Try it, see what happens December 18, 2007 8:21 AM   Subscribe

MeFi's Eternal September is nigh, what with the holidays coming and Mac market share rising. Is there anything we can/should do to head off the inevitable flood of "I just got my Mac, now what?" questions that are already asked over and over in AskMe?

There are probably a handful of other things out there (digital cameras?) that could possibly use some mention as well. I'm thinking a tag-driven list of links that cover "MeFi on [topic]" either as a sidebar or a temporary addition to the "New Question" page.

I'd also like to propose banning people who go ahead and double-post anyway. But, you know, that's just my starting position, and I'm willing to give something up to achieve a compromise ;).
posted by mkultra to Feature Requests at 8:21 AM (80 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

There is the gift page that was created on the wiki. We haven't gotten around to the dancing santa this year I'll see if i can scare that up.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 8:26 AM on December 18, 2007 [1 favorite]


We should shut down mefi for a week after christmas with a little sign that says "Don't come back till you've gone elsewhere to figure out how to use your goddamn christmas present."
posted by shmegegge at 8:34 AM on December 18, 2007 [6 favorites]


Yes, fuck 'em! The advice never changes, after all. Refer em to a copy of the Mac Bible from 1993 and have done with it. Nisus Writer, Cyberdog and Claris Emailer should be enough for anyone, if they don't forget to install Macsbug or ResEdit and have you tried holding down option-apple and choosing "About This Macintosh..."?
posted by bonaldi at 8:37 AM on December 18, 2007 [4 favorites]


Change the signup fee to $500.
posted by shakespeherian at 8:37 AM on December 18, 2007 [2 favorites]


I just got my MAC for the holidays. HELP! How do I switch windows? Where are my files? How do I close a window? agghhh. ;)
posted by caddis at 8:40 AM on December 18, 2007 [1 favorite]


s this where i go to unsuscribe goolge
posted by Greg Nog at 8:41 AM on December 18, 2007 [7 favorites]


Why can't everyone just know as much as I do?
posted by Jofus at 8:43 AM on December 18, 2007


JUST REBUILD YOUR DESKTOP AND ZAP THE PRAM, DUMMY
posted by porn in the woods at 8:43 AM on December 18, 2007 [3 favorites]


The advice never changes, after all.

Your point is taken, but there have been close to 50 posts tagged as "mac" in the past month alone. That's not even including "apple", "imac", "macbook", etc. There's no shortage of up-to-date info.
posted by mkultra at 8:43 AM on December 18, 2007


Why can't everyone just know as much as I do?

My dissertation on this is almost complete, but I'm afraid you lack the skills needed to understand my invented language.

Seriously, though, it's not about hoarding info or elitism or anything. It's all out there- just look at the tags.
posted by mkultra at 8:48 AM on December 18, 2007 [1 favorite]


Yes, fuck 'em!

It fits with my worldview that the gray's attitude is the opposite of the green's.

I think we'll just help people out as they ask questions, won't we? No one's forcing you to help people out in AskMe. Even if they don't look at the tags.
posted by Avenger50 at 8:54 AM on December 18, 2007


I propose we have an "Anything Goes" January, meaning no comment, no matter how useless, insulting or inaccurate gets deleted from AskMe for 30 days. That'll teach `em!
posted by blue_beetle at 8:55 AM on December 18, 2007 [1 favorite]


Change the signup fee to $500.
posted by shakespeherian

and use that money to buy iPods for all active members before the change!!
posted by micayetoca at 8:57 AM on December 18, 2007 [2 favorites]


"You don't deserve a MAC if you can't run it without instructions. Go back to Windows, ye unworthy simpleton"
To bad my answer gets deleted every time :(
posted by jmd82 at 8:57 AM on December 18, 2007 [1 favorite]


Why must people ask questions about macs on AskMe? Doesn't Steve Jobs just astral project into your home and answer the questions for you?
posted by mimo at 8:57 AM on December 18, 2007 [2 favorites]


I propose we have an "Anything Goes" January, meaning no comment, no matter how useless, insulting or inaccurate gets deleted from AskMe for 30 days.

