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Give me mercy...Removing a UPS can't be that hard!

Discussion in 'Electrics UK' started by eveares, 17 Sep 2021.

  1. eveares

    eveares

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    So my Granddad (who is in hid mid 80's) has had a UPS on his router for a number of years as he lives in a rural area and gets lots of power cuts and power dips. The UPS was 10-11 years old and had started to become unreliable, so I ordered him a new one.

    In the mean time I sent him this via email: (They also now have a VoIP service as their main phone line.)


    So today when I arrived to install the new UPS, I had found that rather than plugging the IEC C13 and C14 connectors into each other as I assumed he would based on my above email, my Granddad had cut the connectors of the end of the wires and wired them together in a open/cover-less box using a terminal strip!

    I guess I should have stated in red bold text in the email that no tools whats so ever are required and that the connectors just plug into each other - I assumed wrong!

    Regards: Elliott.
     
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  3. RandomGrinch

    RandomGrinch

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    'Joining together' - those words were your mistake! :ROFLMAO:
     
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  4. JohnW2

    JohnW2

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    Definitely - Elliot is lucky that he didn't find the two cables just taped together, side by side :)

    Over the subsequent decades, I have quite often had to try to produce "idiot-proof" sets of instructions (a thankless task, given the almost limitless capacity some people have for idiocy!), but I had quite a good grounding on which to build from some useful exercises we undertook at school - in English lessons, in the name of 'clarity of language' ...

    ... a person who was blindfolded or behind a screen had to give verbal instructions to someone else (whom the rest of us could see) on how to do various everyday tasks (things like tying a shoelace, tie or knot, or wrapping a parcel), and the person following the instructions was encouraged to take the instructions as literally as he could (i.e. 'be awkward'!). That was a fascinating exercise, which taught us a lot about clarity and potential ambiguity of language!!

    Kind Regards, John
     
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  5. Mottie

    Mottie

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    I had a mate who years ago decided to change his brake shoes on his MK2 Cortina. They were self adjusting and had adjusted themselves out to their maximum. When he fitted the new shoes, he couldn’t get the drum on……so he filed them down until he could!
     
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  6. Harry Bloomfield

    Harry Bloomfield

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    We come across the issue repeatedly via this forum, maybe not to that extreme, but it can be a real struggle helping some people with the simplest of tasks.
    and I
    None of us can say we are exempt from doing such silly things - we get a wrong idea in our heads and crash on with total disregard for common sense and I think it becomes more prevalent the older we get.

    I once remember my dad, stripping the top end of his car engine down, because 'it wasn't running right'. It was a rather tasty sports job he had bought. I didn't live there and I was spending weeks at a time working away, so I would only pop round every few weeks. The first weekend I had spent checking it all and building it all back up, getting the timing spot on, testing it and it ran just fine. Next time I dropped in, it was in bits again with the same 'not running right' - rebuilt again. The third visit same process.

    The fourth time, I just gave up and simply left him too it. He never drove again and eventually sold that car 'not running right' to a collector.
     
    Last edited: 18 Sep 2021
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  7. Mottie

    Mottie

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    When I was 14, my parents let me decorate my own bedroom. I was also going to paint the door. My dad gave me one bit of advice: Take the door off to paint it to avoid paint runs. His words were actually "You can practically pour the paint on". I took him literally, poured the paint on and spread it out. It pooled in places and literally run off all the edges. Of course he called me all the silly sods under the sun and when we moved about 5 years later, some places on the door were still soft and you could leave a fingerprint in them!
     
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  8. eveares

    eveares

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    I know, I took common sense and intuition for granted, and paid the price as a result. As someone who is technical both in a professional sense and as a hobbyist, I saw the job as a simple one from my own perspective stupidly and did not foresee how it could be done otherwise.


    If you took it literally, then yes - but at least to me, joining the two IEC connectors on the end of the cables is obvious. For me it is common sense thing that cutting the connectors off and wiring the cables together results in the same end result, but take more time and is permeant, so why bother for a temporary fix when you have suitable connectors on the end of the cables already.

    There are many things in life that one does not take literarily and instead infers the correct meaning, Idioms for example.

    I guess I need to stop thinking like a tech person and interpret my own words in the most dumb and literal ways as possible.

    Regards: Elliott.
     
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  9. RandomGrinch

    RandomGrinch

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    ...and don't underestimate the resourcefulness of your granddad! :)
     
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  11. bernardgreen

    bernardgreen

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    What is the first thing to think about when making a ham sandwich ?

    Look in the fridge to see if there is any ham.
     
  12. mattylad

    mattylad

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    After remote helping my father on his computer several times I can relate to this.

    I often find myself saying loudly "DAD! Put down the mouse and step away from the computer!!" lol
     
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  13. JohnW2

    JohnW2

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    Very much so but, even then, none of us can get remotely close to anticipating how the minds of some other people might misinterpret what one has said or written. For that reason, I learned a very long time ago that whenever one is involved in the development of 'instructions', 'questionnaires', 'forms' etc., the most crucial thing is to "field test" them on people as representative as possible of the intended target audience.

    As an example, I recently saw the results of field testing of an early draft of a (not very well designed!) questionnaire in which some of the seemingly most basic demographic questions suffered from this problem. A couple of the examples I recall were along the lines of:

    Q: Where were you born?
    A: In my parent's house

    Q: When were you born?
    A: I think about 9:30pm

    Kind Regards, John
     
  14. JohnW2

    JohnW2

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    ... I would add that the increasing familiarity with computer programming has gone quite a way to helping us to 'think in the right way', since virtually all computer languages are even more 'dumb' than the most dumb of human beings, in that they take the instructions they are given totally literally.

    For example, if I told you (in the name of estimating mortality in the community) to divide the number of Covid deaths in a certain community/whatever by the number of known cases of Covid infection in that community, you would (hopefully!) automatically/subconsciously taken that to mean "IF there are any known cases of Covid infection deaths in the community, THEN divide the number of them by the number of known cases of Covid infection in that community".

    However, if you omitted that IF...THEN clause from a programme which undertook that calculation for a number of communities, then if/when it hit a community with no Covid infections, it would throw up a "divide by zero" error - so a programmer has to learn to try to anticipate every possible way in which, if taken totally literally, their instructions could result in problems.

    Kind Regards, John
    Edit: Crucial typo corrected!
     
    Last edited: 18 Sep 2021
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  15. Harry Bloomfield

    Harry Bloomfield

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    That was one of the big advantages of teaching at least some basic (small b) programming skills.
     
  16. BS3036

    BS3036

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    I presume you actually meant to say IF there are any known cases of Covid infection, for this to work.
     
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  17. JohnW2

    JohnW2

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    I did. Now corrected. Thanks for noticing! :)

    Kind Regards, John
     
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