0763: "Workaround"

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0763: "Workaround"

Postby jspenguin » Wed Jul 07, 2010 3:40 am UTC

Image

title text: "I once worked on a friend's dad's computer. He had the hard drive divided into eight partitions, C: through H:, with a 'Documents' directory tree on each one. Each new file appeared to be saved to a partition at random. I knew enough not to ask."

reminds me of web 0.1

Code: Select all

from __future__ import skynet

JoePa
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Re: "Workaround" discussion

Postby JoePa » Wed Jul 07, 2010 3:44 am UTC

This is my favorite comic of the past few weeks (maybe even months). The fists-to-the-head really did it for me.

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Re: "Workaround" discussion

Postby IIAOPSW » Wed Jul 07, 2010 3:45 am UTC

this was awesome. reminds me of my grandfather.

also reminds me of the "tech support flow chart"

well done mr.munroe. well done.
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dbam987
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Re: "Workaround" discussion

Postby dbam987 » Wed Jul 07, 2010 3:47 am UTC

So true on the part of never to ask how a person gets around a computer problem. Just take it for granted that you didn't have to suffer for a solution for them, and they bash you for the complexity of it.

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Re: "Workaround" discussion

Postby Steve the Pocket » Wed Jul 07, 2010 3:50 am UTC

I've been trying to stop my mother from scrolling through websites by hovering over the scroll bar and using the scroll wheel. She claims it works in cases when just the wheel by itself doesn't. I don't know whether to believe her or not, but mostly I'm trying not to care.
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rwald
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Re: "Workaround" discussion

Postby rwald » Wed Jul 07, 2010 3:51 am UTC

JoePa wrote:This is my favorite comic of the past few weeks (maybe even months). The fists-to-the-head really did it for me.

The term you're looking for is Double Facepalm

Also, back in high school my English teacher showed me how she was using Word's "Save As..." dialog to copy, move, and delete files...apparently she never learned about Windows Explorer. I don't recall if I facepalmed, but I probably should have.

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Re: "Workaround" discussion

Postby glasnt » Wed Jul 07, 2010 3:52 am UTC

Printing a generated report, only to annotate it with a pen, then fax to a co-worker, only to have them scan it back in and email it within a word doc back to the developer... *shudder* I've had that happen.

I've also had B&W scanned/emailed web page mockups done on grid paper with blue/red ink, and he wondered why I couldn't tell the difference between colours, bless.

Please, comrades, tell me your stories of workaround woes. We shall all be here to support you in your pain.

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kvaks
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Re: "Workaround" discussion

Postby kvaks » Wed Jul 07, 2010 3:58 am UTC

What Windows workaround will give eight partitions with six drive letters?

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Re: "Workaround" discussion

Postby sehkzychic » Wed Jul 07, 2010 3:59 am UTC

ummm...C: through H:? that's only 6 partitions... :|

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Re: "Workaround" discussion

Postby Mighty Jalapeno » Wed Jul 07, 2010 4:13 am UTC

sehkzychic wrote:ummm...C: through H:? that's only 6 partitions... :|

Sure, in English...

dbam987
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Re: "Workaround" discussion

Postby dbam987 » Wed Jul 07, 2010 4:13 am UTC

LOL, yeah there is only 6 letters between C and H (mutually exclusive). Maybe he counted the never-used A and B floppy drives? Anyone still have a machine with those installed? Ahhh, the dreaded cyclic redundancy error nightmare resurfaces :shock:.

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Re: "Workaround" discussion

Postby elenaran » Wed Jul 07, 2010 4:16 am UTC

My mother-in-law got a new camera which only had an electronic-copy of the manual (in PDF). She wanted to print it off for easier reading, but since it was hundreds of pages long, she wanted to print multiple pages per sheet. Her workaround was:

Open the PDF & Powerpoint
Copy & Paste each page from the PDF into Powerpoint as its own slide (remember, I said there were -hundreds- of pages)
Print the slides in the multiple-slides-per-page option that Powerpoint provides

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Re: "Workaround" discussion

Postby Arancaytar » Wed Jul 07, 2010 4:22 am UTC

jspenguin wrote:title text: "I once worked on a friend's dad's computer. He had the hard drive divided into eight partitions, C: through H:, with a 'Documents' directory tree on each one. Each new file appeared to be saved to a partition at random. I knew enough not to ask."


He probably uses a mental hashing function.
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Re: "Workaround" discussion

Postby Arancaytar » Wed Jul 07, 2010 4:25 am UTC

Mighty Jalapeno wrote:
sehkzychic wrote:ummm...C: through H:? that's only 6 partitions... :|

Sure, in English...


