I have ADSL service with an Ethernet modem.
After I reinstalled Windows, my modem didn't want to work. I ran the
setup program (for the "dialer" - really a program that just does PPPoE authentication) that comes in the
installation CD and it gave "Runtime Error 5" or some such.
I called the phone company (Brasil Telecom,
known by technicians as "Brasil Telecr*p"). Their solution?
They tell me to connect to the Internet and
install the program "Macromedia Flash Player 8.0" to get on the Internet.
This obviously has 2 flaws:
- I don't have how to connect to the Internet without ADSL
- I can't understand why I would need Flash
Player to install their "dialer".
In the end I solved it by running the installer program (which was buried
in some folder on the CD). A few days later, I found that my modem could be used in router mode (modem does all
authentication), so I converted it.
Death to all pseudotechs!
I am an ex Computer Field Engineer of some 30 years. Some years ago I used to work on a computer (non-PC) which was
slung under a custom-built desk. Under the machine was an aperture through which, if you were very short - about
25cm - you could gain access. The old lady who ran the computer was now lacking one her two dogs and had been
looking for it all day. I was called out to this machine because they there was no power only to find the mains on
the power supply shorted out by a Yorkshire Terrier. Luckily she wasn't there when I made the discovery and I could
discretely inform her boss, who surreptitiously disposed of the dog. I am very sure that he never told her as she
was still making lost and found posters several weeks later.
While this story I have obtained third hand, I can easily believe that it is true. Here goes:
Back when there was one big phone company (AT&T) there were other "indenpendant" ones. One was called GTE (aka
Great Telephone Experiment). They have several territories around the USA, but they were the main telco for the
state of Hawaii. Back in "those days" information was "free" because they wanted you to make the long distance call
to make $$$. So, many people called Hawaii information (808-555-1212 if you are interested). Now GTE wanting to be
economical setup its information office here on the "mainland" so that every call wouldn't go over to Hawaii just to
get information, and the circuits were limited, and it was a good idea to have them used for paying customers. The
information office was setup in southern California because GTE did provide local service there as well.
for the story:
It seems that many people would call Hawaii information just to find out what the weather was
(nice and sunny, I suppose). This got to be such a problem that they just posted a big sign in the call center that
had the weather forcast for Hawaii on it (like 79 degrees, light rain as I write this). It turns out that giving
this out was easier than saying something like "you idiot, this is TELEPHONE information...".
One time I
was told that a friend called and asked what the weather was in Los Angeles that day (if could have been Oxnard for
what I remember), and it took the information operator by surprise. They had lots of instruction on making sure the
caller thought they all were actualy in Hawaii.
This was in the 60's to 70's era. I suppose nothing has
changed. Be aware that the information number above will probably cost some $$$ if you call it. Nothing is free any
The oddest fault I've ever seen was about eight years ago while I was paying my dues as a second level support tech
in a small financial company -
One terribly nice lady in accounts raised a fault complaining that caps lock
would randomly engage on her workstation. I went up to take a look thinking perhaps she had a dodgy keyboard - nope,
swapped it out and the problem persisted. I observed her as she typed just to see if she was accidently pressing
caps-lock without meaning to - and happened to catch an odd correlation. Her calculator.
A lot of the older
accounting bods used large clunky 1970's style desk calculators - that actually plugged into the mains ! Very large,
very basic, very clunky with big fisher-price style buttons and pre LCD displays - and obviously durable as all hell
because I suspect nobody has made these things for quite some while.
This lady had hers right up against
the right hand side of the keyboard - and sure enough tapping a few keys on it almost invariably caused the caps
lock and sometimes also the numlock light to come on - effectively the EM from the clunk-tech was enough to do this.
Soultion - move calculator one foot away from keyboard.
Sometime in late 1994 I shared an apartment with a childhood friend and the mother of his children, Tasha. I hooked
up my old 386/33 for her to play Scrabble against the computer. About a week later she comes to complain to me.
Tasha: The computer is cheating!
Me: What is happening?
Tasha: It uses scrambled letters for words!
I look at the monitor. Totally scrambled letter combinations. I realize that she had used these random letter
combinations, and when the game asked if it should add those words to the dictionary, she told it that they were
Me: Well, you taught it to cheat!
I previously worked at a software company that sent out database updates to clients using particular versions of our
One night a bloke calls up saying that his CD isn't working, with the error message that was coming up
telling me that the drive couldn't read the disc.
