Granted, computer terminology is frequently complicated and misleading.
But shouldn't people know what they own?
Customer: "I have a 464 with 8K."
Customer: "I have a 386 Pentium."
Customer: "My brother has a 486 with a Pentium chip in it."
Tech Support: "How fast is your modem?"
Customer: "I don't know, it's got a Pentium chip in it."
A user called and demanded that his Windows 3.11 environment be changed from "386 Enhanced" to "Pentium Enhanced" since he felt he was "not getting the full potential" of his Pentium.
Tech Support: "What version of Eudora are you using?"
Customer: "Navigator 3.0."
Tech Support: "What type of computer do you own?"
Customer: "I don't know. I just bought it."
Tech Support: What kind of Mac do you have?
Customer: It's the kind that sits on my desk...not one of the newer ones.
Tech Support: "What kind of modem do you have?"
Customer: "Oh, it's a 486."
Tech Support: "No, that's the kind of computer you have. Ok, how much memory do you have?"
Customer: "It's supposed to have one gigabyte."
Customer: "It says I have 2 zillion bytes available, and I need 8 zillion."
Tech Support: "Ok, in the lower left-hand corner of File Manager, what does it have for 'Free'?"
Customer: "10,578 kegabytes."
Tech Support: "What version of the Mac OS are you using?"
Customer: "Word 6.0."
My Dad: "Ok, so I go into the Microsoft..."
It usually takes two or three guesses to determine which Microsoft application he's in.
Tech Support: "Are you installing on a Mac?"
Customer: "No, I'm using a 3.5" thingee on a disk."
Overheard in a computer games store:
Customer: "Will this run on a Dell?"
Salesperson: "Um, I'm not sure, sir. What kind of processor does it have?"
Customer: "Um...uh.... It's a Dell."
Customer: "What kind of hard disk do you have?"
Tech Support: "Well...it's black with a little red light...."
Customer: "Hi, I need to buy a box of hard disks."
When asking questions about setting up a new account online, the caller asked me if she had to put an 'astronaut' (asterisk) in front of the customer name.
Tech Support: "Is there an asterisk to the left of the discount field?"
Customer: "Nope, just a 'squishy bug'." (her name for an asterisk)
A friend of mine has a daughter who had started attending a university and had decided to buy a computer on which to complete assignments. Her father suggested she call me for some advice on what to buy, since he knew I worked with computers. I answered the questions based on her needs and thought she had a pretty good grasp of the fundamentals of what we had discussed about RAM, applications, windows, etc. Until she asked, "Oh, and Mike, which is better, hardware or software?"
I was working for a major college in our area and we had a real neophyte end user that was constantly having problems with her PS/2. I went over to find out what was wrong. I wanted to find out what program she was running, so I asked, "What software are you using?" She replied, "Software? Oh, we don't use software." Needless to say I was totally amazed, I guess her computer is telepathic.
Talking to a Mac user:
Tech Support: "Do you have any extensions on?"
Customer: "I have a surge protector."
A friend had to go over to a bank and set everyone's software up. Since all the Internet software his company supports runs under MS Windows, he asked the manager "Do you have Windows?" The manager stared at him blankly and said, "No, we've got air conditioning."
A woman called the Canon help desk with a problem with her printer. The tech asked her if she was "running it under Windows." The woman then responded, "No, my desk is next to the door. But that is a good point. The man sitting in the cubicle next to me is under a window, and his is working fine."
Customer: "I'm going to install Windows 75 as soon as you guys send it to me."
Customer: "I've been using Windows 94 at work."
Customer: "I'm on Windows 96."
Tech Support: "I'm sorry, do you mean Windows 95?"
Customer: "No, I'm on Windows 96."
Tech Support: "I'm sorry sir, but there is no such thing as Windows 96. You must be using Windows 95."
Customer: "Look, I bought this computer in 1996, so I know it has Windows 96 on it."
Tech Support: (pause) "Sir, buying a computer is not like buying a car with the different model years."
Customer: "Oh, I didn't know that."
Customer: "Backsplash. Backsplash?"
Tech Support: "Backslash."
Customer: "C colon backspl...backslash."
Tech Support: "How much free space do you have on your hard drive?"
Customer: "Well, my wife likes to get up there on that Internet, and she downloaded ten hours of free space. Is that enough?"