Rtfm!

Discussion in 'Community' started by losfp, Apr 8, 2003.

  1. losfp macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2002
    Location:
    Sydney
    #1
    Ahhh... one of the best acronyms ever invented. Used with alarming regularity in the tech support world :D

    I was reminded of this last night as I struggled for over an hour with DVD backup, trying to rip a DVD to my desktop so I can watch it later without the disc. It would just give up everytime it got to the video files. Over and over and over again. Turns out you need to load up DVD player to "validate" the disc before it'll let you do it. I'd set the machine not to load up DVD player upon mounting a DVD so I never knew that. Of course, if I'd read the @#)$(*#@ documentation that came with DVD backup, I would have known!!! :)

    Seems to me that it's a mostly male thing, to try to solve every problem without referring to the manual if at all possible. When we bought our TV, a Metz Astral (excellent set btw), I set about setting it up without bothering to look at the manual. My girlfriend wandered off, as she saw what was coming ("let me know when you finally get it working", she said). Of course, in typical efficient German style, the manufacturers had replaced the labels on the remote control with vague symbols and colours that had nothing to do with the functions. A couple of hours later, I relented and resorted to the manual, and had the thing working within 15 minutes.

    Also does anyone else do this - when something isn't working when you do something.. you try that same thing again and again? It's like "ok, if I push this button ONE MORE TIME, maybe it'll decide to work this time". and then you're really surprised when the thing you did 20 times before that didn't work, surprisingly fails to work, again.

    Fun times!
     
  2. Computer_Phreak macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2002
    #2
    Re: Rtfm!

    lol...
    that describes me perfectly!
    I never use the manual, but usually I can figure it out without reading it.
     
  3. jefhatfield Retired

    jefhatfield

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2000
    #3
    i have been a techie since 1999 in very close proximity to silicon valley and most of the major techie companies, and i have never heard that one

    well, now i know

    it's amazing how many acronyms there are in the computer world...mcse, ntfs, pop, tcp-ip, etc
     
  4. Mr. Anderson Moderator emeritus

    Mr. Anderson

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2001
    Location:
    VA
    #4
    Re: Rtfm!

    True, but today if you manage to get something to work quickly without reading the manual you get that nice superior feeling....;)

    And once when I was little (6 or so) I wanted a soda from a vending machine and didn't have any money. So I kept hitting the buttons, and being bored, kept at it. Around the 100th button press out pops a Grape soda!

    Never happened again....:D

    D
     
  5. jefhatfield Retired

    jefhatfield

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2000
    #5
    Re: Re: Rtfm!

    my techie side of me is hardware only...so because of computer hardware's reliance on mathematics and electronics, i usually only have to work some scenario once or twice to be able to diagnose a problem correctly and fix the issue

    but now, i am taking my first, yuck, programming class (java) and most logic seems to go out the window since i can try and get something to compile and depending on how the gods of programming feel that day, it may compile and things will work

    certain programming concepts may mesh with what the books says and its like fitting a puzzle which is made out of jello and constantly melting...it's a mess and now i know why they call it software

    sometimes people have to type in the same code over and over and try and compile and then after the hundredth time, the darn thing compiles

    thank god that computer hardware is not that sketchy...not even the pcs i work on for a living;)
     
  6. evoluzione macrumors 68010

    evoluzione

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2002
    Location:
    down the road, that's where i'll always be
    #6
    ah haha! oh i know exactly the feeling. i always set stuff up without reading the manual, or instructions/destructions. it's very rare i have to resort to the manual, although, when it comes to Philips things, what with the colour-coded crap.....oh, and i can take apart almost anything, set it up, bodge it, anything, including handywork, but when it comes to telephones, they scare me. i don't know why, it's weird :rolleyes:

    maybe it is one of them typically male things we do, like never admit to resorting to a map :p

    and yeah, the feeling of superiority when you set something up, whether it be electronics, Ikea furniture, anything, is great (good excuse to drink lots of beer too), especially if your girlfriend is close. rewards are goooood :D ;)
     
  7. janey macrumors 603

    janey

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2002
    Location:
    sunny los angeles
    #7
    my favorite one is rtfm :D
    nobody outside the computer/techie world knows exactly what the "f" in rtfm stands for :D
    (other person asks stupid question)
    me: RTFM!!!
    the other person: huh? what's rtfm...
    me: Uh...it means...read the...uh...friendly manual...
     