After half an hour of running through everything I can think
of - is the software set up correctly, is the drive working properly etc etc I finally ask him if there are any
scratches on the disc, thinking the disc was damaged and we'd have to replace it.
He asks "Oh, am I supposed to
put the disc in the drive?"
The mute button on the phone is one of the world's greatest inventions...
I work the helpdesk for an electrical supply company with branches all over the US. I'm trying to load Windows XP
Pro on a PC going to a branch in MI and the machine wouldn't pick up and boot from the CD drive for some reason. It
wasn't showing up in the list of bootable drives but was shown as the first device that the machine will boot from.
I even got one of the other techs to look at the machine and confirm that I wasn't crazy. It's a pretty modern
machine so the drive has to be bootable. Then I figured, "nah, the IDE cable *has* to be there". Sure enough though,
when the machine was powered down and the case opened, there was absoutely *no* IDE cable between the CD drive and
the motherboard. There wasn't even a cable in the case itself. The HD is using SATA so that was no problem. We ended
up taking an IDE cable from an old PC and everything worked fine.
In my early years of employment in 1970, I commenced work at a major insurance company as a computer operator. The
computer in question was an ICL 1904A mainframe computer.
The equipment consisted of a series of about six
magnetic tape drives, four exchangeable disc units, a card reader, a paper tape punch and reader, two line printers
an central processor and a core memory unit. There was also an enormous fixed disk unit which had large masgnetic
disks (several about 6 to 8 from memory) about four feet in diameter spinning very fast. This unit had to have
chilled water pumped through it and if the temperature rose by more than about two to four degrees the heads would
lift off the disk surface and all the data had to br reloaded.
The whole system was controlled by a teleprinter
as there was no such things as cathode displays.
The whole setup was worth several million dollars (about
three to four million) which was a lot of money in 1970.
All this equipment was housed in s special dust
free room 110 feet long and about 30 feet wide.
The computer room operations manager decided to engage the
services of a dedicated cleaner/storeman to keep the computer room clean, stocked with paper for the printers and
generally do odd jobs.
I can recall one of the manager's first instructions to the cleaner was to generally
chean the room. The computer operators were busy at the console and did not see the cleaner enter the room with a
bucket of warm soapy water place in on top of the central processor unit (the most expensive and delicate part of
the entire system)and commence to scrub down the sides. The contral processing unit was a large rectangular box
about 5 feet high anout three feet wide and twelve feet long. There was also three phase electrical cables and 415v
and high ampage cables going into central processor, core memory unit and other equipment. The whole computer room
was on a raised floor in order to hide all the cabling.
When the computer operators noticed the bucket of
water sitting on top of the central processor they all froze so as not to startle the cleaner. One quickly removed
the bucket of water and the cleaner was ushered out of the computer room and not seen again.
computer been damaged the entire Insurance organization would have ground to a halt as there was no back-up hardware
although the files were safe.
We do system support for Lotus Notes. Once I had this management suck-up guy who mailed me on two occasions about
his "problem". Lotus Notes requires you to trust the signer to verify the originator. You have to accept this by
cliking a mouse. The problem was, that the bosses' did not want to click on the certificate, so the suck-up guy
mailed about it. I wrote him back and explained the certificate and why it is necessary to use.
days the guy mails me back and thanks for the response. He also asks if we could change the Lotus Notes so that his
boss would not have to do the certificate click in the morning. Must be exausting mouse click!
I was installing Sky for Heathers Dad-future father in law (in my dreems) - (he had managed to get this diy kit
instead of paying installation)- the instructions said sumthin along the lines of align the dish and sattelite I was
in the kitchen when i heard him on the phone to the SKY helpline 'hello - its Bryan **** here of ******** crescent -
what i need you to do son, is point your satelite at my dish do you want my postcode its G77 *** " after a while the
SKY operator convinced him he needed either a professional installation or a meter kit or simply trail and
error(point the same way as neigbours dishes)- so he produces this telescope and looks skywards saying "do you think
it says sky on the side of it?" - my love for Heather leads me to hope he was joking and was not really that 'two
bricks short of a wall' - this is the same technophobe who calls a microwave an 'xray laser oven thing',a SCANNER a
"laser printer"(due to the "wee laser" that scans the image), an IPOD a "phaser" and a dishwasher an "Automatic
plate cleaning machine" God help Heather!!!!!
