back to article My PC makes ‘negative energy waves’, said user, then demanded fix

Everybody’s working for the weekend, the song goes, but here at On-Call, The Register works to bring you a weekly story of a fellow reader’s tech support trauma. This week, meet “Roger” who once took a call from a user “well known as being very sensitive to radio waves and who therefore did things like using a headset so that …

  1. Anonymous South African Coward Silver badge

    So glad I don't have such users...

    1. wolfetone Silver badge

      So glad I'm not related to anyone like that as well.

    2. boltar Silver badge

      "So glad I don't have such users..."

      The thing these neurotic hypochondriacs who claim to "suffer" from this sort of EM sensitivity need the most is a psychiatrist, not a sys admin :)

      1. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge

        qotw

        Why don't you knock it off with them negative waves?

        woof!

        1. Stevie Silver badge

          Re: qotw

          I will, if you make sure you are loaded up with HE and not paint.

          1. This post has been deleted by its author

            1. psychonaut

              Re: qotw

              yup, its been this way for years....

              remember the isoplat?

              i have to confess i did by cyrus oxgen free single strand copper for my mission's though. it was only a few meters. it made all the difference ;)

              1. Daveytay

                Re: qotw

                OFC that I got wholesale and then crawled under my house to pull for my speakers was the best money I ever spent on my stereo. My wife was happy she couldn't see the wires carefully running around the fireplace skirting any more. I went from 40 year old crap cables with joins to a single run to each speaker, and it was a noticeable improvement.

            2. John Styles

              Re: qotw

              Poe's Law applies to this one, I am still not sure myself if it is a parody or not

              https://www.jwz.org/blog/2017/04/i-only-use-locally-sourced-gold-plated-memcpy-for-warmth/

            3. AdamWill

              Re: qotw

              As an approximate rule of thumb, I've found that every $100 spent on woo opens up the sound stage by 2.37%...

              (I've always been a fan of the geniuses who did a double-blind trial of extremely expensive speaker cables versus...clothes hangers. Guess how much difference there was.)

              1. Alan Brown Silver badge
                Megaphone

                Re: qotw

                "extremely expensive speaker cables versus...clothes hangers"

                My "extremely expensive speaker cable" was 8mm^2 electrical cable.

                The coathangers melted.

                Yes, I was listening to Motorhead.

                1. jake Silver badge

                  Re: qotw

                  That's Motörhead, you heathen.

                  I wonder if the Brilliant Pebbles guy also sells röck döts ...

                  But wait! There's more!

            4. Lilolefrostback

              Re: qotw

              They may not be entirely out to sea. Years ago ('80s) the head of IT decided that all the documentation we produced should be subjected to proper version control (not the code, just the documentation). To that end, we had to provide him with the source files for our documentation (on 5.25" floppies), which were then secured in a filing cabinet. Overall, not a bad concept, if the implementation was a bit primitive. Six months later, we needed to update the documentation for a project, so we asked for the relevant files. No response for a week, so we asked again. Eventually, we learned that the cabinet was open at the bottom and had been sitting directly over the incoming mains to the plant; all disks were blank. We had to hire typists to re-create the files from hard copies of the documents.

              Now, that was the mains for a manufacturing plant, so the field was probably stronger than at home, but it is possible that the magnetic field of the mains could have a measurable effect. More likely that these folks are bat crap crazy.

              1. Alan Brown Silver badge

                Re: qotw

                "Eventually, we learned that the cabinet was open at the bottom and had been sitting directly over the incoming mains to the plant; all disks were blank. "

                Interesting BOFH excuse, but floppies were notorious for losing their contents without a mains cable in sight. Some brands (noted for their marketing claims of never forgetting) were particularly bad for bit rot.

            5. swm

              Re: qotw

              I once thought, as a joke, to market "digital speaker cable" to go with digital sound systems. Then I noticed someone was selling it in a catalog. Oh well - I missed a fortune there.

              1. TRT Silver badge

                Re: qotw

                I used to work for a well-known American electronics high street retailer, now defunct in the UK, that started life making leather goods. You know the one?

                Anyway, we had a regular who used to come in to buy the anti-static spray for record players (snake oil stuff - an atomiser filled with distilled water made up with about 5% IPA). He started asking for stronger stuff because "the US government had turned up the power when they realised they couldn't read him". Turns out he used the spray like a cologne. His baseball cap was lined with tin foil too, I noticed.

                1. Alan Brown Silver badge

                  Re: qotw

                  "anti-static spray for record players (snake oil stuff - an atomiser filled with distilled water made up with about 5% IPA)"

                  Snake oil is an understatement. Records work like ice skates - the stylus pressure momentarily liquifies the vinyl as it passes over it and any moisture on the record prevents this happening, resulting in the surface _ripping_ when inspecting under a microscope.

                  The only reliable way of "antistatic"ing was to use a negative air ioniser and a good old carbon brush (none of which which particularly well, but any form of charge on the record would pull dust from the air into the groves and then it'd get pressed into the liquified vinyl mentioned above). If you want to clean your records properly (a bloody good idea before first play), then getting hold of a Keith Monks Record cleaning machine was a good move (NOT snake oil)

                  Records get a huge charge just from being taken out of their sleeve. About the only way to keep it under control apart from the ioniser was to control humidity around 75-80%, but then you run into mould problems. :(

            6. Alan Edwards

              Re: qotw

              One of the best speaker cables I had was solid core twin-and-earth building power cable, cost me nothing.

              I asked a relative who was working on a building site putting up warehouses if there was any chance of some scrap ends they were throwing out, they gave me about half a drum's worth.

              I've still got the heavy granite isolation platform I adapted from a piece being chucked out by a stone masons. Stuck some rubber feet on the unpolished side, job done :)

            7. Wilseus

              Re: qotw

              "These people readily pay £2k per metre for speaker cable etc."

              What exactly do you mean by "these people?"

              I'm a regular on a number of Hifi forums and I certainly wouldn't pay that even if I could afford it. I have a relatively expensive system linked together with pretty much the cheapest cables I could find. My speaker cable was I think about 50p a metre. There probably is merit in things like keeping cables away from each other as much as possible, and it probably wouldn't hurt to give a decent system its own mains spur, but it's not something I would lose too much sleep over.

              You do get a small number of people on there who have more money than sense and come out with silly nonsense, but they're in the minority.

      2. ShadowDragon8685

        Almost definitely, but sometimes getting things functional is better than making them perfect.

        Consider the case of the high-powered bigshot lawyer. Super-good at what she did, super productive, etc, but she had a monomaniacal focus on whether or not she had left her hairdryer plugged in, whether it was on, going to short out, cause an electrical fault, start a fire, etc.

        Got to the point where it was about wrecking her life, she'd be running back from the office to home every few hours to ensure she hadn't left it was. Irrational, but it had its tow-hook stuck in her brain, she was on the verge of being fired, and finally went to see a psychiatrist.

        She didn't get some aged and grey veteran of the field with a bajillion years of experience who could, through several years of hard work, maybe get her to the point that she could ignore it by talking to her. She didn't get a middle-aged veteran of the field armed with an entire pharmacopeia's worth of various drugs that MIGHT or might not make her better and might not but MIGHT carry ruinous side-effects of their own. She got the New Guy.

        Now, the New Guy was not an FNG as known to those of us who use computers a lot. He certainly considered all of the traditional options. But, he was so surprised by her monomanical fixation upon one thing - it was never "did I leave the oven on," or "did I let the cat out," or "is the water running." It was always, only, "did I leave the hair dryer plugged in."

        So surprised was he by this that he simply asked, "why didn't you just take the hair dryer to work with you?"

        All of a sudden, boom. Functional fix. The bigshot high-powered attorney was still fully in the grips of OCD monomanical fixation upon whether or not her hair dryer was plugged in at home... But she only owned the one. When she had that thought in the car, her hair dryer was on the seat next to her, so obviously it could not be plugged in at home. At the office? Just pull open the desk bottom drawer; a hair dryer present and accounted for here obviously cannot be plugged in elsewhere.

        So, whilst medical opinions on whether or not the "simple solution" was healthy are heavily divided, where the rubber meets the ride, the high-powered bigshot lawyer has her life back - just carrying about 2Kg worth of extraneous hair dryer wherever she goes. And while the woman who "senses negative waves" may indeed need a psychiatrist, if a sysadmin telling her how to turn off the wifi lets her stay calm and carry on, it may well be the simplest solution.

        1. jake Silver badge

          2Kg hairdryer?

          My Wife's tips the scales at about a quarter of that. Including the relatively[0] gigantic 35g GFCI plug.

          [0] Compared to a standard Yank 2-prong plug ...

        2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          "just carrying about 2Kg worth of extraneous hair dryer wherever she goes."

          And, of course, you never know when you're going to need a hair-dryer.

          1. ShadowDragon8685

            Yeah, well, it's unlikely; but always possible that at some point in the future, someone is going to need an electrically-powered device capable of blowing hot air.

            1. Inventor of the Marmite Laser Silver badge

              You just described an iPhone

        3. herman Silver badge

          OK, so now the Lawyer is OK, but the psychiatrist is poor. Obviously he flunked economics 101.

      3. quxinot

        >The thing these neurotic hypochondriacs who claim to "suffer" from this sort of EM sensitivity need the most is a psychiatrist, not a sys admin :)<

        A psychiatrist will have ECT, which is nearly as good but not as satisfying as a cattleprod. Thus, a good sysadmin will be more effective in treating the problem.

