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Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler » Adventures in moron- baby-sitting
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Okay, so I’m enjoying a brief respite from my hectic schedule as a PC repair-type guy when a ticket comes in:

Client states that her local printer will not power on. Client states that the printer was working fine on Tuesday. She states that she has tried plugging the printer into another location but this has not worked. Please ensure that the printer is connected properly.

So, after lunch, I drive to the location.  Find the customer.

“Aw, man, no, this printer will not work at all  and I’ve tried everything and can you pleeeeeeeeze fix it…”

Ad infinitum, ad-friggin’-nauseam.

Start at the back of the printer.  Connected.  Trace the cord down to the AC power brick.  It’s not connected to the power cord.  Connect it.

Start pulling the power cord.  It’s not hooked into the wall.  Plug it in.  Printer comes on immediately.

Customer’s jaw hits the floor.  And with a straight face (and I swear to Cthulu, that was the hardest part - keeping the straight face), I say “thank you” and walk out the door back to my car.

And for this, I get paid about $45K annually. 

55 Responses to “Adventures in moron- baby-sitting”
  1. Skul Comment by Skul

    Strict Standards: call_user_func_array() expects parameter 1 to be a valid callback, non-static method emotions::filter_text() should not be called statically in /home/misha/public_html/2007/wp-includes/plugin.php on line 59

    Heh! Some days it’s just worth going to work.
    I see silly stuff like that in my line of work too.

  2. LC Wil Comment by LC Wil

    Strict Standards: call_user_func_array() expects parameter 1 to be a valid callback, non-static method emotions::filter_text() should not be called statically in /home/misha/public_html/2007/wp-includes/plugin.php on line 59

    Spats, I came to the conclusion years ago that GOD loves knuckleheads.

    Otherwise, we would not be blessed with so many of them.

  3. Unregistered Comment by leoni2

    Strict Standards: call_user_func_array() expects parameter 1 to be a valid callback, non-static method emotions::filter_text() should not be called statically in /home/misha/public_html/2007/wp-includes/plugin.php on line 59

    Hmmm, sounds typical to me. Someone that didn’t try everything before calling the repair people

  4. lc_corey Comment by lc_corey

    Strict Standards: call_user_func_array() expects parameter 1 to be a valid callback, non-static method emotions::filter_text() should not be called statically in /home/misha/public_html/2007/wp-includes/plugin.php on line 59

    …and that’s why you always start at the physical layer…

  5. MaxMomFL Comment by MaxMomFL

    Strict Standards: call_user_func_array() expects parameter 1 to be a valid callback, non-static method emotions::filter_text() should not be called statically in /home/misha/public_html/2007/wp-includes/plugin.php on line 59

    I don’t care who you are, that’s funny right there.

  6. WayneB Comment by WayneB

    Strict Standards: call_user_func_array() expects parameter 1 to be a valid callback, non-static method emotions::filter_text() should not be called statically in /home/misha/public_html/2007/wp-includes/plugin.php on line 59

    So THAT’s where that comment about “Tier 1″ guys came from a few days ago. I didn’t know you were an onsite support guy.

    I usually didn’t have the luxury of sending someone onsite until I had verified a hardware problem. Depending on the client, this has even included walking clients through swapping hardware out from other machines. I got pretty good at walking totally clueless people through all sorts of troubleshooting. Of course, that meant that the onsite guys didn’t get the easy ones from me. In fact, they usually hated to see tickets with my name on them… :-P

    On the other hand, we also had techs who didn’t know what to do with “Non-System Disk” errors.

  7. LC Wil Comment by LC Wil

    Strict Standards: call_user_func_array() expects parameter 1 to be a valid callback, non-static method emotions::filter_text() should not be called statically in /home/misha/public_html/2007/wp-includes/plugin.php on line 59

    On the other hand, we also had techs who didn’t know what to do with “Non-System Disk” errors.

    I’ve met a few of those . . . .

