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The most painfully complicated methods to do simple tasks?:

I'm currently reading this reddit thread, and when I got to this part:

"One of them always googles google.com to google things."

I almost spilled my drink. It's just so hilarious! Do you have similar stories?

For those who don't want to click on the link: Tell us stories about your co-workers or family members who are doing simple tasks in a roundabout way. For example printing a Word document, correcting the errors with a pen and typing the corrected version back in Word. Yes, there are people who actually do that.

I personally can't give you too much examples (still thinking though), but by reading the stories, I determined the list of basic errors:

Is there a trope for this? We have Robinson Goldberg Contraption, but that's not this, since it is about machines that do simple tasks in a complicate way while looking cool. The methods that these people use are not cool, and the most painful thing regarding this is that it doesn't matter if you tell them 12 times, 54 times or 151818 times that their method is flawed/slow/ridiculous/baffling, they always say: "But it's simpler this way" - and for you there is nothing left to say.

So share your similar stories here, while keeping in mind that the thread is not limited to computers, I welcome any story as long as it describes a simple task someone did in a recursively redundant roundabout way.

edited 30th May '11 4:28:01 AM by Sati1984

"We have done the impossible and that makes us mighty." - Malcolm Reynolds
I want Kat's glasses!
Googling Google, and equivalents, have become increasingly common with new browsers that have fused the address and search bars.
They Called Me Mad!! I decided to show them all; but when I looked on my works, oh mighty, I despaired: for it made me realize they were right.
 3 Loni Jay, Mon, 30th May '11 5:22:52 AM from Australia Relationship Status: Pining for the fjords
Back when I was first learning to use a computer I used to type capital letters by painstakingly (with the one finger I used to type with) hitting caps lock, typing one letter, hitting capslock again, and continuing to type. Even if there was a capital letter every second word. I hit my brother when he tried to convince me to use the shift key [lol]
Be not afraid...
 4 frog 753, Mon, 30th May '11 5:49:43 AM from CT and/or MA
At this point, I'm not quite sure if I have any really good examples of this. I have seen my fair share of people attempt to use an address bar as a search box and a search box as an address bar, but the two are increasingly becoming united, perhaps because companies saw people always doing that.

My cousin often tends to favor searching a bit too much. He want to find a particular Youtube video last night, for example, and my grandmother's rather overladen IE 8 (please don't shout at me, she uses her computer so infrequently and cares/knows so little about how it works that there's no point in trying to get her to get a better browser) has a built-in Bing bar. So he searched the title there, though he got it wrong at first, but that's not the point. I would have gone to Youtube and searched there, since I know I was looking for a Youtube video, so there wouldn't be a whole internet full of incorrect results sitting there in front of me. Thankfully the video (when he got the right title) was right up near the top of the results.

Also, I once knew a guy who seemed to think he could get IE 6 to go faster by repeatedly rapidly minimizing and maximizing it, but that's a whole other story...
Flora Segunda | World Made by Hand | Monster Blood Tattoo

^You should read these series.
[up]
I have seen my fair share of people attempt to use an address bar as a search box and a search box as an address bar, but the two are increasingly becoming united, perhaps because companies saw people always doing that.

Yes, but I still have one problem with this: think about the strain google servers go through because of all this basically unnecessary searching. That's a whole lot of resources every day, every hour that could be better spent. So in a way it's actually harmful to do this.

Also, I once knew a guy who seemed to think he could get IE 6 to go faster by repeatedly rapidly minimizing and maximizing it, but that's a whole other story...

Is this a trope? Do you have more examples of such "computer superstitions"?
"We have done the impossible and that makes us mighty." - Malcolm Reynolds
 6 Wolf 1066, Mon, 30th May '11 6:48:09 AM from New Zealand Relationship Status: In my bunk
Wolf1066
[up][up][up]I've seen clients do the capslock on, type letter, capslock off routine quite a few times.

Most of the painful ones I've seen are those who will type their username, use their mouse to click on the password field, type in the password then use the mouse to click OK - always with the mouse set as far from the keyboard as possible so they have to practically search for it. And they move the mouse slowly like they were handling nitroglycerine.

In their universe, Tab and Enter keys just don't exist.
Dangerously Genre Savvy since ages ago...
[up] I guess the shift key coming from the typewriter analogy, for the new generation the Caps Lock seems the more computer-y thing to do.
"We have done the impossible and that makes us mighty." - Malcolm Reynolds
I don't consider the printing of a Document for correction to be painful, sometimes you just don't spot errors until you read it in print. I dunno why, but I can totally miss things on screen that I catch on paper.

 
 9 storyyeller, Mon, 30th May '11 8:24:33 AM from Appleloosa Relationship Status: RelationshipOutOfBoundsException: 1
More like giant cherries
I did the caps locks thing as a kid too. And I have googled google before.

