Author Topic: ** Using this Board - Help us to help you **  (Read 13684 times)

Offline Falkyrn

  • RootsChat Honorary
  • RootsChat Marquessate
  • *******
  • Posts: 8,268
  • Cuimhnichibh air na daoine bho'n d'thainig sibh
    • View Profile
** Using this Board - Help us to help you **
« on: Wednesday 09 August 06 14:17 BST (UK) »
When posting technical problems could the Posters consider some of the following points:

Hardware problem .... please state some of the specifics of your system
e.g. on a windows PC these can be found by right clicking on My computer and selecting properties ... or even better by running one of the system utilities.
At the very least please state if its a PC or Mac unit and then describe the problem as succinctly as possible.

Software problem ..... again please provide some specifics of your system and a description of the problem and any error messages delivered by the system at the time of the fault.Plus please identify the program causing the problems (and if possible the version of the program)

Any other information which you think may be relevent ... eg recent changes to the hardware or software.

Armed with this information it is sometimes much easier to identify a problem and possible solution rather than going all around the houses guessing at possible faults.

PS could you also add your own level of experience with the machines

Offline Berlin-Bob

  • Caretaker
  • RootsChat Marquessate
  • ********
  • Posts: 7,438
    • View Profile
Re: ** Using this Board - Help us to help you **
« Reply #1 on: Wednesday 24 February 10 17:12 GMT (UK) »
When answering technical problems could the Helpers consider some of the following points:

  • Keep it simple, remember who your "audience" is.

By their own admission, most RootsChatters who post a query on the Technical Board have little or no knowledge of computers so please try to answer as simply and clearly as possible.

  • Try to stick to your own experiences, rather than just repeating something seen in an report in a magazine or website.  Different websites and magazines and even RootsChat contributors will often give totally different evaluations of the same piece of software or hardware, sometimes biased by their own personal (or company) agenda.

If you have used this report yourself, to solve the same or similar problems, then it will be more useful for those seeking help to be told of your personal experiences based on the report.

  • If a specific technical problem has been raised, please try and answer the query and avoid discussions about the merits or de-merits of different operating systems, or Microsoft vs. Linux vs. Mac, 32 bit vs. 64 bit systems, or which browser is "best".

Problems often arise when a member asks for help with a problem and gets caught up in a dogfight from several members venting about the merits and demerits of various browsers, operating systems, computers etc. This doesn't really help the original poster and often causes bad feelings among the others. 

There are many forums which specialise in discussing these points, but RootsChat is for Family History.

The main reason for having the "Technical Help" board at all is to provide help for specific problems.

however ....

  • Sometimes people will specifically ask "what/which XYZ do you recommend ?".

Such questions should always be read as

      "what/which XYZ do you recommend, based on your personal experiences with XYZ ?"   

Any UK Census Data included in this post is Crown Copyright (see:

Offline Berlin-Bob

  • Caretaker
  • RootsChat Marquessate
  • ********
  • Posts: 7,438
    • View Profile
Re: ** Using this Board - Help us to help you **
« Reply #2 on: Thursday 04 March 10 17:25 GMT (UK) »
Courtesy and Consideration.

By their very nature some technical questions require difficult answers.
Sometimes these answers may even hurt, if it turns out that the answer is a new computer or program, rather than a simple fix.  It is sometimes difficult to explain computer subjects simply, to people with very little knowledge of computers.  But it can be done, and what's more important, it can be done in a friendly, tolerant manner, without scaring people off, or putting their backs up.

In general the help on this board has been great and we have hundreds of "satisfied customers" :)

Unfortunately, we have also received complaints in the past that the tone of some answers is putting people off using this board.  Some Helpers' replies come across as being patronising or belittling about other members' lack of experience, or they have hi-jacked or diverted topics into dog-fights about various aspects of the computer industry. 

This has resulted in some members now prefering to ask their questions by PM as they have been frightened off the Technical Board by the tone of the answers given. 

     This is not acceptable, whether on this board or on any other RootsChat board.

Please keep your answers friendly, and to the point.

The Moderating Team
Any UK Census Data included in this post is Crown Copyright (see: