You don't suppose that was on purpose, do you?

Flashback to the mid-1990s, when this pilot fish is working for a small electronics manufacturer.

"One of my projects was to put in a Novell print server station that would print out labels in the assembly area," says fish. "Rather than buy a new computer, I decided to put one together from several old 486 workstations that had been outdated and parted out."

And fish's Franken-PC works -- mostly. It boots up and it can log into the Novell network, but after a while, the system locks up.

That's why it's sitting on fish's workbench with the cover off when Fred, the company president, walks in one day and asks about how the print server is coming along.

Fish explains the situation and the fact that it's not quite ready to use yet.

Then, without warning, the president walks over to the PC on the bench, pulls the release lever on the CPU chip and takes it out of the socket, rotates it 90 degrees, and reinserts it.

Then he hits the power switch.

"Within a few seconds, I could smell metal burning, and smoke started to float out of the box," fish reports. "All I could do was call 'Fred? Fred! Fred!'

"He quickly turned the system off and, as he hurriedly walked away, told me to order a new print server."

Sharky's purpose is to get you to send me your true tale of IT life at You'll score a sharp Shark shirt if I use it. Add your comments below, and read some great old tales in the Sharkives.

Now you can post your own stories of IT ridiculousness at Shark Bait. Join today and vent your IT frustrations to people who've been there, done that.

Copyright © 2008 IDG Communications, Inc.

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