Back in my college days, I was a resident assistant in one of the dorms on campus. One of my residents (not the brightest crayon in the box) came to me asking for help as she had been attempting to connect to the Internet with no success. I sat down at her desk, and, noticing that there were only a printer cord and power cord coming out of her computer, I asked if she had an ethernet card and if she had activated her data line.
“Ethernet card? Data line?” she asked. “What’s that?” I took a deep breath and calmly attempted to explain to her how to hook her computer up to a network. I finally told her to take her roommate with her to the on-campus PC store and tell them that she wanted an ethernet card for her computer.
Two hours later, she knocked on my door again and told me that she had gotten the ethernet card, had it installed, and gotten her data line activated, but was still having problems getting online. I went back to her room, and, sure enough, she had the card but still hadn’t plugged it into the data jack.
Me: “So, were you going to plug this in?”
Her: “Well, I got the card. Isn’t that all I need?”
Me: “No, you’ll need some cable to plug it into the data jack.”
Her: “I don’t need to plug it in!”
Me: “Why is that?”
Her: “Don’t you know anything? The Internet isn’t in the wall! It’s all around us!” (waves arms and looks in awe at the ceiling) “You can’t even SEE it! I don’t think you’re as smart as everyone thinks you are if you don’t know that.” (gives me a crusty glare)
Me: “So…how does your computer FIND the Internet without some sort of connection to it?”
Her: “Computers just KNOW this kind of stuff.”
Me: “Your roommate has an ethernet connection through the data jack. The rest of the floor has their computers plugged into our data lines–”
Her: “Well, that’s just because you’re not as in touch with your computers as I am. If you all were good friends with them, they would just take you to the Internet without having to plug them into the phone jacks. You know, I don’t think that’s a very humane thing to do to your computer, and I don’t know that I like such a cruel person touching my stuff.”
I could do nothing but look at her blankly for a few minutes before quickly retreating to the privacy of my room to laugh hysterically. She gave me five minutes before knocking on my door again. I told her if she left me alone with the computer for a while, when she came back, she’d be able to connect. After my many assurances that I wouldn’t do anything “cruel and unusual” to her precious computer, she left the room to go to class. I bought some cabling, plugged everything in, adjusted her settings, and went back to my room to call my brother to tell him the story.