* Posts by Lilolefrostback

75 posts • joined 12 Sep 2010


Sysadmin’s worst client was … his mother! Until his sister called for help


Re: I want a nailed-down-by-default

I usually tell friends to buy a separate computer for their kids and do not give the kids the password to the parents' computer. And to warn the kids that even dreaming of touching the parents' computer would result in a six-month suspension of smart-phone privileges.

If your computer matters to you, do not allow kids to use it. They are far too brave.


Re: Walls can be useful

For folks like that, I fix it and then tell them how to avoid the same, or similar, problems. Thereafter, they are welcome to take it to Geek Squad (or similar). I'm not your Huckleberry.


Re: and also Ahh sub folders Ahh, parents

"Or the Legal executive with every contract that this large oil & gas company were working on, stored on her desktop in folders. There was little to no real estate available on her desktop."

Surely you got her a second screen, thereby solving the problem?

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


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.

Secret weekend office bonk came within inch of killing sysadmin


Re: fibre or fiber

"For speakers of English west of the pond, it's "fiber" - for networking, storage, or diet. Though "fibber" is the same on both sides."

Not strictly correct. In Canada, we speak the Queen's English.

User stepped on mouse, complained pedal wasn’t making PC go faster


Re: Reminds me of a story

Doesn't yours? Poor bugger.

Help desk declared code PEBCAK and therefore refused to help!


Re: daily i wish

As far as the login prompt issue goes, I actually blame the programmer as the focus should have been put in the username box automatically.

User asked help desk to debug a Post-it Note that survived a reboot


Re: Remove the note!

Haven't done that, but I have, on occasion, thought about highlighting a passage in a Word document with a physical high-lighter.

To be fair, I was very blond as a child.


Re: Xerox photcopiers

I've been saying for years, only partially jokingly, that photocopiers ought to come with a 10 year old boy as tech support.


Re: "saying less words"

Thank-you. I hate being the grammar Nazi.


Re: RE: You can never under estimate how stupid some people can be.

There is no such thing as "idiot proof". We idiots are far too ingenious for that.


Re: Dilbert?

Sadly, in the past week I've actually had to email instructions (with screen shots) about how to make a screen shot to a user.

We really need to do a better job of training our users. Most users really know very little about the hardware or software that they use. A small amount of training would result in fewer hell-desk calls and much better use of the systems sitting in front of their faces.



Correct answer: No I don't think you're stupid.

What you're thinking: You're a human being, so, by default, I KNOW you're stupid.

Boss put chocolate cake on aircon controller, to stop people using it


Re: Heating / Aircon

Before you suggest that, look around the office at your co-workers and consider very carefully whether you really want to see them nekkid.

Support team discovers 'official' vendor paper doesn't rob you blind


You're assuming that the third party vendor was selling the labels for the specific purpose of labelling tapes for the specified machine. Much more likely they were generic labels that happened to be the correct dimension and compatible with the customer's printer. The third-party vendor is unlikely to have the least inkling about the tape library, much less tested its labels on it.

Sysadmin tells user CSI-style password guessing never w– wait WTF?! It's 'PASSWORD1'!


Re: I had a boss that kept forgetting his password.

For people with that poor a memory, put the password on a business card and stick it in your wallet.

Most people do a decent job of protecting their wallet. Anything in said wallet will be protected as well.

Linux-loving lecturer 'lost' email, was actually confused by Outlook


Re: Client support, we've heard about it

Welcome to the real world, where your new computer comes with Windows 10, as opposed to the Windows XP found on your old computer. Or HP Unix instead of Solaris. Or the new ribbon interface on Word. Heck, the user interface on my first CD player was radically different from the UI on my mom's phonograph. Maybe we should dump on the CD player manufacturers?

Change is the only constant in this world (well, that and the presence of idiots).

Part of the problem is that we don't really train our end users properly. We teach them that to do task X, you click here, then you click here, then you click here. They don't understand why they do these things, or what each step accomplishes; they only know to blindly follow a sequence. Part of the fault belongs to IT. Part of the fault belongs to training. Part of the fault belongs to the users' management. And part of the fault belongs to the users.


There is no such thing as "idiot-proof". We idiots are far too ingenious.

Fighter pilot shot down laptops with a flick of his copper-plated wrist


New chip

I did diagnostic software for a militarized microcomputer. It was a back-plane design. One day, I got a work order: computers with the latest rev of the timing card keep crashing. So, set up a duplicate system and, yes, it failed diagnostics. Put a card extender into the back-plane so we can put probes on the new timing card. Everything worked fine. Rats.

It took two of us a week with a logic analyser. The original microcode violated some of the rules, and did a read/modify/write in a single cycle. Not supposed to do that but it worked and it saved a single microcode instruction. Turns out, it worked because one of the chips on the timing card was slow enough internally that certain outputs stayed high long enough for the operation to complete. But the latest rev used a new revision of the chip. While it met the same specs, internally it was faster, so some of the outputs dropped faster than they used to, and the microcode cratered.

Mucho satisfaction finding and fixing that bug.

Sysadmin finds insecure printer, remotely prints 'Fix Me!' notice


Re: Take it further and don't say shit - ever.

Sadly, I have to agree. There are far too many bat-crap crazy people out there who will make you out to be the bad guy. Unless you have a direct interest being threatened, just move along quietly.

PC repair chap lets tech support scammer log on to his PC. His Linux PC


As far as surveys go, I lie. Not on every question, but some of them. My goal is to make surveys sufficiently inaccurate that people stop paying for surveys.

Waiter? There's a mouse in my motherboard and this server is greasy!


When I was in UNI, early 80s, I spent a summer working at a local restaurant. It was sufficiently disturbing that it took more than 2 years before I could stomach eating at any restaurant.

User rats out IT team for playing games at work, gets them all fired


Re: he should not have needed to

It's not the offices that are the problem; it's the gits occupying said offices. My manager has to deal with issues that I really do not want to hear about (and that I really should not hear about). Giving him a proper office with a proper door makes it possible for me to remain ignorant about those issues. Giving him an enhanced cubicle means that sensitive information will land on unauthorized ears - dreadful business practices.

Good managers know how to maintain a presence, regardless of the type of office they have.

So, what IS the worst film ever made?


The Sound of Music

I may toss my cookies just thinking about it. Leading cause of diabetes.

Is US prudishness ruining the internet?


Why does the US matter?

I see no good reason that the US should hold anyone back. If you feel that US prudery, or whatever, prevents US companies from offering services that the masses want, why don't you start a company elsewhere to offer those services? Europe and Asia both have excellent Internet infrastructure. Anyone can whine about things. If you don't like the way things are, and if you really believe that your view of how things should be is financially viable, stop whining, get off your duff, and prove it (and if your idea is good, I hope you make a huge pile of money).


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