  8. scem0 macrumors 604

    scem0

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2002
    Location:
    back in NYC!
  9. bousozoku Moderator emeritus

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2002
    Location:
    Gone but not forgotten.
    #9
    Has anyone heard of an id10t error? I've heard it's used a lot with end users by ISP staff.

    "Yes sir, I believe it's an id10t error." "Oh, is that bad?" "Yes sir, it's very bad. Have you been using a computer very long?" <user hears wild laughter in background> "What's that?" "Oh, someone just told a joke, sir."

    How do people keep their jobs?
     
  10. Rower_CPU Moderator emeritus

    Rower_CPU

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2001
    Location:
    San Diego, CA
    #10
    That's a good one.

    People keep their jobs because there's no-one to replace them. Techies can still be anti-social because they are in demand.

    Once techs are as common as say, salespeople, we'll see much better service. Until then: RTFM!

    *puts on his "I don't work here." shirt* ;)
     
  11. Doctor Q Administrator

    Doctor Q

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2002
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #11
    There is a good reason not to read the manual. Many times, you can figure the problem out faster by trial and error. When your goal is to accomplish one task, not master the program, and a mistake won't prove disastrous, this is fine. It can take hours to read the huge manuals (printed or electronic) that come with some products.

    On the other hand, if it's the manual for your pacemaker, I suggest that you settle into a big comfy chair and get reading!
     
  12. Roger1 macrumors 65816

    Roger1

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2002
    Location:
    Michigan
    #12
    Anyone here ever have a PICNIC? I have them every once in a while.:D

    (Problem In Chair....Not In Computer):D I'm sure all the support people out there have people like this.:p

    :rolleyes: Example: I just started a new thread, because I hit the new thread button rather than post reply.
     
  13. WinterMute Moderator emeritus

    WinterMute

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2003
    Location:
    London, England
    #13
    It would be almost impossible to function in installation of Pro-audio without referring to the manual, the one that came with the Otari Elite console is six inches thick:eek:

    However, I run ProTools 5/6 and have never looked at the manual, same for most of the synths/samplers I've ever owned, and I can programme a VHS video:D

    RTFL, very good, PICNIC even better:D

    We call most of our first year students midiots, cos its all they know generally...
     
  14. crazytom macrumors 6502a

    crazytom

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2002
    Location:
    IL
    #14
    I remember when I could set up practically anything without a manual. Since we now have 'multi-function' buttons on just about everything , I'm finding that I have to read the manual because nothing is logical anymore. I actually had to rtfm while setting up a DVD player!!! (There's no longer just 'audio' --- it's either analog RCA, digtial coax, or digital optical... video is no longer just video --- it's composite, HD, S-video, and one other I'm forgetting about). The tech world has become much more complicated than it used to be.
     
  15. irmongoose macrumors 68030

    irmongoose

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2001
    Location:
    Sometimes Tokyo, sometimes California
    #15
    Guess my brain is still soft (or whatever you call it) so I can manage to do everything without reading the manual. Haven't touched a manual ever since I started getting into computers and gadgets (about 3, 4 years ago). Before that, I left it all to my dad. Now, he doesn't even bother taking a whole hour to figure things out; he just calls me and I set the thing up in a matter of minutes. Sometimes when something is not working, I just come and touch it a little bit and it stars working. My dad calls it 'the magical touch'. Heh.

    Just something I feel I can boast about. Damn, I'm such a geek :p :D



    irmongoose
     
  16. jefhatfield Retired

    jefhatfield

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2000
    #16
    i notice the kids have that magic touch when it comes to anything high tech

    when i was a kid, high tech was anything transistor...transistors came along at least 20 years before they were fully implemented everywhere...maybe even 30 years

    still the best techies and engineers i know are the young self taught ones who didn't go to college or dropped out

    i have met only one person with a computer science degree in the field in four years in high tech...and i live in northern california where companies like sun, adobe, oracle, hp, and apple are based

    either college is bad for the thinking process of becoming a worker in the high tech field, or the colleges are so strapped with red tape that they can never keep up technologically or do not want to keep up with private industry

    it would be unfair to force professors and high school computer teachers to have to learn new languages in programming all the time and keep up with the latest hardware technologies...while the math teacher or the english teacher can rest assured that their field won't be different the very next year
     
  17. bousozoku Moderator emeritus

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    Jun 25, 2002
    Location:
    Gone but not forgotten.
    #17
    Like PEBCAC--Problem exists between computer and chair.
     