Exactly, there are also the È and É partitions.

Personally, I'd prefer to name mine Æ, Ħ, Ƕ and ȹ, but I work on Unix and have no such thing as drive letters, except in the sense of sd* for device names.

My partition labels are ancient Sumerian cities, in keeping with the theme of my computer's name (Enki).
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Eternal Density
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Re: "Workaround" discussion

Postby Eternal Density » Wed Jul 07, 2010 4:36 am UTC

This is a good xkcd. I am fairly pleased.

Apart from the drive letter count mixup, that is :P
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Re: "Workaround" discussion

Postby SpringLoaded12 » Wed Jul 07, 2010 4:42 am UTC

How was this man able to get 8 (or 6?) partitions all separate, with writing to each one chosen at random, if we assume that he does not have the computer skills to fix whatever the hell that problem was in a simpler way? Making partitions that aren't automatically [u]the entire drive[/u] takes some tech-savvyness.

And speaking of drives, I chuckled at this:
"I want a :D drive instead of a D: drive" -a_passerby, [i]bash.org[/i] (Quote #10025)

And if anyone is familiar with Bash and QDB, I think they are where Randall gets some of his jokes.
See here: [url]http://qdb.us/82477[/url]
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Bash and QDB are archives of submitted humorous (usually) quotes from IRC (Internet Relay Chat, a multi-user chatroom protocol used throughout teh intarwebz0rz).
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Re: "Workaround" discussion

Postby Icalasari » Wed Jul 07, 2010 4:43 am UTC

My workarounds ARE these. And yet I and my dad are the most computer savy in the family

I learned more when I had to download Ubuntu using a different computer to fix Vista on mine than I had known about computers previously (fracking computer wouldn't let me use the recommended way to fix it >.>)

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Re: "Workaround" discussion

Postby midflinx » Wed Jul 07, 2010 4:43 am UTC

Steve the Pocket wrote:I've been trying to stop my mother from scrolling through websites by hovering over the scroll bar and using the scroll wheel. She claims it works in cases when just the wheel by itself doesn't. I don't know whether to believe her or not, but mostly I'm trying not to care.

She has a point. Go to youtube and start scrolling over the page and then put the cursor over the video and try and scroll. At least for me in Firefox it will stop scrolling while the cursor is over the video. There could be other flash things on other sites that halt her scrolling. If she doesn't realize why the scrolling stops she'll just get frustrated. So now she has a solution.

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Re: "Workaround" discussion

Postby chridd » Wed Jul 07, 2010 4:44 am UTC

Steve the Pocket wrote:I've been trying to stop my mother from scrolling through websites by hovering over the scroll bar and using the scroll wheel. She claims it works in cases when just the wheel by itself doesn't. I don't know whether to believe her or not, but mostly I'm trying not to care.
I've had laptops where the scroll-wheel equivalent didn't work right on all applications, but worked more often if the mouse cursor was over the scroll bar.
Also, it makes a difference if there are items in the page with their own scroll bars (such as text areas), and it might not make a difference if they're pointing at embedded Flash (though it works on my computer).
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Re: "Workaround" discussion

Postby Mr. Coffee » Wed Jul 07, 2010 4:47 am UTC

I've seen a few people who saved images by pasting them in word documents and then saving those.

I feel like I've encountered more things that are relevant to this comic but I must have put everything else out of my mind. :]

AlexTG
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Re: "Workaround" discussion

Postby AlexTG » Wed Jul 07, 2010 4:49 am UTC

Arrrg, and then of course you've got to make the big decision: to tell them the proper way or not to tell them.

Tell them: They will feel sad because they were so proud of themselves before.

Don't tell them:They waste many many hours of their life on a task which should take a few seconds.

:(

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Re: "Workaround" discussion

Postby bane2571 » Wed Jul 07, 2010 4:53 am UTC

Steve the Pocket wrote:I've been trying to stop my mother from scrolling through websites by hovering over the scroll bar and using the scroll wheel. She claims it works in cases when just the wheel by itself doesn't. I don't know whether to believe her or not, but mostly I'm trying not to care.


Actually, this is oddly true, Some web pages have weird sections where if you mouse over them the page just wont scroll. I think they might be nested frames of some kind, but like you I try hard not to care.

