Wayback Wednesday: Survival of the fittest, hardware division

I can haz all the bits?

Computerworld  |  Shark Tank
Computerworld / IDG

Vice president calls this support pilot fish several times, complaining that his PC is being hacked. “His mouse kept moving and clicking on odd things,” says fish.

So fish remotely controls his computer, uninstalls a few programs and tells the VP that there are no programs on his computer that would allow that strange behavior.

VP calls again, not five minutes later. It’s doing it again, he says. Fish suggests rebooting, under the theory that some out-of-control service might still be running. That doesn’t fix it, so fish heads over to VP’s office to observe the problem firsthand.

In the executive suite, VP’s peers say they’re sure the network has been hacked and the situation should be reported to corporate HQ. But after a quick examination of the VP’s desk, fish has another idea.

Hold everything, fish tells VP. You have a wireless mouse, and there’s a wireless mouse in the office next door. Maybe the signals are getting crossed.

That’s when the VP in the next office sticks his head in the door. “It might be my mouse,” he admits. “It was trying to take over someone else’s computer a few weeks ago.”

Sure enough, a little testing proves that every time the second guy uses his mouse, the pointer moves and clicks on the first VP’s computer.

But when fish tells that second VP that he’s going to confiscate his mouse, he refuses to hand it over: “I like my mouse. It’s the dominant mouse!”

Copyright © 2020 IDG Communications, Inc.

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