Your Cranky Sysadmin Speaks

I am occasionally still in the "user support" game. When a user is experiencing a problem, it helps to get details. Specifically, instead of "it doesn't work", an accurate transcription of an error message is nearly always more helpful in figuring out the problem.

You will probably not be too surprised to learn that such detail can be tough to get.

I was a little put out when, instead of just typing in the error message, people started sending me screenshots. What, you can't just type in what it says, perhaps 50 characters or so? Instead you have to send me a hundreds-of-kilobytes graphics file?

But I learned to deal with it. At least it avoids transcription errors.

But today I got a three megabyte file; instead of using screenshot software, our user took a picture of his screen. Sigh.

I suppose the day is coming when users start mailing me narrated videos of their woes. Can't wait!