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Swivelguy
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Re: "Workaround" discussion

Postby Swivelguy » Wed Jul 07, 2010 4:54 am UTC

Reminds me of a postdoc in our group. He wanted to share a video from youtube at a meeting, so he took a digital camera, pointed it at this laptop's screen, and recorded the youtube video, which produces a handy WMV file he knows how to deal with.

We all kind of wondered why the video and sound quality was so horrible, and then the video reached a section that was very dark, and we could see my colleague's reflection in his laptop screen, holding the camera.
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Re: "Workaround" discussion

Postby Gerino » Wed Jul 07, 2010 4:59 am UTC

Arancaytar wrote:
Mighty Jalapeno wrote:
sehkzychic wrote:ummm...C: through H:? that's only 6 partitions... :|

Sure, in English...


Exactly, there are also the È and É partitions.

Personally, I'd prefer to name mine Æ, Ħ, Ƕ and ȹ, but I work on Unix and have no such thing as drive letters, except in the sense of sd* for device names.

My partition labels are ancient Sumerian cities, in keeping with the theme of my computer's name (Enki).


You forgot Polan..... err... You forgot "Ę" :)

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Re: "Workaround" discussion

Postby Eutychus » Wed Jul 07, 2010 5:01 am UTC

Mr. Coffee wrote:I've seen a few people who saved images by pasting them in word documents and then saving those.


I often do this for scanned images of things like ID cards. I find it far easier to get an acceptable printable version at a usable size and with more than one image (eg front and back) on a single page by pasting into Word, clicking and dragging to resize and using the image toolbar to twerk contrast and brightness than fiddling around in MS Office Picture Manager and the ensuing 'print image' options.

What's wrong with that? (double face-palmers queue here -->)
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Re: "Workaround" discussion

Postby neoliminal » Wed Jul 07, 2010 5:11 am UTC

Remember, always print the webpages you visit. Next time you come they might have changed.
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Re: "Workaround" discussion

Postby Jof16's » Wed Jul 07, 2010 5:15 am UTC

LOL. So true. I remember a long time ago a friend of mine wanted to print something on the schools computer but IE wouldn't let them (thank goodness they switched to Firefox, but only after my class graduated) so another guy from out class decided he had the perfect solution. Copy the entire article to Wordpad (or some similar program). Unfortunately, it didn't have Wordwrap on, so the entire document went across a single line. Regardless, they tried to print it. It printed on line per page. I believe it printed a total of 20 or so pages.

Good comic. I really like it.

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Magic Molly
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Re: "Workaround" discussion

Postby Magic Molly » Wed Jul 07, 2010 5:21 am UTC

Eutychus wrote:
Mr. Coffee wrote:I've seen a few people who saved images by pasting them in word documents and then saving those.


I often do this for scanned images of things like ID cards. I find it far easier to get an acceptable printable version at a usable size and with more than one image (eg front and back) on a single page by pasting into Word, clicking and dragging to resize and using the image toolbar to twerk contrast and brightness than fiddling around in MS Office Picture Manager and the ensuing 'print image' options.

What's wrong with that? (double face-palmers queue here -->)


for saving printable versions that's actually the easiest way.

Kind of reminded me of the "please fax me more paper" joke.

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Re: "Workaround" discussion

Postby faunablues » Wed Jul 07, 2010 5:33 am UTC

i have a worse example... my mom couldn't figure out dragging & selecting windows within a web browser. I found this out when I was showing her a website, opened a new window for it, and she exclaimed "you made my page disappear!" I was trying to figure out how she was living in this confusing land of disappearing windows, and apparently she just opened a new window to go back to whatever window she had covered up some dozen layers back.

I have tried to teach her tabs and exposé (mac), but I've given up. I think she might have the hang of dragging now, though!

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Mr. Burke
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Re: "Workaround" discussion

Postby Mr. Burke » Wed Jul 07, 2010 5:47 am UTC

Oh come on, he totally forgot to print it out, place it on a wooden table, photograph it, scan it and only then paste it into word.

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Re: "Workaround" discussion

Postby compro01 » Wed Jul 07, 2010 5:57 am UTC

Mr. Coffee wrote:I've seen a few people who saved images by pasting them in word documents and then saving those.


lots of people used to do that to send me screenshots of error messages when i did tech support.

it eventually became our standard procedure, as many of the systems in question were configured without MSpaint and other utility programs for some unknown reason.

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Bipod
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Re: "Workaround" discussion

Postby Bipod » Wed Jul 07, 2010 6:00 am UTC

This reminds me of trying to get my mom anywhere around the internet. Since of course she has to type everything in herself, it ends up with me telling her to go to whatever.com. Then, she'll type that into the google search bar at the top right of the window. Then she'll click on the result she wants (which is invariably the first one). No matter how many times I tell her you can just type it in the URL bar, she insists it's quicker her way. I'm just glad I don't have to help her do anything else with a computer. Oh wait...

