Reply to post: Re: Back in the day...

User couldn't open documents or turn on PC, still asked for reference as IT expert

Anonymous Coward
Anonymous Coward

Re: Back in the day...

When punched cards were the mainframe input medium the jobs were submitted in metal trays. At the start of the evening shift there would be so many trays that they were stacked high on the cabinets' work surfaces.

One evening a systems programmer was waiting to take over the mainframe for a dedicated slot. To keep out of the operator's way he stood against the cabinets. He then made himself more comfortable by leaning back into the protruding card trays. A descending eerie silence signalled that there was an emergency off button directly behind them.

To avoid the problem happening again the cabinet under the emergency off button was removed.

The next week the same programmer returned. He warily avoided repeating the mistake - and found a convenient tray-free space - where he leaned back against the same emergency off button.

The button was finally secured by fixing a papertape core ring as a protective surround.

That sort of protection didn't help at another customer. The whole computer centre suddenly went very quiet. An operator then had to try and explain what had possessed him to press the emergency off button by the room's exit door.

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2019