Solved Attn Moderators. System Specifications Omitted

Gigabyte / Awrdacpi
March 16, 2012 at 02:39:06
Specs: XP SP3, 3.014 GHz / 1023 MB
Just wondering if something can be done to ensure people posting questions on the forum list the pertinent system specifications.
It is a source of ongiong frustration having to first try to pry this information loose from posters in order to get a proper grasp on their problems.

Goin' Fishin' (Some day)


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✔ Best Answer
March 16, 2012 at 12:06:42
There really is no easy fix for this issue. It is further complicated by the influx of users from around the globe that use English as a second or third language.

Agreed on both counts.

We all have to remember too, a lot of these people aren't able to tell you the spec's of their system.

For example, my father who's 78 doesn't have a clue as to the brand name of any device in his system. It's mosty just us computer geeks that know their hardware information off the top of their heads and that knowledge is a part of what makes us computer geeks. The average user's don't know and don't care and we're outnumbered by the "average" crowd. Most of the people that know what hardware they have know enough to find the answers online without ever asking an actual question in a forum like this.

I'm reminded of an incident back when I was 16. I got a summer job with a huge automotive parts distributor working in their warehouse picking/filling orders. I was standing by the main parts counter one day when a middle aged guy walked in and said he needed a part for his car. The guy on the desk said, "What kind of car is it sir?" and the dude's response was, "Blue"

Sure it's tedious to have to constantly ask for specs but that's pretty much going to be a part of helping that we just have to accept as being "normal".

I'm with Justin in not forcing a hardware scan. Most users would be scared off then and there. I know I won't allow any 3'd party to run any scans on my computer and I'm a heck of a lot more likely to know what is being scanned and why.

It matters not how straight the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate;
I am the captain of my soul.

***William Henley***



#1
March 16, 2012 at 03:28:47
Being sarcastic frightens of Poster and brings down wrath of Moderators.

Crystal Ball joke is wearing thin, though could bring out the old chestnut that I am not Doris Stokes http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Doris_...

I have been around IT for over 10 years and CN has never been able to addressthis issue, though they have tried.

Maybe block Posting, unless all required fields are filled in ?

Though we would get:

CPU = PC Tower
Hard Drive = PC Tower
etcetera

Googling is quicker than waiting for an answer....


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#2
March 16, 2012 at 03:58:29
Hi Guys,

Lately I have noticed frequent similar lack of detail in the posts themselves, so one spends much time (and replies) trying to obtain the required information that should have been provided in the first instance.

It is clear the posters are rushing, and I have come to the conclusion they have become too used to using mobile/cell phone txts and are now applying the same techniques here.

Regards - Mike


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#3
March 16, 2012 at 06:02:43
As a mod on the Hardware forum. I have asked Justin about this issue in the past. The position is that forcing users to scan their systems before they can post is not the way he wants to go. This makes some sense because many times the poster is not using the computer in question.

That said, I think there might be other methods that could be deployed. Frankly, I think Tom's Hardware is more interested in hit counts rather than the quality of the help.

If users were forced to enter something for hardware before they could post they might just enter useless information like N/A. There really is no easy fix for this issue. It is further complicated by the influx of users from around the globe that use English as a second or third language.

If anyone has any ideas on how to address this issue PM Justin with your ideas.


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Related Solutions

#4
March 16, 2012 at 06:07:15
Mmm yea we often see this happen and as professional helpers we tend to ask every poster about the system he has, its specs and for the OP to identify the problem as clearly as possible, i dont mind doing that but lately more people are doing the same thing, i mean dont they see what we reply to others?(please list ur system specs....)
I noticed that this leads to the poster thinking that we dont know the answer to his problem and moves to another forum which is frustrating because we want to help but we cant help without the posters helping us first....

computers are a second home
NVIDIA GeForce
GS_Toxict51


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#5
March 16, 2012 at 07:55:48
Fact of life it is a PC Tower or a Laptop. it runs Windows and we should know how to sort their issues. Human Nature,

Googling is quicker than waiting for an answer....


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#6
March 16, 2012 at 08:23:22
Richard59,

I've had these conversations with various people in the past. What I've decided is that, since this is a help forum for anyone (even novices) we can't require them to fill in fields. If we do, it'll just annoy people who don't know the answers. They either won't bother to post or fill it in with xx's or something. Either way, its not something we want.

We already show tooltips when the user clicks on each section of the "Ask Question" form imploring him to be as descriptive as possible. I just think most people don't know enough to fill in everything we would want to know. There's not too much that can be done about that I think. Forcing users to run the system scanner is not something I am interested in. Some users may not trust us to install a Java program on their computer. Some users might not have systems fully compatible. And so on...

JUstin


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#7
March 16, 2012 at 10:49:20
If it annoys, ignore post and move on, let some one else get irked !

Googling is quicker than waiting for an answer....


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#8
March 16, 2012 at 12:06:42
✔ Best Answer
There really is no easy fix for this issue. It is further complicated by the influx of users from around the globe that use English as a second or third language.

Agreed on both counts.

We all have to remember too, a lot of these people aren't able to tell you the spec's of their system.

For example, my father who's 78 doesn't have a clue as to the brand name of any device in his system. It's mosty just us computer geeks that know their hardware information off the top of their heads and that knowledge is a part of what makes us computer geeks. The average user's don't know and don't care and we're outnumbered by the "average" crowd. Most of the people that know what hardware they have know enough to find the answers online without ever asking an actual question in a forum like this.

I'm reminded of an incident back when I was 16. I got a summer job with a huge automotive parts distributor working in their warehouse picking/filling orders. I was standing by the main parts counter one day when a middle aged guy walked in and said he needed a part for his car. The guy on the desk said, "What kind of car is it sir?" and the dude's response was, "Blue"

Sure it's tedious to have to constantly ask for specs but that's pretty much going to be a part of helping that we just have to accept as being "normal".

I'm with Justin in not forcing a hardware scan. Most users would be scared off then and there. I know I won't allow any 3'd party to run any scans on my computer and I'm a heck of a lot more likely to know what is being scanned and why.

It matters not how straight the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate;
I am the captain of my soul.

***William Henley***


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#9
March 16, 2012 at 18:54:27
Yup, par for the course around these parts unfortunately.

I think that modern computers have become a bit like radio's and cell phones - all users need to know is how to work the buttons. The earlier computers required folk to be a lot more geeky, so they were better equipped to ask questions.

I'm off now to search for the "Fix it" button (that one that fixes all known computer issues).


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#10
March 17, 2012 at 05:16:50
Thanks all for contributing to the debate. I think I'll have to create a little textfile and keep it on my desktop for ease of copy/paste. Save having to type "please provide more information about your system and the problem" so often.

Goin' Fishin' (Some day)


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#11
March 17, 2012 at 07:50:51
Funny you should mention that Richard59, that's exactly what I did some time back to point to "how-to" guides I've created. It's all the responses I got tired of writing. When I need it, I open it and copy/paste appropriately.

It matters not how straight the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate;
I am the captain of my soul.

***William Henley***


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