Middle aged women and zip files

granny

Fledgling Freddie
Joined
Dec 23, 2003
Messages
253
OK this is based purely on observation and personal experience (15 years of it). I am not a sexist person by any stretch of the imagination and I abhore sexism. So why I'm posting this on a forum that has a "babe of the day" thread on it I don't know... I just need somewhere to vent, ok? :p

WTF is it with middle-aged women (secretaries mainly) and zip files? WHY can they not understand them? I have explained maybe TWENTY times to several of them downstairs what a zip file is, how it works and how to open them.

EVERY SODDING time one of them gets emailed a zip file they phone me up acting all confused and proclaiming to have NEVER EVER seen such a thing before.

They ALL have power-archiver installed on their PC's, the University does it by default. NOT A SINGLE ONE OF THEM can use it. Despite my having slowly, carefully and patiently gone through the process with them on numerous occasions.

What is the problem? How can I overcome this? It is actually starting to become a problem in the amount of my time it takes up fucking babysitting these (otherwise highly capable, efficient and intelligent) people through this stupidly fucking simple task. I honestly don't understand how someone who is capable of organising and running an entire gamut of clinical research trials, budgeting salaries, expenditures and orders for an entire research & teaching department or performing complex surgical proceedures (3 real examples of middle-aged women in my department) is incapable of understanding "save to disk, double-click, extract file to somewhere useful".

And it IS JUST WOMEN! I've resisted the idea that it's restricted to females over ~40 for a long time but I can no longer fly in the face of overwhelming and unbroken evidence. Sorry.

</rant>
 

Whipped

Part of the furniture
Joined
Dec 22, 2003
Messages
2,155
How are you explaining it to them? The way I've always explained zip files to dense customers is with the Father Christmas analgey. All the presnents are "zipped" up in his sack and he has to "unzip" the sack in order for the kids to get their presents.

A little patronising? Maybe. But it's worked for me.

Now, if only I could figure out a way to explain to people how to send attachments via e-mail I'd be in Heaven.
 

granny

Fledgling Freddie
Joined
Dec 23, 2003
Messages
253
Hehe not a bad analogy. I've tried a few different ones, usually briefcases/handbags etc and they seem to understand at the time - it's just that as soon as I leave the room they instantly forget, like some kind of MiB memory ray has zapped them...
 

lovedaddy

Fledgling Freddie
Joined
Dec 23, 2003
Messages
59
I just dont try to make people (women) understand. Put it this way, I'll never understand washing cycles and cooking. (and have no intention of doing so)

Some things just are.
 

RandomBastard

Can't get enough of FH
Joined
Dec 28, 2003
Messages
1,318
Mr Granny look this way please, yes look at the red dot.

ZAPPPP

Right, you did not see us and we are not zapping your work colleagues.
 

Tenko

Fledgling Freddie
Joined
Dec 22, 2003
Messages
279
I find its not a women and age thing but just an age thing.

I cant get anyone over the age of 50 to work a bloody computer.

Have you tried sending office gossip and stupid cartoons about how the boss is stupid in zip format? I find that the one thing women do learn to use is outlook but only after they stop using it for work.
 

raw

Can't get enough of FH
Joined
Dec 23, 2003
Messages
302
Tenko said:
I cant get anyone over the age of 50 to work a bloody computer.
I'll Amen to that, we have a few here, sheeeesh, talking to a wall or what :(
 

granny

Fledgling Freddie
Joined
Dec 23, 2003
Messages
253
I refuse to accept that lovedaddy. If I can learn how to use a washing machine and cook and sew and decorate then surely they can learn how to use a zip file. I'm no smarter than they are, they're no stupider than me.
 

TedTheDog

Fred's & Barry's co-founder
Joined
Dec 12, 2003
Messages
319
Do what half the other businesses do and give up and block zips (and every other bloody attachment) for "security reasons".
 

xane

Fledgling Freddie
Joined
Dec 22, 2003
Messages
1,695
granny said:
incapable of understanding "save to disk, double-click, extract file to somewhere useful".
I'd remove the "save to disk" part, simply open it directly from the e-mail, then a little explorer-like window can open and you can drag and drop them to your documents folder.

As long as the application that opens the ZIP into its little explorer-like window cannot do any auto-execution (like the built-in ZIP manager in Windows XP), then it's perfectly safe.

The "save to disk" is confusing, even I wonder where the hell I just saved it to.

Personally, if I was Mr E-Mail Administrator, I'd ban _all_ e-mail attachments, simply because there is no need, you should either:

(a) put the text in the e-mail itself.
(b) put the file on a shared area and post a link in the e-mail.

This would certainly cut down on traffic and would go some way to reducing the risk of virus infection, as well as eliminating the need for ZIP files entirely :)
 

jaba

Fledgling Freddie
Joined
Dec 25, 2003
Messages
780
My mum is abit useless at computery things like that...best solution...write it down step by step and give them all a print out of it which they can put next to their computers or stick to their monitors..hopefully they can then refer to that before hassling you. :)
 

Cyradix

FH is my second home
Joined
Dec 22, 2003
Messages
2,128
I installed a pc and broadband at my parents about a year ago. Even after working with the pc, surfing and downloading lots and lots they still get confused by zip files.
They will download a program, open the zip file and click setup to install. Next time they want to run that program they will open the zip file again and try to run the installer again. 10 minutes later they'll call me asking why the program won't run anymore.
 

