Wednesday, May 05, 2004
The other day a patron parked at one of the internet computers gestured me over by angrily waving a diskette at me. He demanded to know why he couldn’t download anything from the Microsoft website. For a myriad of reasons, the security of our network being the foremost, the public access library computers do not permit downloads. I asked him what he wanted, and he said that he needed to download Microsoft Office onto his diskette. Yes, he meant the entire Microsoft Office Suite. What he was attempting was so absurd and he spoke in such a nasty, sarcastic tone that I thought for a moment that he was being, well, sarcastic, but he wasn't. He actually believed he could go to the Microsoft site and not only download Microsoft Office, but also do so in its entirety on a single diskette,   and huffily wanted to know why the library and I were standing in his way and thwarting him. Since I didn’t even know where to begin with that one, I just told him that for security reasons, downloading capabilities were disabled on the public access computers, and that he should call a Microsoft retailer if he wanted Microsoft Office.