Here is all the content that Zylo has contributed
to Tech Support Comedy.
No shiny objects allowed
I move that we outlaw all portable electronic devices in airports and have all the airline magazines that feature electronic toys classified subversive and illegal. We can't have CEOs (Or Generals, in my case) going out and seeing these fancy toys and then coming back and wanting them. Apparently, our general was out and about and some guy saw him using his old green-screen BlackBerry. Of course, Mr. Helpful shows off his shiny new color-screen doodad and blows up its capabilities. "Oh, yeah, it's got a 1024x768 organic CRT screen, 300 gigaflop hard drive, mnemonic memory stick port, satellite television, Godzilla browser, and Windows Office XP Microsoft Excel."
Great. So, by the time that gets back here, it's a device the size of a stick of gum that has a 1280x1024 screen, a 900 terapr0n drive, direct brain stem tap, an aphrodisiac ray to make stewardess' panties damp, and Microsoft 2000 XP Outlook Windows VistaLinux CE. And the boss wants it by last week. Hooray.
Of course, this is coming from a Pseudo-Neo-Luddite. I like my electronics fast and powerful, but immobile. My pocket watch is the most complicated device I carry.
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And does your watch have a static Pr0n (pinup picture) inside? -TieDyedDinosaur
You forgot to mention the telepathic interface, that it cures cancer, and is capable of time travel </Dilbert>. Seriously, I concur - we have too many instances of "So, exactly WHY do you feel you want this?" <Director looks down at his feet whilst mumbling, "all the other kids have got one"> "But you don't NEED one of these... "I HATE YOU!!!! YOU'RE SO MEAN!!! YOU'RE NOT MY PARENTS!". -Diptera
My watch is a digital/analog mix, with datebook, couple of alarms, and stuff I don't use, so... yeah, it's probably the most complicated, sadly. :) -namor
Zylo, I like your description of yourself. While I'm all for tech, my personal mobile phone is a 3 year old nokia 3310, I just use it for SMS and calls. I recently inherited a Tungsten T3 palm, but I've lost the recharge/sync dongle. -modeski
analog timex - I have my cell phone but, thats about it. -Harm
3 year old cell phone? HAH! I'm still using my Motorola Startac 7868W from 2000. It doesn't do text messaging, or pictures, or calander.. but it can make and recieve calls in the desert outside of Las Vegas (Valley of Fire National Park) when no one elses could! -Divinar
Shoot, I think I have enough stuff on my belt to qualify as Batman. Cell Phone, 2-way Text Pager (work), Muvo MP3 player/USB drive, Leatherman Wave, and a Mini Maglite. Ok, so the Leatherman isn't electronic, but it's darn handy. -edventure
I'm old enough that my wetware memory has gotten slightly unreliable for appointments and contacts, so I carry an ancient Jornada as offline memory. I did get a new cell phone a year ago, and it's nifty with a color screen and SMS (which I have never used), but I use it as a phone, nothing else -- don't even have a sync cable for the address book. Only reason I got it was because it was free; and I think I prefer the old Nokia that I retired when I got this one. And I carry an old personal CD player (not even MP3) for tunes... sometimes. -chazz
Wow. I have my cell (nokia 6230 with bluetooth), my pocket pc (hp 2755), and my gerber multipliers... The sad thing is, the main reason I have my pocket pc is because it also functions as my mobile library (have something like 80+ ebooks on it - the deities bless baen's webscription and free elibrary websites<G>)... I will admit it's kinda nifty being able to play nethack wherever and whenever I want, too :) -PCRaevyn
Another quasi-luddite here. My iPod only leaves home if I'm flying somewhere, likewise my Palm IIIx. Until two weeks ago, my cellphone was an arthritic Nokia that didn't even have a color screen or downloadable ringtones. When it took its last gasp, I jumped over to the black Razr because I was able to get it for free. I probably never will use text messaging or the web browser. But at work, I'm piloting riverboat-sized servers that cost half as much as a house in San Francisco. -gotpasswords
Aphrodisiac ray? Man, that could get any guy into a lot of trouble.. -NightSteel
And meanwhile, I support some of those "phone/Outlook/dogwasher/dildo" devices. They do everything but not well or reliably.