      4. macjules Silver badge

        There is a rather simple answer to all of these types of people. In the 90's golden age of SIMM chip replacements and static-inducing carpets in offices I used to regularly carry a box of Anti Static Adjustable Grounding Straps. I could always spare one for the occasional neurotic graphic designer worried about radiation leakage from their 21" RasterOps screen.

        1. BongoJoe Silver badge

          In the 90's golden age of SIMM chip replacements and static-inducing carpets in offices I used to regularly carry a box of Anti Static Adjustable Grounding Straps

          Or just wash one's hands, don't dry them but shake them loose of droplets.

          Damp hands won't discharge static. A boffinry trick my dad told me during his Strange Days at the Ministry of Good.

          1. jake Silver badge

            "Damp hands won't discharge static."

            So it's safe to play golf in a dry lightning storm?

            1. jake Silver badge

              Re: "Damp hands won't discharge static."

              NOT safe to play, & etc.

              That'll teach me to post before coffee ...

    3. Just Enough

      Think you've heard this one before?

      Well users like this seem to be uncannily common. Here's almost the exact same story from last year;

      https://www.theregister.co.uk/2017/03/31/on_call/

    4. phuzz Silver badge
      Boffin

      Fortunately I only had to deal with this particular user due to covering for a someone's holiday, but I believe they're still at the company, and still batshit.

      So, I forget exactly what I was doing that day, it might have been a file server migration, anyway, I was going round all of the desktops in a company, and I reached a desk sat just outside the MD's office. The user wasn't there, so I sat down and started doing whatever my job was that day.

      Well, I tried to do my job, but for some reason the mouse wouldn't work right. It didn't move smoothly, and wasn't tracking right. So I turned over the offending rodent, and found that someone had sellotaped a 2p coin to the bottom, I ripped it off and continued.

      The user eventually came back, walking across the office yapping on their iPhone the whole way. Eventually they finished their conversation and asked what I was up to, I explained, and added that I'd fixed their mouse by removing the coin. They replied that they were "allergic to electro-magnetic waves" and that the 'copper' 2p was somehow supposed to help.

      I informed them that the best way to avoid exposure to harmful electro-magnetic waves was to wear sun-screen and left them to their delusions.

    5. Steve Evans

      Me too...

      Although my dark side would weld them a 6 foot high pyramid frame and install that over their office chair on the pretense of blocking negative woowoos.

      And then sit back and watch them defend the rusty monstrosity to their manager.

      1. BongoJoe Silver badge

        Why not install a positive wave emitter, say a microwave with the door broken off, near their desk and explain that the interference from the two sets of waves will cancel the other out?

    6. leexgx

      i had to abandon going to one of my customers any more as it was getting silly (most plug in power packs kick out more EMI then wifi does, also O2 mobile mast about 300-400 meters away)

      god knows what happened when local council installed solar panels on there roof (going to have to walk past and see if it has solar panels on it not that he has much choice as he does not own the flat and the meter is on the outside in a cupboard)

  2. TonyJ Silver badge

    Had a colleague here complain that her laptop was typing random characters.

    A mutual colleague leaned over and took the banana off the USB keyboard that was plugged into her docking station.

    Her reply..."Oh that's my keyboard?"

    1. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Back in school days, a more minor prank was to daisy chain a few keyboards (these were Mac LCiii's, so each keyboard had an ADB socket intended for the mouse) so that a few of us could type characters on the end computer being used by the keeno (slang noun: fellow pupil letting down the values we held dear by exhibiting keenness and diligence to their school work).

  3. Will Godfrey Silver badge
    Happy

    A solution

    Switch off 'puter, do lots of fiddling around then exclaim "Oh, they've got the Foo plug in the Bar socket". Swap two innocuous USB plugs, then "It'll take a while for the negativity to drain away, but within a day or two you should notice the improvement".

    1. TonyJ Silver badge

      Re: A solution

      @will... you just reminded me of another anecdote, with your draining comment...

      When I first start working many moons ago, my then already senior in years (to a snot-nosed youth, I'd have said "old" but I'm now about the age he was then and it's not old...oh no!) colleague used to look after a line printer in a company.

      Said company worked out of a small unit in an industrial estate and on cold, damp mornings the platen would suffer from a hint of damp/mildew that'd cause the paper to slip.

      The fix was simply to turn it on and let it warm up before printing but they couldn't get the message and he was back and forth a number of times.

      Then one day, he apparently told the receptionist that he'd spoken to the manufacturer and they'd recommended that they needed to turn the printer on and leave it for 15-20 minutes to allow any stale electricity from the night before to pass through.

      It must've worked as he never got called out again.

      1. David Nash Silver badge

        Re: A solution

        Stale electricity? Amusing, but in that instance, why would he not have told the real reason?

        1. Alan Brown Silver badge

          Re: A solution

          "Amusing, but in that instance, why would he not have told the real reason?"

          Presumably because he had done so and been ignored.

          Most of these devices used to come with a night mode specifically to prevent such things happening and users would switch them off at the wall despite being specifically told not to.

          We would find that we could happily bill them $140 per call out, just so they could save 1c in electricity.

          1. Alan Brown Silver badge

            Re: A solution

            14 thumbs up over the weekend.

            On a more expensive note in the UK and a reminder of how woo factors can affect us all: many local councils have taken to switching off street lights for part of the night (1am-4am) - most being flourescents on minor streets.

            A quick calculation shows that the power savings is about 40p/year (at most), whilst the lamps are about £8 apiece and replacement cost is about £50 each (labour charge).

            The average life of a flourescent tube is 8000 hours (when run 8 hours per day) or 1500 cycles. If you run them 4 hours per cycle then this shortens down to about 4000 hours - the cycle limit is due to the filaments in the ends of the things and electronic starters don't make much difference.

            So in order to save a few hundred thousand pounds in electricity charges, councils are spending millions with lighting contractors instead (It's not an issue if they're LEDs of course, but led lamps can be dimmed down to 10% brightness/power consumption and instantly perk up if there's movement detected underneath).

            Nice scam if you can sign up for it.

        2. michael cadoux

          Re: A solution

          After the previous failures of his other advice, he must have worked out that stale electricity was a reason the users would respect and obey

        3. Shadowmanx2012
          Meh

          Re: A solution

          Stale electricity? Amusing, but in that instance, why would he not have told the real reason?

          Probably because he had and they didn't listen.

          1. TRT Silver badge

            Re: A solution

            My ex-missus insisted we had a copper wire pyramid located on top of the monitor and on the top of the PC case.

    2. disgustedoftunbridgewells Silver badge

      Re: A solution

      Or: perhaps the earth on the power cable is faulty, I'll take it away and "bring back a different one".

    3. Mike Richards Silver badge

      Re: A solution

      The same effect can be achieved by placing a small amethyst crystal that has been energised by the light of the waning moon one cubit above the computer.

      *ADVERT*

      Dedicated computer woo agents are in your area now! Because you are a very special person, we are offering this service which is normally only available to Hollywood celebrities for just £39.99 (monthly crystal recharging fee applies). Call now and you will receive this free - yes free - bottle of Atlantean Spiritual Dimension Alignment sparkling water that not only polishes your chakra but can be useful in combating the symptoms of dehydration.

      1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

        Re: A solution

        Erm, what if my chakra is already so polished that my chi keeps sliding off it?

        Other than that, your service sounds excellent!

        1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

          Re: A solution

          what if my chakra is already so polished that my chi keeps sliding off it?

          That's OK, we also supply Spiritual Sandpaper. It looks like regular 80gsm A4 printer paper, but has been specially energised by our experienced monks to ensure that your chi-chakra interface works properly.

          Available now at a bargain price of £2.99 per sheet.

          (Warning: each sheet is only usable once and then must be disposed of properly. We also offer a disposal service at a competitive rate of £2.99 per sheet. Terms and Conditions apply.)

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: A solution

            I'd be willing to bet the user in question was a public servant angling for some sick leave , and probably had cost the department a small fortune in special equipment already.

            This negative wave ailment would be superb opportunity to insist the user wears a special chain mail beeny hat at all times .

            1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

              Re: A solution

              Chainmail is rather expensive. Tinfoil will do nicely.

              1. Antron Argaiv Silver badge
                Windows

                Re: A solution

                A world of useful items for the EMF-challenged here:

                https://www.lessemf.com/index.html

                // apologies in advance for the wasted time

                // no tinfoil hat icon?

                1. jake Silver badge

                  From the "You can't make this shit up!" files: (was: Re: A solution)

                  Antron Argaiv's helpful web site contains a "Mobile, Call Now!" link in the upper left hand corner. Quite handy, that, for the afflicted. Indeed, one wonders how they can use a computer to begin with.

                  Pardon me, I'm off to ground/earth my house plants.

                2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

                  Re: A solution

                  https://www.lessemf.com/index.html

                  O....M.....G...!!!!!!!!

                  Loved the zero emission "PS2 ball mouse" being safer than "high emission" optical mice. And only $14.95. Ordered 5, just in case. I feel better already and they've not even arrived yet. Would buy again from this seller. I wonder if they sell shielded PS/2 to USB converters since my PC has no PS/2 port.

                  1. EuKiwi

                    Re: A solution

                    1996 called, they want their website design back.

            2. J.G.Harston Silver badge

              Re: A solution

              I worked in local government for ten years and the people I met were quite sane. I then came back as a contractor and worked in lots of different departments I'd never been in before, and many of them were quite batshit insane. Six months off, come back for a month, can't manage it, six months off again. Refuse to learn how to sit and type properly, so need all sorts of strapping and padding. Refuses to tilt monitor to avoid reflections so needs specialist sheilding equipment and MUST have the desk in that exact position. And somebody with some machine pumping out some foul smelling stench "to get the right ambiance". shudder!

