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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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I have a little experience with Oldies and computers..


Where I used to work, I wasn't officially employed to do tech support. However, they had nearly 900 PCs and three (I am not joking) support staff. As I am sure you can understand, they got a little busy.

Anyway, I digress. I got a phone call from the boss's secretary. She was having trouble getting some files off floppy disk.

I went over to the other building and had a look. What had actually happened is that, for some reason, she had numbered her files, and had set up an index file to match the numbers with the file name. She could not access the index.

Sadly, I couldn't retrieve the file, and could only nag her about the importance of naming files logically, and backing up.

Another old boss (in another job) thought he knew about computers. Admittedly, in this case, the software is to blame as well.

I was working for a "freight forwarding agents" (we prepared any documentation needed to import/export goods). We had a computer that we used to prepare a lot of the customs documentation. It was done on computer partly because it saved time, and partly because customs required that we store details of shipments for up to 5 years, and they demanded 24 hour access to it. The computer was attached to a modem, so they could access it remotely.

Now, one of my jobs at the end of each week was to get the computer to list any shipments that were over 5 years old. I then had to go through the list and check there were no outstanding queries on each one. There never were any outstanding queries, but I was required to check.

I could then delete the ones with no queries.

One day, my boss decided to do it. He found nice range of shipment numbers to delete, so he used the function for this. It required that you enter a start number and an end number. He did this, but the wrong way round, and left the computer to do it's stuff (it could take some time if there was a lot to delete).

When he came back to it, the computer was busy deleting a whole load of shipments that were not in the range he specified.

Guess what? We had no usable backups.

So, he muttered something about bad design, hit the "abort" button and asked me to re-enter all the recent shipments. Several weeks (and thousands of shipments) later, I was still there.
(, Mon 25 Sep 2006, 15:07, Reply)

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