Sugestion: "READ BEFORE REQUESTING HELP" Sticky

View Poll Results: Good idea?

Voters
9. You may not vote on this poll
  • YES!

    7 77.78%
  • NO!

    2 22.22%
  1. #1
    OnRPG Elite Member! Reputation: 567
    Ronin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Hitman Victor
    Posts
    6,013
    Rep Power
    22

    Default Sugestion: "READ BEFORE REQUESTING HELP" Sticky

    I have the following suggestion, which is as follows:
    The idea is making a guidelines thread for asking questions in the tech-corner, which is not about establishing certain posting rules, but simply a method of helping people getting help and people helping.

    Personally I often am weary if I should even post in a help requesting thread, if the OP does not include the OS, which most don't.

    Surely everyone who ever has tried to help someone out, or plans to has some ideas on what information he thinks necessary to even understand the problem and what "tools" can be used on the certain system.

    If there was a simple sheet of questions and pointers, that could serve as reference that might help a lot, I think.

    ~+~

    Added to the thread is a poll, to find out, if people agree that this is a good idea.
    Also I have cleared with staff personnel (lol) that this should work out, if it does amount to something.

    ~+~

    I will start out with my suggestion on how this should look:

    Please try to provide answers as many of the following points, as possible when requesting help in the tech-section!

    HOW IS SPENDING TIME ON THIS IS GOING TO BENEFIT ME?
    It will make it easier for others to understand and address your problem and in turn, you will get faster, better and more help.
    The more complete, the better; Even seemingly irrelevant information could provide useful.
    Points that could be vital information necessary for others to help you are in red. Use your own judgment on what to include and what to leave out. Also feel free to ask any sort of questions in your thread, this is what this section is for.

    HOW TO USE:
    *Note that this is for people asking for help, not asking a casual question that interests them; It is completely mandatory and intended for your convenience and that of all users of this forum section.*
    *For people who want to use this as a guideline for clarifying missing information in threads by people asking for help:
    Please do not link to this thread, or quote the entire post. However feel free to refer to the parts of it you think to be relevant*


    WHAT KIND OF HELP DO YOU NEED?
    You have a technical problem. (Skip to I)
    You are interested in purchasing Hardware. (Skip to II)

    I. Technical Problem Report
    Give as much relevant information as you can, to get the best feedback!

    I.a) Describe your Problem in general


    include:
    - How did you become aware that there is a problem (Exact errors and error codes can be very helpful)
    - When did it first happen and what did you do
    - What do you perceive as the problem
    - Is it reproducible, how frequent does it occur


    I.b) Describe your Software:

    include:
    - What type of OS do you use, and what version of it
    - What type of Browser do you use and what version of it (including which Service-pack do you use, on XP/VISTA/Windows 7)
    - What kind of security software do you use (Anti virus, Firewall, Male-ware scanner)
    - What kind of Software is linked to your problem
    - Did you make any recent changes to software beforehand (Drivers or programs)


    I.c) Describe your Hardware


    include
    - Complete technical specs of your system
    - Do you access the Internet over a rooter, or a modem by cable, or wireless.
    - Description of any existing network, that the PC is usually connected too, including a rough description of the other systems (OS) and how they are connected to the Internet and each other.
    - Did you make any recent changes to the hardware
    - What is your hardwares status (Temps, SMART, etc.)

    I.d) Describe your experience

    include
    - What you know and is relevant to the problem

    II. Byers help

    II.a) Describe what Hardware you are interested in (if you already know that).


    include:
    - Hardware type
    - Brands of preference
    - minimum specs

    Examples:
    - Pre built Desktop
    - Laptop
    - Grafic card
    - Processor
    - Mainboard
    - Ram
    - PSU
    - Harddisks (int/ext)
    - Input devices

    II.b) Describe the tasks you will need the Hardware for.

    Include:
    - Your personal story

    Examples:
    "My PC is going to be used for:
    - General use
    - Watching DVD videos
    - Internet Browsing, http and flash content use
    - Office use and Presentations
    - Video Editing/Ripping/Converting/Media
    - Gaming (MMORPGs, Shooters/Racing games, Real time strategy, Browser games)

    II.c) In case you plan to upgrade an existing system, describe your PC's specs

    include:
    - Everything you know
    - In case you want to upgrade a prebuilt PC, the brand name and model name/number (Example: Dell, Studio XPS 8000)
    - Your Power supply unit's power output or brand name and model name/number
    - Mainboard brand name and model name/number

    II.d) Describe how you plan on purchasing

    Include:
    - Where you are from
    - Do you consider buying on-line
    - What is your budget

    II.e) Describe your experience

    include
    - What kind of experience did you have with previous hardware
    - How knowledgeable would you describe yourself (Example: Have you ever built and serviced a PC yourself?)

    ~+~

    Well, I have made a start with this (I will further refine it on the go); any input is welcome, if you think all of this just sucks, don't hesitate to express yourself.
    Don't save up the praise either.

