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View Full Version : Why do people do this? (rant)


Beach Bunny
10-29-2008, 01:58 AM
SO, I am a member of a social group. And I have just taken over the responsibility for our small library of reference books. The previous librarian was very diligent and input all the books into Microsoft Access. Great, right? Wrong. I do not have Microsoft Access, nor do I know how to use it, nor do I want to learn how to use it. Then another person has written a guide for managing one of our events and wrote the guide in Microsoft Publish. Great, right? Wrong. I do not have Microsoft Publish, I do not know how to use it, nor do I want to learn how to use it just to read the MotherF***ing guide. Grrrrr. Why can't people use basic programs that the majority of people probably have on their computers and are familiar with? Especially for things that are going to get passed on to someone else?????? Is that too much to ask??? :rant:

If you're never going to share the file with someone, then go ahead and using MS Office for Siberians. But Jiminy Christmas, if you are going to share it or pass on your work, then use a program that most people have. :flag:

Kitrianna
10-29-2008, 02:00 AM
MS Word is part of office and I use it all the time and share with people.

I'm just sayin' :)

Beach Bunny
10-29-2008, 02:02 AM
MS Word is part of office and I use it all the time and share with people.

I'm just sayin' :)
I know. I said MS Office For Siberians :D

TrainofThought
10-29-2008, 02:03 AM
SO, I am a member of a social group. You lost me there. :) Good luck.

Kitrianna
10-29-2008, 02:03 AM
I know how to use Excel. It's easy enough :D

regdog
10-29-2008, 02:13 AM
I don't think people understand that not everyone has the software they do, or that everyone doesn't understand every computer program. My BIL is like that. He's a computer genius and on the few occasions I've asked him for help he says "Just do this, this, and this" and you're all set :Wha:

I never know what he's talking about and have to piece the answer together from his advice and trial and error.

Leukman
10-29-2008, 02:17 AM
Bunny, I know where you're coming from, but maybe you're letting this Florida cold front get under your skin?

Hugs and sunshine to make you feel better... :Hug2:It'll all work out.

Jcomp
10-29-2008, 02:50 AM
Access and Publisher?

Of all the lousy programs to burden you with...

RobJ
10-29-2008, 03:19 AM
The previous librarian was very diligent and input all the books into Microsoft Access. Great, right? Wrong. I do not have Microsoft Access, nor do I know how to use it, nor do I want to learn how to use it.

*snip*

Why can't people use basic programs that the majority of people probably have on their computers and are familiar with?

*snip*

if you are going to share it or pass on your work, then use a program that most people have.
Microsoft Access is the most popular desktop database in the world. Apparently.

Cheers,
Rob

Mumut
10-29-2008, 04:03 AM
I hate Access. I was very happy to leave a work area I had to use it. My condolences.

Sean D. Schaffer
10-29-2008, 09:55 AM
Probably the librarian didn't know that each program has its own default settings that are different from every other program in the world. Thinking that because computers are so easy to use these days, the programs must all be compatible, is a snare that a lot of people get trapped in.

For instance, when I save a WordPad document in .RTF format, it's a piece of cake. But when I try to do that with OpenOffice, the program does not like that at all and insists I save the document in its default format. It will actually warn me that saving in .RTF format may have bad consequences. :Shrug:

So basically, I'm thinking the librarian was not all that savvy and used what program s/he had on the computer at the time, not realizing it would not automatically be compatible with the programs you use. I rather doubt there was any ill intent on their part. Just an honest mistake would be my guess.

Beach Bunny
10-29-2008, 10:07 AM
Microsoft Access is the most popular desktop database in the world. Apparently.

Cheers,
Rob
Yes, but the data can be handled just as easily (probably easier) in Excel than Access. And how many people actually use a database program??? The last one that I learned to use umpteen years ago was DBase 4.

