Google is great...
    http://news.com.com/2100-1040-943519.html

    Among the findings:
    1. Mac users are more educated.
    2. Mac users are more Web saavy.
    3. Mac users more likely to build their own webpages.
    4. Mac users more likely to shop online.
    5. Mac users make more money.

     
  23. emw macrumors G4

    emw

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    Aug 2, 2004
    #23
    Maybe they should show her "Porn Mode" (sorry, "Private Browsing" mode) if she's running Tiger's Safari.
     
  24. skunk macrumors G4

    skunk

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    Republic of Ukistan
    #24
    No need to encourage her filthy habits...
     
  25. emw macrumors G4

    emw

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    Aug 2, 2004
    #25
    Interesting notes. Of course, I always lie when I answer those demographic questions... :p

    Here's a more recent story.
     

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