I work for
[large IP company], in a very technical support slash programming role. My buddy Steve is even more technical -
after high school, he took a degree in English, because the Computer Science department literally had nothing to
teach him that he didn't already know. I swear he dreams in binary.
Anyhoo, we were having major
Windows OS problems with this server, impacting 800+ people, and finally got to the end of our rope, which is a
pretty impressively long rope, all things considered. We called in the company support group that is set up to
solve MS problems that nobody else can solve - but they can't solve it either. So they call in MS Premiere
support, more or less a direct line to third or fourth level, to people who actually know how to fix things.
(Yes, Microsoft really has people who know how to fix things - they just don't let ordinary mortals talk to
them.) We made arrangements to force the server failure at a known point in time, late in the afternoon, so they
could explore it via live kernel debug.
Six hours later we're still on the phone. MS and "our"
last-chance MS support group had each transferred the issue twice, because their respective assigned engineer on
the call was going off-shift. "Our" support guy wanted to end the call for the night (+/-10pm) and pick up the
next day: Steve & I refused, as we couldn't afford any more down time for our users. The assigned priority on
the ticket called for 24x7 support, and we were going to work it 24x7 until the problem was solved.
Support Person: "Ok, but I'll need the names and numbers of the other folks on your team who will be taking over
Me: "There are no others - it's just Steve & I."
Support: "But you said you wanted to work it
Support: "Then who will be taking over for you?"
Me: "Nobody - it's just us, and
we're going to stay on the call."
Support: "Then how will you work it 24x7?"
Me: "By staying on the
Support: "But you need to turn it over to someone else!" Me: "Why? We're obligated to have someone on
the call, and that's us, for as long as it takes."
Apparently Mr. Support Person wasn't familiar with
things like sleep deprivation and the reviving effects of caffeine!
This is a strange tale where I'm reporting incompetent support that was provided by none other than myself.
An 1acquaintance called and asked if I could help with her computer. The police had seized it for six months
[very long story here]. When she finally got it back, she was convinced the cops had broken it, because whenever
she plugged the phone line into the modem, all of the phones in the house went dead.
I figured she
had to be imagining this, but what the hell. I went over and tried it myself, and sure enough, the moment
the modem and any wall jack were connected to each other, all the phones in the house went dead. Weird. I
had a spare modem with me, so popped the box to replace her modem with my spare to narrow things down a bit.
Mine worked fine. To this day I don't know why I tried this, but on a whim I plugged the phone line back
into her now un-installed modem - holding the card in my hand - and all the phones went dead.
when I noticed a few details about her modem... it had two little LED lights above the jack, marked "SEND"
and "REC" or something, which is odd for a modem... and there was only one jack vs the two on most modems
... and the jack itself was wider than the plug on the phone cord...
Turns out she had been
plugging the phone line into an Ethernet card she didn't even know she had, instead of the modem a few slots
over, and I had done exactly the same thing. When I plugged the phone line into her ACTUAL modem, a couple
of slots to the left of my spare one, whaddya know it worked perfectly...
I'm working in Finland for a large telecommunication company with customers on every continent. We have an
emergency phone rota of which I'm a part. Sometimes we are able to handle an emergency case ourselves,
sometimes the problem is with the software of a third party, in which case we call the emergency phone of
this third party.
Once, as i was on duty, the phone rang and the problem had to do with this third
party, so I phoned them. Of course it was in the middle of the night, as usually, and the call was rerouted
to somewhere in the USA. There a man answered the phone and our discussion went something like this:
O = the other part
O: "... How can I help you?"
M: "This is
[company] in Finland, hello. Our service code is
[this-and-that]. One of our customers has a problem..."
O: "Where are the dashes in the service
M: "There are no dashes."
O: "But there must be."
M: "There are no."
(and so on and so forth for a couple of minutes)
O: "If you don't want to comply then I
Then he came to think of something, obviously!
O: "This call is not from
M: "No, it's from Finland!"
And lo and behold, suddenly there needed be no dashes
in the service code!
I would expect that someone who answers the telephone should know,
that Finland is a country in Europe! Moreover, our company should be well known enough to ring a
bell. Well, in England there are people who honestly believe that there are ice bears walking in
the streets of Helsinki, so how can I demand that Americans know what and where Finland is. On
the other hand, this person answered a telephone to which people from all over the world are
I work in second line support and my office is sat next to the server room.