  8. TJ's Anti-Contrarian Blog Comment by TJ's Anti-Contrarian Blog

    Strict Standards: call_user_func_array() expects parameter 1 to be a valid callback, non-static method emotions::filter_text() should not be called statically in /home/misha/public_html/2007/wp-includes/plugin.php on line 59

    As a part-time IT’er I have learned “User Error” is ubiquitous.

  9. Cheapshot911 Comment by Cheapshot911

    Strict Standards: call_user_func_array() expects parameter 1 to be a valid callback, non-static method emotions::filter_text() should not be called statically in /home/misha/public_html/2007/wp-includes/plugin.php on line 59

    Anybody remember workgoups?
    Then you’ve probably seen this leathered piece o’..

    Abort, Retry, Ignore?

    Once upon a midnight dreary, fingers cramped and vision bleary,
    System manuals piled high and wasted paper on the floor,
    Longing for the warmth of bed sheets, still I sat there doing spreadsheets.
    Having reached the bottom line I took a floppy from the drawer,
    I then invoked the SAVE command and waited for the disk to store,
    Only this and nothing more.

    Deep into the monitor peering, long I sat there wond’ring, fearing,
    Doubting, while the disk kept churning, turning yet to churn some more.
    But the silence was unbroken, and the stillness gave no token.
    “Save!” I said, “You cursed mother! Save my data from before!”
    One thing did the phosphors answer, only this and nothing more,
    Just, “Abort, Retry, Ignore?”

    Was this some occult illusion, some maniacal intrusion?
    These were choices undesired, ones I’d never faced before.
    Carefully I weighed the choices as the disk made impish noises.
    The cursor flashed, insistent, waiting, baiting me to type some more.
    Clearly I must press a key, choosing one and nothing more,
    From “Abort, Retry, Ignore?”

    With fingers pale and trembling, slowly toward the keyboard bending,
    Longing for a happy ending, hoping all would be restored,
    Praying for some guarantee, timidly, I pressed a key.
    But on the screen there still persisted words appearing as before.
    Ghastly grim they blinked and taunted, haunted, as my patience wore,
    Saying “Abort, Retry, Ignore?”

    I tried to catch the chips off guard, and pressed again, but twice as hard.
    I pleaded with the cursed machine: I begged and cried and then I swore.
    Now in mighty desperation, trying random combinations,
    Still there came the incantation, just as senseless as before.
    Cursor blinking, angrily winking, blinking nonsense as before.
    Reading, “Abort, Retry, Ignore?”

    There I sat, distraught, exhausted, by my own machine accosted.
    Getting up I turned away and paced across the office floor.
    And then I saw a dreadful sight: a lightning bolt cut through the night.
    A gasp of horror overtook me, shook me to my very core.
    The lightning zapped my previous data, lost and gone forevermore.
    Not even, “Abort, Retry, Ignore?”

    To this day I do not know the place to which lost data go.
    What demonic nether world us wrought where lost data will be stored,
    Beyond the reach of mortal souls, beyond the ether, into black holes?
    But sure as there’s C, Pascal, Lotus, Ashton-Tate and more,
    You will be one day be left to wander, lost on some Plutonian shore,
    Pleading, “Abort, Retry, Ignore?”

  10. evilned Comment by evilned

    Strict Standards: call_user_func_array() expects parameter 1 to be a valid callback, non-static method emotions::filter_text() should not be called statically in /home/misha/public_html/2007/wp-includes/plugin.php on line 59

    Not long ago in a company now circling the drain, I recieved a call from a user. “Help! Help!” she cried. “My laptop just stopped working!!”

    “Is it in the dock?” asked our hero.

    “Yes! Yes! Come quick and fix it for me please!!”

    Since I liked her and she is cute I went over and took a look. I then crawled under her desk and switched the surge protector back on.

    Lo and behold! It is working now!

    “What did you do?” asked the user.

    “I turned the surge protector back on.”

    “Turned it back on?”

    “Yep. You’ve been running on battery for the last couple of hours. Didn’t you get a warning?”

    “Um, Uh, Duh”

    From the next cube.

    “She turned off the surge protector?” HAH! Only she could manage to do that!”

    “Shut up Mike!” She cried out. “Don’t say a word to anyone!”

