Shark Tank: Let's go through this one more time ...

SYSADMIN pilot fish enlists user to come in on a Sunday to test the results of a software upgrade that will start Friday at midnight and take 36 hours to complete. "He said he understood the schedule and agreed to help," says fish. Friday afternoon, user calls. "Can I run my test now?" he asks. "I've got a conflict on Sunday, so it would be more convenient if I could test it now instead."

"EVERY time it gets cold in our office, my PC runs slower," user tells support pilot fish. "It doesn't like cold weather, I think." Fish investigates and finds a space heater resting on the LAN cable, which is now hot to the touch. Excessive heat can interfere with the network, fish points out. You have problems only when this heater is on, right? "I don't know," shrugs user. "I only turn it on when it's cold."

FREQUENT-traveler pilot fish has a laptop that overheats and shuts down after four hours, and then, even after cooling down, will run for only an hour at a time. "Yes, it's a known problem," the help desk tells him. Is there a work-around? asks fish. Help desk: "Don't use it so much."

ONE OF THE remote users this IT pilot fish supports is in charge of testing some of the company's software. "So you'd think she'd be on the lookout for hardware and software conflicts," fish says. But while fish is talking her through a software upgrade, user casually asks, "Is this error message important? 'Error 1782 Disk Controller Failure, and Error 1792 Secondary Disk Controller Failure.' I've been getting it for about four months now, but I just hit Return and it boots fine."

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Copyright © 2002 IDG Communications, Inc.

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