It's the hottest
day of the year here, and I'm sitting at my desk sweltering away, waiting for something to go
wrong. The lights flicker.... I don't think anything of it as the motion sensing light switch is
a bit iffy at times. I then get a message saying my connection to the Exchange server has died.
Didn't think too much of it, but I decided to get up and go and have a look.
As I stand up,
a guy from testing wanders in and says 'did the power spike hurt the exchange server, as I just
lost my connection'.
'Oh, _that's_ what the flicker was' I said 'shouldn't be any worry as
the servers are all hooked into UPS units'
I wander in to see the exchange server rebooting.
'Ah well, should be back up in a tick, I'll tell my supervisor when he gets back' I think, and
go and sit back at my desk.
3 minutes later I get up and go and check the status of the
'Hmmm, that's odd' think I 'it seems to be stuck in a perpetual reboot cycle.....
well the servers aren't really my job, so I'll give a bell to 3rd line and see what they can
So I wait a minute or so for them to turn up, and it's at this point I notice that the
server room isn't as cool as it should be. I pick up the A/C remote and set it to 17 rather than
The 3rd line guys diagnose the problem that the exchange server is getting
overheated as 2 of the 4 possible fans haven't been installed, so they run off to get them.
this point, it's getting really stuffy in the server room, so I call the maintainence guys to
look at the A/C, open the doors and get some desk fans in to allieviate the problem.
line guys return with the fans and install them. The server gets further, but still reboots.
Then we notice that the operate lights on the A/C haven't come on. The sodding things
tripped when we had the surge and didn't come back on. So we turned them on
transpired that while the A/C units are good at maintaining a temperature, they aren't good at
bringing it back down from 38 degrees.
So, off to the stores and grabbed a portable A/C
We got the server room temp down to a reasonable teperature. All was good.......
We tried to boot the server. No dice. Got to windows and shut down with a thermal
failure after about 2 minutes.
What do we do now? Well we went and got a backup server,
ripped out the hard drives and shoved the exchange ones in. Booted up and... BSOD.
The server we had got was a significantly higher spec than the old
one, so I suggested ripping out the old SCSI card and shoving it in the new machine. No dice
'Unknown PCI device".
At this point, there are 5 techs in the room scratching thier heads
eating cookies. As it was getting near clocking off time, we decided to shove the drives back
and work it out later..... it worked. We plugged in the drives and it ran without issue....
This story really shows that while you may have a great redundant power supply for your
servers, it means nought if your a/c units can't run without power or don't turn on
automaticaly. If this had happened during the weekend, it's likely we wuld have ended up with a
rack of toasted hardware :P
Ok I've been doing this ISP support thingy for a minute, a looong minute... I've heard plenty of
funny tales from fellow techs, but today I got one from a customer regarding a tech... Here we
M:thank you for calling...blah blah blah..
may I please have the dsl number you're calling for?
and how may I assist you today?
Cu:My dsl isn't on and I need a new mdm, one of your
techs told me that since the lights blink on my "NEW" mdm it's defective and needs to be
M:ummmmmmm okay...? (I check the call history of course to see what and
who, the only notes were internet light blinks bad modem)
So now I'm like where's the
troubleshooting, what did the tech try or check...Absolutely nothin'
M:I see a few
things wrong with this account, let me check a few things out on our side of the network first,
one moment please...(I log into our tool which shows all the good stuff...hmmmmmm this customer
has no facilties assigned...well how in the heck is she gonna get a dsl signal if the facilities
M:(taking a moment to calm down from the frustration brought on
by idiot techs)...okay ma'am I've noticed that there's no facilities assigned, let me call my
engineer and have them assign the facilities for you...hold please...
M: thanks for
holding your facilities have been assigned. Can you tell me which light are on solid?
Well the...Wait they all just turned off and are coming back on...(long silence, hearing typing
in the background)...Wow you are the greatest, what did you do?
M:(trying to hold back)
Well ma'am I did what any tech with commonsense would do...troubleshoot from our side of the
network and back to your NID and then pc/mdm
Cu: Well you deserve a raise, I have an
online test to take and would have had to go to the library if not for you...
so you other techs know it's not always the customer(pebcak)...
I'm currently serving in the USAF, overseas supporting an airlift wing that's resonsible for
moving cargo and troops into and out of Iraq.
Today, we had some officers come in as
part of a safety inspection board; I, the lowly enlisted man of course, had the pleasure of
making sure their IT needs are satisfied. During this time, two of the users are unable to log
into the systems, so I get to figure it out.