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Re: "Workaround" discussion

Postby riddler » Wed Jul 07, 2010 6:07 am UTC

I knew enough not to ask


But did you know enough not to OPEN any of the files?

Partition C: Computer Stuff
Partition D: Family photos
Partition E: Porn
Partition F: Gay Porn
Partition G: Horse Porn
Partition H: Really, really, don't open these files Porn

dookiecheese
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Re: "Workaround" discussion

Postby dookiecheese » Wed Jul 07, 2010 6:17 am UTC

Interesting solutions are one thing but creating interesting problems like somehow putting folder 1 into folder 2, while folder 2 is at the same time inside of folder 1 making an exponentially growing number of new folder 1 and 2's self create when you attempt to open folder 1 or 2. Kind of like an episode of Futurama: "The Farnsworth Parabox".

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Re: "Workaround" discussion

Postby masher » Wed Jul 07, 2010 6:28 am UTC

I heard a story about a secretary that kept everything on her computer in "New Folder (n)". New folders inside new folders.

She then had a notebook (a physical paper one) that she kept notes in on which folder each file was in.

Then she lost the notebook.

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Re: "Workaround" discussion

Postby phlip » Wed Jul 07, 2010 6:33 am UTC

SpringLoaded12 wrote:And if anyone is familiar with Bash and QDB, I think they are where Randall gets some of his jokes.
See here: http://qdb.us/82477
Or, if you can't be bothered, here it is:
<sir_dilla> man, i suck at this game. can you give me a few pointers?
<samson> 0x3A28213A, 0x6339392C, 0x7363682E
<sir_dilla> i hate you

I think it's more likely that QDB is making reference to xkcd, not vice-versa... or, more to the point, someone makes an xkcd reference, and another person in the channel doesn't recognise it as a reference, thinks it's hilarious, and submits it to QDB.

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enum ಠ_ಠ {°□°╰=1, °Д°╰, ಠ益ಠ╰};
void ┻━┻︵​╰(ಠ_ಠ ⚠) {exit((int)⚠);}
[he/him/his]

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Re: "Workaround" discussion

Postby reyortdor » Wed Jul 07, 2010 6:59 am UTC

I'm no computer nerd, and I read xkcd for the math jokes. Unfortunately, this means that I probably do some weird workaround stuff myself. I would post what they are, but I think that the stuff I come up with to solve a problem is quite brilliant. :D

Kohlrabi
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Re: "Workaround" discussion

Postby Kohlrabi » Wed Jul 07, 2010 7:01 am UTC

Actually the way how the Documents stuff worked is completely right. The normal user should only access his user's "Documents" folder and should not have to care about where the files are physically saved. The only problem arises when the OS is unable to properly merge all the Document folders to one, and also just shows a random one when the user accesses his Documents folder.

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Re: "Workaround" discussion

Postby Ultraviolent4 » Wed Jul 07, 2010 7:11 am UTC

Back in the days of dial-up internet, my grandpa got his first computer ever. He wanted to check the stock market or something. My dad gave him a basic tutorial so that he could connect to the internet and navigate to a few pages.

Tragically, my grandpa had never heard of the backspace key. Every single time he made a typo he would have to start again from scratch. This involved turning the computer off, turning the computer back on, reconnecting to the internet and then trying to retype the address.

This workaround continued for a few months, until, frustrated, my grandpa rang my dad to complain of a significantly higher telephone bill.

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Re: "Workaround" discussion

Postby The1exile » Wed Jul 07, 2010 7:19 am UTC

Steve the Pocket wrote:I've been trying to stop my mother from scrolling through websites by hovering over the scroll bar and using the scroll wheel. She claims it works in cases when just the wheel by itself doesn't. I don't know whether to believe her or not, but mostly I'm trying not to care.

This actually can work as it will override the priority of (in some cases) the scroll wheel doing horizontal scrolling instead of vertical scrolling.

dbam987 wrote:LOL, yeah there is only 6 letters between C and H (mutually exclusive). Maybe he counted the never-used A and B floppy drives? Anyone still have a machine with those installed? Ahhh, the dreaded cyclic redundancy error nightmare resurfaces :shock:.

I still have a plug in to usb floppy disk drive for my laptop. And I also have old CD's which have their own cyclic error redundancy errors.
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