      2. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

        Re: A solution

        bottle of Atlantean Spiritual Dimension Alignment sparkling water

        I take it that you work for Goop then?

        (I say 'work' in it's loosest possible sense - separating gullible fools from their money isn't really work. More of a public service..)

      3. pɹɐʍoɔ snoɯʎuouɐ
        Angel

        Re: A solution

        "Dedicated computer woo agents are in your area now! "

        Anything that takes the piss out of these people that need the mental faculties re-aligning with reality is welcome in my book...

        But a donation from proceeds to organisations that help people with actual mental health issues would be in order... in the same way that the collection plate in churches should be compelled to give a % to the people who "de-program" victims of cults....

        1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

          Re: A solution

          Anything that takes the piss out of these people that need their mental faculties re-aligning with a croquet mallet is welcome in my book...

          Sorry, your post required a minor edit.

          1. Hazmoid

            Re: A solution

            Anything that takes the piss out of these people that need their mental faculties re-aligning with a Cattle Prod (ala BOFH) is welcome in my book..

            FTFY :)

    4. JimboSmith Silver badge

      Re: A solution

      I got given tickets to some Ideal Home Show type show years ago. Whilst there I found a more senior colleague from another department having a drink. He wasn't staying long but had to go back to a particular stand before he left. The stand he tells me has a device for limiting the amount of radiation that he was exposed to. He used his phone a lot and was worried about the energy it was exposing him to. I was curious to know what this was and walked over with him. I was expecting to see a cover closely fitting his phone made of a metallic substance. What I actually saw was a sticker that wasn't much larger than a current 5p piece. I doubt that it cost much more than that to make either, they were selling them for a 'very reasonable' £5 each. Special show offer was £10 for three - utter bargain you understand.

      So I asked how it works and I was told it absorbs some of the radiation the phone produces. Doesn't that affect the ability to use the phone? Would that not reduce the signal reaching the mobile phone mast? It's not that radiation that it reduces is the reply - "it's technical you understand" So as a joke I said is it the visible radiation that is reduced? “Yes that's it exactly, you're smarter than you look." I tried educating my colleague that his top of the range Nokia wouldn't be affected by this sticker. I said these things were a rip off using a headset would work better and visible radiation was just light. I was told to stop with the negative energy and he then went and bought £40 worth. Offered me one before leaving which I declined saying that it wasn't compatible with my model.

  4. Anonymous South African Coward Silver badge

    All my users do is break the wireless keyboard/mouse dongle, and we have to chuck the whole thing away.

    Have ordered a couple of wired keyboards.

    And bluetooth with Win10 is an iffy affair. Bah.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "And bluetooth with Win10 is an iffy affair"

      Surely you mean "And bluetooth with Win<x> is an iffy affair"?

      1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

        Re: "And bluetooth with Win10 is an iffy affair"

        Surely you mean "And bluetooth with Win<x> is an iffy affair"?

        No, I think what you both mean is: "And bluetooth is an iffy affair."

        1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

          Re: "And bluetooth with Win10 is an iffy affair"

          I think what you both mean is: "And bluetooth is an iffy affair."

          Ayup.

          1. kezersoze

            Re: "And bluetooth with Win10 is an iffy affair"

            You sound like a crazy old Unix man I used to work with. Hates Winblows and anything related to modern technology, thinks computers were better when thicknet was the order of the day, monitors that were 14 inches and displayed only in one color and PCs had a turbo button

            1. michael cadoux

              Re: "And bluetooth with Win10 is an iffy affair"

              Indeed! And when I did overnight mainframe support, a modem was as fast as broadband (at least in terms of conveying data effectively to the human eye) because each screenful was only 1,920 8-bit bytes plus a few for header and trailer.

            2. Mark 85 Silver badge

              Re: "And bluetooth with Win10 is an iffy affair"

              You sound like a crazy old Unix man I used to work with. Hates Winblows and anything related to modern technology, thinks computers were better when thicknet was the order of the day, monitors that were 14 inches and displayed only in one color and PCs had a turbo button

              Things were simpler than, And as a bonus, most users back than had somewhat of a clue as they were (or seemed to be) wanna-bee techies. As a result, fewer user complaints... although once manglement got into "needing" the latest, things started the sliding downhill rapidly.

            3. jake Silver badge

              Re: "And bluetooth with Win10 is an iffy affair"

              Funnily enough, kezersoze, we were doing the exact same office work back then. Except work got done faster, with less trouble for the user.

              The "crazy old UNIX man" didn't hate Windows, per se, rather he hated waste.

            4. Tim99 Silver badge
              Coat

              Re: "And bluetooth with Win10 is an iffy affair"

              @kezersoze

              I an old and use Unix, and may be crazy or demented; but with the exception of the Turbo button, your ex-colleague could well have been right. I can sit down at a terminal and a lot of the *NIX stuff that I used back then still works - Which is just as well as my failing memory needs only to be able to recall apropos "something close to what I want" (and then maybe whatis and man). I'm not sure if I brought a coat with me - Do any of them have K&R in the pocket? >>===>

              1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

                Re: "And bluetooth with Win10 is an iffy affair"

                "Do any of them have K&R in the pocket?"

                I passed "Unix: The Book" on to my grandson who has a PiTop. It's not all current but a good deal still is.

                1. jake Silver badge

                  Re: "And bluetooth with Win10 is an iffy affair"

                  Dr. S, might want to pass along this link:

                  http://www.nesssoftware.com/home/mwc/

                  The Coherent Lexicon is still one of the best learning tools ever written for un*x neophytes, even if it is in PDF format. The ANSI C Lexicon is pretty good, too. I'll leave it there, the website speaks for itself. So does Steve's resume ...

                  Another good book pass on to the youngster is O'Reilly's "UNIX Power Tools". All the above are worth searching used book stores for. They are not really tutorials, per se, but can be used as such if the student is actually interested in learning how these infuriating contraptions can be used with minimal headaches.

                  1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

                    Re: "And bluetooth with Win10 is an iffy affair"

                    Another good book pass on to the youngster is O'Reilly's "UNIX Power Tools".

                    Got that one somewhere as well. Coherent brings back memories albeit only of reading about it in Byte. However, there's a limit to what one can present a 10 year old with.

                    However, mention of Byte reminds me it might be a good idea to find my copy of the issue on RDBMS from which I learned pretty well everything I know about database design* apart, of course, from what I picked up by actually doing it for a few decades.

                    *I've encountered at least one CS graduate who knew less than that Byte covered.

              2. KSM-AZ

                Re: "And bluetooth with Win10 is an iffy affair"

                . . . man -k console

                USB is fine. . . Now.

        2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          Re: "And bluetooth with Win10 is an iffy affair"

          No, I think what you both mean is: "And bluetooth is an iffy affair."

          Let's get this sorted out properly:

          Bluetooth and Win(x) are both iffy affairs, either separately or in combination.

      2. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

        Re: "And bluetooth with Win10 is an iffy affair"

        And bluetooth with any OS is a disaster waiting to happen *and* is an iffy affair"

        There. Fixed it for you.

      3. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge

        Re: "And bluetooth with Win10 is an iffy affair"

        "Surely you mean "And bluetooth with Win<x> is an iffy affair"?"

        Blootooth is iffy in all circumstances ever from day 1 to today.

        I used it to talk to my car the other day - just as much of a pita as i thought it was going to be.

        1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          Re: "And bluetooth with Win10 is an iffy affair"

          "I used it to talk to my car the other day - just as much of a pita as i thought it was going to be."

          I must be very, very lucky or am not trying to do anything too "clever" with BT. My phone quite happily connects with my car every day, makes and receives calls using the car audio system and copies over the call history and phone book. It even works with the voice control for (almost) total hands free. Of course, I don't use the phone as a media player since the car quite happily plays audio files from a pendrive jammed into the USB port or from it it's own internal 2GB storage. The CD player and FM/DAB radio even work too!

          1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

            Re: "And bluetooth with Win10 is an iffy affair"

            "My phone quite happily connects with my car every day, makes and receives calls using the car audio system"

            Connecting isn't the problem. It's not realising it's disconnected when I take it out of the car that's the problem. It ends up in an offline mode but only infrequently so that I never get to learn the incantation needed to get it working again without a lot of trial and error. Or maybe the trial and error is the incantation.

            1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

              Re: "And bluetooth with Win10 is an iffy affair"

              "Connecting isn't the problem. It's not realising it's disconnected when I take it out of the car that's the problem. It ends up in an offline mode but only infrequently so that I never get to learn the incantation needed to get it working again without a lot of trial and error. Or maybe the trial and error is the incantation."

              That sounds as through there is something wrong with the BT implementation in either the phone or the car. I've not had that issue through three Samsung phones and 6 cars (two different manufacturers). It's looking more and more like I'm very lucky. Maybe it's time to go buy my first lottery ticket?

      4. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: "And bluetooth with Win10 is an iffy affair"

        My experience is that Bluetooth with IOS and Android is even more flaky

      5. Muscleguy Silver badge

        Re: "And bluetooth with Win10 is an iffy affair"

        i have various bluetooth devices for the Macs. Provided the batteries have sufficient juice they are hassle free. I have an Apple wireless trackpad for the old iMac and it's fantastic. Puts itself to sleep so you never need to switch it off.

        I have a Satech wireless keypad for this laptop and it too is absolutely fine. I can connect my Moto phone to it with bluetooth but the Moto software can't handle bluetooth file transfers, just wired.