    If you have something to add or think something should be left out, shoot.

    I hope this will amount to something within the next few days.
    Last edited by Ronin; 12-07-2009 at 07:05 PM.

    Stay frosty.

  2. #2
    Super Duper Uber Mega Ultra Extreme Reputation: 18

    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    877
    Rep Power
    9

    Default

    I will vote in the poll yes for the idea, but I would like to add: Just saying "I did this and it crashed" is not very helpful, we would like to know a few things:

    1.) It crashed, does this mean just frozen, or did it blue screen (or equivalent), if it did, please provide error codes and detail them, this is a job that takes 5 minutes, and will probably prevent you even posting the problem here in the long run because the internet should provide your answer.

    Also, if something crashes and comes up with a error (as in pop up box), then please make sure you write out exactly what that says.

    2.) Please name threads that give at least some indication to the problem, so people providing help don't go into a thread that they won't be able to help with.

    3.) We would like to know what you have tried to do to fix the problem, so we don't go suggesting things you have already tried, wasting our time and yours.

    Can't think of anything else now, otherwise, good post and definitely needed

  3. #3
    Dixie Banana Bar Reputation: 19
    GooLooGooLoo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Brooklyn
    Posts
    283
    Rep Power
    6

    Default

    Great idea but i dont think anyone would want to fill out a form just for some PC help, especially in a gaming forum :/

    +1 to this suggestion though



  4. #4
    Elsa! :3 Reputation: 572
    SnOwPrincess's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    The Flanders
    Posts
    12,111
    Rep Power
    24

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by GooLooGooLoo View Post
    Great idea but i dont think anyone would want to fill out a form just for some PC help, especially in a gaming forum :/

    +1 to this suggestion though
    It's either 5mins filling this form or waiting another day waiting for a reply that you could have prevented by entering this.


    [My Anime List] | [last.fm] | [xfire] | [Steam]
    Quote Originally Posted by duby View Post
    i have no clue as to what a paragraph is

  5. #5
    Bladin's Sword Sharpener Reputation: 69
    BGLamb's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    1,141
    Rep Power
    8

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by SnOwBunZz View Post
    It's either 5mins filling this form or waiting another day waiting for a reply that you could have prevented by entering this.
    Yeah but people are either sensible, and would have given all the right info to start with, or they are idiots, and won't use the form anyway.

    All this will do is open the door to people saying 'You didn't fill out the form' instead of giving a proper answer.

    I don't think it hurts to have a sticky listing the most common info that people should give, but don't get carried away. One paragraph should do it. If someone wants to ask a question about what RAM to buy, I don't wanna wade through loads of pointless crap about what browser they're running etc, etc. Just remind people to include all the relevant info.
    Last edited by BGLamb; 12-02-2009 at 11:59 PM.


  6. #6
    Loric's Lunatic Reputation: 66

    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    2,655
    Rep Power
    10

    Default

    No, people will ignore them anyway. It's just like onrpg-ers. Ignore the law and pirate, if they can't use common sense to figure that out, I don't think they can read a sticky.
    I Don't need to get a life, im a gamer. I have LOTS of lives
    -lagmegnorsk

  7. #7
    OnRPG Elite Member! Reputation: 567
    Ronin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Hitman Victor
    Posts
    6,013
    Rep Power
    22

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by BGLamb View Post
    Yeah but people are either sensible, and would have given all the right info to start with, or they are idiots, and won't use the form anyway.

    All this will do is open the door to people saying 'You didn't fill out the form' instead of giving a proper answer.

    I don't think it hurts to have a sticky listing the most common info that people should give, but don't get carried away. One paragraph should do it. If someone wants to ask a question about what RAM to buy, I don't wanna wade through loads of pointless crap about what browser they're running etc, etc. Just remind people to include all the relevant info.
    One paragraph should do it;
    Yes it should.
    Problem is, the more you let people who can't find the solution themselves put things into their own words, the less sense it makes.

    You should pay more attention though, that's the byers help part, not the tech section part;

    If the dude wanting to buy RAM is from the Netherlands, it will save people a lot of time knowing that.

    Short reminder of my intention maybe that wasn't clear enough:
    The reason is to make people type out as much information about their problem as they can be bothered with, but it's probably more frustrating for someone with a problem to get 0 replies, than to write down what OS they use, which is bloody essential, for any sort of help.

    Also:
    This is a "we help you to help yourself" place.
    If you can't be bothered to answer 5 simple questions relevant to your problem beforehand, you won't be able to fix the problem for starters.

    I personally do not intend to waste my time on people posting:
    "Hey I just BSODed, waht's wrong with my PC?", or any other one liner, like "my Internet doesn't work, guys, please help me fix it"

    I want to give the people a chance though, to compile the minimum amount of information needed to help.