    “To late came the calls from around the room. He sent out an email to let us know about your latest smooth move!”

    Poor Ms. Tina. she never lived it down…until the next time she did something silly. :)

  11. AyUaxe Comment by AyUaxe

    Strict Standards: call_user_func_array() expects parameter 1 to be a valid callback, non-static method emotions::filter_text() should not be called statically in /home/misha/public_html/2007/wp-includes/plugin.php on line 59

    That’s pretty good money to just follow a power cord and plug the sucker in. Be thankful for small favors, like that you’re not an attorney, a sewer worker, or a proctologist–all disgustingly similar jobs. Course, I remember my construction job and thinking there was no way I could keep twisting that wrench toward 5:00 for the next 20 years. Now I wonder. Had an uncle who worked in the 20’s oil boom in Arkansas with “Old Man Murphy” of Murphy Oil. Murphy asked him to come with him to meet investors and do some deals, ’cause my uncle was a really honest, personable guy, with excellent knowledge of oilfield operations from exploration through pipeline delivery. I asked him why he didn’t take Murphy up on it. He said, “‘Cause I could see where he was goin’ and I didn’t wanta get cooped up in an office. When turkey season or deer season comes, I wanted to be able to go huntin’. Didn’t see Murphy in the woods much after that.” He had a great family, a blessed life, died old and happily senile. I hope to get somewhere close. May God bless Spats and all of us with as much wisdom.

  12. Unregistered Comment by LC Elchonon, Imperial Chief of Civil Disobedience

    Strict Standards: call_user_func_array() expects parameter 1 to be a valid callback, non-static method emotions::filter_text() should not be called statically in /home/misha/public_html/2007/wp-includes/plugin.php on line 59

    Damn spats! can you get me a job ? lol I actually have been out of the computer world too long but its strange even freaky how the computer may not work and in a trance I see myself flipping it over… opening it up.. and looking around hmm must be the mo/bo which it was though at first guess I thought perhaps video card.

    I sell computer access. on ebay and yeah I get dozens of emails daily.. but installing a mouse can be tricky if not synchornized properly..

  13. Sir Guido Cabrone, LC, M.o.P. Comment by Sir Guido Cabrone, LC, M.o.P.

    Strict Standards: call_user_func_array() expects parameter 1 to be a valid callback, non-static method emotions::filter_text() should not be called statically in /home/misha/public_html/2007/wp-includes/plugin.php on line 59

    Wil

    On the other hand, we also had techs who didn’t know what to do with “Non-System Disk” errors.

    I’ve met a few of those . . . .

    Working behind the desk at Worst Buy…

  14. themandownthehall Comment by themandownthehall

    Strict Standards: call_user_func_array() expects parameter 1 to be a valid callback, non-static method emotions::filter_text() should not be called statically in /home/misha/public_html/2007/wp-includes/plugin.php on line 59

    You’re underpaid.

  15. Unregistered Comment by LC EFA

    Strict Standards: call_user_func_array() expects parameter 1 to be a valid callback, non-static method emotions::filter_text() should not be called statically in /home/misha/public_html/2007/wp-includes/plugin.php on line 59

    Heh ,
    At least the customer didn’t blame you for the “power supply” problem.

    Idiots like that are part of the reason I retired from the IT service industry.

    Reminds me of the joke where the support technician goes through the motions and ends up getting the customer to check the power connection. Customer tells support technician that they can’t see behind the desk to check that as all the lights in the building are off because of the blackout.

    Technician tells the customer that this indicates a REALLY serious problem and the customer should immediatly pack the computer into its box and send it back to the company, ensuring that the box is clearly labled “I’m too STUPID to own a computer”.

    BOFH heh.

  16. DJ Allyn,  ITW Comment by DJ Allyn, ITW

    Strict Standards: call_user_func_array() expects parameter 1 to be a valid callback, non-static method emotions::filter_text() should not be called statically in /home/misha/public_html/2007/wp-includes/plugin.php on line 59

    And for this, I get paid about $45K annually.

    You should get more, just to put up with that kind of shit.

    Actually, you would get more if you were living up here.