  18. jefhatfield Retired

    jefhatfield

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2000
    #18
    i like that one

    i know some of the acronyms that techies use sometimes use four letter words or sexual imagery, but for the most part, i find techies to be the most polite, shy, and generally considerate group of people i have ever been around

    i was a rock musician for more than 20 years, not as a living paying rent though, but there are not acronyms for four letter words in that world...those four letter words spelled out and spoken out were the greater part of a rock musician's vocabulary and not necessarily to denote something bad

    ie) "wow, that guy is a monster shredder...his guitar solo is ******* great...he's one bad*** mother******, and he must be taking lessons from joe satriani...man, he's the ****

    ;)
     
  19. jefhatfield Retired

    jefhatfield

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2000
    #19
    translation:

    that man over there is a very good guitarist

    he does not simply rely on pentatonic cliches like most players

    ...but incorporates a swift, sweep picking technique that utilizes many diatonic scales

    he must be taking lessons from joe satriani

    man, he's the one to beat :p
     
  20. janey macrumors 603

    janey

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2002
    Location:
    sunny los angeles
    #20
    :D

    great website with tons of hilarious stories:
    http://www.techtales.com
    i contribute occasionally...the amount of "my cup holder is broken", "my hard drive doesn't work" (magnets on computer) and "what's a power button" questions just drive me nuts...so i share my stories too :D
     
  21. jefhatfield Retired

    jefhatfield

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2000
    #21
    Re: :D

    here i am a techie, certified, and working toward grad degree in computers and i can't find the "on" switch for a laser printer for one of my clients

    i have to plug and unplug the thing to turn it on and off

    turns out the switch is under a (very thin and small) beige sliding cover on the large beige casing of the machine...same color plastic so there's almost no way to find it unless you have a manual...which my client obviously threw away a long time ago

    the sliding cover is the size of a quarter and is attached at the top with a tiny screw so it slides up and falls back down (with gravity)

    the secretary, who has very little technical knowledge, ends up being the first person who was able to find the thing...instantly once he got hired

    i wish i had a picture of this strange switch design for this lexmarx laser printer:p
     
  22. janey macrumors 603

    janey

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2002
    Location:
    sunny los angeles
    #22
    Re: Re: :D

    i said what not where :D
    the "what" questions are worse than the "where" questions because sometimes it is difficult to find the power button sometimes.
     
  23. bousozoku Moderator emeritus

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    Jun 25, 2002
    Location:
    Gone but not forgotten.
    #23
    Re: Re: Re: :D

    Are you guys talking about the I/O button? :D
     
  24. janey macrumors 603

    janey

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2002
    Location:
    sunny los angeles
    #24
    Re: Re: Re: Re: :D

    i have no idea...i don't make any sense...
     
  25. jefhatfield Retired

    jefhatfield

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2000
    #25
    Re: Re: Re: :D

    what is a real killer for those who don't know is the ejection of a cd or dvd from a slot loading powerbook...no buttons on a tray or switches...just hitting the correct "keyboard" button on the keyboard

    now if a person didn't know to do this and was used to a button on a tray loading cd or dvd on a laptop...like 99.99% percent of all laptops are...then it would be a mystery

    thank god, or apple (some say its the same) ;) , that they have a little sticker on the powerbook that explains how to do this

    what i would like is a slot loading cd/dvd that could read a cd or dvd either way you put it in...lasers on both sides

    also, if one side dies or gets off track with the reading beam, the other side will do

    my dad has a cdrw drive and a dvd drive...2 drives... on his compaq desktop....one of the drives does not read cds anymore for some reason, so its a good thing that there is a backup

    but broken optical drives or floppy drives on large company pc towers is not such a rare thing these days

    again, that's why i use macs for my house...i don't want to troubleshoot pcs...for free...at my house when i get home

    if i troubleshoot a pc...it better darn well be a customer's pc and me being on the clock so if i touch any windows running computer, i will get paid for my time and hassle:p
     

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