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Day. From. Technical. Hell.

10:44 AM 3/9/2007
I feel feverish. This is either me, what I'm wearing, or the building just being warm.

12:22 PM 3/9/2007
One of the advantages to the ability to check e-mail every now and then throughout the day in a lull is that if one of the subscriptions that one has made in order to start testing out the duties of helping moderate a comm has landed a troll comment in one's inbox, one can then e-mail said comment right to the actual maintainer, who can deal with the troll with speed and efficiency. All in under ten minutes, with no other responses to the troll besides my very bland "That is a very unrelated link. You may be commenting in the wrong community." Flamewar contained at the first spark. (Well, the flamewar is up and raging over in the linked discussion, but not right in the comm where I'm watching.)

2:23 PM 3/9/2007
omfg. omfg. omfg. I can't escape from them. They are some of the nicest people in the world, and omfg. Snarky Lady's Lead Minion is not, not, not a computer person. She's not trained in reading the common UI, so she's very computer-illiterate. I've been teaching her what some of the symbols mean, like the little arrow in the corner for the shortcuts. I guess some people don't really pick up on the visual cues for the UI as fast as someone else would. But someone has to teach her each UI "word"; she's not one of those people who picks up things and then starts picking up more on her own.

The latest? She's been signing out on what she fondly believes to be the timesheet.
Problem is, she's not been. It's been a copy of the sheet, on the desktop of the machine she's been working from. She was wondering why there was already data in there from previous days, but it never occurred to her that she should tell someone and get help with it.

I explained that it was a "fake", amazingly enough without profanity. I explained the concept of a shortcut to the machine in the back room. I explained how all the machines out in Field are using a shortcut to the machine in the back room. I showed the arrows to her. I showed the place in Excel where it displays the path of the current file.

Snarky Lady told her to cut her nails. (She has these daggers on her fingers. Well, not daggers. They're very clean, very nice, very well-kept artificial nails. I think they're artificial. They're clear-polished, whatever they are. But she can't type. It's not physically possible for her hands to touch-type. She has to sort of hunt and poke at about 10wpm.)

In Field, someone asked me how it came to be that over some weekend, somehow the server copy of the sheet in question got totally wiped out. Not just the data, but instead of the sheet it was supposed to be, there was this pristine fresh-looking spreadsheet that had none of the formatting or anything.

I had to explain the concept of "some idiot opened up a new spreadsheet, then hit 'save as' without thinking, that idiot," and that this idiot was not necessarily the one who was last in that spreadsheet.

3:43 PM 3/9/2007
I took break, and gibbered to Turbo. Then I called Darkside. Darkside is the one who managed to get me not-gibbering. Darkside is a prince among men.

4:34 PM 3/9/2007
Got to explain the current problems with internet shortcuts vs. end-users to Turbo. Snarky Lady may have the experience and knowledge, but I speak computer far better.

At some point I might have the spoons to explain it properly, but the combination of an outdated desktop shortcut that cannot be deleted, that the computer-incompetent people are conditioned to use, and then the new link that's been passed around for the login link only works for the people with full privs; the people with partial (monitoring only, not infraction log) privs are refused. The way to get from the login link given is to insert "monitoring" at the end (or middle, depending) of the URL. ("Depending" is whether the URL given is http://foo.example.com/ or http://foo.example.com/login.asp ...) The people with partial privs are the ones who wouldn't recognize a URL if one came up to them and told them how to locate their rear with both hands. That's a bad combination. At least we are able to save new shortcuts to their desktops.

I mentioned that I was able to call Darkside. This makes me so much saner than I would have otherwise been...
Gone away, gone ahead,
Echoes roll unanswered.
Empty, open, dusty, dead.
Why have all the Weyrfolk fled?

Where have dragons gone together
Leaving weyrs to wind and weather,
Setting herdbeasts free of tether;
Gone, our safeguards, gone, but whither?

Have they flown to some new weyr
Where cruel Threads some others fear?
Are they worlds away from here?
Why, oh why the empty weyr?

-- "The Question Song", Anne McCaffrey
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