I've been trying to figure out a way to help those who answer board questions .... one of the most and first asked response deal with computer specs ....
Other boards that I am currently on and those in the past using the same software that this board uses there is a selection in ..... user-name/Preferences/Profile/ About Me .... that will allow you to add to the bottom of your posts information .... quotes .... pictures ... sayings etc ....
Unfortunately that feature is not enabled on this board .... I did a little write up to show what I mean .... this info would show up at the bottom of each post I write and enable people who answer your questions to see where to start looking to help you with your question .... here is what mine would look like ....
OS --- Zorin 16 Pro --- Dual Boot --- Dual Disk
DE --- Cinnamon
Laptop --- Asus Strix G731GT
CPU --- i7-9750H
Ram --- 16GB
Graph --- GeForce GTX 1650
HD --- 238GB WD / 931GB Seagate
Audio --- Realtek High Definition
Just a thought .... as I'm changing my DE quite regularly and people often get it wrong because unless I put which DE I'm using they don't know ..... and I don't always remember to add the DE name
I think you make a good point I think many of us have asked people repetitively to use the specs when they’re making a request as well as using the search engines and the tutorials prior to asking questions that I’ve been repetitively asked. Unfortunately it seems many newcomers don’t take the time to look things up to make it easier on the free help that they obtain but they want a quick answer. I’ve just chose not to answer many peoples questions anymore because they just don’t have respect for us that are regulars or for the mods are doing things that are going out of their way for free
I have seen that many members do search the issue and that the solutions available do not apply. It is a hard line to see; we must be careful to not assume that the O.P. has not already searched.
I, myself, have struggled with the search function of the forum, when I try to find a post to crosslink or another relevant thread.
Your point is certainly relevant, don't get me wrong.
Just some different perspective.
I will openly admit to some peeves I have... I mean why not?
Users posting a simple, "It didn't work" after being offered a suggestion. Some details would not go amiss. What didn't work? Was there an error message? What did you see on the screen? What, exactly, happened? These details can make a very big difference; but when we have to spend five posts asking about it, it just wastes a lot of time and space.
Users replying to only one suggestion when several were made. Did you try the others? What were the results? Why do we have to stop the presses and ask about whether you tried the others?
Mark Your Solutions. Carmar has been cleaning up the forum going through old threads that were solved, but never marked as such by the O.P. and simply abandoned when they got what they wanted out of it. It's all about you right? I thought that this was a Linux community?
@Frog 's O.P. really nails it. We must ask for the obvious specs and details. @StarTreker had suggested to the ZorinGroup that profiles include the Zorin OS Edition and Build - it's right there in the profile. Yet, we still have to ask.
Maybe we need to Pin a new Guideline thread on this...
Users saying "I've tried everything but it still doesn't work, so I am posting this here hoping for some help." ... If you tried everything then what suggestion could we possibly offer? If you have tried other solutions that did not work and you suspect we may repeat them... list the things you have already tried that failed in your O.P. I realize that typing is very strenuous and sometimes, proper self-expression requires the use of Big Words and all, but saying "I tried everything" can only elicit sympathy for your terrible luck in life.
The old forum, if my memory serves me, had Signature footnote where user could write their PC spec, ZorinOS edition etc. That was not carried over to the new forum, I believe to maintain clean lines of conversation.
We now resort to asking users this information again and again. Maybe it could be itemised field in users forum profile?
But how many times have I asked new users to edit their profile to indicate their edition of ZorinOS. If everyone did that, it would save so much time and uneccessary keyboard wear and tear.
But that does not help when people list both Core and Lite
Well as long as we are talking about things that bug us I have one right along the lines of what has been posted above ..... that is when someone asks a question especially a newbie and is told "look it up" and the reason given is "because we are not paid support here" .....
Did I ruffle some feathers ... yup .... I have been on boards now for a very long time and have spent time in many support positions and have not seen any positions that were paid even on pay sites ..... I've heard there are a few on some Linux sites but that is not the norm I don't think ... I know I have never been paid for my time as either a Admin or Mod on other forums .... you do it because you like to help people not for the title or for the money ....
But your not in a support role here so what do you know ..... you're right I am not nor would I be as I don't have the knowledge .... but I can assure you I read almost every post as it is posted and this board stays open in the background and notifications stays open ....
Now as to "look it up" .... so you are a brand new Linux user and a problem arises with your OS ..... you ask "help my computer freezes what do I do" and the answer is "look it up" .....
Well first off not every instance to "computer freezing" is in the Zorin Q&A .... and in many cases you don't really understand what you are reading because you don't know how Linux works .... and most people coming from Win don't know the ins and outs of how or why an OS works as win does it all for you or you can find a program or app to solve your problem ....
Well go to the web and look it up .... oh yea I love that one for all the reasons above and then some .... what do you look up ..... where to begin to look it up ..... remember you are a total newbie with no knowledge of the terminal or how to use it or just scared to screw something up by using it ....