I got my first mobile phone last year after being made redundant. Even now receiving one call a week is high usage, and so is making more that one call a month. The only other device I carry (other than a cheap digital watch) is a USB memory stick/MP3 player. -Wraith556
1969 Omega Seamaster, Manual Wind-up. Still need to adjust it... losing 60 sec/day... Either way, not something you see often on the wrist of a High-School student! -renaultguy
What watch? -FrontSideBus
My watch is a Colibri pocket watch I got at my cigar shop. Quartz, unfortunately. I accidentally dropped my old wind-up South Bend, breaking the porcelain face and tweaking it so it only runs if it's held perfectly level. Sigh. -Zylo
THAT'S why you don't save to D:
Had a pretty common problem yesterday: Win2K took a dump and, instead of tedious troubleshooting and rebuilding, I opted for the tried and true shotgun technique of "Reimage and Move On." So, I image a new HDD, swap it with the borked one, and everything is wonderful. (Well, not quite. Immediately after I leave, the user has all sorts of trouble with the machine. How come I managed to sit with it and get it up and running for an hour and it didn't give me any trouble at all? Users = Entropy. Bah.)
Normally, I hold on to a swapped-out HDD for a month or so, just in case the user did the wrong thing and saved ultra-critical data to the local drives instead of saving to the server. This time, though, I forgot to label and date the drive. Instead, I just toss it on my desk and finish my day.
The next morning, I remember I have to image a machine for another user. Hey, what do you know, there's a HDD right here on my desk! Slap it into a machine, drop an image on it, voila. Then, when I go out to get some carbonated caffeine, yesterday's user mentions that she "lost a LOT of stuff."
That's no problem, because I always hold onto a drive- Uh. Heh. Uh-oh.
So, I got to administer an unintentional LART. It's not as satisfying as telling a user his stuff's gone when a drive develops physical errors, but it'll do. Besides, this user's just ASKING for data loss because she uses lots of floppy disks to save stuff. Maybe I'll nip over with a magnet and complete the devastation.
It doesn't say "Annihilator of Data" on my cubicle nameplate (in four-point text) for nothing.
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BOFH worthy. -Dj
But it was worth thousands! 'Did you archive?' No.... 'Then THAT is how much it was worth to you.' -DracoSuave
That's why you have a networked home drive that is automatically backed up. Here's your sign. -thx1138
I do the same thing. We make ‘em sign a document when they get hired that says that they’ll only put stuff on the mapped drive, but we always get reamed anyway if we lose something. -scooby111
Your tax dollars at work...
...If you're a USAnian.
Maybe a couple of you are aware that I work for the U.S. Guvmit. One of my more pleasurable duties is to destroy old equipment that will be turned in or discarded. I have a hard drive magnet collection that is the envy of the western hemisphere. The other day, we rounded up a bunch of old, disused gear and I gleefully yanked out all the RAM (I'm saving it up to make a RAM-studded jacket), the hard drives, and the fans. The last machine was an old IBM beast that probably cost the taxpayer $10,000 or so. I giddily pulled out all the stuff I could salvage, but when I looked at the fans, something odd struck me: They were suspiciously clean...? Ah...
The thing had never been turned on.
We're out in the desert, you see, and a fan doesn't have to run for very long before it gets dusty, even in our "clean" server rooms (The server rooms only get the talcum powder dust, not the usual sand drifts mixed with coyotes and tumbleweeds that seep under the doors). I looked close but didn't find a speck of dust. The front LED panel still had the protective plastic you peel off. I had just got done laying waste to a virginal server. Beautiful.
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Nice... :) Well, that's 10,000$ well burned... ^_^ -Warrick
And here I thought my letters to my congressional representatives regarding government spending were being ignored. >:~\ -RiffRaff
You could make a clothing line out of all the extra RAM modules and call it "Geek Gear". If you do I want my 25% commission for the idea. -Starfury
Been there, done that. Also done it in the private sector, but much less often. Ain't it a shame? -CyBear
The Houston ISD just gat caught with a $ Million+ of equipment that they had never installed. I wuz gonna be one of the installers, they bought the equipment, then ran out of money to deploy it - Big warehouse full of unopened boxes - -satanstech
Take home... destroy... synonyms. :-) -Jerbear
Space Cadet and the Database
The shortcut to our mission database, which one accesses through I.E., isn't working for a user, and I get the trouble ticket. Space Cadet clicks and clicks and clicks, but it never opens. So, off I go to rescue her. I open Internet Explorer and she starts going, "Noo, nnnoooo, that's the Internet."