Sigh. It means digging through all my computer discs, finding MS Office and installing Access. Then hunting down a copy of Publisher. Sigh. It would have been so much easier if they had used Word and Excel. :(

Beach Bunny
10-29-2008, 10:14 AM
So basically, I'm thinking the librarian was not all that savvy and used what program s/he had on the computer at the time, not realizing it would not automatically be compatible with the programs you use. I rather doubt there was any ill intent on their part. Just an honest mistake would be my guess.
I know that they didn't do it with ill intent. They just aren't savvy enough to know that files created in one program are not automatically readable by another program or that not everyone has the same programs on their computer.

Actually, I prefer using MS Works, but I don't expect others to do so and if I am transferring a file to someone, I save it in RTF format or something similar so that the person receiving it can read it.

Snowstorm
10-29-2008, 10:43 AM
I don't know either of those programs, but is there any chance that you can do an "Open with" command? I was sent a file in Excel, at that time I didn't have that program. I right-clicked it and opened the file with MS Spreadsheet. It only needed some format shifts and it worked fine. Course, they're both spreadsheet programs so that may have been why they worked.

I don't know if those programs can be opened with a program you have. Might be worth a try.

Good luck!

Joe270
10-29-2008, 11:30 AM
"Open with" command? I was sent a file in Excel, at that time I didn't have that program. I right-clicked it and opened the file with MS Spreadsheet. It only needed some format shifts and it worked fine.

I was gonna suggest this same thing.

Or there could be a conversion program you can download off the net for free.

I used to swap between word and word perfect all the time. I used word perfect while on drilling rigs offshore for two weeks, and I'd convert it to word when I got home to use my computer there.

No problems.

NeuroFizz
10-29-2008, 05:39 PM
Maybe the previous librarian didn't have Excel and/or didn't want to learn it. It seems the previous librarian did a lot of work for your social group. How dare she/he do it in a program you don't like or want to use. The bitch (or bastard).

Why not ask the previous librarian if she/he can convert the file to a program more to your liking. If not, distribute hardcopies and start new entries in your prefered format.

Don't you just hate it when people do all of that work for a group and then blow it all by not doing it in the format you want? Sounds like the kind of idiot who would buy his/her mate a Corvette when that mate really wanted a Cadillac. The nerve.

If it is really a SMALL database, like you've suggested, just get that hardcopy and re-enter the data in your preferred format.

And I hope you haven't complained in a way that word will get back to the former librarian, after all of the work she/he did. That would be very unsocial of you.

Pagey's_Girl
10-29-2008, 06:00 PM
The woman who had my job before me made a huge screaming deal about how she HAD to get HER FILES off the lobby computer - so she dragged one of the tech support guys down, pretty much threw me off and had him pull everything - I mean everything. Stuff she no longer had the slightest use for, but I needed. Like phone lists, account information for our office supply contracts when she wasn't going to be doing the ordering anymore, you name it. When he protested, she told him "Oh, I'll send her what she needs."

She didn't. Refused to when I asked, then ignored me. If I hadn't had the kind of experience I have, I would have been screwed. (Found out she did the same thing to someone else, too.)

Clair Dickson
10-29-2008, 06:57 PM
Ask her to export the information as an Excel spreadsheet for you. Not all versions of Office come with Access (use this as your polite defense of the request if needed.) File-->Export and she should be able to turn that data into a spreadsheet. Voila-- compatibility problem solved. =)

As for Publisher, you can ask that person to save it as a Webpage, which then all can use. (Again, you can gently remind them that not all people can afford these products. Everyone can view HTML/ webpage files.)

Some people love Access. (Some love coconut too-- whatever). My MIL, who can't change the time on her watch, loves to make Access databases. If it can be made in Access, that's what she does. It's her first thought. It's shortsightedness, which can be as frustrating as the person who zips around on the expressway to get ONE car ahead of you(me).

Namatu
10-29-2008, 07:26 PM
What Clair said. The Publisher person may also be able to export into Word as .rtf, but the formatting could look screwy.

Priene
10-29-2008, 07:49 PM
SO, I am a member of a social group. And I have just taken over the responsibility for our small library of reference books. The previous librarian was very diligent and input all the books into Microsoft Access. Great, right? Wrong. I do not have Microsoft Access, nor do I know how to use it, nor do I want to learn how to use it.