That'd be the beste.
posted by Wolfdog at 8:57 AM on December 18, 2007 [14 favorites]


Macaroni!
posted by breezeway at 9:02 AM on December 18, 2007


MeFi's Eternal September is nigh, what with the holidays coming and Mac market share rising. Is there anything we can/should do to head off the inevitable flood of "I just got my Mac $gift, now what?" questions that are already asked over and over in AskMe?

Fixed that, &c.
posted by Plutor at 9:10 AM on December 18, 2007


I'm just here to buy a used car.
posted by ORthey at 9:10 AM on December 18, 2007


Seriously, though, it's not about hoarding info or elitism or anything. It's all out there- just look at the tags.

Yeah, but that could go for pretty much any question. Look at how many "I need to dump my raving psychotic girlfriend without getting stabbed in the eye with an ice pick" questions there are. And I'm telling you - the advice never changes. "Sedate her, give her the news, run like hell, stop dating the inpatients."

Eeeeevery time.
posted by katillathehun at 9:11 AM on December 18, 2007 [4 favorites]


bonaldi: Yes, fuck 'em! The advice never changes, after all. Refer em to a copy of the Mac Bible from 1993 and have done with it. Nisus Writer, Cyberdog and Claris Emailer should be enough for anyone, if they don't forget to install Macsbug or ResEdit and have you tried holding down option-apple and choosing "About This Macintosh..."?

Avenger50: It fits with my worldview that the gray's attitude is the opposite of the green's.

I think we'll just help people out as they ask questions, won't we? No one's forcing you to help people out in AskMe. Even if they don't look at the tags.


The only difference between "the gray's attitude" and "the green's attitude" is that sarcasm is allowed in the gray.

In other words, bonaldi was being sarcastic. The point was that Mac users, whether they ask questions around Christmas or not, aren't necessarily just asking duplicate questions, given the fact that there are a lot of questions you could ask about Apple products. In other words, bonaldi seems to me to be saying that people should be allowed to ask those questions and get fair answers to them. But don't take my word for it. You can go peruse a few of the over twelve thousand answers bonaldi's posted so far in ask metafilter, if you like.
posted by koeselitz at 9:11 AM on December 18, 2007


Many of those answers about Apple products, mind you.
posted by koeselitz at 9:13 AM on December 18, 2007


over twelve thousand answers

Someone skipped counting class.
posted by dersins at 9:15 AM on December 18, 2007 [1 favorite]


I propose we have an "Anything Goes" January, meaning no comment, no matter how useless, insulting or inaccurate gets deleted from AskMe for 30 days.

Heck, even one day of this would be unspeakably cathartic. C'mon, we've been so helpful and supportive all year; give us just one festive day when people are encouraged to trot out questions that are the apotheosis of moronic, needy, self-obsessed learned helplessness and then everyone else gets to flog them like a rented mule.
posted by FelliniBlank at 9:19 AM on December 18, 2007


You can go peruse a few of the over twelve thousand answers bonaldi's posted so far in ask metafilter, if you like.

That's nothing compared to Steven C. Den Beste's nearly thirty-three thousand!!!!!

(I kid! I kid!)
posted by katillathehun at 9:20 AM on December 18, 2007


Yeah, but that could go for pretty much any question. Look at how many "I need to dump my raving psychotic girlfriend without getting stabbed in the eye with an ice pick" questions there are. And I'm telling you - the advice never changes. "Sedate her, give her the news, run like hell, stop dating the inpatients."

I agree that a lot of relationship questions can be distilled down into one or two ur-questions, but here's my feeling on that- a lot of the askers of those questions come from a deeply-held feeling that their problem is truly unique and different and they need to be explicitly told that no, they're not a special little flower, that their/their s.o. really is following the patterns of X archetype, and so on.

With things, questions and answers are much more cut-and-dry. There is no, "I know you're supposed to erase your hard drive and reinstall, but I'm afraid it'll hurt my Mac's feelings if I delete the Photo Booth pictures I took with it and it'll never work the same again!"
posted by mkultra at 9:25 AM on December 18, 2007


their they/their
posted by mkultra at 9:26 AM on December 18, 2007


You know, we would have taken Humpty far more seriously had he told us that it was our only chance to do the hump.
posted by Afroblanco at 9:28 AM on December 18, 2007


but there have been close to 50 posts tagged as "mac" in the past month alone

1. Most of these questions have not been of the "I just got my Mac, now what?"

2. Why is 50 Mac related questions in a month a problem?

3. Every Mac related question means one less idiotic relationshipfilter question.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 9:30 AM on December 18, 2007


FelliniBlank: " C'mon, we've been so helpful and supportive all year; give us just one festive day when people are encouraged to trot out questions that are the apotheosis of moronic, needy, self-obsessed learned helplessness and then everyone else gets to flog them like a rented mule."