Me: "That's how you access it."
Space Cadet: "But, noooo, I want the database, not the Internet!"
Me: "Yes, I know that. You have to access it from Internet Explorer." I guess the icon being a big blue E with a page under it isn't enough of a hint.
Space Cadet: "Oooooohhhhh."
Me: "I'm going to have to add it to your favorites and you'll have to access it that way until I figure out what's wrong with that desktop shortcut." I don't know why it doesn't work. It's not something obvious and there's a workaround, so I don't care.
She's not catching on, so I proceed to explain for twenty minutes the intricacies and deep philosophical nature of web favorites, knowing that my words are being lost like wayward toddlers at Wal-Mart. Then, finally:
Space Cadet: "Ooohhhh, okay, so I gotta get to it from here."
Me: "Right. Enjoy."
I rocket out of there before she can pull a Columbo. You know, "Oh, just one more thing."
I get a trouble ticket from Space Cadet. "Cannot access database." My eyes roll back so far I can see the back of my brain. I wander over to her cave.
Space Cadet: "It's happening again! It's not working!" Clickclickclickclickclick.
I resist the urge to call down bolts of divine cleansing lightning, because the roof is thick and the building is well-grounded.
Me: "Right, that icon doesn't work. That's why I set up a favorite in I.E., remember?"
Space Cadet: "Nnnooooo..?"
Sigh. I should have known better. There was an intervening weekend. That's two entire brain-blanking days.
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just drag the favourite onto the desktop. it should create a new shortcut. -Bynar
RATATATATATATATAT! *flairs nostrils* Look, your monitor now has a short cut to the loose wiring. Have fun. -MaskedMarauder
Well, it sounds like two minutes would have been enough for her to forget about it... -teivrann
Even if you had written directions and posted them on her monitor, e-mailed them, engraved them on a tablet left in her chair, had them written in the sky by airplane, and had a burning bush speaking in her cube, she still would have called you. She *is* a starfish after all. -SwedishChef
At least delete the icon from the desktop? Force this one to learn or burn? -CTYankee
Shemp and the DVD
Shemp, a cow-irker, comes up to me with a DVD and tells me he’s having trouble with it. So I meander back to his area and he pops it into his DVD drive, and, sure enough, a little window pops up saying that it cannot find a file. So he opens Windows Explorer and clicks it. Same. He has this thing set up to open with one click instead of two, which I find annoying. Then I remember that the security setup on all the computers disables autoplay (and breaks a thousand other things, too), so you have to explore the disc run it manually. I remind him of this, so he clicks the E: drive icon. Cannot find file.
This monologue ensues:
"No, autoplay’s not going to work, so you’ll have to explore the disc-" Click. Cannot find file.
"Try right-clicking it and-" Click. Cannot find file.
"No, RIGHT-click and select EXPLORE." Right-click, Open. Cannot find file.
"You’re gonna have to EXPLORE the disc, not OPEN it-" Click. Cannot find file.
"Gimme the mouse."
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Now if we could only get them to have the same problem with star fish reproduction. -MaskedMarauder
Like what? "No, gimme that, you're doing it all wrong..." Might be a little more fun for a while... -namor
Do Moe and Larry sit near you too? -scooby111
No, but I have a Moe and Curly. No one here quite embodies Larry's characteristics. -Zylo
Is it Opposite Day?
I'm moving some computers for a user. He said he wants his unclassified computer on the left and the classified computer on the right. Okay. So, painfully (I managed to pull my neck earlier that morning), I get all the KVM stuff sorted out and slide the class machine in. As I'm maneuvering the unclass machine into place, I hear, "Whoawhoawhoawhoa, hold up."