Information on the web can be hit and miss and lead you to more problems that you had to begin with .... I can attest to that more than once ..... when I first started to changes DE's I went to the web and looked up desktops and found Cinnamon (the one I'm using now) thank god Aravisian didn't tell me to "look it up or check the web" because rather than bother anyone I did just that and totally fowled up Zorin and drove Aravisian crazy when he tried to fix my problem ..... we spent days trying to straighten it out (I'm sure he remembers that time ... one of many) .... would have been a lot simpler for me to ask and follow his instructions ....
I've had to reinstall Zorin OS so many times it ain't funny because of stuff I've done ....
So the next time someone asks for help think about the first time you tried Linux or any new OS because once you get comfortable with something the tendency is to forget what it is like to be a newbie .... that is as long as you want to be support help that is ...
By the way thank god the vast majority of support help here whether official or not don't answer that way .....
This whole forum is also information on the web. That said, I have found askubuntu, maketech, and a few others to be reputable, at least for my own experience. YMMV.
You made several good points, such as all solutions not being in the database. However, the vast majority of typical questions (not necessarily yours) are answered by the existing threads. If they weren’t, we’d have a whole lot more questions per day than we currently get. As pointed out earlier, Linux is a community and thus we rely on building upon the knowledge base. A searchable database is a powerful frontline tool toward a transparent knowledge base that serves the community. It is also my understanding (I could be mistaken) that the Zorins also want a searchable database to be a primary tech support tool.
But as I mentioned earlier, I see your points, I’m just offering my own understanding. Besides, searching is all I offer - if others started to do that I’d be useless.
Well I just spent the last 1/2 hour trying to find the answer to a rather simple question and so far I guess I am wording the question wrong ...... I have read a dozen posts that have a like word in them but no real answer .... but I'm still trying and just gonna see how long it takes me .... I have never had much luck in the Q&A .... but then I'm kinda slow ....
You are correct I wrote that at 6:00am this morning I will change that ..... you have NEVER told me to look up anything ..... sorry .... thanks for correcting me ... what the difference a few letters can make ....
Well I found the solution a while ago not in the Q&A section but in the Tutorial & Guides under Common Terminal Commands ....
I found out if you ask "How to find my kernel" or "where is my kernel" the Q&A only looks for the word kernel and every post that has the word kernel in it is shown and you have to wade through every single post with the word kernel in it to find what you need ....
I can only assume that any other help you ask for will give you the same answer .... not sure to many newbie's can do that or want to spend hours searching for an answer which may or may not even be there .... hence they ask for it here first ....
Oh and by the way while I was in the Common Terminal Commands I copied the whole list of commands so I don't have to ask for help ...... hopefully on that subject again unless I find a command I can find on that list .....
If it helps, it’s similar to using any other search engine. It helps to narrow down the search results - the engine’s only as good as you teach it to be.
For example, kernel version will get more targeted results.
I'm done trawling the forum for solution marking. Thanks to all for bearing with my OCD. And sorry for the mess of old threads updated by me that probably make it difficult to look for new threads since they get kicked downward. I'll probably check for unsolved threads once a month from now on. Or at least I'll try.
Thank you for your time on here Carmar. One of my biggest complaints in tech support, is that people can't bother to take the time to mark the post that helped them solve the issue, as solution.
Those of us in tech support, put in all our time, to helps other's. Some of us have daily 9 to 5 jobs, on top of providing support. I think everybody on here knows, that I spent many hours per day providing tech support.
When those asking for help, do not mark a post as solution, it makes us feel like they don't really appreciate our help. They just wanna come on here, get support for something, then they disappear.
Another issue that I often see, many folks will wait 6-months to a year, then come back, and update us on how something worked for them. It basically sends the obvious message, that their lives are more important then ours.
We all know that humanity at its very nature, is a very selfish breed of existence. We tend to care about ourselves, and nobody else. As long as our needs are met, thats all that matters. We see this quite often daily with humanity in general.
I am not opposed to changes being made to the forum, to make people more accountable. It needs to be a requirement that those asking for help, provide their computer info, the history of what they had been doing with their computer, and which OS version they are using.
Yes, I did work with the Azorin to bring out a new feature for people's usercard profiles. However, I was quite surprised to see how many people don't update their profiles to include said information.
Another thing we need to do, is require people to mark the post as solution, that actually provided the solution to their problem. I am getting tired of this, disappear for 6-months to a year, and then come back and say, hey it worked. That is total BS!
Its just one of the many reasons I got out of tech support, I felt underappreciated. Plus the trolls that were coming on our board pretty much daily didn't help. So thanks again goes to Carmar, for making things right, and cleaning up the forum a little bit.
I am not sure where @FrenchPress is, hope she returns soon, she was also a forum cleaner. She would wave that rainbow duster wand around, and like magic, things were cleaned up lol. Its IMHO, that you did the right thing here Carmar.
