Rated V for Violence

This engineer pilot fish tries explaining to his manufacturing-savvy boss how the cold in his underheated office causes hard-disk problems. It's like a car's starter motor, fish says; when it gets too cold, the spindle sticks and it can't turn. Next Monday, fish discovers how boss has tried to "fix" his PC over the weekend: "He hit the thing several times with a 28-pound club hammer to try and loosen the spindle!"

Hose It

It's not hard for IT pilot fish to see why this shop-floor printer isn't working - it's full of water. "We manufacture processed meats on this line, and the USDA requires that the entire room be scrubbed and hosed down from ceiling to floor several times a day," plant worker tells him. "I guess someone forgot to wheel the printer cart outside before taking a fire hose to the room."

Grill It

PC-repair pilot fish receives a remote user's laptop with a note that just reads, "Laptop will not boot." On the laptop's bottom, fish notices odd, slightly blackened marks in a large spiral. "Then I realized what it was," fish groans. "The pattern matched the heating element on an electric stove - and it was melted into the bottom of the laptop."

Trim It

After an hour of phone troubleshooting, this user's new ISDN adapter still won't work. Take it back to the store, support pilot fish suggests. Not a good idea, user says. Listen, either they'll give you a new one or they'll get the one you have to work, fish says. I can't, user insists. Eventually, fish gets the truth: "He had a computer with a small-form chassis," says fish. "The ISDN adapter didn't fit - so he actually sawed it off until it did."

Belt It

Hotheaded CFO drops his laptop on IT director pilot fish's desk and growls, "It doesn't work!" Sure enough, it boots but won't respond to the keyboard. When techs open the case to see if it's just a loose connection, they find the problem: a fractured keyboard circuit board. Any idea what happened? fish asks. "It crashed and lost an hour's worth of changes to my spreadsheet," CFO snarls. "So I hit it."

Smoke It

"I turned my computer on and it started smoking," user tells help desk pilot fish. OK, says fish, so after you turned off the computer and the smoke cleared - "Oh, I didn't do anything yet," user cuts in. "I called you." Turn off the computer! fish shouts. "OK," says user. "Now what?"

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Copyright © 2002 IDG Communications, Inc.

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