ISF Logo   IS Forum
Forum Index Register Members List Events Mark Forums Read Help

Go Back   International Skeptics Forum » General Topics » Computers and the Internet
 


Welcome to the International Skeptics Forum, where we discuss skepticism, critical thinking, the paranormal and science in a friendly but lively way. You are currently viewing the forum as a guest, which means you are missing out on discussing matters that are of interest to you. Please consider registering so you can gain full use of the forum features and interact with other Members. Registration is simple, fast and free! Click here to register today.
Reply
Old 2nd October 2019, 10:36 AM   #1321
theprestige
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 41,289
Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
Dear users.

There is a limit to how much "better" I can make your computing experience without making it "different." I will strive to maintain your desktop, UI, interfaces and such as much as is humanly but there is a limit.

I can't make Outlook 2016 look, feel, and act exactly like Outlook 2003, nor can I make Outlook 2003 have all the features of Outlook 2016.

I can't give you McLaren performance that handles like the Civic you learned to drive on forever.
I'm embarrassed to admit that after finally upgrading from Windows XP, I made a point of customizing the new UI to have the same "jolly rancher" look and feel as XP.
theprestige is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 2nd October 2019, 10:48 AM   #1322
theprestige
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 41,289
Originally Posted by Faydra View Post
I've solved a number of SAP issues this way. I've never been on an SAP system in my life. It's mind boggling.
My last few successful job interviews, I've pretty much given this as my strongest skill.

"I don't care what software you're using. I don't care if I've never seen it before. Give me an Internet connection, an admin login, and a week, and I'll be fully qualified to handle 80% of the issues that come up. I'll also be well-grounded on researching and mastering the other 20%."

The weirdest part about my current job is that because I support software build pipelines, I often end up knowing more about build tools than the software developers whose livelihood depends on mastering those tools.

"You're a Java developer, and you don't know how maven works? I'm not a Java developer, and I also don't know how maven works, but... <googling intensifies> ... I've figured it out. Here you go!"

"You're a nodejs developer, and you don't know how NPM works? I'm not a nodejs developer, and I also don't know how NPM works, but... <googling intensifies> ... I've figured it out. Here you go!"

"You're a docker developer, and you don't know how docker works? I'm not a docker developer, and I also don't know how docker works, but... <googling intensifies> ... I've figured it out. Here you go!"

---

I attribute this to having spent year or so as a product support engineer, in a shop where the senior support engineers were total jerks. As a rule, they absolutely and rudely refused to provide any technical assistance unless you'd first completed a due diligence checklist:
- did you gather all the context (OS version, app version, error message, etc.)?
- did you read the relevant Knowledge Base articles?
- did you perform ALL of the basic triage troubleshooting steps?
- did you get ALL the relevant logs?
- etc.

So I got into the very strong habit of not daring to ask for help until I'd gone through every troubleshooting and info gathering steps I could think of. And asking for help to me always means presenting a detailed technical report of everything I've already tried, and what the results were.
theprestige is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 2nd October 2019, 10:53 AM   #1323
JoeMorgue
Self Employed
Remittance Man
 
JoeMorgue's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Florida
Posts: 22,137
Any computer tech, from a 50 year head software developer in charge of massive project to someone sitting on the 1st Tier of a help desk who says they don't Google error codes is lying.
__________________
- "Ernest Hemingway once wrote that the world is a fine place and worth fighting for. I agree with the second part." - Detective Sommerset
- "Stupidity does not cancel out stupidity to yield genius. It breeds like a bucket-full of coked out hamsters." - The Oatmeal
- "To the best of my knowledge the only thing philosophy has ever proven is that Descartes could think." - SMBC
JoeMorgue is online now   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 2nd October 2019, 11:22 AM   #1324
theprestige
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 41,289
Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
Any computer tech, from a 50 year head software developer in charge of massive project to someone sitting on the 1st Tier of a help desk who says they don't Google error codes is lying.
I wish. If that were true, my job would be full of people who claim they don't Google error messages, but somehow mysteriously never have problems they need me to help them solve.