Life is simple: it has no nontrivial normal subgroups.
 10 Usht, Mon, 30th May '11 8:29:56 AM from an arbitrary view point.
Lv. 3 Genasi Wizard
When I was a kid, I thought you had to hit shift and the letter you wanted capitalized at the same exact time. This meant many backspaces were hit as I kept getting lower case letters.
The thing about making witty signature lines is that it first needs to actually be witty.
I want Kat's glasses!
All this talk about Caps Lock reminds me how I hate computers that are configured to cancel Caps Lock with Caps Lock. And nowadays they all default to it.
They Called Me Mad!! I decided to show them all; but when I looked on my works, oh mighty, I despaired: for it made me realize they were right.
 12 Karalora, Mon, 30th May '11 8:54:07 AM from San Fernando Valley, CA Relationship Status: In another castle
Manliest Person on Skype
[up][up][up][up] I think he means that they re-type the document from scratch based on the corrections instead of just editing the original. If I've misunderstood, then I agree with you—sometimes things are just more noticeable in print. It probably has to do with the way our eyes process pixels vs. solid objects.
Ok, now that would be a bit much. I have had to do it, when a file got corrupted, but that's obviously different.

 
victorinox243
Printing out a document and editing it by hand is hardly painful or complicated, nor is editing a simple task.

For me, it would be using a private vehicle to transit the same corridor a train runs for a commute to a city that has little to no parking. There's nothing like groggy drivers with coffee in their cars jamming the freeway in the mornings and afternoons.

edited 30th May '11 11:27:40 AM by victorinox243

 15 Enkufka, Mon, 30th May '11 12:14:00 PM from Bay of White fish
Wandering Student ಠ_ಠ
Mine would be getting a bunch of switches together and wiring them all up with about 20 feet of cord so that by puching 2 buttons I could switch between tvs with a game and switch between systems. It would've jsut been simpler to unplug the system and plug it back in...
Very big Daydream Believer.

"That's not knowledge, that's a crapshoot!" -Al Murray

"Welcome to QI" -Stephen Fry
Micromastophile
Googleing UR Ls has its uses (insure its correct).

 17 Pykrete, Mon, 30th May '11 12:37:27 PM from Viridian Forest
NOT THE BEES
Yeah I google URL's to make sure I don't accidentally hit a fake name or something.

 18 frog 753, Mon, 30th May '11 5:09:01 PM from CT and/or MA
Is this a trope? Do you have more examples of such "computer superstitions"?

I can't say for sure that it's a trope, but this wonderful page has enough examples to last you for a while. Some of them are wonderfully hilarious. And the neat thing is that a lot of them are old, like from the mid-late 90's or earlier, so it's great for nostalgia and taught me some neat stuff about what computers used to be like when I was too young to remember the details.
Flora Segunda | World Made by Hand | Monster Blood Tattoo

^You should read these series.
[up]This is seriously priceless
"Take your (...) hippy dream world, I'll take reality and earning my happiness with my own efforts" - Barkey
 20 Blue Ninja 0, Tue, 31st May '11 7:49:53 AM from The Middle of Nowhere Relationship Status: She's holding a very large knife
Slowly dying on the inside
notalwaysright.com also has a lot of real gems for IT folks. "I need you to flip off your router." "Is something supposed to happen?" "Yes, the lights should turn off." "I've been giving it the finger for thirty seconds and nothing's happened."
Once the avalanche has started, it is too late for the pebbles to cast their vote. - Ambassador Kosh
I want Kat's glasses!
[up]Interestingly, I would probably not be completely immune to that one, except the last line would be "Ah, you mean SWITCH it off!"

I'll probably also contemplate flipping the router over before asking the tech support to elaborate.

edited 31st May '11 7:54:26 AM by Medinoc

They Called Me Mad!! I decided to show them all; but when I looked on my works, oh mighty, I despaired: for it made me realize they were right.
 22 pvtnum 11, Tue, 31st May '11 12:06:23 PM from Kerbin low orbit Relationship Status: We finish each other's sandwiches
linkup
That reminds me of a skit I took part of. I was the bumbling lab assistant to the mad scientist, and my job was to activate the super-technical switch (made out of cardboard and duct tape) to energize our Frankenstein monster.

So, we had a bit of fun with my character's stupidity:

"Egon! Throw the switch!" So I threw it down to the ground. Hey, just a prop - not like it was actually plugged into anything.

"NO NO NO, Egon! Flip the switch!" So I rotated it about so it faced upside down. He facepalms, audience dies while laughing, I do my best to look deapan serious.

"Egon. TURN THE SWITCH ON." 'Oh, sorry master.' Click.

edited 31st May '11 12:06:40 PM by pvtnum11

Happiness is zero-gee with a sinus cold.
 23 Best Of, Tue, 31st May '11 1:30:55 PM from Finland Relationship Status: Falling within your bell curve
FABRICATI DIEM, PVNC!
"Egon. TURN THE SWITCH ON."

"Does this mean that you want me to softly caress its frame, or am I not understanding you?"
I'd take the awe of understanding over the awe of ignorance any day. - Douglas Adams
 24 pvtnum 11, Tue, 31st May '11 1:43:16 PM from Kerbin low orbit Relationship Status: We finish each other's sandwiches
linkup
Had not thought of that one. You get a [awesome], sir.

Of course, we were trying to avoid running into an overtly long gag.
Happiness is zero-gee with a sinus cold.
 25 Pykrete, Tue, 31st May '11 1:44:40 PM from Viridian Forest
NOT THE BEES
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