Monday, November 21, 2011
I do my best to stay away from rants. I've found it to be a truism...no one takes an angry person seriously unless they are brandishing a firearm. Any common sense or important point the Raving One offers is lost on their less than stable presentation of that point.
I know...I've been a "Raving One" from time to time.
There comes a time though when you either have to get it out or implode. I have way too much to do this next month to do the implosion thing and I'm not one to leave others to clean up my mess, so I'll do this as delicately as possible.
It was a pretty simple thing. I sat with a 12 year old girl and her dad as I explained how to use their new Linux System. I spent the better part of 90 minutes working with them and felt confident that I had done a good job when I left.
I wasn't back at the shop 10 minutes when my phone rang.
It was Dad.
"I can't download anything", he complained. "Everything I try to download won't download."
When I left there, the Internet was working fine.
"So, do your websites load? Can you get to different websites?"
"But when you try to download something, it won't download to your computer?"
So I started at the beginning. I had him make sure he wasn't getting cached pages, I had him trace the network cable from the router to the computer, we did the ping thing both from local IP and to the network. I had him open up the Firefox preferences and checked is proxy settings and download settings.
Everything was fine.
"What is it you are trying to download?"
"Uh, just stuff."
"Are they images or music? I need to know the size of the files and where you are trying to download them from."
Well, as it turns out....he was able to download fine. It was "what" he was downloading that was causing him problems.
He was trying to "download" graboid. For those that don't know...graboid is the GUI front end that you install on your computer and pay a monthly fee to use. It is the evolution of the old Usenet news group movie program. Back when newsgroups were still hosted by the ISP's, you could find a newsgroup for just about anything you could imagine. From high speed goat porn to Ford big block engine rebuilding, it was available. Once the ISP's began to feel the horrible bandwidth drain these newsgroups were causing, they shucked them off like a dirty shirt.
Apps like graboid took their place and basically they are just bit torrent files that have already been uploaded. The software simply makes sure the movie/music or file you are downloading are somewhat working.
So I had two problems here. I'm pretty sure that a 12 year old girl wasn't "downloading" graboid.....dad was and secondly, when he said he couldn't "download" anything, he meant that the downloaded .exe files were failing when executed.
So this guy lunches on 20 minutes of my time while I chase around phantom Internet problems and then tells me he is using a computer given to his gifted child for movie piracy.
I was pretty firm, if not too much so in explaining to him....again...that Windows programs did not work on Linux. I made it a point to remind him that I spent well over an hour going over this stuff with him then spent another 10 minutes on the phone with him explaining the difference between "download" and "install".
I thought I was done.
"Tell me how much memory is in this computer."
"2 gigs...that's not even enough for one movie."
I wanted to run my face into a wood chipper, but instead I patiently explained the difference between memory and storage. But then it kind of got on top of me.
"Randy", I said. "We brought this computer to help your daughter in her school work. I'm getting the feeling that she's not going to have access to this computer. Can you assure me it will be available to her for the purpose intended?"
There was a long silence and just when I was going to reassert my question, he asked me:
"So you mean that if I double click this icon, it won't download?"
I hung up the phone and went to see if the wood chipper had any fuel in it.
I'll revisit the child after Thanksgiving and see if I can't talk to the Mom. Mom's most often are the brighter of the couple.
blather and mumbling provided by Ken Starks at 5:45 PM