Instead, my job is full of people who honestly don't Google error messages. They're either lazy or incompetent, but they're definitely not lying.
theprestige is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 2nd October 2019, 11:31 AM   #1325
JoeMorgue
Self Employed
Remittance Man
 
JoeMorgue's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Florida
Posts: 22,137
Addendum: Any effective computer tech who says they don't routinely Google search for error messages is lying.
__________________
- "Ernest Hemingway once wrote that the world is a fine place and worth fighting for. I agree with the second part." - Detective Sommerset
- "Stupidity does not cancel out stupidity to yield genius. It breeds like a bucket-full of coked out hamsters." - The Oatmeal
- "To the best of my knowledge the only thing philosophy has ever proven is that Descartes could think." - SMBC
JoeMorgue is online now   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 2nd October 2019, 11:55 AM   #1326
theprestige
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 41,289
Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
Addendum: Any effective computer tech who says they don't routinely Google search for error messages is lying.
Fair enough.

One could also argue that anyone who isn't able to Google error messages isn't actually a computer tech at all.

"I've been a computer professional for years!"

"What's your technique for googling error messages?"

"Oh, I don't do that."

"Wait, seriously? You're not lying?"

"Lying? Why would I be lying? That's kind of offensive, you know."

"Then you're not a computer professional. You're a computer ******* amateur. Thank you for your interest. We'll be in touch if we decide to move forward with your application. Next!"
theprestige is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 2nd October 2019, 12:02 PM   #1327
Wudang
BOFH
 
Wudang's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: People's Republic of South Yorkshire
Posts: 12,268
Unless it's an IBM z/OS error message where you check IBM doc. It's one thing they do very well.
__________________
"Your deepest pools, like your deepest politicians and philosophers, often turn out more shallow than expected." Walter Scott.
Wudang is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 2nd October 2019, 01:21 PM   #1328
Dr. Keith
Not a doctor.
 
Dr. Keith's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Texas
Posts: 19,630
Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
The Developer says they're getting a login error from an automated process that pulls data from a service on their behalf. The Developer volunteers that they recently changed their global password. Somehow the Developer doesn't fully integrate these two pieces of information, and asks me for help.

I tell the Developer that they probably need to update their stored password in their client software, so that it can log into the service on their behalf as before.

The Developer expresses ignorance of how their client works and how to update stored credentials in the client, and asks me for help.

I had no idea the client software had this kind of failure mode. The whole thing is a fresh mystery to me. So I do a quick Google search for "<error message> <client software> <computer OS>". The top search result is the Stackoverflow article that describes <error message>, and provides the instructions for updating stored credentials in <client software> in <computer OS>.

I give the Developer the link to the Stackoverflow article, and they confirm that it solves their problem.

Time spent by the Developer expressing ignorance and asking me for help: ~30 minutes

Time spent by me, figuring out the likely root cause, researching it, and finding the solution online: ~5 minutes

The most baffling and frustrating part:
Either you're a real software developer, used to thinking of systems and solving problems through logical analysis of symptoms - in which case you have no need of my help, since you know how to troubleshoot and investigate at least as well as I do...

... Or you're a cargo-cult developer who knows nothing about logical problem solving, and you fake it every day by googling up snippets of other people's code to stitch together to solve the problem you've been given - in which case you have no need of my help, since you know how to investigoogle error messages at least as well as I do.

There should not exist a software developer who needs my help to solve such a simple problem. And yet here we are.


---

ETA: 99% of computer problems can be solved by Googling "<error message> <software name> <computer OS>". Even laypersons and "not a computer person" persons can use this one simple trick to improve their quality of life.
I was really expecting to the spoiler to be:

His name wasn't even Kevin.
__________________
Suffering is not a punishment not a fruit of sin, it is a gift of God.
He allows us to share in His suffering and to make up for the sins of the world. -Mother Teresa

If I had a pet panda I would name it Snowflake.
Dr. Keith is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 2nd October 2019, 01:50 PM   #1329
theprestige
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 41,289
Originally Posted by Wudang View Post
Unless it's an IBM z/OS error message where you check IBM doc. It's one thing they do very well.
I don't know about z/OS, but nowadays when a vendor has good documentation, the best way to find it is to do a google search for the issue.
theprestige is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 2nd October 2019, 02:35 PM   #1330
The Greater Fool
Illuminator
 
The Greater Fool's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 4,134
Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
I don't know about z/OS, but nowadays when a vendor has good documentation, the best way to find it is to do a google search for the issue.
Even with IBM, they have all sorts of help reachable through google. Through manuals. Through help screens. Though Support calls. Though email. Through chiseling on rock.
__________________
- "Who is the greater fool? The fool? Or the one arguing with the fool?" [Various; Uknown]
- "The only way to win is not to play." [Tsig quoting 'War Games']
The Greater Fool is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 2nd October 2019, 04:53 PM   #1331
arthwollipot
Observer of Phenomena
Pronouns: he/him
 
arthwollipot's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Location, Location
Posts: 65,199
Things I wish more people knew, part MCMLXXVICBNDP:

Your password will expire 3 months (or however long it is) to the minute after you last changed it. If you changed it at 09:50 last time, it will expire at 09:50 this time. If you are logged on at that time, you'll suddenly start losing access to things.