Your librarian is using Access because it gives him/her the functionality he/she needed to do the job. That's commendable, not bad: you can easily export data from Access, and your comments are unfair and unnecessary.

There is no piece of software which will be installed by all computer users everywhere. That's why Access has file export facilities. The data can be transferred into comma separated value (CSV) format, and that can be imported into a host of different applications. It could also be viewed, if necessary, in WordPad or Notepad. Problem solved.

Then another person has written a guide for managing one of our events and wrote the guide in Microsoft Publish. Great, right? Wrong. I do not have Microsoft Publish

This was a bad choice, as Microsoft Publisher is an awful piece of software. I usually print the data into a pdf file (google PDF printer), and it can then be viewed with Adobe Acrobat, which most users do have.

If you're never going to share the file with someone, then go ahead and using MS Office for Siberians. But Jiminy Christmas, if you are going to share it or pass on your work, then use a program that most people have.

Once you've found this universal application let me know, because I've been handling stuff like this for twenty years and I don't know what it is.

Beach Bunny
10-29-2008, 08:16 PM
Ooookkkaaaayyyyy ...

Note to self: Do not blow off steam in Office Party.

JimmyB27
10-29-2008, 08:17 PM
Yes, but the data can be handled just as easily (probably easier) in Excel than Access. And how many people actually use a database program??? The last one that I learned to use umpteen years ago was DBase 4.

Sigh. It means digging through all my computer discs, finding MS Office and installing Access. Then hunting down a copy of Publisher. Sigh. It would have been so much easier if they had used Word and Excel. :(
Well, actually, I get really annoyed at people who try and use Excel as a database. It's not a very good solution. It's okay if you just have a list, I suppose, but I still don't like it.

NeuroFizz
10-29-2008, 08:40 PM
Ooookkkaaaayyyyy ...

Note to self: Do not blow off steam in Office Party.
I guess this is aimed at my post. Don't hesitate to blow off steam here. But, read your original post again. You sounded very ungrateful (and rather nasty) about the work the former librarian has done. Phrase it differently and I'd have been fully on-board with you.

Beach Bunny
10-30-2008, 01:01 AM
I guess this is aimed at my post. Don't hesitate to blow off steam here. But, read your original post again. You sounded very ungrateful (and rather nasty) about the work the former librarian has done. Phrase it differently and I'd have been fully on-board with you.
No, not specifically.

Well, isn't that interesting. What was written in frustration and despair that all the hard work put in by those two people was so difficult and time-consuming for me to access and if handed over to someone who only uses their computer for very basic tasks, could possibly be ditched in the future, was interpreted as nasty and ungrateful.

So rephrased, here is all this hard and time-consuming work that these people put into these two projects. They did it, because they wanted to, not because they were paid to do it. And it isn't easily and readily accessible to most of the members of my group. Someone with less experience than I have would probably just ditch all their hard work and do it over. In fact, one person did. :( So, now I am left with the unenviable task of putting their work into a format that is more accessible for the majority of people or ditching it altogether. If being frustrated because of that makes me nasty and ungrateful, well then I am nasty and ungrateful. The lack of sympathy is perfectly understandable. :)

RobJ
10-30-2008, 01:29 AM
You could probably find that CD and install Access in less time than you've spent in this thread ;)

Cheers,
Rob

benbradley
10-30-2008, 02:11 AM
Probably the librarian didn't know that each program has its own default settings that are different from every other program in the world. Thinking that because computers are so easy to use these days, the programs must all be compatible, is a snare that a lot of people get trapped in.

For instance, when I save a WordPad document in .RTF format, it's a piece of cake. But when I try to do that with OpenOffice, the program does not like that at all and insists I save the document in its default format. It will actually warn me that saving in .RTF format may have bad consequences. :Shrug:

So basically, I'm thinking the librarian was not all that savvy and used what program s/he had on the computer at the time, not realizing it would not automatically be compatible with the programs you use. I rather doubt there was any ill intent on their part. Just an honest mistake would be my guess.
And I always heard .rtf is supposed to be an open-source format and/or that it was required of Microsoft by some Government regulations (well, that explains it).
Yes, but the data can be handled just as easily (probably easier) in Excel than Access. And how many people actually use a database program??? The last one that I learned to use umpteen years ago was DBase 4.