The first user had put in the correct
username (which is the standard first name dot last name), and even the correct password, and it
STILL denies him access. Quick trip down the hall back to my system, pop into Active Directory
and what's the culprit?
Well, it turns out the help desk thought his first name was
William. Nope, it's Gary. Apparently HE was capable of putting in the right username, but the
As for the other user... I watched him enter his username & password,
and immediately found the problem. You guessed it, "firstname.lastname"...
So what we
have here is a college educated man who couldn't realize that "firstname.lastname" meant HIS
first name dot last name.
Boy, I sure feel safe now...
My personal story is a bit different. I was working a tech support desk for business accounts,
so we would get calls from CEO's and System Admins. So as you will imagine most of the calls
were from techically adept users. All except for this one:
I was called by a CEO of a
large Fortune 500 company. He was having trouble faxing a document from his new desktop. I asked
him the default questions about the connection to the modem, power etc. All of which this guy
was very proficient at detailing for me. My confidence was high his technical skills would help
me complete the call quickly.
I then reviewed the software he was using. It was a very
prominent brand that was well known for its simple use and automatic configuration capability.
To be safe we verified the settings for the modem and INIT strings to make sure all the switches
were in the right place.
I then had the customer test the modem. I could hear it dial
and connect clearly over the phone. He confirmed he dd not get a fax confirmation or any sign it
completed. So after almost 30 minutes of re-checking the settings again, I asked the customer to
walk me through step by step the process he was following to generate the fax. This I hoped
would point me to new direction to take.
The client told me he was taking the paper to
be faxed and holding it up to the monitor. He was then selecting the fax icon and telling it to
scan and fax. Perplexed by this process I asked the customer why he felt holding the paper to
the screen would allow him to fax the document......
His reply is firmly etched in my
mind forever. "It's a NEC Multiscan monitor so I figure it will capture the paper clearly."
Needless to say I instructed the customer to the proper use of his flatbed scanner and
resolved to ask better qualifying questions in the future.
I work for an smalltown Isp. One day i get a call this lady cannot connect to the internet so i
well read below for the story.
I am ********* ******* i am trying to connect to the internet and it gives me error 678
u powerccled ur modem
c:yes i've done all that
m:can you tell me what lights are on your
c:none no lights are on
m:can you please push the button on the back of the of the
modem by the power cable
this is not the first time either
I was doing a install of FreeBSD for a client, and was checking a "tips and tricks"-like
document that I had brought to help me on the installation (I am a Linux guy, but relatively new
On that document appeared the FreeBSD logo (a devil).
instantly told me, "That thing of BDSM and devils is not good!".
I was working for a large corporate giant who makes a sports drink. One day my boss, the so
called IT Manager mentioned she thought her laptop had a virus.
She explained to me
that a line had appeared on her screen and she couldnt remove it.
I went in to see if I
could help in anyway.
I nearly fell on the floor in laughter, the TFT monitor on her
laptop had a crack in the screen around 3 inches long. And she was trying to remove in the
I have a hundred more stories about this person. May share them with you
on another day.
My sister-in-law asked me to help her put together a poster for an event at her church. When we
had finished she started retyping all the 24 point bold uppercase text in 8 point lowercase.
When I asked her what she was doing she said she wanted to save space on her hard disk.
I recently worked at an ISP, but (happily) have moved on to a better job with no lusers to worry
about. Anyway, the most hated luser at this ISP was a "Sales Engineer" who requested an exchange
public folder to be used as a document repository for his team. After failing to convince this
idiot that file servers were created for this purpose, I agreed to create the public folder for
him and asked what access levels he wanted to be placed on it. He replied that all I needed to
do was give him full control, and make it mail-enabled (so they could email the docs to it
intstead of dragging them there). Seeing the opportunity to give him enough rope to hang himself
on this one, I did exactly as he asked. The following day he came over to the IT dept. (open
plan workspaces are evil) and proceeded to yell about how his folder wasn't recieving email and
we didn't know the first thing about servers and we should all be fired. He walked off and I
fixed the problem and went to find him to tell him what happened. When I found him, he was
talking to the VP of sales and another "Sales Engineer". I told him I'd fixed it, and if he'd
like, I'd come back later to tell him what was wrong. He said that I could just tell him there
and then what the problem was, to which I responded "In order for public folders to recieve
email, anonymous access must be granted to post items, anyone with half as much technical
competance as you claim to have could figure that out, which is why I've changed your access to
the folder as well." If only that was the last time I heard from him....
