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  1. #1

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    Default Help ClockWork Explain a Concept

    I need help explaining a concept to someone.

    Usually, I'm pretty good at explaining technological / Apple Mac problems, by way of metaphors, yet with one person, I have tried and tried and I'm at a loss.

    Circumstance:

    This was the SP who accidentally poured hot soup and tea down his Powerbook G4 - see here for the reference - and apart from the logic board snuffing it instantly, and the SP has always refused a backup external drive (as an unecessary cost, in his opinion) - the boiling tea and soup also managed to kill off the micro-processors under its 2.5" HDD, thus taking the HDD with it in one ghastly swoop - an HDD with 4 years of precious data on it, currently at a data recovery service for retrieval, for big biccies.

    So... he bought himself a MacBook Pro 17".

    He now wants me to "make everything just like it was before".

    ... but I can't do this because ALL his data is currently sitting on a number of dead platters, at a data rescue centre...

    All he has is a 17" MacBook Pro, with the Welcome to OS X screen on it. No Microsoft Word. No Excel. No Entourage. No iPhoto. Nothing.

    Here are some metaphors I have tried:

    "Everything you had on your Powerbook G4 was murdered. All your files. All your folders. Every Word document you ever wrote. Every email you ever sent or received. EVERYTHING is gone. I can't make it the way it was before, because I we need to wait for the data rescue centre to resurrect it from the dead and give it back to you."

    Nope - I'm not following you.

    "Imagine that everything on your former Powerbook G4 was akin to a vast forest of trees with millions of leaves and billions of roots, and one day, a nearby volcano erupted and red hot lava flooded through this forest, and burned every tree, every leaf and even the tiniest root, to a crisp.

    The result was that you were left with nothing - not even the soil the forest was standing on. Everything just... boiled away into space, and what you're looking at now... is the beginning of the world again - before forests - before trees, and there's not even a single blade of grass. It's an entirely new world."

    Nope - I'm not following you.

    "Imagine a vessel, a bowl, filled with all kinds of fruit you grew yourself. That was your former Powerbook G4.
    Now imagine an utterly new and empty vessel... just waiting to be filled with all that former fruit you grew. This new empty vessel, is your MacBook Pro."

    Nope - I'm not following you.

    And so it goes... yet the SP is dead set that I am going to come round and "magically" put everything back the way it was again... *snap* - like that! And I cannot find a way - not even the simplest metaphor, to drill this concept into his head.

    Why is this a problem?

    Because the cloaca keeps calling me every 30 minutes, asking me how to make the Welcome screen go away, and make all his Word files and Music and Photos come back again, and each time, I'm coming up with simpler and simpler metaphors... yet nothing will make a dent upon what has actually happened to his data.

    If he actually understood what has happened... he'd probably have a heart attack...

    How would any of you explain the above scenario, in the simplest way, to someone that had the skill sets of a 3 year old?

    (to a complete, yet persistent, moron)

  2. #2

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    Haha, OMG... That's hilarious!

    I would simply say, please don't call me anymore, I'm not interested in helping you and put him onto the data recovery centre. :-)

    I prob would have changed my phone number by now!
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  3. #3

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    Default

    All of those sound a lot more complicated and confusing than just saying "Everything you had before on your Hard Drive is gone, and can't be returned".

  4. #4

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    I'd try the harsh but fair...

    Remember boxing day a few years ago? When that big wave washed away all those homes, people and livelihoods? Well your soup and and tea were like that big wave... right now the data rescue people are combing the bottom of the sea for what's left of your files. But the tidal wave was massive and there is a lot of space to look for them.
     iPhone & iPhone 3GS, Macbook Pro 17" C2D 2.8ghz. iMac alu. 20" C2D 2ghz. iMac 20" CD 2ghz & Cube 450mhz. Website

  5. #5

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    Oh I most certainly started with the simple basics... but that was four score and thirty calls ago now... and I can't make the phone stop ringing for just one number.

    Think generously. Think up a total excuse.

    This is all logged in the "magic box" ideology...

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lutze View Post
    I'd try the harsh but fair...

    Remember boxing day a few years ago? When that big wave washed away all those homes, people and livelihoods? Well your soup and and tea were like that big wave... right now the data rescue people are combing the bottom of the sea for what's left of your files. But the tidal wave was massive and there is a lot of space to look for them.
    Copies down that one.

    Thank... you!

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by ClockWork View Post
    Copies down that one.

    Thank... you!
    If he was being really annoying I'd add "remember, they did not recover most of the bodies.... and it's going to be like that with your files."
     iPhone & iPhone 3GS, Macbook Pro 17" C2D 2.8ghz. iMac alu. 20" C2D 2ghz. iMac 20" CD 2ghz & Cube 450mhz. Website

  8. #8

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    Ask him to put a teaspoon of water in a saucepan and turn the gas on flat out. "Now watch the water..(5 minutes should be plenty)....that's what happened to your computer."