  17. Sir Guido Cabrone, LC, M.o.P. Comment by Sir Guido Cabrone, LC, M.o.P.

    Strict Standards: call_user_func_array() expects parameter 1 to be a valid callback, non-static method emotions::filter_text() should not be called statically in /home/misha/public_html/2007/wp-includes/plugin.php on line 59

    As a part-time IT’er I have learned “User Error” is ubiquitous.

    Sample One.

    “Error exists between keyboard and chair.”

    Sample Two.

    (on telephone to customer)

    “Sounds like an I/O error. Bring it in.”

    (click)

    “What kind of I/O error?”

    “Idiot operator”

  18. Radical Redneck Comment by Radical Redneck

    Strict Standards: call_user_func_array() expects parameter 1 to be a valid callback, non-static method emotions::filter_text() should not be called statically in /home/misha/public_html/2007/wp-includes/plugin.php on line 59

    This reminds me of when, on a cruise ship hundreds of miles offshore, some genius asked me if the ship’s electricity is brought on from the mainland! :lol: :mrgreen: :roll:

  19. Unregistered Comment by LC EFA

    Strict Standards: call_user_func_array() expects parameter 1 to be a valid callback, non-static method emotions::filter_text() should not be called statically in /home/misha/public_html/2007/wp-includes/plugin.php on line 59

    Power supply Problem : Not turned on / plugged in
    Printer error : Insert Paper or Toner.
    Internet Connection error : Talking on phone while trying to connect on same line.

    All these usually boil down to a root cause and solution :

    User Error : Replace User

    And never forget the old “it works better when you plug it in” line.

  20. LC 0311 crunchie Comment by LC 0311 crunchie

    Strict Standards: call_user_func_array() expects parameter 1 to be a valid callback, non-static method emotions::filter_text() should not be called statically in /home/misha/public_html/2007/wp-includes/plugin.php on line 59

    Look at it this way Spats, it’s job security.

    I had an IT type tell me there was an eye dee ten tee error.

    I asked him what the hell that was and he said to write down I, D, 10, T on a piece of paper. Love the techie guys.

  21. Quicklime Comment by Quicklime

    Strict Standards: call_user_func_array() expects parameter 1 to be a valid callback, non-static method emotions::filter_text() should not be called statically in /home/misha/public_html/2007/wp-includes/plugin.php on line 59

    Hi all, long time no post (but plenty of LURK!). I thought I’d throw in some anecdotes and commiserate.

    This is more common than you think…

    Not that I haven’t forgotten to plug in the AC on occasion when I’m working on 6 or 7 units at a time (usually only takes me a second to realise it, however) but in a former job I was wearing multiple “Tech” hats.

    I took the call from the customer, a satellite office of a very large financial company running IBM 4247 line impact printers to run checks (we handled their nationwide service on these). I walked the fuming angry office manager through the basics, up to and including the “Are you sure it’s plugged in?”

    “YES! This printer is plugged in!”, he shouted. I asked again “Can you just double-check again - make sure the plug is in the wall outlet?” “I am looking at it right now, and it is definitely plugged in!” he insisted. Well, I tried anyway. Since the call was in-state and our “Southern NJ” guy was out for the day I drew the short straw from the other FE’s and drove two hours (Teterboro, NJ to Tom’s River, NJ) down there, had to find parking, get cleared through security, etc… I walk into the check printing room and… you got it, the plug wasn’t even near the outlet - it was coiled up behind the printer stand in plain view. I took one look at this vapid boob, smiled (customer service!), and charged him for two hours of labor (in addition to travel time and mileage) - he was so red-faced embarrassed that he didn’t even bother arguing with me. Job complete, and since I had his signature stating I was there for two hours I just went home (close to end-of-day with those two hours added).

    This experience is more common than you think. I have personally experienced many of the “Geek Urban Legends” myself when I was still an FE.

    - Because a remote client didn’t like the look of a third-party service technician, my manager forced me to drive from Teterboro to Utica, NY - a round trip of about 500 miles (and about 9 hours of travel). This was to change out two toner cartridges and a fuser - about 2 minutes worth of work.