Not so much a tale of stupidity as it was taking the opportunity to say something most of us
have wanted to. I was a systems engineer at an ISP, pressed into desktop support whenever an
exec had an issue with their machine. While doing extensive maintenance on one such occasion, I
was asked how the problem happened, to which I replied that occasional defrags, checkdisks, and
avoiding sites that install spyware are the best way to prevent issues. Upon hearing this, he
said "I see no reason why I should need to know anything about my computer, that's what we have
you for." My response: "My view on it is that your computer is a tool for doing your job (to
which he nodded his head). I used to work in auto shops as a mechanic, and if a mechanic didn't
know how to use the tools of his trade, he didn't have a job long. He isn't required to fix
them, just care for them and use them properly. I feel the same standard should be applied to
anyone entrusted to the daily use of a $2500 laptop."
I got a call from a luser asking for help removing a disk from his floppy drive. When I got
there, I found it was a business card cd. The kicker? He called back 15 minutes later, having
done the same thing with another one. He had enough sense at least to admit to abject stupidity.
Í'm not a real tech supporter but I'm not a total newbie with computers.
happened a long time ago in 5th grade. Our assignment was to write a story with the schools only
computer. So after I had finished, a couple of girls came after me to write their story and I
wanted to make sure that they wouldn't save their story over mine. So I showed them about 3
times how to make a new save. And I asked them that is this 100% clear and they said yes. Later
I checked is my story still there and I opened the text file and I found out that the girls had
saved their story over mine.
Got a call from an old lady who'd just bought a spanking new computer, new printer, new scanner
and new camera (all HP - I worked for HP tech support) and wanted to get it all set up.
So, the initial stages went fine and the computer was all set up........now for the printer.
Before proceeding, I wanted her to Refresh her desktop........she didn't know how. So this is
the ensuing dialogue:
Me: Ma'am, could you point the mouse to an empty area on the
desktop, where there are no icons...
Lady: Ok, done.
Me: Now could you right-click
on the desktop and click Refresh
Lady (after about 5 seconds): Nothing happened
Ok, lets take this step by step......first could you right-click on the desktop pls?
** Silence **
Me: Ma'am, did you right-click on the desktop?
Lady: Yeah....I wrote
'click' but nothing happened.....
Me: **Banged head on table, stabbed myself with
kitchen knife, contemplated suicide.....no amount of money is worth this**
pointed the mouse on the desktop and typed out the word 'click' on her keyboard!!!!!!
Our IT Department Help Desk uses a program to see and control computers remotely. One of our
technicians unknowingly got a little careless in his wording one day:
having a problem finding a WordPerfect document."
Tech: "Can I come on your screen?"
[In a fit of giggles] "Sure, if you think that will help..."
I work at a financial institution as the Data and Telecommunications Systems Administrator.
We recently installed a ShoreTel phone system, and I was working with the Vendor learning
how to set up the system. We also have a paging system that the CEO just loves and uses.
Instead of calling you on the phone he pages you to his office. So after hearing 30 pages I
figure it might be a good idea to see what he wants. I politely excuse myself from the
Vendor (they get paid by the hour right?) and go to his office. When I get there I find Him
and 3 other important looking people. He is sitting at his desk, clicking the mouse over and
over. When I ask him what the issue is and look at his screen, I see he is trying to go to a
page in his favorites that requires you to be logged in to use. Meanwhile he just keeps
clicking the link in hopes that some day it will work. After explaining why he can't use
that link and changing the link I excuse myself to go back to the vendor. That's when he
"Well if you were busy, why didn't you wait?"
I work at a Financial Institution as the Network and Telecommunications Systems
Administrator. The software package we use somtimes looses its connection with our printers
and the queue just has to be restarted. One day (and many days after that) I got a call from
a (l)user that stated the printer wasn't working and I needed to fix it. When I looked at
the Queue, there were 45 print jobs, all from the same person. When asked why she printed it
45 times she replied:
"I figured it just kept deleting the job on me"
This goes back to the dark days of Windows for Workgroups, but the lesson is still salutary.
We (a small software development company) were running a pretty stock coax network.
One day, I upgraded my PC with a better video card and, though that worked beautifully, all
of a sudden I couldn't see the network.
Ahh, well, must have dislodged the network
card. Remove top. Reseat card. Still no network. Hmm... Unplug and replug network cables.