    You know what happens to sugar when you put it in your tea.....

    or

    If you want them quickly...see that garbage truck...they're in the back. But don't let the guy see you climb in to get them.


    Drifting dry's down current lanes.

  9. #9

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    "All of the things you had before were written in a big book inside your computer. The soup and tea you spilled inside have made the printing in the book blurred so it can't be read any more."
    We've got lumps of it round the back.

  10. #10

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    This isn't any help, but I hope you're charging him through the ass for all the time he is wasting! Ship the thing back to him, change your phone number, consider moving....
    "The doctor says my nose will stop bleeding if I keep my finger outta there" - Ralph Wiggum

    "I can see through time....." - Lisa Simpson after eating Apu's curry

  11. #11

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    think about where you are right now, look around you and see tell me what you see [get him to describe what he sees]..

    now, imagine a giant meteorite hurtles through space and lands right where you're sitting destroying you, your room and your whole house.

    the next day, after the fires have died down, the police try to recover what's left.
    there might be a few bits of melted plastic, maybe a couple of photos that got shielded by something, maybe a couple of your teeth survived.

    what you're asking me to do is exactly the same as:

    1. bringing you back to life from a billion fragments of ashes, dust, bone fragments that have been obliterated
    2. similarly, recreate your whole house from microscopic pieces scattered everywhere and reassemble everything exactly to how it was.

    the police are like the data recovery centre, they might find a few fragments, but they are never going to find everything. if you're lucky they might find your will and some of your important financial records to pass on to your next of kin.

    ==
    if he still doesn't understand, ask him how he would start reconstructing his house and body..

    then if he still doesn't get it after all all your efforts, and you still want to get him to understand, you probably need to walk him through what he thinks is happening when he uses his computer because there is obviously a major flaw somewhere in his understanding of how technology works..
    [infinite::resolution]

  12. #12
    Aladdin's Avatar Aladdin is offline Drink Coffee - Do Stupid Things Faster

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    I like the tsunami reference.

    If metaphors don't work, try the literal:

    Imagine all your photos, letters, documents, were physically sitting on your desk. Then someone came and poured really hot soup and tea all over it, destroying it all, including the desk.

    The mess has been taken to the printers to save what they can, but chances of recovering anything aren't good.

    You've bought yourself a new desk, but your photos/letters/documents aren't replaceable because you didn't keep copies!
    Rise & Shine: the early spoon gets the morning wood.

  13. #13

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    copying...

  14. #14
    Tragedies's Avatar Tragedies is offline I reject your reality, and substitute my own.

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    He shouldn't be using a computer if he can't understand it in even the simple super terms you're trying to tell the guy.

    Bets of luck nonetheless.

  15. #15
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    OK. Lets say you have a whiteboard sitting in front of you covered in writing. This whiteboard is your computer, and the writing is all your files and other information.

    When you spilled tea/soup on the whiteboard, it washed off all the writing - there's still a faint ghost of some of it just like on a real whiteboard, and the data recovery centre are very carefully trying to trace out what used to be there, but it doesn't look good.

    --neg

  16. #16

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    "Your old laptop, and everything that was on it, are the digital equivalent of the World Trade Centre on September 12th, 2001."
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  17. #17

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    it's giving me conniptions just imagining you talking to the guy
    [infinite::resolution]

  18. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by tangent23 View Post
    ==
    if he still doesn't understand, ask him how he would start reconstructing his house and body..

    then if he still doesn't get it after all all your efforts, and you still want to get him to understand, you probably need to walk him through what he thinks is happening when he uses his computer because there is obviously a major flaw somewhere in his understanding of how technology works..
    he's already explained it works on magic, and I'm some sort of magician...

    hey Mom, watch me pull a rabbit out my ass

  19. #19

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    Say instead of recording everything in to your old macbook you had written it all down on sheets of paper. Over 4 years you had amassed thousands upon thousands of sheets of paper with your life on it. You hadn't photocopied this paper and stored the copies elsewhere, it was just those sheets of paper and only those sheets of paper. Say a fire burnt down your house and all the contents, including the sheets of paper. Would I be able to rebuild those pieces of paper from the ashes? The people who have the HDD are trying to right now, but it's a VERY hard job as you could imagine. I could not be expected to have a photographic memory of every sheet of paper you once had so could not reproduce them from memory any better than you could.

  20. #20

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    Say all that information in the computer is the information in your head. Spilling the soup in the laptop is like me taking a lead pipe to your head, like this ...

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