    2. KjetilS

      With Logitech you can order new receivers and pair them to existing keyboards/mice. I would assume other vendors have similar systems

    3. Mage Silver badge

      bluetooth with Win10 is an iffy affair

      BT keyboards are just iffy. They go to sleep. Take too long to wake, need re-paired if the host sleeps etc. Much as I hate Win10, it's certainly not worse on Win10.

      So I use USB keyboards on my phones, tablets (Android and Win10) etc

      1. Korev Silver badge
        Joke

        Re: bluetooth with Win10 is an iffy affair

        USB? What is this trickery? PS/2* has much nicer round plugs...

        *Seriously, my home keyboard has a PS/2 port, it was made in the days when keyboards didn't fall apart in a couple of seconds...

        1. disgustedoftunbridgewells Silver badge

          Re: bluetooth with Win10 is an iffy affair

          PS/2 is the work of the devil.

          While USB can be plugged in one of three * ways, PS/2 has an infinite number of orientations, all of which will bend the pins, none of which will make it go in the bloody socket.

          * up, down, then it goes in on the third attempt

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: bluetooth with Win10 is an iffy affair

            PC/AT keyboard full-size DIN plugs FTW.

            1. jake Silver badge

              Re: bluetooth with Win10 is an iffy affair

              My Model M keyboards came mostly with RJ49, DE9 and DB25 connectors. A couple have AT DIN plugs, and a couple more have PS/2 plugs. While all work fine with USB adapters, I still think Apple leading the way to get rid of the serial port was a really, really bad idea. For a lot of reasons.

          2. Alan Brown Silver badge

            Re: bluetooth with Win10 is an iffy affair

            "While USB can be plugged in one of three * ways"

            Which is topological proof that USB is a four-dimensional plug.

            1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge
              Boffin

              Re: bluetooth with Win10 is an iffy affair

              "Which is topological proof that USB is a four-dimensional plug."

              Philosophically, isn't that true of all objects? Height, width, depth and duration. Unless you bought it from Wallmart.

          3. Charles 9 Silver badge

            Re: bluetooth with Win10 is an iffy affair

            "While USB can be plugged in one of three * ways, PS/2 has an infinite number of orientations, all of which will bend the pins, none of which will make it go in the bloody socket."

            Not to mention you're not supposed to plug them in hot, as PS/2 ports require a dedicated IRQ (12) and run the risk of freezing the machine if you try a hot-plug.

        2. J.G.Harston Silver badge

          Re: bluetooth with Win10 is an iffy affair

          Ah yes, proper 5-pin DIN :)

          1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

            Re: bluetooth with Win10 is an iffy affair

            "Ah yes, proper 5-pin DIN"

            5-pin DIN? Somewhere I probably still have the first mouse I bought. It has a 9-pin D connector serial cable.

          2. Louis Schreurs BEng

            Ah yes, proper 5-pin DIN

            still use one of those babies, hard to destroy that keyboard

            1. Black Betty

              Re: Ah yes, proper 5-pin DIN

              Had a mate with a bit of a temper, who got physical with his keyboard. His only issue was finding the last keycap.

        3. iron Silver badge

          @Korev

          PS/2!?!? Modern luxury!

          I still own a mechanical Compaq keyboard with a 5-pin DIN plug on it.

          (admitedly it doesn't fit any pc I currently own but it might be useful some day)

          1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

            Re: @Korev

            "I still own a mechanical Compaq keyboard with a 5-pin DIN plug on it.

            (admitedly it doesn't fit any pc I currently own but it might be useful some day)"

            You can get 5-pin DIN to PS/2 adaptors and PS/2 to USB adaptors. :-)

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "And bluetooth with Win10 is an iffy affair. Bah."

      Maybe its shitty Bluetooth products you are trying to connect?

      I have a HP laptop that I use more or less as a desktop... It has a nice 24 inch Fujitsu monitor, plus a Samsung slim Bluetooth speaker for sound and some cheep Bluetooth keyboard I got from banggood for 50p .... the laptop is in a 3d printed cradle on the side of the desk and a mice 10 port powered USB hub for USB needs....

      I have no problems with the keyboard while using windows 10. it does go asleep, and only takes a second or two to wake up, and no issues when the computer sleeps.... no problems with the Bluetooth speaker......

      Maybe I am lucky,,,, I'll go get a ticket for this weeks euro millions...

    5. Charles 9 Silver badge

      I will agree on the Bluetooth and Win10 issues. Rarely have difficulties linking things back up again in 7. May need to prompt it, but it usually hooks back up without issues, even after a lengthy Sleep. Can't say that about 10, where I often have to unpair and repair something to make it work. Then there's the time I can't get a Bluetooth thermal printer to work in 10...at all. Same thing works just fine in 7 (and it's not the driver, either, as I can get it to work when wired up).

      As for the dongles, considered using Logitech ones with the Universal Receiver dongles. Those will let you re-pair devices to dongles, like I did to a trackball on a dongle I originally got with a keyboard.

  5. malle-herbert Silver badge
    Facepalm

    The 'G' key ?

    Isn't that the one almost in the middle of the frikking keyboard ?

    I call bullsh*t on that one !

    1. cbars

      Re: The 'G' key ?

      A stack of stuff next to keyboard with papers slanting off onto centre?

      Keyboard upside down resting at an angle?

      Foreign (non qwerty) arrangement?

      Plausible...

      1. Tigra 07 Silver badge
        Meh

        Re: The 'G' key ?

        How did said user log in with the keyboard pumping out constant Gs?

        1. Dave 126 Silver badge

          Re: The 'G' key ?

          > How did said user log in with the keyboard pumping out constant Gs?

          It's possible the docking station only started working after log on.

    2. JeffyPoooh Silver badge
      Pint

      Re: The 'G' key ?

      Well, the precise 'G' spot can be difficult to find at first. But with some experimentation and experience, one can learn to reliably hit it, time after time after time. To be clear, I'm referring to exactly where to apply the pressure to elicit the desired response.

      I mean: From the keyboard !!

      1. Chris G Silver badge

        Re: The 'G' key ?

        There are many people who have spent lifetimes looking for the G spot and failed to find it so Roger should consider himself lucky.

        1. Voyna i Mor Silver badge

          Re: The 'G' key ?

          "There are many people who have spent lifetimes looking for the G spot and failed to find it so Roger should consider himself lucky."

          A lifetime of happy Rogering, in fact?

          1. Tigra 07 Silver badge
            Pint

            Re: Voyna

            "There are many people who have spent lifetimes looking for the G spot and failed to find it so Roger should consider himself lucky"

            They're a lot easier to find in men

      2. jake Silver badge

        Re: The 'G' key ?

        I know there's a joke left in there somewhere, but I can't quite put my finger on it.

  6. cbars

    missed opportunity

    The poor user! Of course they thought it was random machines in the office, *because* they weren't aware of the antenna above their heads!

    Roger should have switched off those, the user would have noticed an immediate improvement and Roger could have published the findings in a scientific journal and renamed Electromagnetic hypersensitivity to "Rogers RadioDodger Syndrome"!

    He should look 'em up

    1. Symon Silver badge
      Childcatcher

      Re: missed opportunity

      "ignorant of the three huge mobile phone antennae"

      To be fair, those antennas are designed to radiate power horizontally outwards, not downwards. So, there wouldn't be much signal below them anyway.

      1. cbars

        Re: missed opportunity

        Ha! Up vote for you

        Although if you're complaining about negative energy waves, the explanation of orthogonal emission will go over your head, in more ways than one

      2. Alan Brown Silver badge

        Re: missed opportunity

        "To be fair, those antennas are designed to radiate power horizontally outwards, "

        Not that it would have mattered.

        In the period between antennas being erected and transmitters being installed there would almost always be a flurry of complaints about radiation causing people to have XYZ problems. Usually before the feeder cables had even been run.

        Nice to get those actually. Log 'em, take notes, get all symptoms, etc and encourage as much detail as you can get. It means you have good evidence of who your crackpots are before things go live and can be extremely useful later on.

        1. Charles 9 Silver badge

          Re: missed opportunity

          Trouble is, what if one of them is crazy enough to bring in something like an oscilloscope...and it's readout supports him/her?

          1. Roger Greenwood

            Re: missed opportunity

            Try getting a user to hold a scope probe and watch the 50hz hum jump. Shirley this proves the user is radiating and is the source of the problem!

            1. Daedalus Silver badge
              Coat

              Re: missed opportunity

              If there are fluorescent lights anywhere nearby an oscilloscope will register all kinds of EM noise, especially if you turn up the sensitivity. I once helped a poor undergrad with his desperately compromised measurements by the simple act of wrapping his probe wires in, yes, tinfoil.

              Hat optional.

              Coat necessary.

      3. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: missed opportunity

        "So, there wouldn't be much signal below them anyway."

        Now try explaining that to those objecting to near-by mobile phone masts. And also explain that when they connect the mobile transmitter next to their head to a more distant mast it has to transmit at higher power and there's this thing called the inverse square law.

    2. Alistair Silver badge
      Windows

      Re: missed opportunity

      @cbars:

      You've been binge watching Murdoch Mysteries haven't you?

      1. Daedalus Silver badge
        Coat

        Re: missed opportunity

        You're right there was a missed opportunity! Inform cray cray lady that antennas are on the top of the building pumping out electro-magnetic-black-hole-inducing-zeta-rays. Cray Lady panics, resigns and leaves tech person in peace.

        She'll get her lead lined coat now...

  7. GlenP Silver badge

    I've never been a huge fan of wireless keyboards and mice in the office environment.

    Had the boss of a sister company which we used to support decide he and his chief oppo "had" to have a cordless mouse each so, contrary to policy, went out and bought them from PC World* at vast expense. These days it wouldn't happen but things weren't very sophisticated back then and he couldn't understand why his cursor kept moving randomly. Although the two mice were in different offices the desks were actually effectively back-to-back with a thin plasterboard partition between so kept interfering with each other.

    *The same person once bought a Sony Vaio laptop from the same source. It was a DSG Retail special brought in directly from Japan and apparently made up of left-over bits. It failed a year later, just out of warranty, with zero support or driver availability.

    1. Anonymous South African Coward Silver badge

      I've never been a huge fan of wireless keyboards and mice in the office environment.

      Same here. Wired is much better. As is, I'm using wired keyboards.

      Tried wireless once, it is nice - until the battery runs flat and you're in the middle of something urgent (server resuscitation, data rescue etc)....

      1. Richard 81

        Wireless keyboard is fine, but largely pointless. Wireless mice are heaver, which give me noticeable pain in old carpal tunnels.

        1. Dave 126 Silver badge

          Some wireless mice are fairly lightweight. My preference is for a wireless mouse because even gentle drag from the cord is distracting, and also the best tracking mice ( Logitech Darkfield ) are only available as wireless. These things work flawlessly on glass, which makes for a lovely low friction surface.

          For carpel tunnel complaints, they say the best thing is to vary your input periodically, so running a mouse as well as a graphics tablet or trackpoint might help. I know one person who trained themselves to use a mouse with their left hand (it took them a week, they tell me) so they could swap every hour.

          1. Korev Silver badge

            I know one person who trained themselves to use a mouse with their left hand (it took them a week, they tell me) so they could swap every hour.

            I had some tendonitis in my fingers a few years ago from [computer] mice and also the automated pipettes in cell culture. I started switching hands quite often for both tasks which appeared to sort it.

            1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

              Mousing left-handed is surprisingly easy. Compared with trying to write with the wrong hand. Or taking a left-handed shot in pool.

              It's not quite as comfortable as doing it right-handed, but the few times I've had to do it for a few minutes have been fine. I hate laptop track pads with either hand, far more than mousing with the wrong one.

              1. SkippyBing Silver badge

                'Mousing left-handed is surprisingly easy. Compared with trying to write with the wrong hand. Or taking a left-handed shot in pool.'

                I started doing it because I was having issues with my right hand/should/back, partially due to an old injury which makes my right hand cramp up. I've since found it also makes it easier to take notes, answer the phone, etc. and keep using the computer. At home I use a track ball, because it lets me clutter up my desk more...

                1. jake Silver badge

                  "Mousing left-handed is surprisingly easy. Compared with trying to write with the wrong hand. Or taking a left-handed shot in pool."

                  I'm ambidextrous when it comes to Mousing and Snooker/Billiards (POOL? What is this? Redneck-ville?). I don't know why as I never practiced either, it's just the way it is. I can write equally well right or left handed ... but as a lefty, I write in an almost perfect mirror-image of my right side. Again, I haven't a clue why.

              2. J.G.Harston Silver badge

                I do so much two-handed typing I'd love to get a foot-controlled mouse. And when transcribing audio tapes a remote control for my tape recorder would be paradise. They had them in a load of GP surgeries I did upgrade work in a few years ago, I should have noted what they were.

          2. pɹɐʍoɔ snoɯʎuouɐ

            "I know one person who trained themselves to use a mouse with their left hand (it took them a week, they tell me) so they could swap every hour."

            Back in the days I did desktop support for AEAT, Going from desk to desk fixing peoples problems I soon learned it was easier to learn to use a mouse both left and right handed.

            You would turn up to fix someone PEBKAC issues and the desk would be covered in paper work that you dare not touch (official secrets and all that nonsense) to be able to move the mouse over to the left side (i am a lefty), It was just quicker to learn keyboard shortcuts and use the mouse right handed...

            1. Paul Cooper

              For many years I worked for a boss who was left-handed. I rapidly learnt to use a mouse left-handed!

          3. FBee

            Eithermouse

            I have both right/left mice with properly orientated cursors operating simultaneously and trained via Eithermouse (as in Either or...) although every "new" mouse gets assigned a consecutive "number" meaning my two current mice are Mouse6/Mouse7

          4. Milton Silver badge

            "Some wireless mice are fairly lightweight. My preference is for a wireless mouse because even gentle drag from the cord is distracting ..."

            BluTackiPedia: of the 10,000 Uses for BluTack, listed at Number #6,741 is "Tack down the rodent's tail at the edge of the desk with about four inches to spare".

            I too found the drag of the tail irritating, and found My Malleable Mate was just the ticket.

            In case anyone's interested (and you really, really aren't), at #7,173 is "Stop the bloody USB hub sliding all ovet the place", with a late, topical entry at #103: "Secure Faraday-Bacofoil Around Imbecile".

          5. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

            "I know one person who trained themselves to use a mouse with their left hand (it took them a week, they tell me) so they could swap every hour."

            What? Have to clear two patches of desktop to use a mouse on?

            1. Alan Brown Silver badge

              "What? Have to clear two patches of desktop to use a mouse on?"

              I did this for a while. Mainly because of a cat.

              Said moggie would decide he needed attention by sitting on whatever rodent I happened to be using.

    2. Christian Berger Silver badge

      "Sony Vaio laptop ... It failed a year later, just out of warranty, with zero support or driver availability."

      Well Sony once offered a portable Digital Beta offline editor which essentially was a laptop docked to some specialized video equipment... they used a Thinkpad for that.

    3. DailyLlama
      Angel

      "I've never been a huge fan of wireless keyboards and mice in the office environment."

      Nor me. At my first job, we had several people get "upgraded" to wireless mice, back when they were only available with a two channel switch. Problem was that there were more than two people in the office...

      So all we would do if we wanted a laugh was flip the switch on our mice and start moving it in circles and randomly clicking until we heard someone else swearing, then we'd stop. Awfully childish, but very funny.

      1. Aladdin Sane Silver badge

        We've been given wireless mice and keyboards ready for an eventual roll-out of laptops to replace our desktops. Mouse is okay but the keyboard is RIDICULOUSLY flimsy with shite key travel.

    4. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

      Sony Vaio

      Eww. Run away, run away now.

      (We had a copule of these at a remote site - local manager had bought them then demanded that we "make them work". Horrible bits of tat that went wrong if someone even breathed near them).

    5. NightFox

      othing wrong with wireless keyboards.

    6. theN8

      "Although the two mice were in different offices the desks were actually effectively back-to-back with a thin plasterboard partition between so kept interfering with each other."

      We had a similar jolly in a firm I worked for 10+ years ago. Some bigwig decided that the "clutter free desk" policy meant we should give everyone wireless keyboards and mice. Sadly, the allotted budget to implement this for 130 staff - mixed in with whatever kickback this tie-wearing-jobsworth from the supplier - meant that we ended up with some junk that, instead of "pairing" like most wireless kit - had 4 channels to choose from. Well, you can just imagine the hilarity that ensued.

      Luckily - we'd had the foresight to keep the old kit.

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        the "clutter free desk"

        They'll tell you "a clear desk is the sign of a clear mind". What it really means is that an empty desk is the sign of an empty head.

        1. Charles 9 Silver badge

          "They'll tell you "a clear desk is the sign of a clear mind". What it really means is that an empty desk is the sign of an empty head."

          Had a sign that noted this. It said, "A cluttered desk means a cluttered mind. So what does an empty desk mean?"

    7. Alan Brown Silver badge

      "I've never been a huge fan of wireless keyboards and mice in the office environment."

      Nor me for more or less the same reason

      "things weren't very sophisticated back then"

      They're not that sophistocated now. Back then they didn't have authentication, so typing on one would result in all receivers picking up the characters. These days they just mutually interfere - which is almost as bad when you have more than a couple in close proximity.

    8. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      "the two mice ... kept interfering with each other."

      And that, folks, is how you get baby mice.

  8. Potemkine! Silver badge

    BOFH excuse generator is handy in those cases.

    When I face people fearing negative waves, I explain it comes from the dark spots on the Sun which emit a lot of negative energy....

    1. Anonymous Coward Silver badge
      Devil

      Get a car battery. Put a vertical line over the negative terminal's label. You now have a great supply of positive energy to balance things out.

      Now attach the battery to the user and promptly defenestrate.

    2. Tim Seventh
      Thumb Up

      BOFH excuse generator is handy in those cases.

      Something's “sending out very negative waves”? It's probably because 'Server depressed, needs Prozac'.

      This came right out from the BOFH excuse generator.

      1. Aladdin Sane Silver badge

        Re: 'Server depressed, needs Prozac'

        Does it have terrible pain in all the diodes down its left hand side?

        1. Antron Argaiv Silver badge
          Thumb Up

          Re: 'Server depressed, needs Prozac'

          How appropriate, what with the 50th anniversary of 2001, and all.

          "I think you know, just as well as I do, what the problem is, Dave"

          // no HAL9000 icon?

        2. Louis Schreurs BEng

          Re: 'Server depressed, needs Prozac' terrible pain in all the diodes

          Some resistors are also running below optimum temperature ( in Kelvin that is)

    3. katrinab Silver badge
      Happy

      "BOFH excuse generator is handy in those cases"

      The cause of the problem is:

      Excess condensation in cloud network

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Incredible that the excuse generator is still going.

    5. BostonEddie

      As the late Johnny Hart of BC comics noted, if you put batteries in a flashlight backwards you get a darksucker.

  9. GrumpenKraut Silver badge
    Facepalm

    brainectomy and what it does to your intellect

    There was (is?) folks that believed that the printed bar codes on products send out some sort of bad radiation (I am NOT making this up).

