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.


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.



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.


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...


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.


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.


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?


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.


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.


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?


'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.


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?


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.


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.


You know, the thing with the two things coming out

Support pilot fish gets a call from an IT project manager, who's asking for an extra "external battery pack" for her computer. A...what?


Gee, thanks for the help, boss!

This company's customer-facing network moves from one colocation data center to another, and the transition goes smoothly. But then customers start losing connections -- and the problem won't stand still.


Sometimes, simplest is best

Help desk gets a call from the head of HR, who's trying very hard to print a document on the color Xerox copier -- but it's been imported into Word, and it's become really messed up.


It's not everything -- it's the only thing

Sysadmin pilot fish returns after being away from the office for a while to find a request: Restore everything that was deleted in a folder on the network. But where has it all gone to?


We bet the second user wasn't NEARLY so helpful

This office has two users who both want to be able to use three monitors at their desks. But after ordering and setting up everything needed, this pilot fish can't get that third monitor working for the first user.


This is why divinity students don't take CompSci

It's the early 1980s, and students at this university computer center are having fun with mainframe Job Control Language commands -- including an ongoing attempt to LOCATE GOD.


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