Luser: "I want the unclass on the left and the class on the right."
I look down at what I've just done. Unclass on the left, class on the right. "That's the way it is."
Luser: "No, I want the unclass on the left and the class on the right!"
Me: "Yes, sir, that's how it is. Unclass on the left, class on the right."
Luser: "No, no, you're not hearing me. I want the unclass on the left and the class on the right."
Me: "But that's what's there!"
Hand motions, patiently explaining to me what I've already done that he wants me to do. "Unclass on the left. Class on the right."
Me: "I don't know what's going on here. The unclass IS on the left, and the class IS on the right. Do you want the class machine on the other side of the desk leg?"
Luser: "Well, it's just, if you sit here, it's like this, so that's why I want the class on the left and the unclass on the right." He pantomimes working at the desk (the closest approximation of work that will ever occur there), which clears the situation up not at all.
Me: "So, do you want me to move the machines to the other side of the desk legs?"
Luser: "No, you know, this'll work, we'll just leave it. I wanted the unclass on the left and the class on the right, but this'll work."
Me: "But- I- This- Okay."
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You should have classified left and right. -LaserGuru
LG's got a point. SF might have lost is L and R stickers this morning. -jard
L&R stickers? You mean his Loser & Retard stickers? -burrkiss
Nope, Lost and RELost. -MaskedMarauder
Is that your left or my left? -robbor
Sit him down and tie a piece of hay to his left foot. Tie a piece of straw to his right foot. Hayfoot, Strawfoot. (I think I read somewhere that this is how they taught soldiers in the US Civil War to tell left from right.) -Answerboy
Isn't it dangerous to leave without him knowing exactly where the classified and non-classified computers are? They're probably labled and quite different, but you never know. -scooby111
After the first exchange I would have told him to come back when he found his brain cell... -maciarc
Was it the SCREEN the looser referred to? -Dr Jerkyl
Thus proving that military intelligence remains a contradiction in terms... -Robster2001
You forgot how Calvinball rules work... Rules: Any player can declare a new rule at any point in the game. The rule can effect any player involved, be positive or negative, make sense or make no sense. New rules will take effect once they are said out loud, or thought (depending on the zone the rule making player inhabits). -K1W1
<Devils advocate> Maybe he meant the left hand light on the KVM switch should be the Unclass PC & the right light mean thew classified box....or maybe he was just major dumbass who couldn't find his own ass with both hands & a map </Devils advocate> -lineswine
Just be glad he didn't have to right-click on anything. -Captain Trips
*luser gets dizzy chasing own tail* -goblin69
I'm all for devil's advocacy, and that's a point I can actually clear: The lusers don't get a choice on the side of the KVM their machines are connected to. Unclass is always on the left and class is always on the right. Another devil's advocate told me that maybe the luser was talking about that COMPUTER'S left and right. I countered with, "unless you're an interior decorator, who gives a damn about the COMPUTER'S left and right? And if that was the case, the luser could have said so." Bah. Lusers = Little green crackers. -Zylo
I thought Class/Unclass computers couldn't be side-by-side. Although, it's been awhile since I went through the ISSM course. -Hellion
*sigh*...perhaps this should be rightly classified information left classified. -Hayden
Actually, a coworker misconception: That epic flatulence I produced while you were stuck working behind the server cabinet was an ACCIDENT. The next four times will be accidents, too.
When informing users, particularly users with eagles or stars on their uniform collars, that our Massive Project is "on schedule", ensure that all parties are aware of what the "schedule" really is.
We've built a brand new building, you see, and everyone is looking at the physical bits but not thinking of the comms bits. So they think that "on schedule" means "complete by the middle of this week" when, in actuality, it means "complete by the middle of next month, maybe the end of next month". Someone with eagles on his collar told the guy with stars on his collar that we're "on schedule". Now we have to bust our asses to make this new building look functional for all the visiting dignitaries and other do-nothing-but-make-noise types. It's a thin facade and we're just one BSOD from its complete unraveling.
I feel like Mr. Scott. "Captain, I need five weeks to do this!" "Sorry, chum, put the flask down because you got two days."
EUPOTD (End User Phrase of the Day)