    One company helpfully made sheets of paper with some circles and symbols printed on it. You were supposed to put each item on it for at least five minutes to neutralize the radiation. Having more than one obviously speeds up the process. These where for 30 bucks a piece.

    1. GrumpenKraut Silver badge
      Devil

      Re: brainectomy and what it does to your intellect

      FFS, here it is: http://whale.to/b/barcodes.html (I could make that a link but do not want to).

      1. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge

        Re: brainectomy and what it does to your intellect

        The radionic effects of the barcodes are activated by MOVING LIGHT. Laser scanning of the barcode will activate its bioenergetic toxicity. A simple flashlight will do the same thing to a lesser degree. The sun going up and down through the window will also activate the barcodes on products in your kitchen. Fluorescent lights, which actually flash at 120 times per second, activate them quite strongly. Simply moving the barcode through space, back and forth, perpendicular to the direction of the lines, also energizes it Dr. Quinton had unlocked the secret.

        fascinating!

        1. David Nash Silver badge
          Facepalm

          Re: brainectomy and what it does to your intellect

          I can't bring myself to open that link, I will get too annoyed.

        2. GrumpenKraut Silver badge
          Happy

          Re: brainectomy and what it does to your intellect

          > fascinating!

          Weapon grad loons for sure. Our esteemed "Faux Science Slayer" could join them any time.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: brainectomy and what it does to your intellect

        @GrumpenKraut; That page is... interesting.

  10. Richard 81

    "Negative waves, man!"

    Henceforth, the offending user shall be known as Oddball.

    1. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: "Negative waves, man!"

      Oddball was, if not technical ("I just ride them man, I don't know what makes them tick"), at least fairly pragmatic in his application of technology ("we've modified then to go backwards as quickly as they go forward.. we like to think we cannot if trouble as quickly as we get into it")

    2. Sgt_Oddball Silver badge
      Devil

      Re: "Negative waves, man!"

      I resent the insinuation.....man.

    3. a_yank_lurker Silver badge

      Re: "Negative waves, man!"

      Moriarity Oddball to Moriarity "Stop thinking those negative waves, man"

  11. Crisp Silver badge
    Boffin

    Negative energy waves

    Clearly an inexperienced technician.

    All he needed to do was reverse the polarity. Ticket closed.

    1. David Nash Silver badge
      Joke

      Re: Negative energy waves

      If they are waves then it's likely and plausible that they are alternating between negative and positive anyway. So on average nothing.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Negative energy waves

      Hmph:

      https://arxiv.org/abs/1408.0128

  12. Kingbob

    Reverse the polarity!

    “sending out very negative waves”

    Thats where you point to the 2 pin power connector on the laptops power supply brick, let them see you unplug it, rotate it 180 degrees, plug it back in, and say you've "Reversed the polarity of the power supply, so any negative waves should now be positively charged" :D

    1. Anonymous South African Coward Silver badge
      Happy

      Re: Reverse the polarity!

      Can't upvote this enough.

      But HP power bricks have 3 prongs... supposedly the same trick will also help with that one... :)

      1. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge

        Re: Reverse the polarity!

        "But HP power bricks have 3 prongs"

        dosent matter , just take a 2 prong plug and socket to the desk . The user will not suss thats its not their psu , or that its not connected .

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: "But HP power bricks have 3 prongs"

          If truth is a three-edged sword[1], then why can't polarity be a three-pronged... er... fork?

          [1] According to Vorlons, IIIRC.

    2. Korev Silver badge
      Coat

      Re: Reverse the polarity!

      It's probably best not to mention alternating current at that point; it would probably Hertz their poor little brains...

      1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge
        Happy

        Re: Reverse the polarity!

        Ohm my God, that's a poor pun...

        1. Swarthy Silver badge
          Trollface

          Re: Reverse the polarity!

          Ohm my God, that's a poor pun...
          And you couldn't resist that one either? It's shocking what passes for humour in thes pages.

          You should all be grounded.

          1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

            Re: Reverse the polarity!

            I'm planning to go on the comedy circuit.

          2. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

            Re: Reverse the polarity!

            These puns are shocking! You should be stopped in short order! The frequency of this sort of comment in the current thread has the potential to drain my batteries.

          3. Louis Schreurs BEng

            Re: Reverse the polarity!

            I resist or

        2. GrumpenKraut Silver badge

          Re: Reverse the polarity!

          > Ohm my God, that's a poor pun...

          Guess he couldn't resist.

          1. onceuponatime

            Re: Reverse the polarity!

            Resistance is futile, you will be assimilated.

            1. jake Silver badge

              Re: Reverse the polarity!

              Beg pardon? Watt's that?

            2. Louis Schreurs BEng

              Re: Reverse the polarity!

              Resistance ????????????? Ohm my god!!!!!!!!!

    3. Charles 9 Silver badge

      Re: Reverse the polarity!

      "Thats where you point to the 2 pin power connector on the laptops power supply brick, let them see you unplug it, rotate it 180 degrees, plug it back in, and say you've "Reversed the polarity of the power supply, so any negative waves should now be positively charged" :D"

      One problem. US power supplies tend to be polarized...if not three-pin. Both of these can only plug in ONE way. Heck, even alarm clocks are polarized these days. Tough to find a device that isn't polarized unless it's internationally-rated.

  13. Scott 53

    Wireless technology

    The IT department manager (an accountant) once phoned the help desk to find out why his wireless mouse wasn't working while he was working from home. We eventually asked whether the receiver was inserted properly, to be told it was definitely plugged in - to the docking station on his desk. In the office.

  14. Dr_N Silver badge
    Trollface

    "The Waves"

    Life must be difficult for these people what with that huge source of waves hanging in the sky during daylight.

    1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

      Re: "The Waves"

      that huge source of waves hanging in the sky during daylight

      I've heard of the mythical Daystar. Being in the UK (and working in IT), I've never seen it.

    2. phuzz Silver badge
      Boffin

      Re: "The Waves"

      I've always wondered why people who are scared of electro-magnetic waves aren't more bothered by the sun.

      After all, it does emit harmful EM waves, that's why we wear sun cream to block out the UV.

      1. GrumpenKraut Silver badge

        Re: "The Waves"

        > After all, it does emit harmful EM waves, that's why we wear sun cream to block out the UV.

        But, but... these are natural waves, whereas evil technology emits dangerous synthetic waves!

        Fun vomit fact: I didn't make this one up.

        1. jake Silver badge

          Re: "The Waves"

          It's like the "synthetic pesticide" crowd. Try pointing out that plants make natural pesticides that are just as likely to cause cancer in rodents as the man made ones ... and that because they are produced within the plants they can't be washed off. Also they can be over 10,000 times more concentrated than the residual man made ones that can be washed off.

          Obvious answer: "Man made chemicals are evil. They cause cancer in rats."

          But what about the rodent based research showing plant chemicals do too?

          "It's OK, I'm not a rodent."

          The mind absolutely boggles ...

          1. Louis Schreurs BEng

            Re: "The Waves"

            Maaaaaaaaaaan, it's CHEMICAL !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: "The Waves"

            "But what about the rodent based research showing plant chemicals do too?"

            They'll just counter that they're eating processed plant chemicals that render them synthetic and EEEEVIL. It's not like they can prove that the rats got cancer directly from eating the plants...especially since it can also be demonstrated that those plants HAVE been (repeatedly) EATEN...meaning something out there is NOT susceptible to the supposed carcinogens.

    3. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: "The Waves"

      "that huge source of waves hanging in the sky during daylight."

      If you think that's a problem what about night. The Earth is now between you and all those waves. What's it doing to them as they pass through it to get to you? It doesn't bear thinking about.

  15. Steven Raith

    Missed opportunity...

    Roger’s response? “At least it wasn’t a ghost!”

    Pfft. Should have gone full scooby doo, given the symptoms.

    Roger’s response? “At least it wasn’t a G-G-G-G-GHOST!”

    Still, Roger probably wanted to keep his job...

    With apologies,

    Steven R

  16. monty75 Silver badge

    Deus ex mac

    A person of my acquaintance was complaining that her Mac was typing random nonsense of its own accord. After a bit of investigation it transpired she'd somehow managed to hit the hotkey combination that turned on voice dictation and the Mac was merrily trying to transcribe the office chatter around her.

    1. Anonymous IV

      Re: Deus ex mac

      That story reminds me of someone being thwarted in his endeavour to get hold of his "highly-urgent" printing.

      "What's all this rubbish coming off on the printer?" he irately inquired.

      "Must be one of your memos, Dave!" we replied, wickedly...

      [Yes, Dave was his real name!]

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Switch to...

    Woo-fi...

    1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge
      Unhappy

      Re: Switch to...

      I've got a user who's "electronically sensitive". She can't hold a phone to her ear without it giving her headaches. This includes mobile phones, DECT ones and now also corded old-style phones apparently.

      turns out this can be "fixed" by her wearing a bluetooth headset. I'm saying nothing - lest she insist on a pair of baked bean tins connected by string next.

      Bluetooth is powered by ancient Viking bloodlust right? Wait til she finds out the side-effects of this, are an uncontrollable desire to loot monateries.

      1. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge

        Re: Switch to...

        Get one of those earth wrist straps for electronics and insist she wears it on H&S grounds.

        ...and a chainmail hat

      2. David Nash Silver badge

        Re: Switch to...

        I don't think I could remain silent in that situation. Leave various pieces of info about how Bluetooth works lying around. etc.

