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Technical support and comp empty-headedness


Probably the reason non-techie comp users are such a frustration to techies lies in the fact that, beginning with Windows 1.1, those of us who were alive and accustomed to fighting through MSDOS manuals looking for commands to make the thing do something, we suddenly got spoiled into thinking comps could be made to do things,...........hmmm

User friendly.

Naturally, we don't have an appreciation for how difficult that must be for people who write software.

For instance, a couple of weeks back I described step-by-step in a blog entry the process I use to convert numbers taken from Lottery Post, New Mexico Lottery site, or anywhere else, to MS Excel 97.

About 18 steps involving the site, MS Notepad, MS Word, and Excel.  Just to get numbers that are plainly visible on the screen into a spreadsheet.

I've seen people ask a hundred times on threads how to do this, and I saw answers involving something called 'macros' and such, which I haven't a clue about.  So I messed around with it until I found a way to do it, posted the method on my blog, and have reason to believe there are a good many people out in readerland who are using that blunt instrument that I'd have thought software designers could have handled with a click of some kind, developed to a razor edge clean conversion and proud of doing it.

Similarly, consider the admirable capabilities of the various search facilities on LP available to Premium users.

If you go to make a prediction, all you have to do is cut and paste some numbers off notepad and you're in business.  The comp picks up those numbers, reads them and criticizes you for any mistakes you made.

But if you go to the SEARCH facility, it's an entirely different matter.

Say you want to find a complete history on a set of numbers.  Where and when they hit, that sort of thing.  You go to search, and it asks you whether you want to search Pick 6, 5+1, whatever.  Asks how many numbers you want to match.  Now you have a bunch of boxes.... type each number into a box.  No cut and paste for this baby.  Type each one.  If you don't have them memorized, refer to notepad and come back here, type a couple in, go back to notepad, come back and type another couple in.

Okay.  So you now have a page full of links to hits.  You click the link, does it take you there?  No.  It asks whether you want to look at the history of results.  So you go there.  You are looking at 2005, most recent results.

Ahhhh.  Okay, I want August 2002.....lessee, that must be about 30 pages in.  Click.  Shoot!  Must be seven or eight pages further.... pulldown .... add five more pages.  No, too far.... back three......

Okay.  Got it.  Now, backward backward backward backward backward to the page with all the links.... next link.... October 3, 2000........ Illinois.......... Yeah, pulldown, I want to look at the history of results..........  Hmmmkm must be about, what, 35 pages in?  Click.  Whoops, too far,  try 28, ooops, back too far..... try 30.  Ahhh got it.




Ahh arrived okay back to the SEARCH page....

Lessee.  Now I want to search Pick 5+1.  Different numbers. 

I'm sure there's a reason for all this, but I'll swear it ain't 2001 Space Oddessy.


Entry #374


ToddComment by Todd - October 18, 2005, 12:45 pm
How would you have it work?
Comment by Rip Snorter - October 18, 2005, 12:50 pm
Which one?
Comment by Rip Snorter - October 18, 2005, 1:02 pm
A link button on the date would be nice.

A cut and paste capability for inputting numbers for wheels, searches would be nice.

A link button to the date the search result turned up would be nice, instead of just a pulldown menu taking you to the Past Results .....would help, save sorting through a hundred pages of results for the date.

Links in the margin to the starting place would save a lot of back back back.

The search facility is a blessing. I wouldn't trade it. But it's frustrating sometimes, and I suspect it's just too big a job to try to do it any different.

That was my point here. As a non-comp literate, I'm spoiled to thinking things on comp involving work should be done by the comp as much as possible, as opposed to the person trying to accomplish the work.

Thanks for a great site. I honestly do think its great, unique. I just get frustrated using it.


ToddComment by Todd - October 19, 2005, 11:22 am

The problem with pasting into the Search and Wheels pages is not that I don't want to do it, but limitations with Internet browsers. There are very few options for getting an Internet browser to paste text into multiple input spaces. If I could do it, I would.

On the date issue, I'd recommend that if you're looking for results in a particular date range, then you use set the date option BEFORE you execute the search. That way, only results from your desired date range will be returned, and you won't have to do any paging (or a limited amount).

I am planning to put some kind of "recently viewed pages" feature in Lottery Post, but is kind of a low-priority item right now, because most browsers already have that capability. On your Back button, there should be a small down-arrow, which allows you to jump backwards to any page, without going one at a time.

I appreciate your comments - I am always looking for ways to improve. I think some of the things you mention are just plain limitations of the technology at this point, although who knows? Maybe I can come up with a way around those limitations.

Comment by Rip Snorter - October 19, 2005, 11:30 am
Gracias Todd. I felt reasonably certain the things I mentioned were technology ones. As I said in the blog entry, those of us who are comp illiterate tend to think things would be easy just because they appear so.

Much obliged.

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