SAS

Can't get enough of FH
Joined
Dec 23, 2003
Messages
1,004
They maybe "pretending" to not understand all the time because they want you to physically pop down so they can check you out? Diet coke break anyone? :)
 

granny

Fledgling Freddie
Joined
Dec 23, 2003
Messages
253
xane said:
(a) put the text in the e-mail itself.
(b) put the file on a shared area and post a link in the e-mail.
Not possible unfortunately, it's zips coming in from outside the division usually. One of the things we do in the department is edit a scientific journal in-house and this requires regular emailing of large PDF's etc.

And don't get me started on PDF's.... Christ on a bike the sorry state people get themselves into with those fuckers...

I am slowly leaning towards the whole idea of telling people that if they can't open zips then they just need to ask whoever sent it to them to re-send it unzipped :/
 

babs

Can't get enough of FH
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Dec 30, 2003
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Am I the only one who read the title as 'Middle aged women and zip flies'? I swear, there's something not quite right with either my eyes or my brain, maybe both. I was expecting a tale of drunken debauchery and how arthritis had played havoc with garment removal in the heat of passion.

Imagine my disappointment.
 

xane

Fledgling Freddie
Joined
Dec 22, 2003
Messages
1,695
granny said:
One of the things we do in the department is edit a scientific journal in-house and this requires regular emailing of large PDF's etc.
And what is stopping you from putting this on an intranet/internet page and e-mailing the URL ? I ask this because Acrobat integration into Internet Explorer is actually quite good.
 

the_hermit

Fledgling Freddie
Joined
Dec 23, 2003
Messages
195
babs said:
Am I the only one who read the title as 'Middle aged women and zip flies'? I swear, there's something not quite right with either my eyes or my brain, maybe both. I was expecting a tale of drunken debauchery and how arthritis had played havoc with garment removal in the heat of passion.

Imagine my disappointment.
I'm with Babs on this one... sitting here expecting something else entirely! :D

Back to the Babe of the Day thread I suppose :)
 

xane

Fledgling Freddie
Joined
Dec 22, 2003
Messages
1,695
* washes the google dust off his hands *

Looks like you arn't the only one

This product will automatically unzip e-mail attachments, as they say in their claims "Your secretary doesn't know what to do with ZIP archives? AZC is here to unpack all incoming archives.".

This product seems to be able to unzip on the Exchange Server.
 

Shovel

Part of the furniture
Joined
Dec 22, 2003
Messages
1,350
Well, my mum can cope so nerr.

-- she's about the only one in my family who can mind...
 

jaba

Fledgling Freddie
Joined
Dec 25, 2003
Messages
780
well I bet my mum can cook better than your mum so nerr :p hehe
 

TdC

Trem's hunky sex love muffin
Joined
Dec 20, 2003
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30,693
along the same lines:

<them>tdc, we've bollixed the big server and now it won't boot
<me>*diagnose*
<me>ok, I'll fix it, but to do that I must reinstall solaris
<them>ok
<them>NO!!! NO!!!!! NONONONONO!!!
<me>what?
<them>no reinstalling!! you must fix it without reinstalling!!
<me>don't worry, I'll have someone do a restore after. you'll never know the difference other than the server will suddenly be working again. like magic.
<them>no, we don't want a reinstall because it will be reinstalled. we'll know!! don't you dare touch our server!!
<me>ok fine, whatever.
<them>remember, we're watching you!! hands off our server!!
<me>yeah, yeah, no touching broken server. got it.
<them>good!
 

]SK[

One of Freddy's beloved
Joined
Dec 22, 2003
Messages
298
Gosh I wish I had support calls that simple (the zip one)
 

Mazling

Fledgling Freddie
Joined
Jan 11, 2004
Messages
1,419
Perhaps a well-made tutorial will screenshots and a liberal helping of big, yellow Comic Sans will help.
 

Arya

Fledgling Freddie
Joined
Jan 12, 2004
Messages
16
lovedaddy said:
Put it this way, I'll never understand washing cycles and cooking. (and have no intention of doing so)
Some things just are.
A Mammas boy ? :p
 

Bodhi

FH is my second home
Joined
Dec 22, 2003
Messages
8,022
Arya said:
A Mammas boy ? :p
No, perhaps just a good old-fashioned bloke. Can't say I understand washing, ironing, dishwashing or cooking that well, and I'm proud of this.


Proud to be a man.
 

Tenko

Fledgling Freddie
Joined
Dec 22, 2003
Messages
279
Mazling said:
Perhaps a well-made tutorial will screenshots and a liberal helping of big, yellow Comic Sans will help.
Good point.

Use Comic Sans for everything for women. Its like Computer KY Jelly, they can't get enough of it and they'll love everything you liberally cover with it.
 

Mellow

Loyal Freddie
Joined
Dec 23, 2003
Messages
193
SAS said:
They maybe "pretending" to not understand all the time because they want you to physically pop down so they can check you out? Diet coke break anyone? :)
Does that happen a lot at the Royal Mail? :p
 

Mellow

Loyal Freddie
Joined
Dec 23, 2003
Messages
193
babs said:
Am I the only one who read the title as 'Middle aged women and zip flies'? I swear, there's something not quite right with either my eyes or my brain, maybe both. I was expecting a tale of drunken debauchery and how arthritis had played havoc with garment removal in the heat of passion.

Imagine my disappointment.
I saw the same thing, only realised half way through the first post. heh.
 

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