Cross-examination can work ON lawyers, too

Support pilot fish gets a visit from his company's biggest and brightest hot-shot lawyer, whose laptop isn't working -- and he's willing to wait while fish fixes it.

09/12/14

Not exactly Law & Order: IT Victims Unit

Flashback to 1994, when laptops cost $3,000 and are hard to come by at the company where this pilot fish works -- a situation that doesn't improve when the lone loaner laptop goes missing.

09/11/14

Sometimes it just takes a little leverage

This pilot fish is providing support for a big hardware manufacturer's motherboards, and he gets a call from a customer who just can't get the PCs he builds to boot reliably.

09/10/14

Too bad he didn't try to call the help desk first

It's the beginning of the school year, and it's more than usually chaotic for this pilot fish who's hobbling around after foot surgery. But one teacher can't log in -- and he insists that his cables are plugged in.

09/09/14

Sadly, we're pretty sure she HAS done this before

This IT pilot fish gets a new user set up with email, then asks if she needs help learning how to use it. Her response: 'Oh no, I've done this before.'

09/08/14

Sometimes you really need an engineered solution

This software for monitoring production lines is standardized throughout the company. But one manager wants to install a monitor that will make it impossible to use without a complete redesign.

09/05/14

There's sharing, and then there's OVER-sharing...

This Head Start program shares space with a school district, and the two organizations have different Wi-Fi networks and web filtering rules. But someone is sharing Head Start's Wi-Fi passphrase with school users.

09/04/14

Now THAT'S what we call a test!

It's the 1980s, and this big bank's main data-processing site is underground, state of the art and highly secure. Then one day an auditor comes to check things out.

09/03/14

Sometimes you just don't want one step at a time

Pilot fish working for a healthcare system gets a call from a client who complains that the hospital group's website never works for him. But the reason isn't hard to figure out.

09/02/14

Drawing a blank

This organization has several laptops available for employees to borrow as needed for meetings and other uses, and has used the same instructions for ten years. Guess who has a problem with that?

09/01/14

OK, glowing pink ooze would worry us, too

Flashback to the 1980s, when this Australian organization finally eases into computerization -- and is trying to do it right, ergonomically speaking.

08/29/14

Just like it says on the screen

This company has rolled out thin clients for its users, and mostly that's worked fine -- but for one power user it's a problem.

08/28/14

Lightning? That's the least of their problems

This consultant pilot fish is called in by a new client -- a banquet hall -- to clean up wireless network problems after a lighting storm. But what he finds is a much bigger mess.

08/27/14

But it looks so nice now!

It's summer, the time of year at this large wholesale plant nursery when business is slow and supervisors decide to spiff up their work areas, reports an IT pilot fish there. "Shortly after this particular office's re-do, we...

08/26/14

You can see this coming. Why couldn't they?

Flashback to 1972, when this pilot fish and his cohorts are working many late nights in the computer room as they prepare a new version of their 16K operating system for a government project. "The main means of storing the...

08/25/14

Why we love customers (and sales VPs, too)

It's the late 1980s, and this pilot fish has a project to install some new servers for a rapidly expanding bank. "Because the bank bought these servers with financing through my employer, it was also my job to get the customer to...

08/22/14

Alternate workaround: Turn up the heat

It's the depths of a particularly frigid midwestern winter when this executive approaches an IT support tech complaining that there's something wrong with her smartphone, reports a pilot fish on the scene. "This was not a...

08/21/14

We DO trust users -- that's why we have failsafes

This company decides to give its board members iPads so they can receive and review reports and requests prior to each monthly meeting, says a pilot fish who's part of the project. "The information emailed to each board member...

08/20/14

A double negative really ain't no positive thing

This pilot fish has a batch of Windows 7 laptops to configure -- and it's been decided that the sales people getting them should be required to use Ctrl-Alt-Del to log onto their laptops. "After much searching, I discover where to...

08/19/14

See, there's a solution after all

This A/V-tech pilot fish at a big midwestern university doesn't normally handle printer issues -- that's IT's bailiwick. But for some reason he gets sent out anyway when a user's complaint is "The printer isn't doing duplex." "I...

08/18/14

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