        Actually true double-blind testing has shown that there is no such thing as sensitivity to EM radiation in the ranges that these people mean it (ie. radio, not light).

        1. Alan Brown Silver badge

          Re: Switch to...

          "there is no such thing as sensitivity to EM radiation in the ranges that these people mean it "

          Oh, actually there is.

          But hitting people with 100kW+ at 20MHz or 2-500W at 2GHz is frowned on.

      3. GrumpenKraut Silver badge

        Re: Switch to...

        > Bluetooth is powered by ancient Viking bloodlust right?

        The way some of these head sets sound I'd expect something even more sinister going on.

      4. jake Silver badge
        Pint

        Re: Switch to...

        "an uncontrollable desire to loot monateries"

        Nice, fitting typoe. If on purpose, a tip o' t'at t'ye. This round's on me :-)

  18. Clockworkseer

    Real waves

    I once had a legitimate case of "my router is hurting my brain."

    I was working in the sales department for An ISP who provided A Wireless Router/Modem/Hub Type Thing. Got a call one day from a chap who'd been told to call us to buy a non-wireless modem from us by tech support, as the wi-fi from his was interfering quite badly with his Bone-anchored hearing aid.

    Cue me spending a minute talking him through turning the wifi off on his router, saving him about £30 in cost and doing the job that tech support hadn't done.

    Sort of glad I dont work there any more.

    1. Anonymous South African Coward Silver badge

      Re: Real waves

      Interesting to know that wifi can interfere with hearing aids.

      Glad mine is not susceptible to that...

    2. Korev Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Re: Real waves

      Sort of glad I dont work there any more.

      Helping out someone with a disability is surely a good thing though.

      1. Clockworkseer

        Re: Real waves

        True, it is. Howver the only reason I had to was because the people tasked with the support job hadn't done it and just told him to buy a replacement (not "we'll send you a replacement" but "you must buy one.")

        Tech support wasn't actually even remotely in my remit at that job, but I like to think I helped where I could (working around KPI's, call stats, and a SELLSELLSELL mentality.)

        Hence glad to be out of there.

  19. Johnny Canuck

    Went on a call once where the user was complaining of "stuck key" message at boot. Turned out she had placed a magnetic strip with the company's name on it above the caps lock/num lock/scroll lock leds. Removing the magnet removed the message. It was an older PS/2 keyboard.

  20. Amos1

    "Roger"? The name should have been "Moriarity"

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ncbEucjsNFU - I'm going to have to watch Kelly's Heroes again tonight.

  21. W4YBO

    Better Call Saul!

    Is the users name Charles McGill?

  22. Tigra 07 Silver badge
    Pint

    With all this talk of energy waves is the person in question a Scientologist?

  23. jake Silver badge

    Sure-fire cure for so-called "electromagnetic hypersensitivity".

    A Crookes radiometer.

    In extreme cases, dot a couple around the room. In almost thirty years, I have never seen it fail to alleviate the symptoms in those affected. Obviously, the radiometer is "using up" all that bad energy ...

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Better call saul

  25. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

    The solution for such people is obvious

    Since their issue is clearly with electromagnetic radiation, the solution is simple. Put them in a place where no electromagnetic radiation of any sort can reach them. A sealed lead-lined box encased in 2 metre-thick concrete and buried under a mountain should do the trick.

    Now, about those pesky neutrinos...

    1. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge

      Re: The solution for such people is obvious

      There is a town where EM radiation is banned - it interferes with the telescopes.

      If you have a cellphone switched on the roving EM police come and kick your doors in!

      there is a tom scott video on youtube about the place.

      1. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

        Re: The solution for such people is obvious

        There is a town where EM radiation is banned - it interferes with the telescopes.

        It's Green Bank West Virginia, and EM in a certain range is banned, because of the telescope. As far as I can tell, it's anything that emits in the radio/microwave band that is forbidden, so that includes phones, wi-fi, bluetooth, FM and AM radio, microwave ovens and petrol cars (because of radio interference from spark plugs) amongst other things.

  26. Wade Burchette

    Reminds me of a story I read about

    This has been a long time ago and I wished I saved the link. Anyway, as the story goes AT&T put up a new mobile phone tower in a neighborhood. As soon as it was erected, the neighbors started to complain about headaches. They complained so much and so often that the local news became involved. Turns out, the tower didn't even have electricity yet so it wasn't operational. It goes to show you the power of the mind.

    But I do have a link. Many people have moved to Green Bank, West Virginia (and the surrounding area) because they are "allergic" to cell phones and WiFi. They are not, of course. It is all psychosomatic. Furthermore, the Green Bank radio telescope was placed where it was at because it meant to study radio waves from space -- the mountains block all terrestrial radio waves and none are allowed in the area. How can your mind distinguish between a radio wave from earth and from space? It can't, of course.

    I do know people who sensitive to the noise these devices emit. But everyone I know like that doesn't get headaches from the devices, just that the low hissing noise that it makes bothers them and so absent any background noise their mind just focuses on that hiss. But that is different, that is sensitive hearing not allergic reaction.

    1. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge
      Coat

      greenbank

      Thats the 2nd time ive posted something today , only to realise a minute later someone has said the same thing , but better .

      I'll get my coat ....

    2. Antron Argaiv Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Re: Reminds me of a story I read about

      Makes it easier for the NSA to eavesdrop on them :-)

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sugar_Grove_Station

    3. David Nash Silver badge

      Re: Reminds me of a story I read about

      The difference with the hiss is that it's real!

      1. Alan Brown Silver badge

        Re: Reminds me of a story I read about

        "The difference with the hiss is that it's real!"

        Yup. I used to confound people in the early days of analogue mobile phones by taking mine out a few seconds before it rang.

        No biggie - I could hear it clicking as the base polled it. they couldn't.

    4. Fading Silver badge
      Alien

      Re: Reminds me of a story I read about

      How can your mind distinguish between a radio wave from earth and from space?

      Easy, the ones from space are green.

    5. ma1010 Silver badge
      Go

      Re: Reminds me of a story I read about

      Ham radio people know all about how antennas cause all sorts of non-existent problems. That's why some of us will put one up a new antenna and NOT hook it up to anything for a week or two. That gives all the local idiots time to complain about how your antenna is affecting their cable TV reception or causing messages from UFOs to come in on their fillings or whatever. Then you smile and say "Really? That's interesting because that antenna isn't hooked up to anything at all just now."

      1. Antron Argaiv Silver badge

        Re: Reminds me of a story I read about

        Ham Radio antennas only work if they are installed in the dead of winter.

        ...no leaves, makes it easier to get the line over the tree branch...

        (extra points if you can feel your fingers when tightening the connectors)

      2. Steve Aubrey

        Re: Reminds me of a story I read about

        ma1010: "that antenna isn't hooked up to anything at all just now."

        Oh, no - passive antenna interference!!

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Reminds me of a story I read about

        Can you not go one step further and put up a fake antenna too? A carbon fibre or plastic one?

      4. Charles 9 Silver badge

        Re: Reminds me of a story I read about

        "Then you smile and say "Really? That's interesting because that antenna isn't hooked up to anything at all just now.""

        Thing is, what if they come back, "Oh, yeah? Well explain THIS!" and present you before/after oscilloscope readings?

    6. Louis Schreurs BEng

      Re: Reminds me of a story I read about

      Whi did I start grinning and laughing just from the second sentence????????????????????

  27. Chairman of the Bored Silver badge

    Clash of cultures

    New-age intern told my master technician - a retired Marine Gunnery Sargent - that his chronic pain was due to something ... Mumble mumble ... Aura ... Wibble ... Touch healing ... Personally I think it's due to a lifetime of very hard service.

    Gunny explodes, "Look here you [deleted] freak show! If you just so much as try to grab my chi, I'm gonna rip your ying off and shove it in your yang!"

    Good news for him? I don't have to worry about this guy "feeling waves" off his computer!" Love that guy. Yes, he's throwing reason EEO is on speed dial, but love him anyways.

  28. juice Bronze badge

    Apple Mac wireless mice are fun...

    As they're bluetooth and can connect to two laptops at the same time. This can occasionally cause some confusion...

    I've also got a friend who swears by a long list of magical/religious concepts, drawn from a melange of occasionally contradictory sources; crystal-energy, reiki, dragons, demons, ghosts, telepathic messages, curses, tarot cards, scrying, etc, etc, etc.

    In fact, they swear that many of these things have a measurable physical impact, but oddly, any time there's an opportunity to check this, there's some obtuse reason why they can't be tested[*]

    It's especially strange since they're usually flat-broke and James Randi still has a 1 million dollar reward outstanding for anyone who can produce evidence of ESP and telepathy, crystal energies and Reiki would all seem to fall very firmly in that category...

    [*] Or, as happens with increasingly annoying frequency "Oh, you don't understand because you're a muggle". I didn't particularly like Harry Potter *before* people started using that term as a put-down...

    1. Stevie Silver badge

      Re: Apple Mac wireless mice are fun...

      Upvoted, but the JREF $10e6 Challenge is no longer offered to psychics, dowsers and other Credulous Saucer Loons.

      JREF Status as of Sept 1st, 2015.

      1. juice Bronze badge

        Re: Apple Mac wireless mice are fun...

        > Upvoted, but the JREF $10e6 Challenge is no longer offered to psychics, dowsers and other Credulous Saucer Loons.

