[Cbsupport] Response to Avery (long)

Steve Paynter sbpaynter at yahoo.com.au
Mon Apr 7 23:44:02 UTC 2003

Hi Avery,

--- Avery <hortnfash at dodo.com.au> wrote:
> There are filters on all mail is being sent straight to delete
> I am being disterbed by heaps of emails that are just going to delete
> your wasting your time I have beome distressed and disa losioned adn  my
> computer keeps beeping I have asked to be removed frome this list
> _______________________________________________
> cbsupport mailing list
> cbsupport at lists.linux.org.au
> http://lists.linux.org.au/listinfo/cbsupport

If I've understood you correctly, you're saying that,
in response to your recent questions to the cbsupport list,
you've received rude/unhelpful replies.  If so, that's

Your email has brought to mind a couple of issues that
I'd like to address:

1) As I understand it, the cbsupport list was set up for
*exactly* what you're using it for, that is, seeking help
on how to use your system, and the sharing of solutions.
In my opinion, you're doing absolutely nothing wrong!
Don't be distressed and disillusioned!

2) Electronic media, such as email, chat lines, etc,
are particularly poor ways of communicating.  Even the
most experienced of us regularly express ourselves
poorly, leading to misunderstanding and hurt feelings.
It's made worse by the few insensitive souls who really
are being rude.  That's called "flaming".  It's a sort of
keyboard rage that has been around since the Internet
was created over 30 years ago.  Many of us do it, myself
included sometimes.

3) If people have been telling you that they're setting
filters on your email, and that your emails are being
deleted or ignored, then they're saying that they've chosen
to ignore your messages.  That's nothing to worry about.
Your messages are still getting through to the rest of us
on the cbsupport list.  You are not being censored!!

4) Your questions on the list help us address really important
issues, like: What are our recipients using their systems
for? and What problems are they having?  From this
we can plan how to improve our service.  (Whether we do
remains to be seen.)  No other recipient has been brave
enough to state their problems and seek help, with any
degree of persistency.  You've tested our system, and
discovered a very serious weakness.  Please, please, don't
be discouraged.  I hope we can improve.

5) Not only have you posted questions, but you posted
answers when you found them.  That's enormously helpful!
I haven't known the answers to most of your questions
myself.  Now, if I need to, I have leads to follow up.
Well done!

6) The fact that Computerbank people didn't respond to
your questions is, in my opinion, embarrassing
to our organisation.  The fact the LUV took the trouble
to be helpful, without otherwise having any connection
with you, is doubly embarrassing for us.  Perhaps that
partly explains hostility in emails you've received.
No-one likes to be embarrassed.  Again, you've done
nothing wrong.
Further, I'm guessing that you've embarrassed some
people by pointing out that Linux just isn't the
the saviour of the underclasses that it's cracked up
to be.  If they can't use it, how can it save them?
Further, if people such as yourself,
are having problems with the product, it's
much much easier to tell them to piss off and read the
documentation than it is to explain things, or make the
product easier to use.  (These comments are not intended
to insult the people who really are doing useful work to
improve Linux.)
In my opinion, if Linux is good enough, it
will supplant commercial equivalents, like Microsoft
Windows.  It hasn't, and it won't anytime soon.
Sure, it's getting better, but it's getting worse too.
My beef is not with Linux, which is just a lump of
software, take it or leave it.  My beef is with people
who ignore the problems and the frustration and despondency
it causes in mere mortals.  (I admit I'm jaded from a
lot of bad experiences.  But that's my point!)

7) The expression "RTFM" is used a lot in technical
areas.  In polite company, it means Read The "Finely-
Crafted" Manuals. ;)  I believe that is probably what
some people have been trying to say to you.  These people
are typically technically oriented, spend vast chunks
of their lives playing with Linux or similar, and have
done enormous amounts of RTFMing.  They don't remember
what it was like before they started RTFMing, when they
were newbies.
Personally, I'm regularly frustrated at how
difficult it is to understand and use Linux, and
I've been using Unix (the predecessor of Linux)
and Linux on and off for the last 20 years!
Documentation is scattered all over the place, is
often misleading and/or difficult to understand
even for those who speak the language, and sometimes
it just doesn't seem to be written down at all.
Much Linux knowledge and folklore is passed on from
person to person.  This is clear evidence, in my
opinion, that Linux is not a mature technology.  [I'm
going to be flamed mercilessly for that!]  Linux does
have many strengths, and these seem to blind some
of its supporters to the frustrations of using it
as normal people do: as a tool for getting a job

8) Let's not even mention the snottiness some
technically oriented people have towards those who
aren't technically oriented.  Ok, I won't.

9) I can't help you with your beeping computer!  But
when things get really, really fouled up, just switch
it off, wait 30 secs (so electrical stuff inside can
settle down), then switch it on again.  [More flaming
here.]  You really only want to do this when all else
fails, but we all do it on occasion.
Of course, under normal circumstances, you
should use the shutdown procedure you were
shown.  This is so your hard disk will be left in
a stable state, ready for when you next switch on your

Avery, please don't give up on Computerbank.  I believe
many of us are on your side.  I hope you stay on the
cbsupport list, and continue to contribute.  Which is
more than can be said for just about everyone else on
the list...

I'm sending this message to the cbsupport list without
a self-imposed cooling off period.  This might be a
mistake, see 2) above.

All the best,

Steve Paynter
sbpaynter at yahoo.com.au
mobile 0403-922-246

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