    - This one is supposedly an “Urban Legend” but it really happened to me. I received a call that the “cupholder” on a computer was no longer working (this was doing backfill hardware support at a hospital). I personally went to check it out - lo and behold, a little old lady pinkshirt (volunteer) of about 75 thought the CD-ROM drive was a coffee cup holder. I had a good laugh, explained what it was to her. No need to repair it, they weren’t supposed to have access to them anyway and I’d have trouble finding a 486-compatible CD-ROM in stock.

    - BTW, that took place in 2002, and the machine was a 486SX Compaq running Windows 3.1. There is no hell deeper than Hospital IT. Worst IT job there is, hands down. I still deal with hospitals and it’s frightening. The machine was one of their main financial/billing machines. Keep that in mind if you wonder why healthcare is really messed up.

    - At another financial company, there was one woman whose 21″ Trinitron CRT displays kept dying on her. In 6 months she had 8 displays go bad on her. We were going nuts trying to figure out how these $1600+ displays kept going bad. IBM couldn’t figure out why the electronics inside were going bad, the company facilities management called in electricians and monitored her AC plugs - nothing. I happened to be there when the next “dead display” call came in. I and a co-worker walk into her cube - and that display was certainly dead, you could smell the burnt plastic from 5 feet away. This time, my co-worker was thinking clearly - he asked, “What was going on in here RIGHT BEFORE the display went bad?” This not-too-bright woman thinks for a moment, then lifts the spider plant (? not sure) sitting next to the computer and puts it on top of the monitor. “I was watering my plant right here when the screen went bad, and then I took the plant off the TV to give you room to work.” I shit you not, I couldn’t believe what I was hearing.

    When we went to move the plant away from the equipment, part of it had actually grown through the plastic housing on the back of the display (it had been 2 months since the last blow-up). The woman was lucky to be alive - and we had to explain to her (verrrrrrry slowwwwwwly) that mixing water and a CRT display could result in, uh, well “exciting” results. It’s a testament to the quality in those IBM displays that it didn’t detonate or catch on fire. Remember, they allow people like this to vote and operate vehicles.

    I understand what you’re going through Spatula - remember that there’s always the most dreaded vile name you can call these people:

    “USERS”

  22. Wild-Eyed Charlie Comment by Wild-Eyed Charlie

    Strict Standards: call_user_func_array() expects parameter 1 to be a valid callback, non-static method emotions::filter_text() should not be called statically in /home/misha/public_html/2007/wp-includes/plugin.php on line 59

    Crap like this made me glad I decided NOT to do IT support, after a career in law enforcement. I would have shot somebody MUCH quicker for “Charlie, that screensaver thingie is back! What do I do?”

    A good read on the subject is Netslaves. I can’t remember who wrote it, but it was a major part of my post-LE decision, as well as being funny as hell. After I read it, I took a good look at some of my night school profs. Point #1: If there’s so damn much money in IT, why are these guys having to teach after working their day jobs? Second, a few of them looked like they were gonna go Cho on us any minute.

  23. Unregistered Comment by demonicgerbil

    Strict Standards: call_user_func_array() expects parameter 1 to be a valid callback, non-static method emotions::filter_text() should not be called statically in /home/misha/public_html/2007/wp-includes/plugin.php on line 59

    Majesty, this is quite off topic for this post, but I’d like to bring this to your attention. You may not like Dean Esmay, but one of his co-contributors is attempting to round up a blog swarm against the Associated Propagandists, and joining in on such an effort:

    http://deanesmay.com/posts/1183673476.shtml

  24. LC Wil Comment by LC Wil

    Strict Standards: call_user_func_array() expects parameter 1 to be a valid callback, non-static method emotions::filter_text() should not be called statically in /home/misha/public_html/2007/wp-includes/plugin.php on line 59

    Quicklime:

    Duuuuude! Those ROCK! You gotta around more often!

    (watering her fucking PLANT on the CRT? Dayum!)

