C'mon, how much difference could it make?

This IT pilot fish's company hires an outside vendor to conduct Windows 7 training for its users -- but maybe not exactly the right training company for the job.

"The vendor was still running Windows XP, so they requested that the IT department provide a laptop that the trainer could put her presentation on via flash drive and an Internet connection," fish says.

"We said no for various security reasons, and explained that we would need to build a machine from scratch that was not in our domain and that would connect to our backup Internet connection so it would not touch the network in the event of viruses or other nasty critters hiding on the vendor's flash drive."

The trainer asks if she can bring her personal laptop. That's just fine by us, fish tells her.

One day before the training is scheduled, trainer calls fish. "I'm bringing my Mac for the training tomorrow," she begins, and fish interrupts. Your Mac? fish asks. Are you running Windows 7 on there?

Trainer: "Yes."

Fish: So your desktop on your home computer looks like it does at work, with the Windows button in the lower left corner?

Trainer: "Umm...I'll have to check on that. But I have Word and Excel."

Fish: That's Office. I know they do make Office for Mac, but that's not the operating system, like Windows 7. It's a separate program that you install.

Trainer: "Oh."

Sighs fish, "And this is the woman who is in charge of training Every. Single. Employee.

"Needless to say, we had to scramble to build a laptop that didn't touch our domain or primary network and could be wiped after the training."

Sharky specializes in IT life lessons learned. Especially the hard way. So send me your true tale at sharky@computerworld.com, and you'll get a stylish Shark shirt if I use it. Add your comments below, and read some great old tales in the Sharkives.

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