Sigh. It means digging through all my computer discs, finding MS Office and installing Access. Then hunting down a copy of Publisher. Sigh. It would have been so much easier if they had used Word and Excel. :(
Just how big is your hard disk? Mine's big enough to hold my CD collection (as uncompressed .wav files, NOT crappy MP3's), but it's such a bother to rip and index them all.

Always install everything. There's enough hard disk space even for all those bloated Microsoft programs and a few movies too.
I know that they didn't do it with ill intent. They just aren't savvy enough to know that files created in one program are not automatically readable by another program or that not everyone has the same programs on their computer.

Actually, I prefer using MS Works, but I don't expect others to do so and if I am transferring a file to someone, I save it in RTF format or something similar so that the person receiving it can read it.
Well, for Microsoft Word .doc files there's openoffice.org, and I bet the "Base" thing that's part of it reads Microsoft's database files as well.

You could ask for .csv files, that's been a standard transfer-between-systems file format since Visicalc and probably many years before, but most people will ask .wtf you're talking about.

"Standards are Wonderful! There are SO MANY of them!!!" :D
Maybe the previous librarian didn't have Excel and/or didn't want to learn it.
The previous librarian is using a Microsoft database program but didn't have or didn't know Excel... seems kinda unlikely, but certainly possible - there's a lot to learn about computers, even just to learn all the "applications" thesedays.
No, not specifically.

Well, isn't that interesting. What was written in frustration and despair that all the hard work put in by those two people was so difficult and time-consuming for me to access and if handed over to someone who only uses their computer for very basic tasks, could possibly be ditched in the future, was interpreted as nasty and ungrateful.

So rephrased, here is all this hard and time-consuming work that these people put into these two projects. They did it, because they wanted to, not because they were paid to do it. And it isn't easily and readily accessible to most of the members of my group. Someone with less experience than I have would probably just ditch all their hard work and do it over. In fact, one person did. :( So, now I am left with the unenviable task of putting their work into a format that is more accessible for the majority of people or ditching it altogether. If being frustrated because of that makes me nasty and ungrateful, well then I am nasty and ungrateful. The lack of sympathy is perfectly understandable. :)
It's hard to know what "the majority of people" know, and it seems to me you may not be able to help "the majority of people" access these things no matter what you do. A lot of people ONLY know Microsoft .doc files, and if it's not a .doc file they don't know what to do with it.

I too get frustrated with others' lack of computer knowledge (most people don't have a clue what plain text or ASCII is thesedays...), but I usually have enough knowledge myself to get things done with their stuff in spite of it all.

TrainofThought
10-30-2008, 02:13 AM
Beach Bunny,

I interpreted your posts as being frustrated, not complaining about the other people. It's all right to post a frustrated rant in OP just remember that all kinds will come in with their remarks, good or bad.

Anyways, I wanted to let you know that I understood where you were coming from... except the part where you're in a social group. :D

NeuroFizz
10-30-2008, 02:22 AM
I'll go with ToT on this. But frustration about the method of a volunteered contribution can be a thin ice situation for the complainer. I volunteered my time for a group, and put in a significant amount of time into preparing some documentation for that group. And one of the people complained so bitterly that I didn't do it in a format that was "convenient" for her, I divorced myself from the group on the spot. How dare I inconvenience her? No matter that I put in so many of my own hours to get all of the information together in the first place. No one else, including the rude women came forward to do it.

So, you should be commended for taking on the task, Beach Bunny. I just hope no one complains about how you did it when you pass it on to the next person. It stings and it stinks when someone does that.

Clair Dickson
10-30-2008, 03:39 AM
Beach Bunny-- what about asking the creators to change the formats? Is this out of the question?

