Strictly speaking that would be 'Problem deferred'

Hospital IT pilot fish gets a call from the nursing department: A user's PS/2 keyboard has a bad key, and it needs to be replaced.

"I grab a spare keyboard and go to that department to change it out," says fish. "Checking the existing keyboard, I verify that the key in question doesn't work. I shut the system down so I can switch out the keyboard, unplug the old keyboard and try to plug the new one in.

"It won't go all the way in."

Fish plugs the old keyboard back in with no problem at all. Then he tries swapping in the new one again. It still won't go all the way in.

He inspects the new keyboard. Everything looks fine -- the connector is not out of round and none of the pins are bent. But it won't plug in.

Baffled, fish disconnects the system and checks everything out. That's when he finally spots the problem: It looks like the plastic locating tab from the old keyboard's connector has broken off in the computer's keyboard port.

A quick check of the old keyboard's connector verifies the diagnosis: The plastic tab is not in the connector.

"So here I am at the user's computer, with no tools to remove the broken-off tab from the keyboard port," fish says. "What can I do?

"I break off that locating tab from the new keyboard's connector. Now the keyboard can be plugged in without any trouble at all. Problem...solved?"

Break off a bit of your life for Sharky. Send me your true tale of IT life at sharky@computerworld.com. You'll score a sharp Shark shirt if I use it. Add your comments below, and read some great old tales in the Sharkives.

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