It's called April Fools day. By the way, I've got the best April Fool's day question all lined up. I've had it since April 2nd. Just you wait, suckas!
posted by shmegegge at 9:35 AM on December 18, 2007


Every Mac related question means one less idiotic relationshipfilter question.

Dear AskMe: I think I'm in love with a Macbook Pro that works a few cubicles away from mine at HeartlessMegaCorp, but it doesn't know I'm alive. Maybe this makes me a bad person. I mean, I have a longterm, reliable iMac at home, and even if it seems a little bit, well, pudgy in middle age, it's always been there for me, through all the tough times.

Anyhow, last week, the iMac and I were at home having, you know, quiet time together, and in a moment of weakness, I just blurted out "Leopard!" I don't know where it came from, really, and I immediately wished I could unsay it, but now, whenever I touch the iMac, it flinches accusingly.

What am I to do?
posted by FelliniBlank at 9:40 AM on December 18, 2007 [3 favorites]


Every Mac related question means one less idiotic relationshipfilter question.

"I’m a guy, seeing a girl who I think I could be with long term. She is unquestionably an awesome person, and I appreciate the fact that she brings a different perspective and background to the relationship than my own. As with many things, these differences can be a double-edged sword. Read on, below...

For the first time in my life, I’m actually making a decent (though by no means huge) salary. This comes after spending the past 10 years in various stages of academia. I jumped off of the academic ship this summer and took a job in the private sector, which I’m very happy with. For the first time in my life, I feel like I don’t have to worry about money, and that’s a huge relief.

Dear girlfriend (DG) works in a very altruistic field and makes an amount of money that qualifies her as apparently impoverished in our very expensive city. I love her for her work, and I don’t think the fact that she doesn’t make much money bothers me. So what’s the problem?

Despite making little to no money, DG owns a very nice, relatively new, iPhone and has one of those semi-fancy designer Macbooks. The former was purchased with an inheritance and both were acquired before I met her. When I met her, she had over $10k in credit card debt, which she used the balance of her inheritance to pay down after I expressed my disbelief and questioned our financial compatibility. Recently, the MacBook has had a series of problems, and it looks like it's going to need surgery that will cost in the range of $1-$3k. Oh, and she really likes large flat-screen monitors, and has indicated a preference for monitors in the $8-$10k range. She has indicated that this is definitely not a requirement.

As I said, I definitely do okay financially. But I also live in a very small apartment, with my amazing PC (home-built) desktop and don’t even own an iPod. I would like to own an iPhone, and could readily afford to, but I have a hard time justifying it in the city that I live in, which has very good telecommunications infrastructure. The LCD industry sort of grosses me out, but the fact that it would make her so happy trumps my personal misgivings about the monitor

We’ve talked about potentially having a future together and we have communicated a lot about the financial aspects. We haven’t addressed this particular question, yet, maybe because I feel the need to reconcile my own thoughts before raising it with her, but we will. Lack of communication between us is not a problem (another thing I dig about her).

My concern lies primarily in the fact that I’ll be the overwhelming bread winner of the household, yet her recurring expenses might match or exceed mine. I know “what’s mine is yours,” but is “what’s yours that I find excessive my responsibility?”

One additional note is that while I currently like what I do, I would like to maintain the flexibility to transition to something that pays less in the future, if I want to. I certainly don’t want to be bound to my job because it pays well and I have a large number of expenses. The money is fairly meaningless to me, except for the fact that it means I don’t have to worry about money. That said, I don’t ever want to put myself in another situation where I have to worry about money.

