Finished, redefined

It's the 1980s, when computer-aided software engineering methodologies are all the rage for mainframe software at this big bank -- but CASE can't solve ALL its problems.


Throwback Thursday: Get the picture?

This newspaper's IT director is reworking the company's entire network. Why? There's no security -- and a critical outage has just shown management that's a real problem.


Why do we even bother paying these IT guys, anyway?

Tech-for-hire is sent to a local tax preparer's office, where he gets a to-do list and strict instructions not to do ANYTHING that will keep the employees from working.


Think of it as meeting the needs of the company

Flashback almost three decades to when this systems analyst is hired and immediately gets an unpleasant surprise: There are so many meetings he's ready to quit.


Wait, how can you be unclear on the concept of HEAT?

This company's newly installed WAN network equipment has a big problem: It's overheating in a big way. But the reason turns out to be not such a big mystery after all.


Failure, redefined

Programmer is hired because he can use C and scripting languages to pull info from databases and generate web pages. But his job turns out to be a lot more complicated.


Throwback Thursday: Well, no, not exactly

Pilot fish is setting up a new router to let a branch office connect to HQ's VoIP. The final step: Have a user at the other end restart the remote router. Easy, right?


Not so fast!

Computer science professor gets a call from a former student who's stumped by a database problem, and it's one that should be pretty easy to solve -- shouldn't it?


Good thing they didn't do any programming, huh?

This IT pilot fish is part of a team working under a contract where there's a very specific stipulation: These contractors absolutely, positively can't write code.


Rigged demo, defined

This hospital's IT department lets employees shadow people in other groups to see how the whole department operates -- or at least that's how it's supposed to work.


For sale: New PCs, never used

It's some years back, and this pilot fish is working on a project at a bank branch out in the sticks when a local woman asks him for help selling her brand-new PCs.


Throwback Thursday: Breakfast Of Champions

This small retail chain depends on six servers on a single UPS that can run the entire computer room for 20 minutes -- and it's fine until a zap, a sizzle and an outage.


His last name wouldn't be Murphy, would it?

This soon-to-be-wed pilot fish and his fiancee are at a casino for the weekend at a combined bachelor/bachelorette party. What are the odds of a catastrophe at work?


Consulting: So simple!

Database admin knows this company's systems inside and out after 20 years with them, and he's a bit annoyed when his boss brings in a consultant for the latest project.


Look, this isn't rocket science, it's networking!

Private school's IT support guy struggles with things as simple as what IP addresses to use on the internal network, so his replacement MUST be an improvement -- right?


Code review

Company is evaluating this financial software package, and at first glance it looks very well designed -- but then flaws start to bubble up from the depths of the code.


Throwback Thursday: It seemed like the thing to do at the time

On-call database admin is sound asleep when his beeper goes off at 1 a.m. But it's not an alert from monitoring software or the trouble center. Whose number is it anyway?


There IS such a thing as too many user options

This company's new shipping application is created to a detailed specification, and it tests out fine -- but it still takes 30 seconds just to print a simple label.


So you're saying we need to have THAT connected too?

Customer buys a pair of security appliances for its IT shop that are billed as high-reliability -- so why isn't the system switching over to box #2 when box #1 fails?


And how did you spend YOUR holiday weekend?

This 30-employee office is about to move to a new location, but the manager from HQ says he's prepared everything for the move. What's left for this networking guy to do?


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