Try, Try Again

For two hours, support pilot fish tries unsuccessfully to help this user configure his firewall. The modem connects, but nothing comes through. "Eventually I discovered he had installed three different firewall products," fish grumbles. "He misconfigured the first one to block just about everything. He assumed that the firewall software wasn't working, so he installed another -- and yet another."


In order to nail down a big contract, this medical claims processing company adds a keyless entry system to beef up computer room security. But this pilot fish notes a flaw: "There was no lock on the door," he says. "To bypass the keyless entry system, all you had to do was turn the doorknob."

Yes, Connecting

After getting this administrative assistant's new laptop working, support pilot fish tries to show her how to download her mail. "She got really huffy with me -- she was admin for the CIO, you know," fish says. "So I never finished her training." Two weeks later, admin complains that she hasn't gotten any e-mail. "I ask if there's a problem connecting to the network," fish says. "There's a moment of silence, then she says, 'Connecting?' "

The Save Button

Manager complains that none of her word-processing files are saving. Do you answer "yes" when you're asked if you want to save the document when you close Word? asks fish. "It never asks me that," manager says. Uh, how do you close Word? "By pressing the orange button on the front of the computer," says manager. Groans fish, "That was the power switch."

But It Feels Faster

Executive grouses to IT pilot fish that his PC is too slow and needs upgrading. "The PC is less than a year old and runs fine, but it has a 15-in. monitor," fish says. He brings in a new 17-in. flat-panel monitor and a new mouse and keyboard. A week later, he hears from the exec again: "Thanks for the new computer. This one is twice as fast as my old one."

Clear Enough?

Your scrambled database is no problem, support pilot fish tells supply department chief. Where are your backup tapes? "They only gave me this one tape," he tells fish, "and I've been faithfully backing up the database every night on it for 18 months." When it fails, fish isn't surprised. "All of the oxide had worn away months ago," fish sighs. "He'd been backing his database up to an almost perfectly clear strip of plastic."

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Copyright © 2003 IDG Communications, Inc.

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