Throwback Thursday: Pics, or it didn’t happen

You have to admit the client was paying attention.

Computerworld  |  Shark Tank
Computerworld / IDG

Back in the days when PCs weren’t yet on every desk, pilot fish gets a call from a client with a week-old PC — and he’s in a panic.

“When I delivered the new machine to him, I told him that he should refrain from turning his computer on and off too many times during the day,” says fish. “I said two or three times would be OK.”

Now the newbie user is telling fish that he can’t plug in the mouse and keyboard, and he needs to answer an important email that has just arrived.

Fish doesn't get it. After all, the PS/2 connectors on the mouse and keyboard will only go in one way. How hard can reconnecting them be? And anyway, how does the client know this time-critical email is even there? Isn’t the PC turned off?

Bad assumption, fish learns when he makes an office call. It turns out that the client’s new computer desk had arrived that day. But remembering fish’s admonition, client didn’t want to turn the PC off for what be the fourth time that day.

And he had a workaround: He called in two friends, one to hold up the still-running PC, and the other to help the client move the computer desk into place.

“But that's not the end of it,” says fish. “Because the keyboard and mouse kept falling down, they decided to unplug them until they completed the desk switch.”

And apparently PS/2 connectors are foolproof only if you recognize that they are foolproof. “So they pushed and pushed them until some of the pins bent over.”

If technology were foolproof, Sharky would be out of business. Keep me going by sending me your true tales of IT life at sharky@computerworld.com. You can also subscribe to the Daily Shark Newsletter.

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