  25. Unregistered Comment by LC Elchonon, Imperial Chief of Civil Disobedience

    Strict Standards: call_user_func_array() expects parameter 1 to be a valid callback, non-static method emotions::filter_text() should not be called statically in /home/misha/public_html/2007/wp-includes/plugin.php on line 59

    My mom has like 0 computer skills, had to teach her how to copy and paste lol.

    I learnt computers when my dad brought me a 486 that I built up.. graduated to a emachine *barf* before y’know it I was hooked on IRC on dalnet where I got into the pre release movie ripping business (back with the 2 part 150mb each .asf .cam’s and .ts yuck!)

    Studied for A+ and MCSE but got bored of it, started ripping software and games that was more fun! I remember ripping 3D studio max and maya for a guy for 50$ lol.. I was 15 ;)

    By then I was flipping movies between tempgnc and virtual dub and g-d knows what.. I eventualy moved to israel with 600!!! dvd rips on CD and ka-ching they are all gone now lol

    My roomate however is a advanced developer so I go to him if I need any help.

    I just think computer care is simple, I cant look at a comp and say oh its blah blah blah..

    Its just common sense, if its the hard drive or ram the comp will power up and you’ll get the error..

    As in my case the comp would turn on, I would hear a few beeps and nothing on screen and thought it was video card, replaced it but nada so I need a new mother board..

  26. WayneB Comment by WayneB

    Strict Standards: call_user_func_array() expects parameter 1 to be a valid callback, non-static method emotions::filter_text() should not be called statically in /home/misha/public_html/2007/wp-includes/plugin.php on line 59

    crunchie - one day I had the opportunity to walk down to where a coworker had called the helpdesk (most of our business was supporting other companies’ computers, but we also supported our own company), and the lady who had called in had a sense of humor, because she had written “ID10T” on a piece of paper and laid it across the keyboard to wait for me.

    The real fun was trying to figure out what the heck was wrong one day when one of the hotels we supported called in and said no one in the office could connect to the internal network, but they could get to the Internet just fine. Now, it’s not like this had never happened before, but this time we couldn’t figure it out, because everything checked just fine (except everyone was turning up with weird IP addresses). Finally, someone mentioned the high speed internet that had just been installed for the customers. We pursued that, and it turned out that the communications company had just hooked into the existing infrastructure, and now their routers were handing out IPs (and no, we didn’t have the tools available to figure out where the bogus IPs were coming from).

  27. Unregistered Comment by Lord Spatula I, King & Tyrant

    Strict Standards: call_user_func_array() expects parameter 1 to be a valid callback, non-static method emotions::filter_text() should not be called statically in /home/misha/public_html/2007/wp-includes/plugin.php on line 59

    As in my case the comp would turn on, I would hear a few beeps and nothing on screen and thought it was video card, replaced it but nada so I need a new mother board.

    Maybe, maybe not.  Here’s a list of pages where you can check to see what your particular beep code means.

    Actually, you would get more if you were living up here.

    (nods) I’d also be paying  a lot more, if memory serves.

    Interestingly enough, my company announced an opening not long ago in Anchorage.  I half-seriously responded asking how much it would pay (same as I’m making now).  Which would make it a pay cut, since it costs more to live there than it does here.

    At least the customer didn’t blame you for the “power supply” problem.

    EFA, this one really was  too stupid to own a computer, unfortunately.  She’s got the airhead ditz look down pat.  I don’t think she’d've known what a power supply was if it’d shocked the crap outta her. 

    That’s pretty good money to just follow a power cord and plug the sucker in. Be thankful for small favors, like that you’re not an attorney, a sewer worker, or a proctologist–all disgustingly similar jobs

    Actually, Ay, I figure that if I were one of those, at least the idiots would be paying me a lot more. 

    So THAT’s where that comment about “Tier 1? guys came from a few days ago. I didn’t know you were an onsite support guy.

    Yeah, I’m T2, with all the abject snobbery contained therein… 

  28. Unregistered Comment by LC & IB Random Numbers

    Strict Standards: call_user_func_array() expects parameter 1 to be a valid callback, non-static method emotions::filter_text() should not be called statically in /home/misha/public_html/2007/wp-includes/plugin.php on line 59

    #1 Computer issue requiring a support call: A loose nut in front of the keyboard.

