Ramblings, meanderings, rants and discoveries.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

IT Professionals and Literacy

.. or lack thereof. "What!?" say you. Well I hope this is the case rather than what my suspicions lead me to believe. But I get ahead of myself.

I was recently on a game. Now I have played this game for years and have used the same client software for years. (ZMud if anyone cares.) So while playing another person mentions they are rebuilding all of their macros, scripts, etc in ZMUD due to a hard disk failure. He is having a problem with a math function so I go to the creator's site to peruse the forums as I KNOW I have seen a similar little app there. (It just calculates number of enemies killed experience gained and averages.) When i connect to the forums my pages starts to "roll". It perpetually refreshes. I mutter about the damn Opera update and fire up Firefox - Same thing. Hmm So I fire up the old I.E. Old in that it is NOT updated. Page loads fine. I report it in the forums and go on my way.

Next day I check to see if they have any idea what it could be (I did check the obvious as well as run an internet search on similar problems. I may have an idea, but so far this is the ONLY forum where I have seen this behavior and I would LOVE to know what changed there so I can figure out what is fighting with what.) I see a reply from another user and it says HIS version of Firefox runs fine and so it must be something with my machine did I check for viruses, etc. I reply to the condescending tone of the post with yes, it used to work and has stopped so I thought just perhaps someone might be interested in the issue as it may affect readership. Went on to explain it is a known issue with Forefox and Skype (which I do not use), but was also occurring in OPERA and seems to only work with an out of date I.E. I have not gone back to check further responses yet because now we get to what REALLY leads me to hope that it is a lack of literacy on the part of IT professionals.

Dh has been complaining his account loads slowly and his internet browsing is slow. I watched him the other day. It does seem slower than either my daughters' or mine. I look at start up, devices, etc. I notice under adapters there is one, 6TO4, that is not loading and there are MANY instances of the driver attempting to do so. So, what is this adapter and why is it not working? I punch in a search for it and find many forums with posts addressing this. I pick a techie helping techie forum and settle in to read.

A person who is a database person posts the exact issue with his laptop with Vista Home Premium. He is hoping a network guy will tell him if what he thinks (that he can safely disable this) is true. He mentions that he has followed the usual track of checking it, searching the driver, searching the MS site, checking for upgrades, etc. Sounds like what I am looking for.

There are 5 answers to his issue. 3 of them tell him to download and upgrade the most recent version from his laptop manufacturer. One tells him to check for ad ware and viruses. The last one points him to an article on the MS support site that states it is a component put in place for enterprises going from a v4 protocol to a v6 protocol as a stop gap and that most people are safe disabling the device. (What do you know a meaningful name from Microsoft I am impressed!)

I hope that the first 4 'professionals' have problems reading for it seemed to me the user with the issue stated he had attempted those actions. I hope they were not just posting something so that they could have their name out there and add to their branding. Because if that is the case they did more harm than good. They have proven what users have said about techies is true. They never listen, they never believe you and they are useless.

I expect a bit of condescension on a gaming forum. After all most people on those are NOT professionals, or if they are they are they are not required to behave as such. (the owner is always polite btw and I recommend ZMUD and CMUD) But on a forum where all members are thought to be in the same field although with different areas of expertise, I would never expect people to rush to get a message up so they can raise their activity level on the forum, or so that they can get a thrill in seeing their name on a technical forum. I would hope they are professionals. So I suggest HR departments start enrolling their IT staff in literacy programs. It seems they need it.