Speed kills

It's the 1980s, and this IT pilot fish figures out a neat hack to speed up a data entry job for his company's minicomputer -- but there's just one small problem with it.


One small step forward, one giant leap back

Pilot fish is paying his monthly bills online when he discovers one of his utilities has changed the payment part of its website -- and it's so secure, he can't log in.


Throwback Thursday: Just one more thing to worry about

Pilot fish and his wife are planning a vacation to an all-inclusive resort, which wants him to set up a password for its website -- but something's not quite right.


Why we (don't always) love the squeaky wheel

IT contractor pilot fish's project at a big company is winding down, so the company cuts him loose -- but also offers him a job doing the same thing he was doing before.


There are great interns, and OK interns, and then...

IT shop hires a summer intern who comes from a decent university and interviews well enough, but when he gets his first relatively simple assignment, it doesn't go well.


Why security is the first thing to go, episode 65,723

IT contractor's project to upgrade some software for a client is way behind schedule. Why is that such a problem? The current software is about to go End-of-Life.


Another satisfied IT customer!

Pilot fish is installing a system for a bank, and some days his liaison, the department manager, is open and helpful -- while other days, not at all. Why could that be?


Throwback Thursday: Well, trial and error IS a mechanism

New regulations mean more security at this insurance company, so it's goodbye keys, hello keycards. And if the system fails? Says the new CSO, "Mechanisms are in place."


Well, you asked for it!

This client sends data updates by fax, with type so small it's almost impossible to read. Data entry guy's plea: Could you please send the next update in a larger format?


Faster and easier? That's not in the contract

Hardware tech for a large-scale communications contractor comes out of his manager's office looking pretty unhappy, and this pilot fish asks what's got him down.


Why we love being on-call

Software developer works at a university teaching hospital doing support for problems the help desk can't handle -- and lucky him, he has the pager for Labor Day weekend.


You've got malware!

Flashback to the early 2000s, when this pilot fish works in a building where the level of computer literacy is hovering near absolute zero -- and then comes the virus.


Throwback Thursday: Can we set up a meeting about that?

This insurance company is updating its claims-processing software, and the entire 30-person IT department is working on it -- but all eyes are on the lead programmer.


Data, the hard way

Pilot fish is responsible for a monthly mainframe report listing the employees using the company's tuition reimbursement program. What could be so hard about that?


Well yeah, that IS something important...

Call comes into this third-party corporate IT support group that someone needs to be sent to a big client halfway across the country -- because something important broke.


It's a hospital. Where else do you find a Doctor?

It's go-live time for a big hospital IT project, which means hundreds of overhead monitors have to be configured -- and one very picky nurse is unhappy with the results.


Road trip

Pilot fish and his wife are on a road trip and want to print out a map on their hotel's PC -- but what comes out of the printer is not the image they had in mind.


Throwback Thursday: D'you think that could be significant?

Big computer vendor is months into a new contract to replace IT equipment at a major government agency when a problem shows up: frequent system crashes during testing.


How to survive in the financial software business

Software startup's target customers are banks, and this tech who's working with customers isn't worried so much about things that crash as about things that go BANG!


But isn't breaking things what the QA people DO?

It's the 1990s, and this small startup needs to get online on a tiny budget, which means cobbling together a server from leftover parts. The problem: It keeps freezing.


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