Hey, you've got 38 minutes. What's the problem?

It's 8:22 a.m. when this IT pilot fish gets a call from a user: An important report is due by 9 a.m., with major repercussions if it isn't run on time -- but there's no one around who knows how to do it.

10/30/14

Famous last words: 'You should be fine'

This pilot fish at a big computer manufacturer is the only field service rep in the office when a customer call comes in for a model he's never worked on -- with an SLA that demands to be fulfilled.

10/29/14

And by the way, welcome back!

This manufacturing company has a shiny new HR system, reports a pilot fish working there -- and it's going to take some getting used to.

10/28/14

Because data moves slower when the air is thinner?

This local government agency is moving to a new facility that will put users in the same building but on two different floors -- and that has planners worried about phones.

10/27/14

Because what could possibly go wrong?

Pilot fish is dispatched to a big, highly automated warehouse to install a new server, and everything is going fine when suddenly the lights blink and the UPS takes over. Fish's first thought: What did I do?

10/24/14

Need to know? Yeah, actually, we do

This company that supplies colleges with mainframe ERP software sends a pilot fish to deal with the process. But it turns out there's something the school's IT people haven't mentioned.

10/23/14

How to save money in IT, bright ideas edition

At this financial institution, it's OK for IT to spend money -- as long as it's somebody else's money. Case in point: A deal with an outside company to dispose of old computers and electronic office equipment.

10/22/14

There IS such a thing as too-fast delivery

Flashback to the late 1990s, when this delivery company is upgrading its network, switches and all. But hundreds of feet away at the other end of the warehouse, there's another kind of delivery problem.

10/21/14

Priorities

Local government department calls IT to report that its Wi-Fi network isn't working -- and it's a little more serious than just someone having unplugged the power.

10/20/14

Looks like everybody learned something

One weekend this pilot fish gets an alert that multiple systems are down in the data center, despite automatic failover to UPS and generator power. How could that happen? Let's check the replay...

10/17/14

Well, the firewalls WEREN'T working, were they?

Consultant pilot fish is on the way to one client's office when he gets a call that the network has gone down at another client's office -- and fish is the one on the hot seat.

10/16/14

Fish meets phish. Guess who wins?

This university's IT department regularly sends out warnings about scammers and phishing, since some students and faculty fall prey every semester. But not everyone gets the idea.

10/15/14

If it didn't work, that card was toast(ed) anyway

This pilot fish works in IT for a small city where everything is on a very tight budget. So when the mayor can no longer use the networked printer, fish's first thought is, how can I fix this thing with zero spending?

10/14/14

Now THAT'S what we call a security hole!

This hospital takes security seriously for its computer room, complete with reinforced safety glass and a single door. But one day during required maintenance, the operator takes a break -- and there's a problem.

10/13/14

There really IS such a thing as too much choice

It's 1985, and this programmer pilot fish is asked to work on a pioneering banking software project -- one that uses PCs, complete with a graphical user interface for generating reports. And therein lies a problem.

10/10/14

Let's not go overboard on this security thing, OK?

This government office's IT systems need higher than normal security, since they contain medical and criminal records. Even wastebasket contents need to be shredded. But what about filing cabinets?

10/09/14

'Implementing HIPAA,' redefined

This large urban teaching hospital is implementing HIPAA security regulations. But in one key clinical area, not only do users all share the same account, but the password hasn't been changed in years.

10/08/14

There's CAN and then there's SHOULD

This organization has just about maxed out the available storage for its minicomputer. The big question: Can they keep the system running while the electrician installs a new power line?

10/07/14

The ghost in the machine

Senior manager at this small company is trying to record a voice mail greeting -- but what callers are hearing is the voice of an employee who left a year before.

10/06/14

If you want it done right, find someone who can't?

At this big university hospital, an incompatible piece of switching gear keeps blocking access to an important clinical system. But getting permission to actually fix the underlying problem? Good luck with that.

10/03/14

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