back to article Abracadabra! Tales of unexpected sysadmagic and dabbling in dark arts

Congratulations, Reg readers – you've made it through the week, and those of you in England and Wales are now headed into a three-day weekend. To celebrate, we've got a bumper edition of our weekly On-Call column of tech support crises. This time, it's a selection of tales from sysadmins who looked to the "dark arts" to fix …


  1. Keith Oborn

    An apocryphal one

    BAck in the days of mainframes with green screen terminals - ICL as it happens, lots of mates worked there.

    User routinely complained that her keyboard added spurious spaces. Numerous engineers failed to find anything wrong.

    Last chap walked in, looked at her sitting at the desk, and said "why don't you get a cup of tea while I look at it."

    As soon as she was out of sight, he wound her chair up a couple of inches.

    Problem solved: she was short and well-endowed. Observation is the key to good outcomes!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: An apocryphal one

      lmao, had a similar experience, anon because while the person aint there, i am!

      so get a call as a new super keen support admin to our logistics department to check out one of our staffs office chair (yes thats how stupid the place is) so user complains her seat keeps dropping in height when shes typing in the ERP. (thats the IT link!)

      Im standing scratching my head thinkng wtf, I sit on it (im a big 6` jock exrugby type) and all is fine.

      I look back at the user and think, hmm ok shes tall and largish but nothing too mental....

      so i ask the lady to sit so i can see if i can fathom it out.....boom i spot it immediately.....

      Her saddlebags overhang was pressing down on the extended lever.....I couldnt bear to tell her, "erm its your arse hen"

      So I sourced a different style of chair from another dept and claimed the old ones cylinder was leaking as i could see lubricant on the shaft which should be spotless.....

      Oh what a great day I had once I got back to our site support office and rest of my team!...;)

  2. cortland

    Coffee, anyone?

    This unworthy servant of the Great Ghu Hytek is known to have solved a display problem with a set-top box using what in the US we call an electric hot-plate. Without even connecting it to the mains outlet.


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