So you think you're computer-illiterate?
Check out the following excerpts from a Wall Street Journal article by
Jim Carlton --
Compaq is considering changing the command "Press Any Key" to "Press
Return Key" because of the flood of calls asking where the "Any" key
is. AST technical support had a caller complaining that her mouse was hard
to control with the dust cover on. The cover turned out to be the
plastic bag the mouse was packaged in.
Another Compaq technician received a call from a man complaining that
the system wouldn't read word processing files from his old diskettes.
After trouble-shooting for magnets and heat failed to diagnose the
problem, it was found that the customer labeled the diskettes then
rolled them into the typewriter to type the labels.
Another AST customer was asked to send a copy of her defective
diskettes. A few days later a letter arrived from the customer along
with Xeroxed copies of the floppies.
A Dell technician advised his customer to put his troubled floppy back
in the drive and close the door. The customer asked the tech to hold
on, and was heard putting the phone down, getting up and crossing the
room to close the door to his room.
Another Dell customer called to say he couldn't get his computer to
fax anything. After 40 minutes of trouble-shooting, the technician
discovered the man was trying to fax a piece of paper by holding it in
front of the monitor screen and hitting the "send" key.
Another Dell customer needed help setting up a new program, so a Dell
tech suggested he go to the local Egghead. "Yeah, I got me a couple of
friends,"the customer replied. When told Egghead was a software store,
the man said, "Oh, I thought you meant for me to find a couple of
Yet another Dell customer called to complain that his keyboard no
longer worked. He had cleaned it by filling up his tub with soap and
water and soaking the keyboard for a day, then removing all the keys
and washing them individually.
A Dell technician received a call from a customer who was enraged
because his computer had told him he was "bad and an invalid". The
tech explained that the computer's "bad command" and "invalid" responses
shouldn't be taken personally.
An exasperated caller to Dell Computer Tech Support couldn't get her
new Dell Computer to turn on. After ensuring the computer was plugged
in, the technician asked her what happened when she pushed the power
button. Her response, "I pushed and pushed on this foot pedal and
nothing happens." The "foot pedal" turned out to be the computer's
Another customer called Compaq tech support to say her brand-new
computer wouldn't work. She said she unpacked the unit, plugged it in,
and sat there for 20 minutes waiting for something to happen. When
asked what happened when she pressed the power switch, she asked "What