    If they are not interested I simply will ignore the thread, because I am not really finding it very productive to add the same 10 questions to every thread there is, just to find that people make stupid answers to them, or can't be bothered.

    I'd rather say, read the sticky on how to put up more details.

    If the person doesn't care, it wouldn't post, or at least, after this shut up and be dealt with quickly and efficiently.

    @proper answer:
    Don't tell me people can properly answer and give help to any software problem without knowing the OS running on the box, if they don't spend the time, to explain all likely options, which triples the effort.

    In the opposite, people are much more tempted to give stupid useless and purposefully not helpful answers if the question was intelligible to begin with.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sakumo View Post
    No, people will ignore them anyway. It's just like onrpg-ers. Ignore the law and pirate, if they can't use common sense to figure that out, I don't think they can read a sticky.
    Exactly my point.

    "People" will ignore it, which is why this sticky would be so great.
    You would be able to tell people who care to get a serious problem fixed apart from those who don't in a second.

    Adding to that it would be good for those who actually want help, as it's making a lot of things faster and easier.

    HOWEVER:
    Thanks for the input so far! xD
    Last edited by Ronin; 12-03-2009 at 12:51 AM.

    Stay frosty.

  8. #8
    Bladin's Sword Sharpener Reputation: 69
    BGLamb's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    1,141
    Rep Power
    8

    Default

    I just think keep it short and sweet. I can give RAM advice without knowing somebody's country. Likewise in my USB/IRQ thread I never stated my OS, because it didn't seem necessary at the time.

    If people who aren't very technically minded come to get help and they see a wall of text asking them information that they might not know off the top of their head (and yes that even goes for OS for some people) then they will probably just not bother posting at all. Or they will get some arsehole telling them to read the sticky and then they'll never come back.

    Yeah it'd be nice if everyone got it right first time, which is why a small sticky reminding people of the kind of things to include is a good idea, but this is a tech-help forum, so if people don't know what they're doing and are just telling us that it's all gone wrong, I don't think it's too much to ask them what they were doing when it all crashed.

    It's nice to keep it informal rather than it turning into one of those "If you don't put your entire system spec in your sig then we'll ignore you" places.


  9. #9
    OnRPG Elite Member! Reputation: 567
    Ronin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Hitman Victor
    Posts
    6,013
    Rep Power
    22

    Default

    One reason why I moved forward with this, is that I think people should not self diagnose.

    http://www.onrpg.com/boards/146884.html

    http://www.onrpg.com/boards/146867.html

    http://www.onrpg.com/boards/146887.html


    http://www.onrpg.com/boards/144493.html


    http://www.onrpg.com/boards/146632.html

    http://www.onrpg.com/boards/146980.html

    This is the list of a couple of threads, that IMHO fail to deliver sufficient information for anyone trying to provide help, from the first page.

    That is why I think that any judgment from the posters that request information has proven to be a non helpful part, in the opposite, it creates clutter, that doesn't solve problems.

    How come that the majority of people never post, if their problem got solved in the process, if they have given up, or if they found a different way?
    No idea.

    Should they burn in BanHell?
    No.

    However:
    Is this an IRC chat room?
    No.

    It's not about establishing curious conversations and an page-long meaningless data-flood, of "hi I am bored" and "Me too" messages.

    The

    A: Hi I got a prob.
    B: What is it?
    A: Duno something with my computer
    B: What exactly
    A: Well, my movies play all funny and shit
    B: Hmmmmm

    Approach does practically not work, it's not productive.
    I am not going to make a statistic of how many "failed" help requests we have versus the number that went well, because I can hardly remember any going really well.
    Rather than that I remember lots of unsolved problems and opinionated
    Spam and people repeating the same questions over and over and people not bothering to answer them.

    All I am personally doing is trying to venture into the possibility of an alternative and presenting it. (Humbly, as I am not totally convinced of this having a "major" impact.)
    I am not running this place and in my firm opinion mostly the people are, who use it.

    This can never be anything more than a suggestion.

    Doesn't look like fun to you?
    Probably even like work?

    Well that was in a way my point; contributing instead of chatting.

    ~+~

    This is my view of the things, I don't want to push it on people.

    Only what works and what helps counts and what keeps people motivated to help out and what gets people to get the help they need, or at least a little something.

    ~+~

    One idea of working this out I think, would be asking, if there is some sort of compromise option and on how to shorten it down and which pieces are vital and how to word everything to deliver the right, non intrusive and most helpful impression.
    I had that in mind as a priority, but there should probably be more emphasis on it.

    (Also if you think the checklist parts are stupid, please say so.)
    Last edited by Ronin; 12-03-2009 at 02:19 PM.

    Stay frosty.

  10. #10
    Super Duper Uber Mega Ultra Extreme Reputation: 18

    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    877
    Rep Power
    9

    Default

    I think doing a form is not really needed, but they should still list what you have asked them to, just not using tick boxes. Otherwise, we could be all day listing all the linux distros

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •