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This is a question Oldies vs Computers

As someone who is "good with computers" I get a lot of calls from people who've got problems. Some of them even have problems with their computers.

Back many years ago working for a telecoms company, I was called to a senior secretary who "had put a disk into the drive and couldn't get it out". She had one of the first Mac II machines with two drive slots. But only one drive.

Opening up the case revealed stacks of floppy disks that she'd been posting through the hole in the case for weeks. She'd only decided there was a problem when her boss wanted one of them back...

(, Fri 22 Sep 2006, 13:58)
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This question is now closed.

Work related incidents
The ops manager where I used to work called me into the sales office because the monitor on one of the computers didn't work. So I plugged it in. Unrelatedly, I later walked into his office and up to his desk where I found he was looking flustered and clicking away furiously. He was only looking at clothed pics of Emmanuelle Beart, nothing to get upset about. Although his parents owned the company so he probably thought I'd tell em, as if. His dad was a prick, though.

Fucking idiot who I worked with in the same company once spent a day trying to fix the server (we had no IT dept), when I managed to sort the same problem out within minutes last time the server went kaput (ie. the hard drives ran out of space). But did the proud cunt accept my offer of help? Did he fuck. Eventually I took a ganders and found out that he'd managed to turn off the big black power supply box that keeps the server running. Way to go. Then I deleted all the unneccesary files on all the network computers and hey presto! It worked again.
(, Wed 27 Sep 2006, 17:04, Reply)
not even remotely pc..
But it is about an octogenarian so I am halfway there...ahem.
My da is a lively old bugger for 83 and announced last April he was off to Magaluf for a pre season deal 'to watch the youngsters enjoying themselves.'
I waited in dread for him to come home, worried about what sights his naive eyes would have witnessed...
He announced cheerfully on his return it was 'great...and they even had a karate night in the hotel' (imagine this with twinkly little screwed up Irish face)
'erm karate night?' says I imagining all these 70 and 80 year olds in plaster casts.
'Yeah but I didn't stay, didn't know any of the songs.'
....OK Dad.
He once also phoned the RAC to report a stray dog in a bin.

Apologies came there none.
(, Wed 27 Sep 2006, 17:01, Reply)
Self destruction
Back when I was 15 a friend bought a PC and this was back in the daze when DOS loaded up first.

After faffing about on it for a while, I typed in "self destruct", and up came the expected error message. "Damn, it works on the Mac" quoth I.

"Does it?" says my mate earnestly, with a shocked look on his face.

The guy now works in IT. He probably got his degree doing what he did in college: nicking his code from other people.
(, Wed 27 Sep 2006, 16:51, Reply)
mobile phone not pc
My Dad has just confessed that whenever he had to text someone with a phone number for a sub contractor etc, he would write zero seven seven nine one two six etc, as he didn't realise you could get numbers by pressing the key 4 times, and only found out by accident this weekend. He proudly told us how to do it, in case we didn't know.

Tiddle WAS dribbled during laughter

I know not strictly relevant, but nearly is.
(, Wed 27 Sep 2006, 16:49, Reply)
Can't ... hold .... back ... sarcasm any longer!
I was visiting an elderly uncle who has recently bought a PC. He was having trouble operating it so I demonstrated it for him.

First I turned it on using the mains switch in the wall. Then I pressed the 'on' button on the machine and the 'on'button on the screen. In no time it had sparked into life and we were ready to start.

I clicked on 'start' and chose to connect to the internet. The provider was Virgin, so I had to click again in order to log on to the Net. After a few moments we were connected and I asked my uncle what he'd like to search for ...

But he had lapsed into a coma of absolute and incurable boredom, never to return to the land of the sapient.

I'll be joining him there shortly ...
(, Wed 27 Sep 2006, 16:26, Reply)
I'm an IT Trainer at a hospital - people tend to get the training department confused with the helpdesk. It's very annoying, and not really that funny.

(, Wed 27 Sep 2006, 15:55, Reply)
Oldies vs computers and everything else...
A few years ago, I worked for a bloke called Bill - he was a lovely old geezer out of work but a complete nightmare at work, eventually forcing me to leave.

Anyway, one night he asked me if I would pop round to his house after work and help him get his computer onto the internet. I agreed and... oh fuck it - it's too boring to finish. His computer was as old as him and I couldn't do the job - also his clock was an hour slow and it was hilarious.
(, Wed 27 Sep 2006, 15:46, Reply)
Library fun
When I was at school the headmaster (in his wisdom) put the all-new Windows 3.1 PC network into the library (main reason being that was the only place big enough to put it). Of course that meant that the library administrators now took on the mantle of network admin, and with it security of the network. Their solution? To give every user a country for a password. Once a couple of us realised the pattern being employed it took us all of about 15 minutes to test everybody's usernames against certain countries until we had a list of just about everyone's passwords. The plan was to sign onto known bullies' accounts and wreak havoc, but unfortunately the old buffers realised what was going on and closed down the accounts immediately. "Damn" thought we, "chaos denied".

After a few days a new security bill was drafted and the accounts were re-opened with new passwords. Shortly after the following conversation ensued:

Me: What's your new password?
Mate: Apple
Me: Mine's banana

Took us ten minutes this time.
(, Wed 27 Sep 2006, 15:26, Reply)
One stormy night (well, early evening)...
{sorry, I said I’d leave off this QOTW I know, but I’ve got to squeeze at least one in – user stupidity is one of my specialist subjects, after all}

…I had to pull a late one at work to replace a shitload of network hardware that was getting a bit twitchy after 5 solid years of use – an operation which would render the entire company network inoperable for about 2 hours. I planned to get a start 30mins after the traditional end of the business day. Simple and painless.

Of course, I sent no less than three emails warning my company’s users about this, giving them literally days’ notice and a reminder the very day of the planned presto-chango action. Taking the lack of enquiries as a sign that everyone had gotten the message, I took the site offline as planned and began taking stuff to bits. Not more than 10 minutes after I had gotten started, I got a call on my mobile from a manager in one of our branch offices, a stroppy menopausal bint whose offensive mouth was a known fact – the conversation went like this:

ME: Good ev…
MSB: It’s not working!

I’d already guessed what was going on but her rudeness from the offset got my back up, so I decided to give her enough rope to hang herself. Non-geeks often fail to realise that IT folk are like waiters - woe betide you if you piss us off, and you won't know of our retribution until its too late. We have much more power than most people realise. So anyway:

ME: I’m dandy, thanks for asking – what can I do for you?
MSB: I’ve already told you – {idiot voice} I-T-S N-O-T W-O-R-K-I-N-G!
ME: {stroppy bint’s name}, you know that I’m responsible for a good few systems here – I’m going to need some specifics.
MSB: There's nothing specific about it - {more idiot voice} N-O-T-H-I-N-G I-S W-O-R-K-I-N-G! We’ve got no database, no email, no nothing – what are you going to do about it? I'll tell you now, whatever you do you’ll have to do it quick!
ME: Tell me, did you get the emails I’ve been sending about planned network downtime the past few days?
MSB: {incredulously} I never read those! My time's too valuable to waste on that jargonny stuff!
ME: I see. Okay, for one, I’m most definitely not a sympathetic ear to the view that my emails aren’t worth reading and two, if you or indeed anyone else in your office had bothered to read even one of the emails, you’d now be with the rest of the company in knowing that the network is going to be offline – ENTIRELY – for a couple of hours starting about fifteen minutes ago.
MSB: That’s not good enough! I can’t finish this with no network – you’ll have to bring it back now!
ME: I’m sorry, that’s not possible. You see, as I stated in the email, I’m replacing a number of pieces of network hardware tonight and I’ve already half-dismantled what was in there to start with – I mean to go ahead and replace the parts as planned.
MSB: {muttered profanities} I can’t believe this! {my boss’ name} is going to face some stern words tomorrow, and you can take that to the bank!
ME: That’s your perogative, of course, but remember that in this case your problem is in fact your own fault for ignoring official instructions. You see, I don’t send emails with high importance simply to remind you that I exist – I send them when I feel there’s something you need to know. {my boss’ name} will most probably tell you the same.
MSB: {impatient sigh} Okay, so when’s it going to be back on? I need to get this done before 6pm, y’know.
ME: Also included in the emails were the timescales for this, but since you, er, missed them, I’ll clue you up. I originally expected to be done by 7:30 for 8, but it may take a little longer now.
MSB: {more muttered profanities and cant-believe-this'es} Oh, and why’s that then?
ME: Because of the time I’m wasting on this call. With that in mind, is there anything else I can help you with?
MSB: Oh, fuck off {click}.
ME: My sentiments exactly - bye then.

She did call my boss the next day, recommending that I be disciplined for my attitude, and naturally my boss collared me about it. I detailed our telephone conversation and my boss agreed both that she was being a needlessly stroppy and abusive cunt and that she deserved everything she got for ignoring my emails in any case. I even got to sit by and overhear the conversation where my boss told her exactly that, though he was slightly more diplomatic about the stroppy cunt part. She must have gotten arsey with him too because he added that if she kept better track of her work deadlines, she wouldn't find herself in such situations. Silent applause from me for the coup de gras there.

Eventually, she pissed off one person too many with her obnoxious tone and got shown the door. A few people have missed her since, but I'm not one of them.
(, Wed 27 Sep 2006, 15:24, Reply)
If changing the soundcard/ updating drivers does not work try a program called uncook95 and running the mp3s thru that...
(, Wed 27 Sep 2006, 15:07, Reply)
Man this is boring.
I almost lost the will to live during that story about burning CD's.
(, Wed 27 Sep 2006, 14:50, Reply)
ROM or RW?
One of the profs. in my department wanted to back up some of his data to CD, and was told that he could find a PC set aside for this purpose in one of the offices. After returning from attempting his backup, he put his newly-burned CD into his own PC but found it unreadable.

Him: This CD doesn't work! The computer in $OFFICE must be broken.
Me: It's possible that the burn process failed - that sometimes happens.
Him: Well, I did take it out half way through - could that have done it?
Me: Yes. That means that the CD is corrupted and you'll have to get a new one and try again.

He went to ask the IT staff for help this time, and returned later.

Him: I discovered that there were two CD drives on that PC, and only one of them can make backups. I put my CD in the wrong one.
Me: Ah, in that case nothing will have been burned to the CD you used before, and you can in fact re-use it.
Him: What?! You said before that it was ruined! You should get your facts straight!
(, Wed 27 Sep 2006, 14:47, Reply)
not the oldest git in the world
and only vaguely IT related but...

did an ICT ASVCE over two years at my school (basically an AS-level but with some vocational leanings to those who care) the first year went fine with a competent woman teaching us and helping us out when needed, but she got pregnant and was off for most of the second year on maternity, so we got a cover teacher and the head of IT in to replace her. The cover was sound, and probably equally competent but was not allowed to teach us, just babysit. The head of IT was a dickhead who had trouble turning a PC on. One lesson he rushed through our project for the next few weeks, and then (wrongly) told us how much lesson time we had left. Everyone noticed this error, but i was the only smart-arse who pointed it out to him, so for the next ten minutes I (and once i'd said something I had the backing of my class) argued with him about how many lessons we actually had (1 fewer than he'd said originally). At one point he counted them out on his fingers and still got them wrong. Last i heard he'd got a deputy post at some school in the midlands, feel sorry for those kids, but at least he'll be teaching less. His son was a complete twat too, but that's beside the point.

No apologies for length, just for overall irrelevance and shitness
(, Wed 27 Sep 2006, 14:41, Reply)
Our school IT teacher was fat and our 6 form computer room was a several flights of stairs sohe used to do any work he had to do up there remotly from his office. the problem was that we could also use the the computer he was trying to fix. so when he tride to search for a file my freind changed the file name to monkeys. of course he didnt notice and was probly quite confused when istead of the file he wanted he got a load of monkey filesso he treid to search again. however my freind decided to load up paint and draw monkeys. it was preety hilarious whatching them both fight over control of the cursor. in th end he sent us a message telling us to stop using the pc so we jsut turned it off forcing him to get off his fat ass and walk
(, Wed 27 Sep 2006, 14:33, Reply)
When I was a wee young lad
My crappy junior school got sponsored by Tesco and got a big stack of PCs thrown their way.

Needless to say, we were all quite excited by this, as every other computer in school was made by Acorn or Pineapple or some other strange, hermit-like shit company.

So, they decided to hire some old cow to be the IT teacher, despite the fact she probably thought it was a typewriter tied to a tv.

