'And why do they call it dialing, anyway?'

IT tech working at a government research site also manages the phone system. But when a new researcher has trouble making an outside call, everything seems to be working right. What's going wrong?

09/27/16

Why we love power users (low-wattage division)

Pilot fish is working at the help desk of a managed service provider when a call comes in from one very angry user who complains that a critical Excel file has lost all its data -- the file still exists, but it's empty.

09/26/16

Who knew this network stuff was so tricky?

It's back in the pre-Internet days, and this company sends data between sites on reels of magnetic tape -- but it's looking at a better way.

09/23/16

Work for us? Fine. Get hired? Not so fast...

Bank is really interested in hiring this contract software developer, and she's willing to sign up. But there's a catch: All new hires have to take a test, and this one isn't exactly IT-friendly.

09/22/16

Everyone's greatest resource: Somebody else's time

IT analyst pilot fish gets a frantic email message from a customer support. Some of the company's software has stopped working for a big customer. Does fish know of any changes that caused that?

09/21/16

It's not like anybody was there using it, right?

This small team of state-government auditors arrives at work one morning to find that their server has suddenly gone incommunicado. Fortunately, it doesn't take long to find out why.

09/20/16

Any color you like, as long as it's black

Pilot fish has just overseen a redesign of the corporate website, and a manager comes to his desk holding a printout of the new home page. Manager's question: 'Why isn't this in color?'

09/19/16

Mumble jumble

This outdated mainframe running an obsolete operating system suffers a failure almost every week, and this pilot fish has to support it. But that's not his biggest problem.

09/16/16

Why we still do deskside tech support

IT tech for a midsize school district gets a trouble ticket from a high school teacher: She can't get a DVD out of her classroom's aging DVD/VCR combo player. Which of many possible problems is it this time?

09/15/16

Urgent, redefined

Client needs certain features added to this software vendor's product -- and it's urgent, so the vendor's programmer works overtime to get it done. And then?

09/14/16

Actually, we pay what we pay and we HOPE you'll take it

This IT pilot fish joins a well-known computer services company, and he's really happy with the opportunities the new job presents. Then he happens to see a report that's just come out of a printer.

09/13/16

Gee, thanks for reminding us of our options, boss!

This government facility is gearing up for a new set of cybersecurity requirements, and it means IT staffers will need a whole new set of certifications -- or else.

09/12/16

So who do we crucify?

Server admin pilot fish at a very big company gets an evening message from a PC services manager: What's going on with the Windows licensing server? And who can we blame for it?

09/09/16

Or maybe the boss was a Priority 1 user

Users at this government agency really like having their mainframe computing done at the lowest -- and cheapest -- priority, in which the job isn't going to run until 6 p.m. Wonder why that is?

09/08/16

Do it by the numbers -- or just GET the numbers?

IT pilot fish's employer is acquired, and he moves on -- but soon discovers he needs a W-2 from before the acquisition. He used to manage that system, so he knows it's there. How hard could getting it be?

09/07/16

Bigger question: Where were you for the past year?

Tech is doing a hardware upgrade on a server, fighting to get the OS to recognize the changes, when he suddenly realizes the air conditioning isn't blowing. And the power is off. And someone is staring at him.

09/06/16

Sounds like management material to us...

Freshly arrived boss decides to gauge how well his new staff responds to change, so he gives each staffer a packet with an excerpt from the book 'Who Moved My Cheese?' -- then asks how they would respond.

09/05/16

Why we love engineers

This tech is responsible for a factory's shop floor, but when he returns from vacation he finds the shop floor has a slew of IT issues -- and the engineers are blaming him.

09/02/16

What's the sound of a data center mistake? WHOOSH!

This IT contractor is assigned to a big carmaker's engine plant, and his cube is right next to the computer room. That means when the fire-suppression alarm goes off and the Halon dumps, he's the first to hear.

09/01/16

If it's got wires -- or doesn't -- talk to IT, OK?

This company is upgrading its heating and air conditioning system in a big way, complete with wireless thermostats everywhere. But IT isn't consulted -- after all, it's an HVAC system, not a computer, right?

08/31/16

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