[rescue] VirtualBox anecdotes - was Re: A wee bit off-topic

Phil Stracchino phils at caerllewys.net
Mon Jun 22 10:32:42 CDT 2015

On 06/21/15 15:51, Dave McGuire wrote:
>   Yep...With enough money, one can buy a survey to "prove" anything one
> wants to prove.
>   Personally, in my daily socio-business circles, I know precisely THREE
> people who use Windows.  That makes for about 10%.  Granted I don't have
> the patience to suffer stupid people readily, and I don't hang out with
> gamers, but there's a data point.

We are, howevever, a sufficiently atypical set of data points that the
data is of relatively little significance to the composition of the
massive consumer userbase.  On this curve, we are well out on the long
tail.  A shocking proportion of business users are, frankly, so
abysmally technically ignorant about computers that they believe
anything the shiniest brochure tells them.

My primary contact for one of my employer's customers is a woman so
computer illiterate that every problem to be resolved takes ten times as
long as it needs to, because she apparently doesn't understand big words
like "replication" and "schema".  Half of every conversation on the
phone with her consists of me searching for ever simpler ways to explain
the issue in the support ticket, while she repeats "You know I'm not
technical."  She wields her ignorance like a bludgeon, but will not hand
off the ticket to one of her developers who actually understands the
issue.  (Why, I don't know.  Maybe she can't delegate, maybe she can't
part with the "prestige" of being the person who <s>obstructs
communication</s> er, communicates with a major service provider.)
Granted she is an extreme case in the opposite direction ... but she is
not alone.  I've had tickets I could make no sense of until I finally
had the flash of insight that when the customer SAID "restore", the
customer MEANT "dump".  To which the customer angrily retorted, "IT'S
THE SAME THING!"  No, dear customer, it is not.  It is in fact the exact

I know people who have relatives who honestly believe that you cannot
get Internet service unless you have a phone line and a dial-up modem.
I know people who truly believe that the thing with the piece of glass
in the front is the computer, and the big rectangular box is just the
hard drive.  Is it any surprise that people with this level of technical
ignorance, possibly aided and abetted by MBAs, honestly believe that
whatever the biggest corporation tells them is the best must be the best?

There's a quotation I have somewhere.  I don't remember who it was, but
the gist of it was this:
"Windows is crap.  This crap runs 95% of the computers on the planet ...
but it's still crap."

  Phil Stracchino
  Babylon Communications
  phils at caerllewys.net
  phil at co.ordinate.org
  Landline: 603.293.8485

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