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Waving A Dead Chicken And Other Voodoo

It seems there are a large number of members here who, when confronted with a technical problem, just make wild guesses as to what it might be, instead of actually trying to solve it. There are also a large number of members here who, when confronted with a technical problem, disengage their brains completely when asking for help.



This drives me absolutely nuts.

Computers are (for now) completely deterministic. If there's a problem, there is a cause and a way to resolve it that's guaranteed to work. The hardest part is often finding out what the problem is in the first place!



Part of the problem is that some people who are having problems don't give enough detail to determine what the problem is. I've lost count of the number of people whose posts basically amount to "It doesn't work" without sufficient detail to determine what doesn't work, let alone what the error is or what might be going wrong!



Now some people approach this by throwing out semi-random suggestions of "things to try" to fix the problem. Much of the time these things are completely useless, because the person "trying to help" has no idea what the problem is!

Of course sometimes they get lucky, and whatever bit of voodoo they suggested actually solves whatever problem it was, so they begin to believe in the power of voodoo, instead of the power of understanding what is actually going on inside one's computer.



I obviously don't like this one bit, or I wouldn't be saying anything about it. I prefer not to approach anything this way. Instead, by determining exactly what is going on, it becomes much easier to find the actual solution to whatever the problem is.

It seems to work better that way.

Learn how to ask better questions and you'll get better answers. I suggest you read that now, even if you don't think you need to. Eventually you will. Even I have to ask questions sometimes!

And one final hint: Use a descriptive thread title. I skip threads which contain "help" or "question" in the title. So do many other people. I just don't have time for it.

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