Which part of 'engineer' didn't you understand?

Flashback to the late 1980s, when this small manufacturer is just starting to use PCs for some of its engineering work -- and one pilot fish is doing his best to help it happen.

"I had researched, found and set up an early electrical CAD program for our electrical engineering department," says fish. "As part of the project, I set up a tape backup procedure as the last item on the DOS menu. My newest CAD user was instructed in the use of the machine and taught to select the Backup option as the last program to be run just before going home for the night.

"After a few days, I asked him how it was going. He said, 'Fine, but that backup doesn't seem to be working. The backup report isn't printing.'

"I checked on it. Sure enough, something was interrupting the backup. It hadn't run for days. But when I tested the procedure, it worked flawlessly.

"Perplexed, I hung around his area to watch him start the backup procedure that evening, just to see what I might be missing.

"First he exited the CAD program, and then selected the Backup option and hit the Enter key. Then he followed instructions to load the tape for the day of the week. So far, so good.

"Then the message to 'Press any key to start the backup' appeared.

"To my horror, he reached over and hit the power switch!

"In total disbelief, I asked him what he was doing, and why. He answered very seriously, 'It said to press any key. Did I press the wrong one?'"

Sharky's looking for the right story. Is it yours? 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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