Change your password no less than a full day before it says it's going to need to be changed.
__________________
Self-described nerd.

My mom told me she tries never to make fun of people for not knowing something.
- Randall Munroe
arthwollipot is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 2nd October 2019, 04:57 PM   #1332
arthwollipot
Observer of Phenomena
Pronouns: he/him
 
arthwollipot's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Location, Location
Posts: 65,199
Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
Addendum: Any effective computer tech who says they don't routinely Google search for error messages is lying.
I like to say that this job is 60% knowledge, 30% Google, and 10% improvisation.

Those ratios may vary according to the particular environment, but that's about how it is for me.
__________________
Self-described nerd.

My mom told me she tries never to make fun of people for not knowing something.
- Randall Munroe
arthwollipot is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 3rd October 2019, 04:44 AM   #1333
Blue Mountain
Resident Skeptical Hobbit
 
Blue Mountain's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Waging war on woo-woo in Winnipeg
Posts: 5,739
Angry

Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
I had no idea the client software had this kind of failure mode. The whole thing is a fresh mystery to me. So I do a quick Google search for "<error message> <client software> <computer OS>". The top search result is the Stackoverflow article that describes <error message>, and provides the instructions for updating stored credentials in <client software> in <computer OS>.

ETA: 99% of computer problems can be solved by Googling "<error message> <software name> <computer OS>". Even laypersons and "not a computer person" persons can use this one simple trick to improve their quality of life.
Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
"You're a Java developer, and you don't know how maven works? I'm not a Java developer, and I also don't know how maven works, but... <googling intensifies> ... I've figured it out. Here you go!"

"You're a nodejs developer, and you don't know how NPM works? I'm not a nodejs developer, and I also don't know how NPM works, but... <googling intensifies> ... I've figured it out. Here you go!"

"You're a docker developer, and you don't know how docker works? I'm not a docker developer, and I also don't know how docker works, but... <googling intensifies> ... I've figured it out. Here you go!"
Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
Any computer tech, from a 50 year head software developer in charge of massive project to someone sitting on the 1st Tier of a help desk who says they don't Google error codes is lying.
Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
I wish. If that were true, my job would be full of people who claim they don't Google error messages, but somehow mysteriously never have problems they need me to help them solve.

Instead, my job is full of people who honestly don't Google error messages. They're either lazy or incompetent, but they're definitely not lying.
Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
Addendum: Any effective computer tech who says they don't routinely Google search for error messages is lying.
Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
Fair enough.

One could also argue that anyone who isn't able to Google error messages isn't actually a computer tech at all.

"I've been a computer professional for years!"

"What's your technique for googling error messages?"

"Oh, I don't do that."

"Wait, seriously? You're not lying?"

"Lying? Why would I be lying? That's kind of offensive, you know."

"Then you're not a computer professional. You're a computer ******* amateur. Thank you for your interest. We'll be in touch if we decide to move forward with your application. Next!"
Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
I don't know about z/OS, but nowadays when a vendor has good documentation, the best way to find it is to do a google search for the issue.
Originally Posted by The Greater Fool View Post
Even with IBM, they have all sorts of help reachable through google. Through manuals. Through help screens. Though Support calls. Though email. Through chiseling on rock.
Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
I like to say that this job is 60% knowledge, 30% Google, and 10% improvisation.

Those ratios may vary according to the particular environment, but that's about how it is for me.

RANT! Gah! I hate Google! I detest their deep tendrils in the web, their omnipresent code snippets in damned near every page I visit, and their creepy tendency to grab as much information about me and my browsing habits as they can get their filthy hands on. I despise the fact that in order to use a lot of sites I have to solve an idiot Google ReCaptcha, which drive me nuts and which binds me to their Terms of Service in addition to the site's.

Google is an advertising and privacy sucking company first and a search provider second. To a huge degree the omnipresent advertising and tracking that's made the modern web damned near unusable can be traced back to Google and their business practices.

And I really hate it when people use the word "google" as a verb to mean a "web search." Not that it's unprecedented; several common words in English originated as corporate trademarks. But to see people, especially computer techs, casually using it to mean "searching" makes me cringe, almost as if they were talking about "*******" when they mean "black people."


