In a similar vein, here's a quote from our "metrics gathering"
The same kind of logic put this in a company newsletter I received:
Here is the description for a script named "Load Data into Nursing Home Group Description Table":
I never would have known this if they hadn't told me:
In a document about installing an Oracle product, we have this admonition:
In a Unix manual, for the "grep" command (which searches for a string of
characters in a file), I saw this:
Here is the content of the help screen for message number NAT3041 of Software AG's 4GL Natural:
****NATURAL HELP FUNCTION**** - ERROR MESSAGE - NAT3041 - ERROR DETECTED IN FORMAT BUFFER. TX *** SHORT TEXT *** ERROR DETECTED IN FORMAT BUFFER. EX *** EXPLANATION *** AN ERROR WAS DETECTED IN THE FORMAT BUFFER. AC *** RECOMMENDED ACTION *** CHECK PROGRAM AND CORRECT ERROR
Also in the now-why-didn't-I-think-of-that-department was this bit of wisdom from Epson:
Using Windows Explorer, I created an empty MSWord document in a given folder.
Upon opening said document,
I saw a bit of useful information in the bottom-left corner, i.e. that the
document contained zero characters. The funny thing was the parenthetical note:
I can't leave this category without sharing in this excerpt from the "EDI/Open V3.2 User Guide." It tells where to insert the tabs included with the loose-leaf manual:
|Insert this tab||Before|
|Mapping||Chapter 1, Mapping|
|Trading Partner Relationships||Chapter 2, Trading Partner Relationships|
|Communications||Chapter 3, Communications|
|Mailbox||Chapter 4, Mailbox|
|Administration||Chapter 5, Administration|
|System Parameters||Chapter 6, System Parameters|
|Export and Import||Chapter 7, Export and Import|
|Troubleshooting||Chapter 8, Troubleshooting|
Here is a message from a backup/restore command I used to
This prompt came from a graphics program:
Microsoft blessed us with this one:
Premenos has a demo writer who are unfamiliar with the word "is":
And this was actually in the instructions for an "educational" course we were required to take:
Computers are logical, so it's up to us to be creative. The CSAO Launcher software instructs users:
|Currently no more information is available. Click here to read more.|
And of course we all dread the day when the message on the screen says this:
|Keyboard not found. Press F1 to continue.|
Along the same lines, I received the following in a broadcast E-mail.
(These are excerpts.)
|If you are having problems printing . . .|
|Please follow the instructions below . . .|
|(Hint: Print these instructions for reference during this procedure.)|
|. . .|
This notice appeared in the licensing agreement for some palmtop software:
|Pro Concepts warrants that the Program, unless modified by you, will perform substantially in accordance with the accompanying documentation for a period of ninety (30) days from the date of delivery to the original licensee.|
Maybe in the next case, the help text makes sense, but the software doesn't:
|CAS Timecard function will be available July 31 for eligible employees (working 40 hours a week). Timecard allows employees to record hours worked.|
I was trying to learn from the manual of a product called ECMap, when I noticed the following two quotes in adjacent paragraphs:
|When you regenerate a compliance map, you must use Generate Compliance Map on the Utility menu and not Generate Map on the Build menu.|
|To regenerate a compliance map, choose Generate Map on the Build menu on the main ECMap screen.|
You've probably seen on-line instructions that say "Press Enter To Exit." No wonder when leaving the building I keep pulling on that door marked "Push."
When I started using Microsoft Windows, I noticed that when it was time to stop, the first thing I had to do was click on "Start". How very intuitive! Why doesn't that work on my clothes dryer?
Similarly, here are some LOGON instructions I came across:
|To log on to the network
1. Click Start, and then click Logoff.
Now, after years of having to use Ctrl-Alt-Del to stop everything, I am using a new OS that requires me to use Ctrl-Alt-Del to get everything going.
Honestly, if the software asks you a yes-or-no question and gives you two buttons from which to choose, shouldn't those buttons be labeled "Yes" and "No"? Instead, we get stuff like this:
Do you want to discard|
On the other hand, once I got a dialog box offering a yes-or-no choice
when it wasn't even asking a question!
Here's another one that frustrated me. While working with diskettes, I received this message:
|The disk in drive A is not formatted. Do you want to format it now?|
|You cannot do a Quick format because the disk is not formatted. . . .|
While logging in to some system, I received this message:
|Invalid password. Please reenter.|
If I'm just being stupid here, please E-mail me and straighten me out, but what exactly constitutes "converting" in the following case?
I had a similar question about exactly what needed to change when I saw this message pop up:
Then I realized they were pulling my virtual leg. (The "is bested" should have tipped me off.)
On another website, you are instructed to provide information but not given any place to put it. It simply says:
|To get started, provide the following information, then click Begin.|
To witness a conversation I had with Microsoft Word, click "HERE".
Finally, I believe that this is the least helpful error message
I have ever received:
And this is the least helpful help screen:
A similar scenario occurred when I went to a certain on-line "white pages" service looking for the address of "A. Sullens" in "Arlington, Texas." The resulting message was "Your search has returned no results." This was accompanied by three Search Suggestions, the last of which was "A. Sullens" in "Arlington, Texas." Now why didn't I think of that?
|Don't confuse headers with headings! The HEAD tags at the top of an HTML document contain information about that page's headers. Heading tags, on the other hand, are used to create headlines.|
During an installation procedure, I was promped with this instruction:
| Remove any disks from their drives,|
and then click Finish to complete setup.
| There is no disk in the drive.|
Please insert a disk into drive E:.
I did enjoy watching the system delete items that I had told it to delete a long time ago but that it didn't really delete because it just moved them to another place and just pretended to delete them until I discovered that they were still taking up space and I had to once again tell it to delete them which it did while giving me the message "Deleting items from the Deleted Items folder."
Speaking of deleting things, once when I tried to delete a file named "FILELIST," I received this error message:
Cannot delete FILELIST: The disk is write-protected.
Remove the write-protection or use another disk.
Here is some verbiage I encountered while searching for trouble-shooting information on a paper shredder:
|. . . it expressed directly size obliges resort agents mandatory instruction say to vote champion wq120d paper shredder . . .|
I once received a maintenance notification that gave these as the hours:
Thursday, May 20th - 9 PM To Thursday May 20th 1 AM
Friday, May 21th - 9 PM To Thursday May 20th 1 AM
Speaking of marking time, this was the frequency for a meeting notice I received in Microsoft Outlook:
|Occurs every Monday effective 6/14/2004 from 12 AM for 1 week.|
For an example of how, in the computer world, our concepts, terminology, and visualizations get mixed up, click "HERE".
I have gotten hooked on using the various on-line map tools to find out how to get places. For an example of one of those experiences, click "THERE".