Nothing. Replace network cables. Nothing. Replace network card. Nowt. Reinsert old video
Now fairly desperate. Maybe it's an issue with the network point...
bring in another PC, connect it to the same point. Works perfectly. Three hours have now
elapsed. Go home in frustration.
In the morning, things are no better, so I simply
swap to another PC and things are back on the air. We plug my old PC in elsewhere and it
STILL won't see the network.
The PC was effectively about to be thrown out as lost
when one of the programmers suddenly gets it to work!
How? Well, he changed the
damn 50 cent t-piece on the back of the network card, didn't he?
Could have sworn
I'd done that, but pretty clearly I hadn't!
I work with tier 1 support for *large american isp*. We handle basic dialup and DSL access
and I like to think we do a somewhat better job than most tier 1 support.
just finished a call with a user who made me want to reach through the phone and strangle
him. Firstly, the users accent was so very, very thick and slurred I could barely understand
him and this guy was an english as a first language speaker. Secondly, as far as I could
tell, he was pretty elderly, which usually entitles people to a bit of slack on my part,
most of them can't really be blamed they don't know much about computers.
slogging through for a few minutes I figure out his DSL isn't working. Sure, let's
powercycle everything, always a good first step. When I finally get him to do this I ask him
what lights are on, you know, to see if there are any issues with the modem. He gives me
three lights. Fine, are any lights off. Nope. Wait, there are only three lights on the
modem? Apparently there are. Now, we only use three types of modems and they all have more
than three lights. Ten minutes later I finally manage to get this guy to understand that the
lights that are off are just as important as the lights that are on. Regardless, the lights
So, I get him to open the command prompt, a task in of itself. He can't
ping anything. Fair enough, let's check his ip. It only take me 7-8 minutes to get him to do
this. It shows as 0.0.0.0. Well, let's try to renew. Nope, nothing shows up. I check again,
ip is still all zeros.
Well, maybe the tcp/ip is corrupt, time to reinstall it.
Now, with XP there is a netsh command you can run to do this. Despite its length, with most
people it is still easier to run through the command than do it manually. Ten minutes later
I finally manage to get him to enter the correct command and have him reboot.
computer is finally back up and running. I figure I should check the ip, see if it has
registered yet. If not, I'll go check and see if it's configured properly. So, I have him go
back to start and run and start bringing up the command prompt. At this point he swears at
me once or twice and hangs up. Er, what? Apparently I'm just wasting his time or something.
Because techs totally want to make you do useless things over and over while taking up their
time. It has nothing to do with your inability to follow simple instructions at all.
Total time on the call? 54 minutes. Total time it would usually take for me to do the
whole thing with your basic user? 8 minutes. How stupid this guy is? Very much so.
I'm the IT-engineer of a well known car manufacturers racing team. We travel all
over the world and 50% of my job is dealing with laptops to bring them online or whatsoever.
One day after a 36 hours trip to Australia the old japanese president came to me
complaining about the weight of his laptop. He asked me to have a look on it and to organize
a more lightweight one for the next race. When I showed up at his desk it was not easy for
me to hide my feelings. Well, it's not a good idea to start laughing to the president.
I took a deep breath and suggested him to leave the docking station for the laptop in the
headquarters office next time.
I'm a network admin for a school and one day, the internet connection for our classrooms
went down. I tried everything I could think of: restarting the router (we had a PC with
win2k and Kerio as our router, the modem was a USB type DSL modem), reinstalling the drivers
for the modem, ... Finally, I decided to call tech support.
TS: Welcome to S******
tech support, how may I help you
Me: Explains situation.
TS: Right, what kind of
modem do you have.
Me: Names modem
TS: Ah, that's your problem right there, your
modem doesn't support RFC1483, you won't be able to connect using that modem.
Actually, if you use the latest drivers, it does have support for RFC1483, in fact, we've
been using it like that for the last 3 years without a problem.
TS: I'm sorry sir, but
that's impossible, the modem doesn't support RFC1483.
Me: If that's true, would you care
to explain how we've been able to connect to your service with this modem for the last 3
TS: I don't know sir, it isn't possible to connect to us with that modem.
After that I just hung up the phone. As it turns out, when they made the installation,
they used the wrong type of cable to get the DSL signal from the basement to the modem (4th
floor), and during the years, more cables were placed in the same tubes, causing massive
interference. Replacing that cable with STP cable fixed the problem. We've kept the modem
another 2 years without any problems at all.