So, MeFites, have any of you dealt with this when starting a life with someone? Specifically, did you end up assuming financial responsibility for decisions that they made before meeting you? Are you glad that you did or didn’t? Is there anything I should watch out for here, other than the possibility of general financial irresponsibility on her end, which we have discussed? Basically, I want to know how I can overcome these feelings, but also not be blind about it. Also, s this where i go to unsuscribe goolge?
posted by dersins at 9:40 AM on December 18, 2007 [7 favorites]


Whenever this question comes up, just cut and paste this answer into the thread:

Prepare a mixture of 3/4c mayonnaise, 2 TBSP Worcestershire sauce, 2 TSP olive oil, and a packet of ranch salad dressing seasoning. Mix thoroughly in a mixing bowl with salt and pepper. Preheat oven to 475. Apply dressing liberally to exterior of Mac and decorate with cloves. Grate the peel of 1 orange and sprinkle over Mac as garnish. Bake Mac at 475 for 3-4 hours or until melty. Serve with Parmesan foccacia and a nice Chianti.
posted by baphomet at 9:43 AM on December 18, 2007


dersins, I'm shocked and delighted by how much mileage you got out of what was essentially a one-note bit. Well played.
posted by SpiffyRob at 9:46 AM on December 18, 2007


their they/their

ther
posted by shakespeherian at 9:47 AM on December 18, 2007


dersins, I'm shocked and delighted by how much mileage you got out of what was essentially a one-note bit. Well played.

I wish I could claim it as my own compostion, but it's really just a remix. The meat of it is cut and pasted from here, with, of course, some key alterations...
posted by dersins at 9:54 AM on December 18, 2007


"That's nothing compared to Steven C. Den Beste's nearly thirty-three thousand!!!!!"

And almost 100 where he actually knows what he's talking about!
posted by klangklangston at 10:01 AM on December 18, 2007 [5 favorites]

I agree that a lot of relationship questions can be distilled down into one or two ur-questions
Perhaps this is off-topic. I certainly don't disagree with this statement, even as someone who is probably more guilty than most of asking RelationshipFilter questions. However if what you propose is true then why is there not a simple flow chart of questions that can answer most relationship questions? I ask in earnest, regardless of the fact that such an invaluable resource would likely be ignored for the reasons you give.

I believe the answer is that relationships don't have correct answers, even if our community mores predict answers with a high degree of accuracy, as defined by those that answer the questions. The truth is that even if the relationship advice is good, factually, anecdotally, or even emotionally, RelationshipFilter questions do not provide answers, but are simply cathartic and occasionally provide the catalyst for the change the poster was originally seeking.

As for this post, I believe that information is difficult to derive from AskMe's vast archives. Searching AskMe to research a question before it is asked is actually pretty difficult, especially for a novice Mac user searching for simple, easily knowable terms like broken mac. Sure, it's easy to say, "Use better search terms," but a novice computer user has a limited technical vocabulary to describe problems. No one is going to read through the 3,000 hits that result from such an open ended query. Combine difficult to search archives with a dose of average laziness, and voila! Lots of duplicate questions. Perhaps bolting a wiki on top of AskMe would work. Think of it as an alternate view of AskMe where people can arrange the information in an easily human navigable and easier to search manner.. Perhaps average laziness would limit the utility of such a resource, but nothing short of better searches or an alternate organization scheme, like a guide in the MeFi Wiki, would resolve the problem sufficiently.
posted by sequential at 10:02 AM on December 18, 2007


Whatever man, I like September.
posted by Mister_A at 10:06 AM on December 18, 2007


I wish I could claim it as my own compostion, but it's really just a remix.

Ugh, that's what I get for thinking I can assume a more casual readership of AskMe on the weekends!

Time to rededicate my free time to this site!
posted by SpiffyRob at 10:19 AM on December 18, 2007


I clik on inveloap but it dunt sae 'u got maiil'
posted by Smart Dalek at 10:23 AM on December 18, 2007


I kind of want to see a distilled list of ur-questions, now.
posted by cortex (staff) at 10:39 AM on December 18, 2007


Direct all MAC questions to me, please. If anyone's curious, Rubenesque, Say Yeah, and Melon are all approximately the same color, the new Reflects are eye-safe and will stick with a little glycerine, the glitter eyeliner flakes off, and this pigment-pressing tutorial works brilliantly for broken eyeshadows too. And is anyone else excited about the return of Parrot?
posted by Metroid Baby at 10:41 AM on December 18, 2007 [1 favorite]