So, we started having weekly IT lessons. Bear in mind I'm about 9 at this moment, it was tedious. Thus, I liked doing confusing things to the teachers.

They hadn't done anything to alter the settings since the computers got dropped off. And, as such, I felt quite copmpelled to alter the computers.

Cue parents evening, where we could show our parents whatever crappy drawings we had done, and the teachers make snidey comments, as being a child, I couldn't understand a chuffing word.

Mum: "Hey, the desktop on that PC is different to the others."

Teacher: "Yeah, we thought we had a virus, but the repairmen can't seem to find anything."

I changed the background. Incompetents.

Eventually, the next year, as sheer cheek, they started offering "IT Learning Classes for parents", as somehow they thought they would know more than people who actually own computers and work on them for a living.

I think it sank in once my mum laughed at the other parent who said "What's this thing you push with your hand called?"

So as a parting gift, I changed all desktop and appearance-related stuff to huge and black. All icons, fonts, start menu, taskbars, everything was pure black. Try navigating that! Before which, I also changed all their passwords. They deserved it, the wankers.

Length? Girth?
You love it, you filthy slaaaags.
(, Wed 27 Sep 2006, 14:29, Reply)
School IT teachers are always so clueless
We were in our break in the 6 form computer lab messing arournd when the IT teacher comes in and accuses us of vandalising the school server which was in a box on the wall we tell him we had nothing to do with it so he phones up the people who installed the server and tells them he thinks its been vandalised. he then listens on the phone
for a while then presses the on swich on the server and walks out.
(, Wed 27 Sep 2006, 14:27, Reply)
Do it
I'm an IT consultant therefore I know everything there is to know about IT. Apparently.

I was on the phone to a friend of the family (not someone I'd usually help) and I sorted him out but he had a problem with Office that bordered on idiocy - after many an attempt at trying to help him, I told him I'd email him some instructions mainly beacuse I was sick of talking to him - This is what I emailed him:

"Splice the primary with the SLP over the MP fusing the CAP with the DP using IIS"

Never heard from him again.

And I retract my earlier insult about this QOTW, it's not my website and blah blah blah.

And yes, I am an SMS consultant those of you that know it and are wondering.

Yes, I am sad and need to get out more.

No, I don't care.
(, Wed 27 Sep 2006, 14:02, Reply)
Pot. Kettle .Black
The IT department laughed heartily at my incompetence when I called them to say that there was a warning box on my screen announcing a lack of virtual memory.

Next day I was proof-reading their new training manual because they don't know how to spell, use punctuation or write a grammatical sentence. I laughed heartily.
(, Wed 27 Sep 2006, 13:43, Reply)
My dad...
won't let me program any of his friends' telephone numbers into his mobile. He's genuinely afraid that all those extra numbers in there will make the phone heavier.
(, Wed 27 Sep 2006, 13:39, Reply)
Re: SatNav
I was in the car with a 55 year old guy who still thinks he's a 90's raver (and dresses like it: beads, orange baggies, UV glow stuff).

He simply refused to believe that the satnav voice was, in fact, not a woman that worked in a call centre talking to us live.

(Have great stories about him when an appropriate qotw comes along)
(, Wed 27 Sep 2006, 13:33, Reply)
In response to Mr Ashley...
...who laughed at a user who wanted to migrate a 5 year old SCSI image to a brand new IDE-based PC:

Careful. What they said can indeed be done, assuming that the user is running Windows XP. You have to use sysprep to seal the image, with the appropriate command-line switches to tell Windows to rebuild the storage HAL, thus making a SCSI image work on IDE. It's not guaranteed to work - in fact, it quite often fails - but I'd be a little more circumspect before abusing the older chap.

You mention that he's older than you, but are you yourself also an oldie...? I think I'd need to see you walk up a high street without stopping outside ever single shop before I'd be convinced.

Length, off-topic? Gah, who cares.
(, Wed 27 Sep 2006, 13:23, Reply)
my grandma
had just climbed into my dad's new car. as he drove to the end of her road, grandma was most surprised when the sat nav system suddenly butted into the conversation and said officiously:

"please. turn. right. in. one. hundred. yards."