There are search providers out there that don't make it their mission in life to grab wholesale every scrap of information they can about you and sell it at a profit. Please stop feeding the beast.
__________________
The social illusion reigns to-day upon all the heaped-up ruins of the past, and to it belongs the future. The masses have never thirsted after truth. They turn aside from evidence that is not to their taste, preferring to deify error, if error seduce them. Gustav Le Bon, The Crowd, 1895 (from the French)
Canadian or living in Canada? PM me if you want an entry on the list of Canadians on the forum.
Blue Mountain is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 3rd October 2019, 05:02 AM   #1334
alfaniner
Penultimate Amazing
 
alfaniner's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Posts: 21,320
Originally Posted by Blue Mountain View Post
RANT! ...


There are search providers out there that don't make it their mission in life to grab wholesale every scrap of information they can about you and sell it at a profit. Please stop feeding the beast.
Might as well object to the word "computer".
RANT! RANT

I did just learn about the RANT feature here though. Thanks for that.
__________________
Science is self-correcting.
Woo is self-contradicting.
alfaniner is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 3rd October 2019, 05:15 AM   #1335
Guybrush Threepwood
Trainee Pirate
 
Guybrush Threepwood's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: An Uaimh
Posts: 2,782
Quote:
There are search providers out there that don't make it their mission in life to grab wholesale every scrap of information they can about you and sell it at a profit. Please stop feeding the beast.
All that snipped rant may be true, but they gave their company a name that trips off the tongue nicely and lends itself to verbing, which was a smart move.

'I'll just DuckDuckGo that' doesn't work quite as well.

It could have been worse, if Microsoft had been more on the ball, we might have been binging information.
Guybrush Threepwood is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 3rd October 2019, 05:46 AM   #1336
JoeMorgue
Self Employed
Remittance Man
 
JoeMorgue's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Florida
Posts: 22,137
Fine. All effective IT support people routinely Ask Jeeves for information. Is that better?
__________________
- "Ernest Hemingway once wrote that the world is a fine place and worth fighting for. I agree with the second part." - Detective Sommerset
- "Stupidity does not cancel out stupidity to yield genius. It breeds like a bucket-full of coked out hamsters." - The Oatmeal
- "To the best of my knowledge the only thing philosophy has ever proven is that Descartes could think." - SMBC
JoeMorgue is online now   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 3rd October 2019, 06:04 AM   #1337
zooterkin
Nitpicking dilettante
Administrator
 
zooterkin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Berkshire, mostly
Posts: 44,370
Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
Fine. All effective IT support people routinely Ask Jeeves for information. Is that better?
AltaVista, please!
__________________
The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts.Bertrand Russell
Zooterkin is correct Darat
Nerd! Hokulele
Join the JREF Folders ! Team 13232
Ezekiel 23:20
zooterkin is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 3rd October 2019, 06:12 AM   #1338
erlando
Graduate Poster
 
erlando's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 1,632
Originally Posted by Blue Mountain View Post
There are search providers out there that don't make it their mission in life to grab wholesale every scrap of information they can about you and sell it at a profit. Please stop feeding the beast.
Yeah well... I tried DuckDuckGo and some others I forgot the name of. Common for them all was that especially for technical stuff they sucked. Big time. So.. As long as Google does the trick better, Google it is.
__________________
"If it can grow, it can evolve" - Eugenie Scott, Ph.D Creationism disproved?
Evolution IS a blind watchmaker
erlando is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 3rd October 2019, 06:16 AM   #1339
erlando
Graduate Poster
 
erlando's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 1,632
Originally Posted by Dr. Keith View Post
My kid had a summer job where they spent the first week waiting on login credentials and the second week not able to do anything because all of the bosses were at a conference and forgot to leave them anything to do. Time sheets were filled out properly.
I once had a contract at a major financial institution. They were nowhere near ready when I showed up on day one. Cue 20 workdays of waiting for the proper credentials so I could start working.

I showed up and billed every hour. At $90/h.
__________________
"If it can grow, it can evolve" - Eugenie Scott, Ph.D Creationism disproved?
Evolution IS a blind watchmaker
erlando is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 3rd October 2019, 07:00 AM   #1340
theprestige
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 41,289
Originally Posted by Blue Mountain View Post
RANT! Gah! I hate Google! I detest their deep tendrils in the web, their omnipresent code snippets in damned near every page I visit, and their creepy tendency to grab as much information about me and my browsing habits as they can get their filthy hands on. I despise the fact that in order to use a lot of sites I have to solve an idiot Google ReCaptcha, which drive me nuts and which binds me to their Terms of Service in addition to the site's.



