Shark Tank: Yep, that would explain it

It's the 1980s, and this pilot fish is a military programmer who's called over by his boss one morning. "Her terminal wouldn't type properly -- she got different letters on the screen than what she typed," fish says. "I looked at the keyboard, then I looked at the guy who sat in front of her, and I smacked him in the back of the head. He turned around and grinned. Just the day before, I had told him a story about someone whose keyboard worked properly when he sat and typed, but wrong when he typed while standing. It turned out the S and D keys were swapped during a repair. When he sat, he touch-typed. When he stood, he looked at the keyboard. My boss apparently looked at the keyboard all the time. I put the S and D keys back where they belonged."

Aha!

Remote user is upset because his shiny new Palm Tungsten won't read a memory card. "The job is delegated to the summer intern, who has the device less than 10 seconds before informing me that he has identified the problem," says support manager pilot fish. "He asks me to eject the memory card. This I do -- and out pops a plastic insert."

Cool Fix

Server crashes, and pilot fish determines that the hard drive is toast. "We thought we could just put in a new hard drive and restore from the previous night's backup tape," says fish. "Wrong! Much to our dread, the backups hadn't been working for quite some time. We called the vendor's tech support. The first thing they told us to do was put the hard drive in the freezer. What? Why?" Fish is skeptical that this old trick will work, but he figures he has nothing to lose. Result: "It worked, and we were able to get the server back up and running the next day."

Honesty, Mostly

Independent IT consultant pilot fish has a strict rule: He only works on business computers. "A worker bee at one of my clients asked me to fix his home computer," fish reports. "I explained nicely that I did not do home computers. He pleaded his case: While his wife was gone, he had gone where he should have not gone, and he needed to get the computer working again before his wife returned." Fish's verdict: "Honesty is the best policy. Exception: one cleaned home computer."

Submit your own true tales of IT life to sharky@computerworld.com. If Sharky uses it, you'll snag a snazzy Shark Tank shirt! You can also add comments by using the form at the bottom of this page. See more Shark Tank stories at the Sharkives.

Join Shark Bait Now you can post your own stories of IT ridiculousness. Join Shark Bait today and vent your IT frustrations to people who've been there.
Go to the
Shark Bait homepage
or
Post a story now
 

Copyright © 2007 IDG Communications, Inc.

7 inconvenient truths about the hybrid work trend
Shop Tech Products at Amazon