Shark Tank: Welcome to

Dot-Con New IT contractor pilot fish shows up for work at a dot-com. Her first assignment: Call around and see how much it would cost to lease some office furniture. "What's wrong with what's here?" fish asks. "This furniture was put up as loan collateral," explains the boss. "It's history tomorrow. But don't worry," boss adds, "we'll make good on your paycheck."

Token of our depreciation Back in the days when a double-digit Pentium was state of the art, this pilot fish is handed a 386 with 8MB of RAM and told to go write code. System barely limps along under Windows 3.1 and frequently crashes if fish tries to compile. When fish asks for a better PC, boss can't believe he's complaining: "You have the most expensive system in the entire company!" he sputters. "I paid $16,000 for that computer!"

Company's Web server is co-located at a Web services company, and reboots one day "seemingly for no reason," says pilot fish at the client company. Investigation turns up why: The cleaning lady pulled the plug to plug in her vacuum cleaner. OK, it happens. But two weeks later, it happens again. "Obvious worry: It happened twice?" grumbles the fish. "Inobvious worry: There's carpeting in the server room? Don't those usually attract static?"

Helpful User Network admin pilot fish gets e-mail from thoughtful user: "My Temp Internet folder is 78,409,728 bytes used. Would it help if I deleted some of this?"

At Least He Asked Network admin pilot fish is trying to enforce the company policy that only the software that users need to do their jobs can go on company laptops. So he sets it down in writing and distributes it: "No unauthorized software is to be installed on the laptops. An audit will be performed regularly to ensure that no unauthorized software gets installed." The very next day, user asks fish's advice: "I was wondering - since I bring my laptop on the train and have a long ride home, do you have or know of any games I can install to play?"

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Copyright © 2000 IDG Communications, Inc.

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