I kind of want to see a distilled list of ur-questions, now.


dersins has one-upped it with his Platonic ideal. Really, we can pretty much close AskMe at this point.
posted by mkultra at 10:43 AM on December 18, 2007


But with the ur-questions, we could create a multi-dimenional graph for each and every question posted, categorizing it by its proportional content of each ur-vector. It'd open up a whole new world of askme archive management, which is useful for keeping the backtaggers busy.
posted by cortex (staff) at 10:51 AM on December 18, 2007


FFLPT MATH COUNTING BLAH
posted by koeselitz at 10:51 AM on December 18, 2007 [1 favorite]


cortex: But with the ur-questions, we could create a multi-dimenional graph for each and every question posted, categorizing it by its proportional content of each ur-vector.

...and then, correlating and categorizing it with the answers that upon analysis turn out to be statistically significant, we can write the matrix of algorithms we've all been hoping for which can answer any question we ask it and therefore PREDICT THE FUTURE.
posted by koeselitz at 10:55 AM on December 18, 2007


Yes!

*grabs koeselitz, Ray Kurzweil by hands, dances in circle giggling*
posted by cortex (staff) at 10:59 AM on December 18, 2007


To save valuable space on the green, I'll ask my real mac question here. Please feel free to answer or ridicule at your leisure:

I'm buying a MacBook (2 GHz, 2 GB). I've used virtualization software to run Linux in Windows before with acceptable results. Does xp/vista run well in a VM on the mac? Which is better, parallels or VMWare Fusion?

Also, what's a tag and how do you use it?

kthxgbye
posted by SteveTheRed at 10:59 AM on December 18, 2007


No dancing in here. Singing only.
posted by dersins at 11:00 AM on December 18, 2007


I kind of want to see a distilled list of ur-questions, now.

There's

1. "Blah blah blah, livejournal entry, blah, blah, blah, hold me cuddle me THIS IS A QUESTION",

and the superficially similar - or is it similarly superficial? -

2. "Blah blah blah, I know the answer is X, but blah, blah so the drama, blah, blah, blah, could you all spell out X for me in various ways again."

and then there's

3a. "I forget how Google works, do you know?" and
3b. "Iconomy, could you look something up in IMDB for me?"
posted by Wolfdog at 11:07 AM on December 18, 2007 [2 favorites]


4a. "I don't have any taste; can I borrow yours?" or
4b. "I do not know how to try new things; will you tell me which ones I should like?"
posted by Wolfdog at 11:13 AM on December 18, 2007 [2 favorites]


5. "Will I go to jail if I punch somebody in the face?"
posted by Wolfdog at 11:14 AM on December 18, 2007 [2 favorites]


A bit sui generis, that last one.
posted by Wolfdog at 11:22 AM on December 18, 2007


6. I want to do something incredibly dim-witted. How can I? (note: please do not tell me this is dim witted)
posted by bonaldi at 11:25 AM on December 18, 2007


6b. How can I pull my head out of my ass (note: do not suggest answers that involve moving my head or my ass. I'm not interested.)
posted by bonaldi at 11:26 AM on December 18, 2007


7. I'd like to ask a question that requires more information be provided by me.
--posted by anonymous
posted by shakespeherian at 11:36 AM on December 18, 2007 [1 favorite]


Can I sue hotmail for forwarding my mail?
posted by Skorgu at 11:37 AM on December 18, 2007 [1 favorite]


8. Butts. Lol?
posted by wemayfreeze at 11:41 AM on December 18, 2007


9. I am utterly ignorant of how computers, websites and the like work. Nonetheless, I am CERTAIN that a website/computer is doing something you will all think incredibly unlikely. Plesae validate me.