Google is an advertising and privacy sucking company first and a search provider second. To a huge degree the omnipresent advertising and tracking that's made the modern web damned near unusable can be traced back to Google and their business practices.



And I really hate it when people use the word "google" as a verb to mean a "web search." Not that it's unprecedented; several common words in English originated as corporate trademarks. But to see people, especially computer techs, casually using it to mean "searching" makes me cringe, almost as if they were talking about "*******" when they mean "black people."




There are search providers out there that don't make it their mission in life to grab wholesale every scrap of information they can about you and sell it at a profit. Please stop feeding the beast.
Please do me the courtesy of assuming I'm well aware of these arguments, and have made my own choices about how to respond to the situation. I've seen your rant before. Hell, I've ranted your rant before. I don't mind if you dissent, but don't think you're telling me anything I haven't already considered.
theprestige is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 3rd October 2019, 07:37 AM   #1341
catsmate
No longer the 1
 
catsmate's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 21,513
Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post
Or she knew how things worked there and left it for you!
Entirely possible.
__________________
As human right is always something given, it always in reality reduces to the right which men give, "concede," to each other. If the right to existence is conceded to new-born children, then they have the right; if it is not conceded to them, as was the case among the Spartans and ancient Romans, then they do not have it. For only society can give or concede it to them; they themselves cannot take it, or give it to themselves.
catsmate is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 3rd October 2019, 08:11 AM   #1342
catsmate
No longer the 1
 
catsmate's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 21,513
Originally Posted by Faydra View Post
More fun from my day:

I don't know if I should be impressed with this little computer that could or appalled.

The system is an 11 year old Sun T5120 (well past retirement age for this hardware!) with 32gb of RAM with just ~570mb free:

RAM Total 32544.0 Mb
RAM Unusable 726.6 Mb
RAM Kernel 7141.2 Mb
RAM Locked 21481.9 Mb
RAM Used 2614.6 Mb
RAM Avail 579.7 Mb

It appears to have 14 database instances running on it and hasn’t been rebooted in 1668 days (4.5 years).


Then, as I was marvelling at that one, I found another with 6.8 years of uptime.
SunOS xxxxxxxx 5.10 Generic_147440-23 sun4v sparc SUNW,Sun-Fire-T200
$ w
9:50am up 2513 day(s), 1 min(s), 1 user, load average: 4.03, 4.46, 4.94
User tty login@ idle JCPU PCPU what
xxxxxxxx pts/12 9:49am w

Wow. Just wow.
Solaris on SPARC was a wonderful Unix flavour.
__________________
As human right is always something given, it always in reality reduces to the right which men give, "concede," to each other. If the right to existence is conceded to new-born children, then they have the right; if it is not conceded to them, as was the case among the Spartans and ancient Romans, then they do not have it. For only society can give or concede it to them; they themselves cannot take it, or give it to themselves.
catsmate is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 3rd October 2019, 11:45 AM   #1343
Blue Mountain
Resident Skeptical Hobbit
 
Blue Mountain's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Waging war on woo-woo in Winnipeg
Posts: 5,739
Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
Please do me the courtesy of assuming I'm well aware of these arguments, and have made my own choices about how to respond to the situation. I've seen your rant before. Hell, I've ranted your rant before. I don't mind if you dissent, but don't think you're telling me anything I haven't already considered.
You claim to have made the same rant yourself, yet you used the word "google" as a verb (instead of a more generic "search") eight times in the text I quoted. it seems like you're very comfortable with using their services.

Just because you understand this doesn't mean everyone does. That's one of the reasons forums exist: to introduce people to new ideas. Even if the ideas are negative ones, such as "Pychic mediums are frauds" or "Google is not good."
__________________
The social illusion reigns to-day upon all the heaped-up ruins of the past, and to it belongs the future. The masses have never thirsted after truth. They turn aside from evidence that is not to their taste, preferring to deify error, if error seduce them. Gustav Le Bon, The Crowd, 1895 (from the French)
Canadian or living in Canada? PM me if you want an entry on the list of Canadians on the forum.
Blue Mountain is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 3rd October 2019, 11:53 AM   #1344
Blue Mountain
Resident Skeptical Hobbit
 
Blue Mountain's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Waging war on woo-woo in Winnipeg
Posts: 5,739
Originally Posted by erlando View Post
Yeah well... I tried DuckDuckGo and some others I forgot the name of. Common for them all was that especially for technical stuff they sucked. Big time. So.. As long as Google does the trick better, Google it is.
My experience is I very rarely can't find results with DDG, but the technical stuff I look for is computer related and they do well on that. They may well be less useful in other broad subject areas.

