It's back in the days of DOS command lines, and this manager calls the help desk because his printer is broken, reports a pilot fish in the know.
But the bigger problem is a report the manager urgently needs to print. "The help desk tech told him to save the report to a file and copy it to a disk," fish says. "Then, on another PC with a working printer, he could send it to the printer using a DOS instruction like:
type filename.txt > prn
"The tech spelled this command out over the phone, explaining to the manager that to send the report to the printer he should use a greater-than sign followed by 'prn,' which means the printer.
"After a few minutes the manager called back. The command isn't working! he said.
"Did you use the printer redirection? tech asked, and repeated the command step-by-step.
"Still not working! manager said.
"When the tech arrived at the manager's desk, he found the following command:
type filename.txt < prn
"I told you to use a greater-than followed by prn, tech said.
"The manager replied, 'But this printer is on the left side of the desk...'"
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