I know it took you several days to accomplish that task, but I got all the notifications of what you were doing, and I commend you for your dedication to your work. And what computer nerd in this world doesn't have OCD?
Dude, if we nerds didn't have OCD, we wouldn't be as successful as we are in IT. Heck, there might not even be an IT department anywhere. What football jocky do you know, who would have the patience for what we do? Exactly! lol
Again, excellent work. @Aravisian needs a break. @FrenchPress needs to return because we miss her. lol Other mods like @Storm I am happy to see more activity from, every little bit helps.
But at the end of the day, those in the moderatorship, and in tech support, can only do so much. Its in my opinion, that we need to get some administration from the admins as well. Because only they can make the changes we seek, on this board.
I try to be more online, but I have my writing and book(s) promotion going on, on top of that I also running Zorin OS community group on Facebook (3100 members). And I also try have some free time for myself in the middle of that.
Thanks for the support & patience of the mods & regulars, on the solution marking.
A few anecdotal observations, which were likely already known to some mods & regulars:
I noticed a lot of repeated topics. For example, disabled Bluetooth. This tells me that we have reached a critical mass with the most typical questions. There isn’t much marginal benefit of having a whole lot more solved threads on the same topic. I think that’s an indication that I can stop trawling in the future.
There is the risk of missing marking the one-off topics. But as they’re one-offs, their benefits are dubious.
#1 also tells us that many posters don’t use search. Mods & regulars do it all the time but that’s besides the point.
It seemed to me that most OPs don’t mark solutions, relative to those that do. If empirically true, this tells me the problem will just keep growing to be unmanageable even by multiple trawlers.
There seem to be a substantial proportion of one-time-never-return posters. This leads to no way of resolving these.
I’m not sure pinning FAQs (even if pinning worked again) would significantly increase posters marking their own solutions.
There were several threads where the OP responded with follow-up as the last post. This indicates the obvious - mods & regulars are already too swamped that they forget to revisit threads they were working on.
Given #1-#6, I have a suggestion. Would moderators and leaders consider marking posts as they see them solved?
Assume a thread is resolved and noticed, simply mark the solution instead of bothering to ask the OP to do so. Like I wrote earlier, it may not be the best idea but it’s all I have to offer given that I don’t think I’ll be doing any more trawling.
I couldn't agree more with all of these ones especially. Ever since I joined the tech support group, putting in hours and hours of my time, so much so, that I had two breakdowns happen to me, I have always noticed those were the cases.
Just one of the reasons I took the dang tag off my username. I can help where I feel that I can, but I don't want the glooming obligation over my head, as I had before. I've always had problems with users seeking for help because of those three points you stated.
You will notice that I provided you a ton of likes as you were sweeping the forum up. This was my way of letting you know that I truly appreciate everything you have been doing. Your cleaning the place up. Getting rid of the disorganized mess.
You've been organizing things well, and its not just in marking posts as solved. I've also noticed you correcting titles that were unnecessarily vague. Just so you know, there was at least 1 post, maybe 2, where I had to do the same for somebody else, otherwise people would be confused.
I remember one of them quite clearly as well, cause the user made me think they were talking about something else cause of their improper title. So I fixed it, then everybody would know what the user was talking about, so people wouldn't enter the post expecting one thing, but seeing another.
Everybody on the board has their individual skillset. Aravisian for example is excellent at answering users questions, finding solutions. Carmar, you are excellent at cleaning the place up and organizing. Both Aravisian and Storm are expert themers, and are also great at answering theme related questions too.
SWARF is our resident, try every Linux OS known to man, see what breaks, what doesn't, and then report on the Zorin board about it. Plus, he's got a conspiracy theory or two to entertain us here and there lol.
Zaba, while I may not see him often, when I do, he also cleans up the forum like you do Carmar, he's pretty good at organizing titles. And hes good at answering some questions and providing solutions.
FrenchPress is our resident Hello Kitty and Hackintosh genius. Gosh how I miss my big sis, she's been gone for far too long, and I just hope that wherever she is, she is doing well, and having a happy life.
There's another moderator on here that we never see, which is why I don't know why they are even a moderator at all. If you arn't willing to do the job, you simply shouldn't be a mod, its ridiculous! I won't name names, but we all know who I am talking about, they been absent since what 2019?
Then we have the regulars like me who do our own thing. You can tell I have helped a lot of people, just look at my solutions. lol But I do have a love and hate relationship with the forum. Cause there are things I love about it, and things I hate. But at the end of the day, I use the forum in the way that makes me happy.
I can't allow myself to get overwhealmed like before. As long as I keep control of myself, everything is ok. What I am most happy about, is the new friends that I've made, primarily Carmar and Storm. Yes, I've known you both for awhile on the board, but I never quite felt we were friends, until more recently..
I am always happy to make new friends who matter. So ya, again Carmar, you are much appreciate on here, by me, the other mods, and to so many regulars on here. From the bottom of my heart, thank you for being a friend, and being so awesome.