In fact, a couple of times in the last few months I've unblocked Google from my /etc/hosts file so I could search for something there and was astonished at how poor results were. It was almost like "we think you're actually looking for <something slightly different> so we'll give you those results instead."
__________________
The social illusion reigns to-day upon all the heaped-up ruins of the past, and to it belongs the future. The masses have never thirsted after truth. They turn aside from evidence that is not to their taste, preferring to deify error, if error seduce them. Gustav Le Bon, The Crowd, 1895 (from the French)
Canadian or living in Canada? PM me if you want an entry on the list of Canadians on the forum.
Blue Mountain is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 3rd October 2019, 02:25 PM   #1345
alfaniner
Penultimate Amazing
 
alfaniner's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Posts: 21,320
One problem I have with internet searching for the answer to a problem is that the first several choices I get are often posts from various forums saying "I'm having the same problem!" No help at all.

I usually know enough to skip over those and get to a viable solution eventually.
__________________
Science is self-correcting.
Woo is self-contradicting.
alfaniner is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 3rd October 2019, 02:27 PM   #1346
theprestige
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 41,289
Originally Posted by Blue Mountain View Post
You claim to have made the same rant yourself, yet you used the word "google" as a verb (instead of a more generic "search") eight times in the text I quoted. it seems like you're very comfortable with using their services.
A lot more comfortable now than I used to be. My point is that I get where you're coming from, because I used to be there myself. I'm not there still, obviously.
theprestige is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 3rd October 2019, 02:57 PM   #1347
Dr. Keith
Not a doctor.
 
Dr. Keith's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Texas
Posts: 19,630
Originally Posted by catsmate View Post
Solaris on SPARC was a wonderful Unix flavour.
That is the only unix box I ever touched. It was a magic machine at the time and it had its own room and its own minder. I had to schedule time on the machine or Humingbird in remotely from my PC (which was less magical) but oh I loved that beast.
__________________
Suffering is not a punishment not a fruit of sin, it is a gift of God.
He allows us to share in His suffering and to make up for the sins of the world. -Mother Teresa

If I had a pet panda I would name it Snowflake.
Dr. Keith is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 3rd October 2019, 04:00 PM   #1348
Mongrel
Begging for Scraps
 
Mongrel's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: 20 minutes in the future
Posts: 1,968
Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
Things I wish more people knew, part MCMLXXVICBNDP:

Your password will expire 3 months (or however long it is) to the minute after you last changed it. If you changed it at 09:50 last time, it will expire at 09:50 this time. If you are logged on at that time, you'll suddenly start losing access to things.

Change your password no less than a full day before it says it's going to need to be changed.
Ours start to nag when your password has 10 days left. Through experience I've found it's best to wait until Mondays to change it, I have had to change on a Thursday and managed to forgot it over the weekend
__________________
“Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge: it is those who know little, and not those who know much, who so positively assert that this or that problem will never be solved by science.” - Charles Darwin

...like so many contemporary philosophers he especially enjoyed giving helpful advice to people who were happier than he was. - Tom Lehrer
Mongrel is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 3rd October 2019, 06:17 PM   #1349
arthwollipot
Observer of Phenomena
Pronouns: he/him
 
arthwollipot's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Location, Location
Posts: 65,199
Originally Posted by Blue Mountain View Post
RANT! Gah! I hate Google! I detest their deep tendrils in the web, their omnipresent code snippets in damned near every page I visit, and their creepy tendency to grab as much information about me and my browsing habits as they can get their filthy hands on. I despise the fact that in order to use a lot of sites I have to solve an idiot Google ReCaptcha, which drive me nuts and which binds me to their Terms of Service in addition to the site's.

Google is an advertising and privacy sucking company first and a search provider second. To a huge degree the omnipresent advertising and tracking that's made the modern web damned near unusable can be traced back to Google and their business practices.

And I really hate it when people use the word "google" as a verb to mean a "web search." Not that it's unprecedented; several common words in English originated as corporate trademarks. But to see people, especially computer techs, casually using it to mean "searching" makes me cringe, almost as if they were talking about "*******" when they mean "black people."
I suspect that you're fighting a losing battle there.
__________________
Self-described nerd.