Access can export to Excel (or compatible) (File-->Export)
Publisher can be saved as a Webpage (which anyone can read.) (File--Save as webpage)

Can you do this-- save everyone in your group frustration and such?

Foinah
10-30-2008, 10:15 AM
I have a mac. So this whole thread is translated thusly : blah, blah, blah, file, blah, excel, yaddah, yaddah, spreadsheet, blah, blah, .rtf, blah.

heh.

Plus, to me, teknawlogeee is confooosing. If it won't work I use a hammer or call someone to use the hammer for me ;)

Smart people here at AW have given you some great data transfer/saving advice. My advice : gather the social group over cocktails and pizza.

Beach Bunny
10-30-2008, 12:31 PM
Just how big is your hard disk? Mine's big enough to hold my CD collection (as uncompressed .wav files, NOT crappy MP3's), but it's such a bother to rip and index them all.

Always install everything. There's enough hard disk space even for all those bloated Microsoft programs and a few movies too.
Size is not the problem. A year ago, my niece was messing on the internet and picked up a trojan. I had to wipe the drive on this computer which I prefer working on and I haven't gotten around to reinstalling all the software. :rolleyes: If I really need to use Word or Excel it's on the laptop. I have a thumb drive that I use to transfer files between the various computers in my house. (yep, that's plural. There goes my reputation for being a fluff-brained idiot. :) )

It's hard to know what "the majority of people" know, and it seems to me you may not be able to help "the majority of people" access these things no matter what you do. A lot of people ONLY know Microsoft .doc files, and if it's not a .doc file they don't know what to do with it.

I too get frustrated with others' lack of computer knowledge (most people don't have a clue what plain text or ASCII is thesedays...), but I usually have enough knowledge myself to get things done with their stuff in spite of it all.
True. However, the probability that someone will be able to use a Word or Excel file is a lot greater than for anything else. Even better if it's saved as an RTF file.

Beach Bunny,

I interpreted your posts as being frustrated, not complaining about the other people. It's all right to post a frustrated rant in OP just remember that all kinds will come in with their remarks, good or bad.

Anyways, I wanted to let you know that I understood where you were coming from... except the part where you're in a social group. :D
Thanks. pssstt You are part of social group, it's called Absolute Write. ;)

I'll go with ToT on this. But frustration about the method of a volunteered contribution can be a thin ice situation for the complainer. I volunteered my time for a group, and put in a significant amount of time into preparing some documentation for that group. And one of the people complained so bitterly that I didn't do it in a format that was "convenient" for her, I divorced myself from the group on the spot. How dare I inconvenience her? No matter that I put in so many of my own hours to get all of the information together in the first place. No one else, including the rude women came forward to do it.

So, you should be commended for taking on the task, Beach Bunny. I just hope no one complains about how you did it when you pass it on to the next person. It stings and it stinks when someone does that.
Ah, I see where you were coming from. Yeah, that rude woman should be strung up and beaten with a batch of floppy disks.

Beach Bunny-- what about asking the creators to change the formats? Is this out of the question?

Access can export to Excel (or compatible) (File-->Export)
Publisher can be saved as a Webpage (which anyone can read.) (File--Save as webpage)

Can you do this-- save everyone in your group frustration and such?
Well, for the database, I do have Access around here somewhere so once I get the file, I'll see what to do about it. And for the Publisher file, I only needed to be able to read it and someone brought me a paper copy. :D

Really, the issue is not wanting to waste someone's efforts or see someone's hard work go down the drain. (Okay, I'm also lazy and really don't want to redo what someone else has already done.) I guess, I am so used to transferring files back and forth between various programs that it didn't occur to me that other people aren't aware of the compatibility problems. And now I know "why people do this." :)

Roger J Carlson
10-31-2008, 06:27 AM
Access really is the best tool for the job. Excel is a calculator. Works (database) is a index card box. Access is a database...a real database. Certainly it is more difficult to learn. That's because the concepts behind a database are more difficult than a spreadsheet.

Here are some resources to help, if you're really interested. Lots of people (including myself) volunteer in these places to answer questions for people, but your attitude won't get you far.

