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Headscratchers / The IT Crowd

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  • JBM: After the events of the "Friendface" episode, why is Jen still being portrayed as being completely computer illiterate? While she may not be the tech whizzes that Moss and Roy are, she still shows enough savvy to navigate web sites successfully and can operate her computer largely unassisted.
    • This is pretty consistent with the rest of the series. Everyone else at Reynholm Industries is just as un-savvy with computers as Jen is, but they can still use what they need to. See the episode where they're all convinced the internet is a little black box with a blinking red light, or the pilot with the infamous "Are you absolutely sure it's plugged in?" exchange. They can all use office programs, email and the internet, they just have no idea about any other aspects of computing. Which is an exaggeration, but something I've found to be fairly accurate in the real world.
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    • Very true. There are people who operate Facebook and use email and all of that jazz on a daily basis, but to whom even the most basic workings of a computer might as well be witchcraft. Anyone who hasn't met one should take a walk down their local shopping avenue and start asking people over 50 what a browser is.
      • This is Truth in Television; I do tech support for a living, and had a VP call to ask how to turn her computer on. She had a secretary that had always turned it on for her and opened emails and such before she came in, and she was on vacation, so the VP was completely helpless. And it's not just people over 50... 90% of the time, I ask what browser someone is using and get 'Google', 'Yahoo', 'Windows', etc.
      • Exactly - this is a pretty dumb complaint about the show. What's so unrealistic about someone being a facebook addict and yet being mostly computer illiterate? EVERYONE is on facebook nowadays, and that doesn't mean just about everyone is a computer expert.
      • Isn't this where the PEBKAC Problems originated from? (I'm actually surprised they haven't mentioned this on the show :D)
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    • Might help to imagine that you're seeing the rest of the staff through Roy's eyes - maybe they're not actually quite that bad, but they seem like it to him. (Incidentally, is it just me who likes to wonder, when people sneer about computer illiteracy, how well those people understand the inner workings of their cars or washing machines?)
      • You don't need to understand the 'inner workings' of how to use a computer... Most people who successfully drive cars don't know how to do anything more than change their oil, if that. But when you take your broken car to the mechanic, do you stand in the garage and tell them they're fixing it wrong and last time (which is completely different from what it's doing this time) they just changed the oil to fix it, and your friend who knows cars says that the reason the engine caught on fire was that the license plate was on upside down?
      • Users pretending to know more than they do is one thing, but you hear a lot of snobbery (there's a bit of it on this very page) along the lines of "how dare these people use computers without understanding how they work?". And the answer is that, like cars and washing machines, they see them as complicated machines which you take to a professional if they stop working.
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    • It's a real-life phenomenon; plenty of people know how to switch a computer on and do the basics of what they need to (check email, go on the internet, etc.) but are completely lost otherwise. It's exaggerated for comic effect, of course, but considering this is a comedy show that's hardly an unforgivable sin.
      • What do you mean "exaggerated"? Some of that can be very much Truth in Television. There's this friend of my father's whose tech-support slave I am, who can perfectly use his computer for the stuff he's used to (Facebook, MSN, chat-rooms), but is completely at a loss and he always calls me when there's anything at all that he could solve by simply looking stuff up on Google. An especially blatant example was when he once called me over because he forgot where the bookmarks menu was on IE 8. Now you know how things are.
      • Maybe, but unless you literally know, say, tech geeks who have started rioting due to sympathy period pains spread over a meme invented to make fun of someone, then yes, I think 'exaggerated' is still a fair word to use. And that's just one example.
  • In the episode 'The Work Outing', why does Roy board the bus from the right side, and why does the driver sit on the left side? This is a British bus, used on British roads, so shouldn't the driver be on the right and the passengers board from the left?
    • It's not really an everyday bus but a specially-converted minibus for disabled passengers, so it might be a different configuration.
      • I still don't see why even a converted bus wouldn't have the door on the left side though - that way it could pull up right to the sidewalk and not be opposing the adjacent lanes of traffic.
      • Perhaps because the market for disability buses is relatively small, meaning that it may not be worthwhile for a company to buy the molds and machinery required to produce a different version for each side of the road.
    • He actually boards it through the back (where the wheelchair lift is), and the driver is sitting on the right. He looks over his left shoulder as he speaks to the passengers, and as the bus drives away, you can see the front door being on the left.
  • In the episode that had the fire, why didn't Moss quickly look up the emergency number instead of sending an email?
  • How did it make any sense in Derek's mind to get rid of the IT department? Especially in this day and age.
    • Because it's absurd and funny.
    • If you want an in-universe reason he's likely something of an old fart who doesn't like computers and is still holding on to the hope that they can be ignored and they'll go away. Surprisingly many of those left, though one that high up in a modern corporation is odd.
    • In addition to his dislike of the department and the obvious Rule of Funny, he might have decided it would be cheaper and more efficient to subcontract out Reynholm Industries' IT services to a third party rather than maintain an in-house IT department.
  • What’s the "Blind Idiot" Translation for Moss’s long-winded solution in his Establishing Character Moment?
    • I think — and hope — it might simply be "Have you tried turning it off and on again?"
      • Well, Moss asks "have you tried forcing an unexpected reboot" - a reboot is indeed turning something off and on again, and an 'unexpected' one being 'forced' doesn't have to mean more than holding the power button until the computer shuts off and then immediately turning it on again. (This as opposed to just using the start menu and clicking on, or typing, Restart/Reboot, which for an operating system is neither forced as it can be delayed by the system until it is done closing down programs and installing updates and such, nor unexpected as it is a command so the system knows what to do with it and what is going to happen).

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