Linked by Kevin Russo on Tue 7th Dec 2004 06:19 UTC
Geek stuff, sci-fi... Geek is defined by as 'A person who is single-minded or accomplished in a scientific or technical pursuit'. Many of us either acknowledge ourselves as computer geeks or are labeled by Friends, Family, and/or Colleagues as the such. This is not a condescending statement and should not be taken in a negative connotative way. It is in fact an admiration of our technical skills and abilities.
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by AdamW on Wed 8th Dec 2004 00:36 UTC

Sorry, you're working on a false assumption. You assume that if the user doesn't know that to do X they need to edit X, Y and Z that means they don't know what X, Y and Z are. This simply isn't true. To take a random example, I had no idea how to set up bluetooth under Linux when I first got a bluetooth usb adapter. I needed to install rfcomm and a few other utilities and edit some configuration files under /etc. If someone simply says to me 'install rfcomm, edit X Y and Z config files' that is enough to get the job done (and in fact the instructions I eventually used were very much in that style). I don't *need* to be told 'go to a console, type 'urpmi rfcomm', then type cd /etc and then gedit blahblah.conf'...

As I said, IMO it's reasonable to start off working as if the user you are helping is of this type (unless the question is so basic that it's obvious the user must be at a lower level). If it transpires that they can't understand this high level form of assistance, use a lower level one.