10. Money, huh?
posted by bonaldi at 11:48 AM on December 18, 2007


Bake Mac at 475 for 3-4 hours or until melty. Serve with Parmesan foccacia and a nice Chianti.

melty is my new favorite word.
posted by demagnetized at 11:57 AM on December 18, 2007


11. I really love my girlfriend, but I suspect she's cheating on me. She says she loves me, but I've seen her make out with other guys on more than one occasion. Should I post the pictures directly to Facebook, or put them on Flickr and just link to them on Facebook? Also, I just got an Applebook, and can't figure out how to do this because it doesn't have IE. Help!
posted by mkultra at 12:39 PM on December 18, 2007


12. Should I see a doctor?
posted by Big_B at 12:52 PM on December 18, 2007


13. So, I have this math assignment due tomorrow...
posted by katillathehun at 1:05 PM on December 18, 2007


My wheelchair is dating another Ipod, HELP!
posted by wheelieman at 1:22 PM on December 18, 2007


14. I want to send a mixtape to my son in Iraq. (No criticism, please. He's over there, fighting for your rights.) What's your favorite song that's kind of unconventional but still has that catchy earworm thing going on?
posted by shmegegge at 1:35 PM on December 18, 2007 [1 favorite]


15. I have an issue that really requires legal advice, especially given that it relates to some aspect of the law that can vary greatly from country to country, state to state. However, I'm going to ask a bunch of strangers on the internet.
posted by never used baby shoes at 1:58 PM on December 18, 2007


11: DTMFApplebook
posted by philomathoholic at 2:17 PM on December 18, 2007


However, I'm going to ask a bunch of strangers on the internet....

.... and I will refuse to divulge my location and never come back to the thread to add any more dismbiguating information.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 2:31 PM on December 18, 2007


But seriously, unseriously, maybe the MeFi April Fools Day next year should be a 24-hour period of ONLY stupid or inappropriate questions in AskMe and ONLY jokey or really-bad-advice answers allowed. Just a suggestion. Please limit stones thrown to 4 pounds or less, thank you.
posted by wendell at 2:49 PM on December 18, 2007


SteveTheRed: I only have personal experience with Fusion. It's excellent, and runs very, very fast, at least on the Mac Pro. I see no reason why it wouldn't be just about the same speed on any Core2 Mac.

Parallels has the reputation of being somewhat buggy, but I haven't used it myself.

Remember to put all the RAM you possibly can into your machine. VMs use tons of the stuff... you're running two operating systems, with all the memory overhead of both.
posted by Malor at 2:52 PM on December 18, 2007


I want to do incredibly specific task X. I am very knowledgeable about this subject. I also consulted an expert / message boards/ God, and he said it's impossible to do X. Nothing is impossible. How do I do X?

These are usually the ones that get no answers at all.
posted by smackfu at 3:06 PM on December 18, 2007


Heh. I've asked a couple of those, smackfu. And they do get answers, just not satisfying ones.

I sometimes wish we had more genuine net kooks. No purported simple proofs of Fermat's Last Theory in AskMe = me being kind of sad.
posted by cortex (staff) at 3:19 PM on December 18, 2007


Windows sign up fee is $5.
Mac sign up fee is $10, but it comes with a year of MefiCare, and a blurry theme.
Linux sign up fee is $0, but you have to figure out how to open an account on your own.
posted by 31d1 at 3:51 PM on December 18, 2007 [2 favorites]


I dunno, cortex, my rants about financial apocalypse are pretty net.kooky :)
posted by Malor at 7:28 PM on December 18, 2007


Yeah, but a real kook doesn't recognize kookiness.
posted by cortex (staff) at 7:44 PM on December 18, 2007


Hmm. Would it work better if I stuck with "doom, DOOM!"...?

I could cackle.
posted by Malor at 7:56 PM on December 18, 2007


Windows sign up fee is $5.

At least until you install Metafilter Genuine Advantage, at which point you will need to enter a valid credit card and cross your fingers.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 8:03 PM on December 18, 2007


No, Malor; you blew it when your first comment in the thread wasn't a ten paragraph reiteration of your position, apropos of nothing.
posted by cortex (staff) at 8:42 PM on December 18, 2007


The thing is that AskMe is different things to different people, and the extent of precedent for each of these things is rich. The Q/A format is an inefficient way to organize a knowledgebase for recurrent queries, even with tagging, because it relies on the seeker to actively make connections that a proper knowledgebase would automate. There is nothing to be done about it short of practicing the urbane value of tolerance; don't read the ones you don't care about. Someone will always be there to answer.
posted by fourcheesemac at 10:04 PM on December 19, 2007


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