  29. LCBrendan Comment by LCBrendan

    Strict Standards: call_user_func_array() expects parameter 1 to be a valid callback, non-static method emotions::filter_text() should not be called statically in /home/misha/public_html/2007/wp-includes/plugin.php on line 59

    http://www.rinkworks.com/stupid/

    # Customer: “I’d like to return this cdrom drive.”
    # Salesman: “Ok, what was wrong with it?”
    # Customer: “It read the first side, but when I turned the CD over, it just said, ‘Drive not ready.

  30. Unregistered Comment by wrbones

    Strict Standards: call_user_func_array() expects parameter 1 to be a valid callback, non-static method emotions::filter_text() should not be called statically in /home/misha/public_html/2007/wp-includes/plugin.php on line 59

    Ah, man…

    Some of those sound like me…

    I’ve learned to leave the registry alone if I don’t what I’m doing, and that’s about it (Don’t ask)

    What I have learned in seven years of being onna internet is that I can live in the wrong part of town in a fly-over state…and with a computer doo-hickey and an internet connection… I can change the world. Being a bit busted-up around the edges, that’s what I’ve been doing almost 24/7 since 2000.

    That’s plenty of power and knowledge for me.

    ‘Course, if I keep pissing people off, I’m actually gonna have ta take the time to learn how to make this Linux do…you know…real stuff.

    Oh, yeah! I’ve learned that if yer a real activist? There ain’t no such thing as a good anti-virus program and that wireless ain’t a good way to go. A Linux gateway and multiple routers helps…some, anyway.

    …what does “scroll-lock” mean, anyway? Screw it. I gotta change the world before those dumb bastards get me killed…I gotta couple thousand emails to send out …and a little 5th gen warfare to wage…

  31. Unregistered Comment by Ignorant Mensan

    Strict Standards: call_user_func_array() expects parameter 1 to be a valid callback, non-static method emotions::filter_text() should not be called statically in /home/misha/public_html/2007/wp-includes/plugin.php on line 59

    Here’s your sign.

  32. Kristopher Comment by Kristopher

    Strict Standards: call_user_func_array() expects parameter 1 to be a valid callback, non-static method emotions::filter_text() should not be called statically in /home/misha/public_html/2007/wp-includes/plugin.php on line 59

    Welcome to my world.

    My two biggest problems:

    1) Getting some idiot to actually look at the freaking connections, as opposed to just telling me “Nobody has messed with those”.

    2) Getting some flaming idiot supervisor who thinks he knows what he is doing to hand the phone to some clerk who will simply follow directions.

    I have found that complete computer illiterates are easier to work with than “know-it-alls”. I can talk an illiterate through anything ( even using “vi” ), as long as they can follow my instructions … (

  33. WayneB Comment by WayneB

    Strict Standards: call_user_func_array() expects parameter 1 to be a valid callback, non-static method emotions::filter_text() should not be called statically in /home/misha/public_html/2007/wp-includes/plugin.php on line 59

    I have found that complete computer illiterates are easier to work with than “know-it-alls”.

    Absolutely. I also developed sneaky ways of asking questions to get people to check for real because I had “another way it could go wrong”. Like, “Hmm… sometimes the floppy drive will think there’s still a disk in it even after you eject it. Could you slip another one in there and eject it again to see if that’s the problem?” And, once in a great while, it really WAS the Hard Drive causing the error, but at least I was sure.

    Or asking them to unplug the power cord and check it for breaks…

    Oh, and for Spats: How many times have you had to complain because some twit didn’t put an important error message in a ticket? One that would have told you exactly what the problem was if you saw it?

  34. Unregistered Comment by Lord Spatula I, King & Tyrant

    Strict Standards: call_user_func_array() expects parameter 1 to be a valid callback, non-static method emotions::filter_text() should not be called statically in /home/misha/public_html/2007/wp-includes/plugin.php on line 59

    Oh, and for Spats: How many times have you had to complain because some twit didn’t put an important error message in a ticket? One that would have told you exactly what the problem was if you saw it?

