Do you prefer problems with simple or complex solutions?

When I just logged into these forums, I was greeted by a wall of new Bug Report threads. Some of them not much more than a typo. This made me think about Tech Support problems that were solved by pressing Caps Lock or telling someone they missed a character in a command.

Those are easy problems, the kind of problems I like because they’re handled about as quickly as one learns what the problem seems to be.

Then there’s the complex problems. They happen because you don’t know something, because you’ve been misusing a thing for a long time and now you finally stumble upon that case in which the way you misuse it makes the difference. Like when some program wants text files and you learn that office documents usually are not plaintext or you try to load a MKV file into a player and painfully learn that the extension is the container and video and audio codecs are a thing which make this specific file not readable by that player because it’s missing the decoder. Or the magical moment you realize that PDF converters are no OCR and these pages you scanned are just images in which you can’t highlight anything. Okay these examples are mostly about knowing file formats but you get the idea. It’s problems you learn from, once they’re solved your horizon has widened. You could have avoided them by learning everything about the thing before using it but you couldn’t have known what to look up and no one can know all the things.

Which one do you prefer?

  • Simple Problems - A quickly solved problem is almost as good as no problem!
  • Complex Problems - I love learning new things in every way possible!

0 voters

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To me, it depends on the problem. Overall, I prefer simple ones because I don’t like having to look around to see if this magical fix actually does anything, but there is merit to learning from the complex ones. It’s when the problem seems to have no answer that it gets annoying, particularly when it’s affecting how you do things.

For example, I’ve been having computer problems for over a week now, and the entire time I’ve been seeking solutions. The problem is simple: random driver_power_state_failure blue screens and game freezes, normally ending on a frame of corrupted graphics. I’ve tried everything: sfc scannow, chkdsk, uninstalling potential problem programs, updating every last driver I could find, running a memory test to check for hardware problems, even going so far as to reinstall Windows 10. By now, I think I have the problem narrowed down; either my graphics driver hates me or my graphics card has given up on life (or something else is randomly causing problems, you can never truly tell).

Do I know more now? Yes. I’ve learned about launching the command prompt in administrator mode by hitting ctrl + shift + enter when selecting it. I’ve learned that there are multiple ways to test your computer for pretty much any conceivable problem. I’ve learned that critical Windows updates erase any system restores you’ve had before them. I’ve learned that you can reinstall Windows 10 with the option to keep your files. I’ve gotten a bit more comfortable with the BIOS menu. And I’ve learned that I might have a hardware issue, but that still needs further testing.

However, it’s extremely annoying and stressful to deal with. I normally fire up a game to destress, you know? Having every game I try crash within 30 minutes does not help with that, and the constant restarts and tests just to have an inkling of a chance to maybe fix the problem? It’s not been a fun process, that’s for sure, and I’ve got some time sensitive things to do. As a software engineer, I need to use this computer to do programming assignments. Being involved in a community project over in TrackMania, I need to use this computer to finish building a map by the end of the month. And, of course, as a TU player I need this chunk of plastic to get the limited time Halloween items.

So yeah, as of now I’m a bit more in the “Simple Problems” camp for a few various reasons. Sorry about the rant.

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I’m much in the same camp as @Arkive86 here, but it’s the end goal that makes or breaks a complex deal for me. Is my time going to be worth it?

There was a very, very long time I couldn’t log in to Steam. For a month and a half, I had to play games in offline mode because Steam wouldn’t take my password, and the password reset link wouldn’t send me an email, no matter what I did. I couldn’t talk to friends, I couldn’t play things online, and it was pretty annoying every time I booted up to be greeted with a login window to taunt me. What was I doing wrong? Surely this isn’t my fault, I’ve done everything within my power to reset my password/try every password I’ve ever used. How long will this go on?

I was trying one of my last attempts, and my brother points out that my username is wrong. I’m instantly back on Steam.

Now, debate whether or not this was a simple or complex problem, because I spent a looooong time on it. To me, at the time, it was complex, but in reality the answer was simple. Above all that, I felt like my time was wasted, by own self, nonetheless. Was I happy? To play Steam online again, maybe, but not at myself.

I’m putting myself in “simple problems” category, because while those complex problems usually teach me quite a bit (I learned almost everything about wireless internet with one simple router problem at a friend’s house), I’ll take something that’s easy to fix and has the greatest impact, because those feel amazing to implement.

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What is this, a Splatfest?