Software

20 off-the-wall emails from the lazy and technically clueless

End users sometimes ask the strangest questions. These users either don't have a clue or didn't take the time to search before hitting send.

Here at TechRepublic, our editors get lots of email--questions, compliments, criticism, and plenty of spam. We do our best to respond. And if we don't have the answer, we try to direct the sender to someone who might, often the TechRepublic community.

But sometimes, no matter how hard we try, we just can't decipher what the sender is asking for. And other times, what they're asking for is illegal, impractical, or just bizarre.

I've collected some of the more interesting ones, and put them into a TR Dojo gallery. I've blacked out the names and email addresses to protect the innocent (or clueless). Perhaps you can decipher some of the truly confusing ones, like the only below.

Note: Please remember one thing as you browse through the emails. My goal is not to discourage people from asking questions. Rather, I hope that this gallery encourages those with legitimate questions to do a little leg work before hitting the Send button. Browse the TechRepublic blogs and forums. Use our site search to find material relevant to your query. Or at the very least, enter your question into a search engine. If you're still unable to find a solution (and you're not asking for a Windows XP CD key), then by all means, ask away.

About

Bill Detwiler is Managing Editor of TechRepublic and Tech Pro Research and the host of Cracking Open, CNET and TechRepublic's popular online show. Prior to joining TechRepublic in 2000, Bill was an IT manager, database administrator, and desktop supp...

19 comments
wilburlikesmith
wilburlikesmith

EDITED: Noticed the one example... my bad, in honour of user stupidity, I'll leave my comment... Now see, I'm a designer and I'm rather computer literate... But twenty what, because I can only see and fine one email. Am I not seeing the next button or what? lol Oh and for deity sakes, what is this ad kak you're runnin on the sides of your website... I (and I'm sure a lot of other people) click away from the site body to get focus or what not and don't expect the white space to be an at blank ad link... wdf!

metaphysician
metaphysician

People are sometimes way too linear. I'm fairly computer literate. I've done duty as an Oracle DBA and a network administrator. I'm also the major chunk of technical support for my company, and get occasional IT questions from external sources. The problem is that my company purifies solvents for things like pharmaceuticals and analytical laboratories. Yes, I am technical support, but that doesn't automatically make me IT.

grichardt
grichardt

I have an HP/Compaq dx2450 with Athalon x2 2.8ghx, 3 gb Ram, Win 7 Pro 32bit. I use a Panasonic 32" 1080p tv as my monitor. (I know that that is excessive, but after a while it becomes addictive.) To get the best display, requires HDMI inpmut. I had installed a 500 watt power supply and a cheap ATI card that died after 18 months. I bought a cheap GeForce card as a replacement. The HDMI sound would crash and take down the computer. Sent that card back and ordered a cheap ATI card. In the mean time, I pulled a Galaxy Geforce GTS 250 card from an unused computer and installed as a temp fix. That card works ok, but I get intermitent sound/video freezes. The display/cursor will freeze for a period of < a minute, then the display will flash and resume functioning. I am wondering if the mother board is going bad? I am competent enough to change out a mobo but wonder at the wisdom of doing that if I can not tatoo the board to accept the original HP software. That is above my skill level. Do you think that it would be worth the effort and expense to fix it, new OS and all, or should I part it out?

Cat333Pokemon
Cat333Pokemon

As a recipient of plenty of fanmail, I learned that there is one thing that always perplexes me: how can people expect you to go out of their way to help with something when they can't even admit their inability to type properly? I see it all the time: (on YouTube) "plz wathc my vids an sub me i will sub u bak" doesn't sound like a very convincing reason to watch a guy ranting about his day at school or cheating in a video game.

ValintineDaigle
ValintineDaigle

I had a Lenoco 61 mayself, running exp and and cursers seemed to set it OFF and it wood cqash. Do you thing there was a problem with the mammory$ Boregard,MaximumBob

PurpleSkys
PurpleSkys

I know how it works, but I don't like it either. I just clicked on one myself and proceeded to growl at my husband about the full back ads on some of the pages. But, being an advertising exec myself (recently), I do understand why they're there even if I don't like 'em.

SirWizard
SirWizard

Sometimes the person offering help suffers from such problems; for example, Bill Detwiler's parenthetical remark near the end of his article. It contains two (2) errors: (and your not asking for an Windows XP CD key) It should have been: (and you're not asking for a Windows XP CD key) At least Bill means well.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

to say I don't know what 'sub me' or 'sub you' means.

PurpleSkys
PurpleSkys

get back to me when english is at least your second language...honestly there isn't much i get out of your post, can you please clarify...clearly....i think you have a Lenovo..but i'm not sure...and what about your cursers? they set what off? If it were an issue with your memory, it would have a beep code i would think...have you done something to your memory?..you really need to be not so vague...

Bodragon
Bodragon

He probably initially wrote: '...and your not asking for an XP CD key...' then changed it to: '...and your not asking for an Windows XP CD key...' and forget to change the 'an' to an 'a'. Happens a lot.

grichardt
grichardt

Bill's comment is gramatically correct if he has indicating ownership (your) rather than an action (you are). From reading the post, ownership was intended. You now get to repeat 5th grade English.

Bill Detwiler
Bill Detwiler

Thank you for pointing out the two typos in my last sentence. I've fixed both. Just remember, I'm not criticizing anyone for using poor English grammar (whether they're a native speaker or not). I'm criticizing people for asking inappropriate questions or not doing the slightest bit of research before firing off their queries.

Bill_M.
Bill_M.

The "Sub" most likely meant "Subscribe".

WirelessEngineer
WirelessEngineer

Not. The sentence is about ASKING (an action), not the ownership of the CD key.

cln
cln

'gramatically' should be 'grammatically'. Too funny!

Bill_M.
Bill_M.

Right. There goes another typo..... "critized" Sorry, it's not a big deal. I just couldn't help noticing. :)