        Not quite - the summary implies they've outright stopped, but if you read the full thing, they've just tightened up the process. To quote from yon link:

        "We plan on continuing the Million Dollar Challenge as a means for educating the public about paranormal claims, but the process for consideration of claims has been changed effective September 1, 2015 [...] JREF will no longer accept applications directly from people claiming to have a paranormal power [...] We anticipate providing minimum required protocols for the preliminary test early next year"

        Admittedly, I've not dug any further to see if they did actually develop these new protocols, and even if they did, I suspect that a lot of charla^H mystics will claim that the new processes are invalid.

        "Of course I can't tell the difference between these two healing crystals when blindfolded - it blocks my chakras!"

    2. Alan Brown Silver badge

      Re: Apple Mac wireless mice are fun...

      "Oh, you don't understand because you're a muggle".

      The point about make-believe is that it we know it's make-believe. When people start taking it seriously, then someone's going to start building churches about it.

  29. a_yank_lurker Silver badge

    Ghost Characters

    I have a rather common cause for ghost characters - cats. They love walking on keyboards and causing all sorts of mischief.

    Note to self: any weird code should be blamed on them.

    1. terrythetech

      Re: Ghost Characters

      Ah, a new twist on the dog ate my homework - the cat deleted my homework

  30. Alan Brown Silver badge

    Mice and carpal tunnel

    On a serious note:

    The _vast_ majority of hand problems with mice come from not using the things correctly.

    You're supposed to lay your fingers _along_ the buttons and _squeeze_ them, not tap with the ends of your digits.

    (Same issue with old morse code keys - poorly trained operators would get carpel tunnel too)

    1. Richard 12 Silver badge

      Re: Mice and carpal tunnel

      Shame that's impossible on Apple mice, because it uses touch to work out left click, right click and wheels.

      Annoys the hell out of me.

    2. Charles 9 Silver badge

      Re: Mice and carpal tunnel

      "You're supposed to lay your fingers _along_ the buttons and _squeeze_ them, not tap with the ends of your digits."

      That still doesn't save you from keyboards, whose keys are so small the ONLY way to use them is to tap. Thus why CTS predates computers. People tap mice because they tap keys, so the fingers have a habitual curve to them. Not to mention the curve makes it easier to make an intention whether or not to double-click.

  31. Adrian Jones

    I worked with someone who insisted on a printer being moved away from her, "because of the ozone" and left notes for the cleaners, not to clean her desk "because of the chemicals".

    Then the colleague opposite her got a new PC with a flat screen monitor, and so she needed her old CRT to be replaced, "because of the radiation". They eventually came to a compromise of swapping monitors. My offer to explain that more "radiation" came out of the back of a CRT (which was now pointed at her) was met with threats of violence. :)

    I currently have a colleague who's very bright, but occasionally *appears* to be quite gullible too. She's started bringing in crystals and talking about their properties and powers, which I'm almost convinced is a wind-up... mostly because she can hardly keep a straight face while talking about them. Or is it a double-bluff?

    1. Antron Argaiv Silver badge
      Coat

      Crystals - I always say I'm not interested unless they're ground to operate at a particular frequency.

      The ones they sell in the psychic shops are very pretty, though.

      Whack 'em hard enough and they'll give you some energy.

      7040 kHz crystal in the pocket

      1. Voyna i Mor Silver badge

        "The ones they sell in the psychic shops are very pretty, though."

        The prettiest crystal I ever had was an ultrasonic band one in a glass vacuum envelope with an octal base. It was a thing of beauty.

        Until we decided to make it into the control element for an oscillator, accidentally applied far too much feedback, and it came right off its supporting wires.

        Perhaps there's a marketing opportunity here finding old ones, putting them on stands and selling them as high efficiency radiation absorbers.

    2. Stork Bronze badge

      Rose quarz

      Is supposed to have a calming effect and it really works! Some colleagues had a crystal in their office, and when someone was wound up a colleague placed it on his desk and he got the hint...

  32. MOH

    The energy waves clearly had an extreme effect on the first user, given that they changed gender twice during the support call!

  33. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Monitor Radiation

    We had a user that insisted their monitor put out "bad radiation" and purchased disks to put on it, her phone, and who knows how many other things.

    Amusingly, the radiation blocking disks were placed on the side opposite the screen, so if they blocked some sort of radiation, it would have probably bounced it back toward them.

    After heartlessly ripping one apart, it "failed to come off the phone properly," I found that they were empty pucks of silicon.

  34. DougS Silver badge

    "Electro sensitives"

    I was talking to a friend of a friend who was a tower tech once, he worked on TV & radio towers, cell towers, those giant windmills etc. His company did a big contract in California's central valley and erected a bunch of new cell tower locations, and their client got served with a cease and desist type lawsuit from someone who lived near one of the new sites claiming all sorts of ailments since that tower went up. Only problem was PG&E had a permitting delay running electricity to the site, so it wasn't even powered on yet!

  35. Barry Rueger Silver badge

    OB Kelly's Heros

    Nominally a Clint Eastwood film, but my money's on Donald Sutherland.

    https://youtu.be/ncbEucjsNFU"

    Why don't you knock it off with them negative waves? Why don't you dig how beautiful it is out here? Why don't you say something righteous and hopeful for a change?

  36. aks

    Positive waves

    Since, as we all agree that mobile phones are the source of negative energy waves, the 3 large antennae on the roof must be emitting lots of positive energy waves and should be encouraged.

  37. elgarak1

    Reminds me of the story where a German mobile phone service installed antennae on the village church. Promptly, the villagers complained about headaches, digestive issues, bone pain, you name it. When the local representative was informed of the issue, he exclaimed: "Oh my goodness! How bad will it be when we finally turn those on?"

    There's another German company who makes a great living by making and selling radio-transparent roof tiles. So nowadays the churches do a church roof renovation, during which the antennae are placed inside the church tower, invisible to the people outside. No complaints.

    1. elgarak1

      I should note that said company also sells radio-OPAQUE building materials. Win-Win.

  38. CheesyTheClown Silver badge

    Allergies to blue LEDs, not WiFi

    I have cured a lot of users ailments due to their allergy to blue LEDs. By turning off the LEDs on Cisco access points, the people suffering the most can sit in peace while using their laptops on WiFi everywhere you disable the lights.

  39. Rasslin ' in the mud

    It isn't just computers!

    A few decades ago, I managed a small general aviation avionics repair shop. Around that time, Cessna introduced BEIGE panels on the front of their radios because their marketing geniuses had concluded grease, oil, and dirt are never present on a flight line. We had one customer who would come in weekly to complain that the navigation receiver was out of whack and needed recalibrating. Every week we would connect the test set and every week the Nav functions were better than spec.

    One week, after performing the ritual check and again finding nothing required adjusting, I noticed the BEIGE front panel was looking rather krufty. I fetched the bottle of Panel Cleaner (Windex (r)), gave it a couple of spritzes and wiped it off. A few days later, the customer came in to say how happy he was we had found the problem with his radio and it was working perfectly!

    As with so many of the other anecdotes in this thread, the moral is don't spend a lot of time looking for a technical solution when psychology can accomplish so much more.

    1. Louis Schreurs BEng
      Devil

      Re: It isn't just computers!

      Since you managed, hence a manager, who get bashed on this site a lot, I would kindly like to point out that avionics always concern aviation; avionics = aviation electronics.

      1. Richard 12 Silver badge

        Re: It isn't just computers!

        But not always general aviation.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Physiological?

      It could be their greasy hands kept slipping, and cleaning it up stopped said slippage on the customer end?

  40. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Sounds alot....

    ...like the woman at work who talked to me about how WIFI wasn't good for you while she was using her work mobile. I told her "Really? I thought it was mobiles that were supposed to be worse". I don't believe in any of that bullshit but I was trying to say in a polite way "You're worrying about nothing"

  41. Stuart Halliday

    Had a customer complaining about radio frequencies with her PC.

    She gets headaches seemingly.

    I suggest she upgrade from 2.4GHz to a 5GHz Wi-Fi dongle.

    She went away happy.

    Didn't like to tell her there was about 20 Wifi networks around her as PC World was next door....

  42. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re. dead keyboards

    I have the opposite problem, about a million USB dongles for old keyboards and mice.

    Re. bluetooth problems with Windows 10, I feel your pain.

    It seems to be that the "old" adaptors worked fine but something about the high density components makes it more flaky than usual.

    Maybe I can do some more research and find out what Microsoft changed to make the Bluetooth flaky because it works perfectly on 7 with the same machine.

    1. TechnicalBen Silver badge

      Re: Re. dead keyboards

      Drivers. Same happened for Bluetooth XP to 7 dongles. Worked fine in XP, stopped in Vista/7. It was as the manufacture never updated the drivers.

      (Don't get me started on 10 changing drivers as well!)

  43. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "but the user explained she wanted to ..."

    Colour me unsurprised.

    If you want hysterics with a healthy dosage of entitlement and complete ignorance, it does tend to be one gender that can supply it on tap.

  44. sisk Silver badge
    Joke

    The user has a computer that produces negative energy? Put them in touch with NASA. They could use that to build an Alcubierre drive.

  45. DeeCee

    I had to change windows default lock screen(the shore cave one) because the dark part had bad energy and it had water in it, and pictures of water have "energy" that doesnt mix with electronic devices and cause them to fail

  46. SeanEllis

    Laundry field ops

    Explain that it's not EMF, but possibly incursions from the Platonic Realms underlying the multiverse. Just take a silver permanent marker and draw a field-expedient containment grid (Dho-Nha geometry should do the trick) on their desktop, and ask them for a single drop of blood to power it. It may work, or they may get taken over by brain-eating feeders in the night, but either way it is unlikely that they will ask you for help again.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Laundry field ops

      I recently discovered Axions. Just blame them. If they can detect them too, I think they could get a Nobel Prize for it!

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