My mom told me she tries never to make fun of people for not knowing something.
- Randall Munroe
arthwollipot is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 3rd October 2019, 06:19 PM   #1350
arthwollipot
Observer of Phenomena
Pronouns: he/him
 
arthwollipot's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Location, Location
Posts: 65,199
Originally Posted by Mongrel View Post
Ours start to nag when your password has 10 days left. Through experience I've found it's best to wait until Mondays to change it, I have had to change on a Thursday and managed to forgot it over the weekend
Here's a fun fact: I have never forgotten a work password. In my thirty years in the computer-enabled workforce I have never needed to have a password reset. Not even once. And I don't use crap passwords, either. I used to, but not for about twenty years.
__________________
Self-described nerd.

My mom told me she tries never to make fun of people for not knowing something.
- Randall Munroe
arthwollipot is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 3rd October 2019, 09:54 PM   #1351
Faydra
sinning sybarite
 
Faydra's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 6,836
Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
Here's a fun fact: I have never forgotten a work password. In my thirty years in the computer-enabled workforce I have never needed to have a password reset. Not even once. And I don't use crap passwords, either. I used to, but not for about twenty years.
Have you checked the basement for pods?
Faydra is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 3rd October 2019, 09:58 PM   #1352
arthwollipot
Observer of Phenomena
Pronouns: he/him
 
arthwollipot's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Location, Location
Posts: 65,199
Originally Posted by Faydra View Post
Have you checked the basement for pods?
I think there's a reference there that I'm not getting.
__________________
Self-described nerd.

My mom told me she tries never to make fun of people for not knowing something.
- Randall Munroe
arthwollipot is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 3rd October 2019, 10:29 PM   #1353
Blue Mountain
Resident Skeptical Hobbit
 
Blue Mountain's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Waging war on woo-woo in Winnipeg
Posts: 5,739
Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
I suspect that you're fighting a losing battle there.
Yes, and ... ? We all have our hobbies. Railing against Big Computing is one of mine.
__________________
The social illusion reigns to-day upon all the heaped-up ruins of the past, and to it belongs the future. The masses have never thirsted after truth. They turn aside from evidence that is not to their taste, preferring to deify error, if error seduce them. Gustav Le Bon, The Crowd, 1895 (from the French)
Canadian or living in Canada? PM me if you want an entry on the list of Canadians on the forum.
Blue Mountain is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 4th October 2019, 01:07 AM   #1354
erlando
Graduate Poster
 
erlando's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 1,632
Originally Posted by Blue Mountain View Post
My experience is I very rarely can't find results with DDG, but the technical stuff I look for is computer related and they do well on that. They may well be less useful in other broad subject areas.

In fact, a couple of times in the last few months I've unblocked Google from my /etc/hosts file so I could search for something there and was astonished at how poor results were. It was almost like "we think you're actually looking for <something slightly different> so we'll give you those results instead."
Admittedly it's been a while since I tried DuckDuckGo. They absolutely horrificly sucked at the time. They might have gotten better. I wouldn't know.

A quick comparison I just made using some of the things I typed into Google the past week shows that DuckDuckGo has an overwhelming bias towards StackOverflow. First batch of results is almost exclusively SO. Google has SO links on the first page but also several blogs and relevant MSDN links.

I like SO. But not like DuckDuckGo likes SO.

I'll stick with Google.

ETA: Sorry for derail. Now back to the regular scheduled IT support venting..
__________________
"If it can grow, it can evolve" - Eugenie Scott, Ph.D Creationism disproved?
Evolution IS a blind watchmaker

Last edited by erlando; 4th October 2019 at 01:13 AM.
erlando is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 4th October 2019, 01:27 AM   #1355
catsmate
No longer the 1
 
catsmate's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 21,513
Originally Posted by Dr. Keith View Post
That is the only unix box I ever touched. It was a magic machine at the time and it had its own room and its own minder. I had to schedule time on the machine or Humingbird in remotely from my PC (which was less magical) but oh I loved that beast.
Indeed it was (and is) excellent. Stable, efficient and powerful. I still have a couple of SPARCs in storage.
Back in the day ('90s) we had labs full of SPARCStations, plus units for specific devices like NMR machines.
__________________
As human right is always something given, it always in reality reduces to the right which men give, "concede," to each other. If the right to existence is conceded to new-born children, then they have the right; if it is not conceded to them, as was the case among the Spartans and ancient Romans, then they do not have it. For only society can give or concede it to them; they themselves cannot take it, or give it to themselves.
catsmate is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 4th October 2019, 01:59 AM   #1356
Wudang
BOFH
 
