It seems that lots of people have trouble typing in keywords into search engines that result in the hits that they want. Every once in a while I have to go to the second page of results, but generally things are available on the first page.For example, I was recently asked, "How do I get control-alt-delete to work under Microsoft's Terminal Services?". I hadn't ever need to do that before, so I went to google (actually typed it in the search field of Firefox, much easier), and typed:
terminal services client ctrl-alt-del
The first hit was a document on how to connect to a terminal server via Linux, which was actually useful, since that was a related question, so I guess I got two for the price of one.
But the second hit says to press ctrl-alt-end instead. (and for a third bonus, ctrl-alt-break is handy for switching to full screen, if you are like me and get confused when you have two or three start bars visible on your screen at one time).
When I gave that answer, and told him I had used Google, he mentioned he had already tried that. I have watched co-workers in the past try to find things on search engines, and they type in the strangest things. For example, we were talking about the Dodge Caravan, and does it have struts, and if it does, can you replace them yourself. My co-worker typed in:
caravan struts
And somehow expected that to return reasonable documents.

What are your experiences - can you find things in search engines, is it too time consuming?

As a side note, I was at Citizen's Bank the other day, and the bank guy (not sure what you call them, the guys who sit at the desks, rather than stand behind a window) never typed urls into the address bar, but instead always clicked the bookmark that went to MSN's search (since that comes by default on Internet Explorer, and he hadn't gotten around to adding his regular bookmarks on the new computer) and typed in, say,, which then most of the time brings up the right URL in the first couple of hits. To make it better, when he couldn't find what he was looking for at one point, he complained about MSN, and said he liked google better, so he typed "" into the MSN search, clicked on the first link, which brought him to, and then he typed in in that search engine. He said, that though he does know bank stuff, just not internet things.
As a second side note, if you happen to have an account with Citizen's Bank, know that your financial records are easily obtainable via the web, through a third party's site, that manages their accounts. He left his username and password in front of me on his desk for twenty minutes or so, and presumably does the same with all of the clients, as the name and password are strings of numbers, and probably pretty hard to remember, thus he has to carry around the printed out email that he received from the account person. Note, the email was not sent through an internal network, so this is wrong on so many levels....
Posted by Jon Daley on June 22, 2005, 2:57 pm | Read 2262 times
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