Reply to post: QA

Can't get pranked by your team if nobody in the world can log on



Back in the days of DOS, our Small Systems Group provided systems analysis and software support within the Armed Forces, producing turnkey apps using SuperCalc and Paradox. QA was conducted by a senior civil servant, 'S'.. The analysts detested passing design documents in front of 'S', and the other two programmers were annoyed at having programs rejected for menu screens with "press any key to continue"; Mr S would press the CTRL key, ALT key, ESC key and so forth, before looking up and rejecting with a dry "I pressed several keys, none of them continued. How do you expect end-users to cope?"

I though this was somewhat pedantic, even if he did have a point. I was also very very new in the role.

I wrote a TSR that intercepted the keyboard handler, and when those keys were pressed opened a dos "window" that displayed "F--- Off, S****". Added it to autoexec.bat on his PC, and gleefully told the other two programmers about it. Until the other civil servant, a likeable young lad, told me just how senior S was, and he didn't have a sense of humour. Too late to undo the changes, and too late to recover something I had left on his desk for QA with a very deliberate "press any key to continue" prompt.

Going in to own up, S had just loaded the program from floppy, sees the menu, pressed CTRL, and was greeted with a box in the middle of the screen with the aforementioned message. I'm seeing promotion disappearing out the window, probably with my current rank and a posting to somewhere cold and nasty, when he burst out laughing. "I think I deserved that!" or something in that vein.

After that, he and I got on famously and I never had to submit code for QA; all our stuff was turnkey, no one had ever delved into x86 assembler, or "real programming" as S termed it.

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