Computer Stupidities: Operating Systems

People don't quite realize how difficult computers used to be for everyday folk. If you think dumbasses with PCs are rampant now (that's not counting Mac users), imagine when they didn't even have a GUI (Graphical User Interface). In human words, having pretty icons, mourse cursors, taskbars, windows, maximize/minize and close buttons. Everything you're looking at right now is being displayed through a GUI, and you might even get lost.

So put yourself in the shoes of the people who only had this:

The upside to this is that you'd only have people that could read and comprehend what they read using computers, the morons would be filtered and driven away by the complexity. Well not so, the moronamus are so vast in numbers they managed to even annoy computer techs back then. Here are some stories of old, so you will not read anything about Windows XP or Vista. Courtesy of

One user -- a regular caller of ours -- got herself into some serious computer trouble when she set about cleaning up her system. She had been exploring the hard drive in the file manager and discovered hundreds of files in the Windows directory with all different file extensions. Being of an orderly mind, and with several hours of free time, she had created a TXT folder, a COM folder, a DLL folder, and so forth, and moved all the files into these subdirectories.

We maintain a 24 hour, 800 number call desk for our maintenance contract customers, a very expensive undertaking. Non-contract customers can call as well, but our per-call maintenance charge is $250/hour, with a minimum of three hours. If you only call us occasionally, it's a lot cheaper than a contract, but it's clearly designed to discourage trivial calls.

In 1996 a per-call customer called. "What does MSDOS stand for?" she asked. We told her. Her firm paid the $750 bill without demur.

  • Tech Support: "What software are you using to backup?
  • Customer: "Ms. Dos." (spoken like it was a person, like Mr. Dos or Mrs. Dos)
  • Tech Support: "What, are you just copying the files with the xcopy or copy command?"
  • Customer: "Oh, no I use Ms. Backup for that."

Read in a message board of a local BBS: "I try to avoid using Microsoft. That's why I use MS-DOS."

I saw two older looking ladies trying to figure out the computers at a local store.
  • Woman 1: "What is that little trash can on the screen?"
  • Woman 2: "My son says that it is called the 'recycle bin'. He tells me when I don't want a Word document anymore and I delete it, it really goes in there."
  • Woman 1: "Why in the recycle thingy? Can't you just erase it?"
  • Woman 2: "Oh no, Word wouldn't work for very long if I did that, I would run out of blank pages."
  • Woman 1: "Why?"
  • Woman 2: "Because it cleans the words off the pages, then sends the blank sheets back to Word so they can be used again. That's why it's called the recycle bin."

From a Windows 95 user:

  • Customer: "I think my computer doesn't know what it is doing."
  • Tech Support: (pause) "Why? What is the problem with the system?"
  • Customer: "Well, it keeps asking me, 'What is this?'"

  • Customer: "Something's wrong with my computer."
  • Tech Support: "Like what?"
  • Customer: "When I turn it on the screen goes all black."
  • Tech Support: "Totally black?"
  • Customer: "Yes."
  • Tech Support: "Does it say 'C:\>' in the corner?"
  • Customer: "Yes."
  • Tech Support: "Then it's not really all black, is it?"
  • Customer: "I guess not."
  • Tech Support: "Type 'win' and press the enter key."

  • Friend: "Hey, cool Mac! Does it have Windows!?"
  • Me: (incredulous stare)
  • Friend: "Oh, wait, that was stupid. All Macs have Windows."

  • My Friend: "I just installed Windows 98."
  • Me: "Cool.'s 2001. Why not Windows 2000 or wait for XP to come out?"
  • My Friend: "Oh, 98 is more easily hacked, so I want it."
  • Me: "You want to get hacked?"
  • My Friend: "Yes! Wouldn't you?"
  • Me: "No...."
  • My Friend: "When you get hacked you get a lot of money! That's a good thing!"
  • Me: "???"

  • Tech Support: "What operating system are you running? Windows 95?"
  • Customer: (a little too excited) "95, 97, 98, I've got them all!"
After conferring with her husband, it turned out she owned a Macintosh with System 8.1.

1 comment:

  1. This is too good, way too good I say.

    The best part is the one with the elderly ladies.
    I mean it makes perfect sense, that woman could be an undiscovered genius or something.