Wudang's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: People's Republic of South Yorkshire
Posts: 12,268
Originally Posted by erlando View Post
A quick comparison I just made using some of the things I typed into Google the past week shows that DuckDuckGo has an overwhelming bias towards StackOverflow. First batch of results is almost exclusively SO. Google has SO links on the first page but also several blogs and relevant MSDN links.
I found google kept pushing parasite sites like expertsexchange (and boy did I misread that first time) that repost stuff from other sites.
__________________
"Your deepest pools, like your deepest politicians and philosophers, often turn out more shallow than expected." Walter Scott.
Wudang is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 4th October 2019, 04:32 AM   #1357
zooterkin
Nitpicking dilettante
Administrator
 
zooterkin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Berkshire, mostly
Posts: 44,370
Originally Posted by Mongrel View Post
Ours start to nag when your password has 10 days left. Through experience I've found it's best to wait until Mondays to change it, I have had to change on a Thursday and managed to forgot it over the weekend
At my last two workplaces, despite some arbitrary restrictions on password characters, I was able to use the same password (a reasonably secure one) and just change the digit at the end each time I was required to choose a new one. I have never divulged a personal password, despite the IT department routinely asking for it if they ever had to work on my laptop (which was against the published security guidelines).
__________________
The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts.Bertrand Russell
Zooterkin is correct Darat
Nerd! Hokulele
Join the JREF Folders ! Team 13232
Ezekiel 23:20
zooterkin is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 6th October 2019, 10:03 PM   #1358
arthwollipot
Observer of Phenomena
Pronouns: he/him
 
arthwollipot's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Location, Location
Posts: 65,199
Originally Posted by erlando View Post
Admittedly it's been a while since I tried DuckDuckGo. They absolutely horrificly sucked at the time. They might have gotten better. I wouldn't know.

A quick comparison I just made using some of the things I typed into Google the past week shows that DuckDuckGo has an overwhelming bias towards StackOverflow. First batch of results is almost exclusively SO. Google has SO links on the first page but also several blogs and relevant MSDN links.

I like SO. But not like DuckDuckGo likes SO.

I'll stick with Google.

ETA: Sorry for derail. Now back to the regular scheduled IT support venting..
The reason Google's results are better than DuckDuckGo's is that Google knows you and knows what you're looking for.
__________________
Self-described nerd.

My mom told me she tries never to make fun of people for not knowing something.
- Randall Munroe
arthwollipot is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 7th October 2019, 12:46 AM   #1359
erlando
Graduate Poster
 
erlando's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 1,632
Originally Posted by zooterkin View Post
At my last two workplaces, despite some arbitrary restrictions on password characters, I was able to use the same password (a reasonably secure one) and just change the digit at the end each time I was required to choose a new one. I have never divulged a personal password, despite the IT department routinely asking for it if they ever had to work on my laptop (which was against the published security guidelines).
I like long passwords, preferrably the CorrectHorseBatteryStaple kind. At my current job they have a password management system that will ask you to change your password ever so often. This system limits the password to 8 letters, 2 characters and no punctuation...

Funny thing is, it is possible to "circumvent" this system by changing your password using the ordinary Windows functionality. So I can have my 24 character password anyway.

At least IT doesn't ask for passwords. Not that I would tell them.
__________________
"If it can grow, it can evolve" - Eugenie Scott, Ph.D Creationism disproved?
Evolution IS a blind watchmaker
erlando is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 7th October 2019, 12:47 AM   #1360
erlando
Graduate Poster
 
erlando's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 1,632
Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
The reason Google's results are better than DuckDuckGo's is that Google knows you and knows what you're looking for.
You say that like it's a bad thing....
__________________
"If it can grow, it can evolve" - Eugenie Scott, Ph.D Creationism disproved?
Evolution IS a blind watchmaker
erlando is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Reply

International Skeptics Forum » General Topics » Computers and the Internet

Bookmarks

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 05:33 AM.
Powered by vBulletin. Copyright ©2000 - 2020, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

This forum began as part of the James Randi Education Foundation (JREF). However, the forum now exists as
an independent entity with no affiliation with or endorsement by the JREF, including the section in reference to "JREF" topics.

Disclaimer: Messages posted in the Forum are solely the opinion of their authors.