Utter Access ( was: Access All Areas): http://www.utteraccess.com

QuickTech USA http://www.quicktechusa.com/freeforum.htm

TekTips: http://www.tek-tips.com

Woody's Lounge: http://www.wopr.com/cgi-bin/w3t/wwwthreads.pl

dBforums: http://dbforums.com/f84/

comp . databases . ms-access: http://groups.google.com/group/comp.databases.ms-access/topics?lnk=gschg

microsoft . public . access . gettingstarted: http://groups.google.com/group/microsoft.public.access.gettingstarted/topics?lnk=rgr

microsoft . public . access : http://groups.google.com/group/microsoft.public.access/topics?lnk=rgr

microsoft . public . access . externaldata: http://groups.google.com/group/microsoft.public.access.externaldata/topics?lnk=rgr

microsoft . public . access . forms: http://groups.google.com/group/microsoft.public.access.forms/topics?lnk=rgr

microsoft . public . access . formscoding: http://groups.google.com/group/microsoft.public.access.formscoding/topics?lnk=rgr

microsoft . public . access . modulesdaovba: http://groups.google.com/group/microsoft.public.access.modulesdaovba/topics?lnk=rgr

microsoft . public . access . queries: http://groups.google.com/group/microsoft.public.access.queries/topics?lnk=rgr

microsoft . public . access . reports: http://groups.google.com/group/microsoft.public.access.reports/topics?lnk=rgr

microsoft . public . access . tablesdbdesign: http://groups.google.com/group/microsoft.public.access.tablesdbdesign/topics?lnk=rgr

Oh, and by the way, MILLIONS of people use Access.

--
--Roger Carlson
MS Access MVP (https://mvp.support.microsoft.com/profile=79636bb2-52c4-4267-ba64-5425af317a24)
http://www.rogersaccesslibrary.com
http://rogersaccessblog.blogspot.com/

benbradley
10-31-2008, 07:54 AM
SO, I am a member of a social group. And I have just taken over the responsibility for our small library of reference books.
Nobody asked yet, but how many volumes are in this library (that is, how many records are in this database)? For something like 100 records a real database seems like supreme overkill, and I'd just as soon use Excel or Notepad.

Or even Edlin.

Yeshanu
10-31-2008, 09:07 AM
Actually, I prefer using MS Works, but I don't expect others to do so and if I am transferring a file to someone, I save it in RTF format or something similar so that the person receiving it can read it.



WoOt! I didn't know anyone else in the world used Works besides me and my family!

:LilLove:

Honestly, although I now have OpenOffice installed, until I found yWriter4, my default program was always Works, and I'd just use OpenOffice to translate other people's documents.

I hate it that Microsoft produces a very good FREE program (meaning it comes with your computer and you don't pay extra), but then tries to convince everyone that Word or WordPerfect is the way to go.

Let's start a campaign to get rid of everything except Works! Go us!

Beach Bunny
10-31-2008, 11:14 PM
Nobody asked yet, but how many volumes are in this library (that is, how many records are in this database)? For something like 100 records a real database seems like supreme overkill, and I'd just as soon use Excel or Notepad.

Or even Edlin.
There is a handwritten inventory of about ten pages or so. So, somewhere in the neighborhood of 200 or 300 books. I can only see sorting the books by either title or subject, a real database does seem like overkill.

Access really is the best tool for the job. Excel is a calculator. Works (database) is a index card box. Access is a database...a real database. Certainly it is more difficult to learn. That's because the concepts behind a database are more difficult than a spreadsheet.

Here are some resources to help, if you're really interested. Lots of people (including myself) volunteer in these places to answer questions for people, but your attitude won't get you far.

:) At first glance, one would assume so. :) For me, the computer is a tool, not a toy. I don't get all excited at the thought of learning a new program, playing with it to see what I can make it do. :Shrug:If it turns out that I need to learn Access in order to handle this small data-set, then I will. I'm sure it is not that much different from the database programs that I've used in the past, but I thank you for the links. :)