Say, this is almost as easy as Linux!

This pilot fish works as a Linux sysadmin at a small software-as-a-service company. "I come in early in the mornings, while the tech that does most of our Windows and desktop work comes in later and stays later," fish says.

"One night, she does a scheduled migration of one of our accounting personnel to a new desktop and sends the user an e-mail that the switch was complete and everything looks good."

But next morning it's fish who gets a panicked call from the user, who tells fish that nothing is working and can he please come right over to take a look?

Fish knows he's not up on the latest Windows issues, so he heads to the user's desk with a bit of trepidation.

First problem, according to the user: None of her documents are there. She opens the word processor and spreadsheet program, and there's nothing listed under "recent documents," which is how she always launches them.

Fish shows her how to click on Open from the File menu and browse. In short order, all the lost documents are found.

Then there's the bigger problem: The Internet connection doesn't work. When the user clicks on the Internet icon, she just sees the company Web page.

"When I ask what the Internet normally looks like, she tells me it says MSN across the top and has the news and weather on it," says fish.

"So I change the default Web page to MSN instead of our company's Web site. The user thanks me for saving the day.

"As I leave her office, I think to myself, not bad for a Linux administrator -- or a fifth grader..."

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Copyright © 2010 IDG Communications, Inc.

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