Peace of mind (but nothing else)

Black boxes rarely bear good news.

Computerworld  |  Shark Tank
Computerworld / IDG

It’s 20 years ago or so and this pilot fish is at a client’s site fixing something, when the office manager asks if he could double-check the office backup as long as he’s there. Sure, says fish. Office manager then puts a tape in the tape drive of his PC and double-clicks an icon, after which a black window flashes on screen, but just for a fraction of a second.

“That's it!” says the office manager. “Fast, huh?” This doesn’t pass fish’s smell test — how much data could possibly be backed up in less than a second? So he tells the OM, Let me take another look. He peers closely as that screen flashes up briefly once again.

And he sees that it says: “Bad command or filename.”

The client’s office had been dutifully swapping tapes for years.

Sharky is sure your true tale of IT life will pass his smell test. Send it to me at You can also subscribe to the Daily Shark Newsletter.

Copyright © 2019 IDG Communications, Inc.

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