"how does SHE know?" grandma said angrily. "she's never been to halifax."

there was a pause. then my mother said gently, "er - mum - who do you think said that?"

when it was explained to my grandma that there were satellites in the sky navigating us, she simply would not believe it. the look on her face was priceless - it was one of pity and not a little scorn that we were all so gullible...

btw, i don't think anyone should moan about the choice of qotw when it's not their website....

just saying, is all!
(, Wed 27 Sep 2006, 13:09, Reply)
Working as a tech in a college I get the standard 'forgot my password' problem. So I change it to a temporary easy one and tell them they will be asked to change it at next log in. Cue them coming back and complaing it wont work and all they get is an error message...saying please change password. There is a button on the log in window that says 'change password'
(, Wed 27 Sep 2006, 12:55, Reply)
Working as an IT Techy for many years (moved to management now and wish I hadn't) I've seen many wonderfull things computers have been used for. One of the most amusing was the old fella who used to work here who blatently smoked at his desk but was never caught. If somone was comming down the coridoor he would stub it out and push whatever was left inside a vent hole in his pc case.
This was all well and good untill the fans stopped working and his PC fried, I seem to remember him being quite pissed off at having to both pay for the computer and clear his desk.... moral of the story.... don't smoke (or is it dont get old)
(, Wed 27 Sep 2006, 8:32, Reply)
Apple A + D + S
Since people are dobbing themselves in, I'll do one... the "oldies" part of the question seems to have been abandoned several pages ago...

On a Windows machine, Ctrl D in Word is a harmless Character function which allows you to change font, size etc. On a Mac, or at least, on the mid-90s model I was using, Ctrl D is Delete. (On the Mac, of course, it was the Apple key rather than Ctrl, but it's the same diff.) However, Ctrl A is still Select All and Ctrl S is still save. Can you see what's coming?

Having slaved over a page of utter crap all day - advertising guff for luxury products for bridezillas who will probably be divorced in two weeks - I tiredly put my thumb on the Apple key and somehow managed to put my finger across A, D & S. In that order. Considering that they appear on the keyboard as ASD, I still don't know how I did it. But I ended up with a nicely saved blank page.

I guess I should be grateful that it was advertising crap and not the Great Australian Novel, and also that I no longer write advertising crap for a living.
(, Wed 27 Sep 2006, 4:56, Reply)
Ctrl, Alt, Delete
A while ago I had a boss who seriously damaged his shoulder (water skiing or something), resulting in him not being able / allowed to move his right arm for several months.

Now, the boss didn't realise that the ctrl and alt keys on either side of the keyboard are equivalent. Cue boss (everytime the screen saver kicked in) using his functional left hand to press ctrl and alt on the left side of the keyboard and prssing the delete key... with his nose!

No length comment this time...

Once I had worked out what the hell was happening, I did the right thing and pointed out that there was an easier way - one more happy customer.
(, Wed 27 Sep 2006, 1:25, Reply)
Something that actually happened to me at work.

At work, we had a need to ensure that PC's weren't left logged in and unattended.

So, my boss asked me to find a solution. I thought "Aha! A screensasver should do it".

Being a bit of a keen Programmer, I set about writing one. This screensaver would reboot the machine immediately (no nice chances to save) when activated.

When I finished coding, I went to test it. Only then (as the PC restarted) did I realise that I had not saved what I as doing and actually lost all the source code.
(, Tue 26 Sep 2006, 23:52, Reply)
Well done Grandad.
Grandad was a top fellah.

My old dear Grandad learned how to surf the net, send emails and what-not at the age of 80 odd. Which is really nice and cool (although dissapointingly unfunny).

* But he once put a shovel full of coal into the toilet.

So it kind of balances out.
(, Tue 26 Sep 2006, 23:09, Reply)
Tech support pls...
My printer & scanner have packed up since I installed broadband. I am told by the folk at work that upgrading both machine and maybe myself is the only answer... I ran FoxPro for DOS once and was quite good at it. I am 39 for a bit longer... Rock 'n' roll CDs seem very cheap in the garages these days...

Can I suggest "The Greatest Person I have Ever Known?" Reason: "Nice"

Thanks for a very amusing site by the way xxx
(, Tue 26 Sep 2006, 22:19, Reply)

This question is now closed.

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