    Oh, just every ticket I get… 

  35. Unregistered Comment by LC EFA

    Strict Standards: call_user_func_array() expects parameter 1 to be a valid callback, non-static method emotions::filter_text() should not be called statically in /home/misha/public_html/2007/wp-includes/plugin.php on line 59

    [blockquote]
    # Customer: “I’d like to return this cdrom drive.”
    # Salesman: “Ok, what was wrong with it?”
    # Customer: “It read the first side, but when I turned the CD over, it just said, ‘Drive not ready
    [/blockquote]

    Don’t joke about that. It’s happened to me.

    “Drive doesn’t read the “dual layer” DVD’s. was the fault logged by the salesdrone who returned the product.

    Drive tested okay ; so I was about to call the customer to find out the problem when they showed up at the workplace near to blowing a vein in their temple. Their replacement drive wouldn’t work either.

    Long story short : They really thought that they had to turn the DVD over the use the “second layer”

    Chalked that salsedrone up for some really nasty chore (cleaning the workshop) when the opportunity arose.

  36. sig94 Comment by sig94

    Strict Standards: call_user_func_array() expects parameter 1 to be a valid callback, non-static method emotions::filter_text() should not be called statically in /home/misha/public_html/2007/wp-includes/plugin.php on line 59

    Before I retired one of the things I did was provide the help desk for about 500 guys with guns who were determined to wreck havoc on everything electronic. Even the typewriters died of despair.
    We had someone from City Hall who was supposed to provide the support but she failed the civil service test three times and they still wouldn’t fire her. We locked her drunken ass once up for burglary; she flashed the cop in booking. No, it was not a pretty sight. Needless to say she was forbidden to touch a pc in the building. Minority hiring. *sigh*

  37. Bill H Comment by Bill H

    Strict Standards: call_user_func_array() expects parameter 1 to be a valid callback, non-static method emotions::filter_text() should not be called statically in /home/misha/public_html/2007/wp-includes/plugin.php on line 59

    Whenever I have to “help” someone fix something electrical in their car, I remind them to look for the simple’n’stupid stuff first. Bad ground, disconnected sensor, that sort of crap. “But my buddy who fixes appliances said it would be the computer!” I hear, looking at some new module they just spent several hundred dollars on, wondering why it still doesn’t work. Naturally enough, it isn’t returnable. A little prodding on my part, and VOILA! it turns out to be something simple’n’stupid, and now expensive as well.

    I also have developed two basic, immutable rules for electricity:
    1) You have to hook it up.
    2) You have to turn it on.
    I have seen those two rules violated repeatedly by so-called ‘installers’,'electricians’, and ‘mechanics’.

  38. Sir Guido Cabrone, LC, M.o.P. Comment by Sir Guido Cabrone, LC, M.o.P.

    Strict Standards: call_user_func_array() expects parameter 1 to be a valid callback, non-static method emotions::filter_text() should not be called statically in /home/misha/public_html/2007/wp-includes/plugin.php on line 59

    Bill H

    Whenever I have to “help” someone fix something electrical in their car, I remind them to look for the simple’n’stupid stuff first. Bad ground, disconnected sensor, that sort of crap.

    I can remember advising a co-worker once to go through everything under the hood and unplug and replug all of the electrical connectors. (he had driven into some water and the car started not running properly a few days later.)

    I got a panicked call later that day of “I can’t figure this out! Can you come help me?”

    So, I drive over to his house and walk out to the garage to see what the problem is.

    Now, I would have assumed that a person of NORMAL intelligence would have undone the connectors one at a time and then plugged them back together one at a time.

    No, this idiot had his entire wiring harness on a D-Jetronic Type 412 completely loose and laying on the bench…

    I coulda killed him.

  39. Bill H Comment by Bill H

    Strict Standards: call_user_func_array() expects parameter 1 to be a valid callback, non-static method emotions::filter_text() should not be called statically in /home/misha/public_html/2007/wp-includes/plugin.php on line 59

    No, this idiot had his entire wiring harness on a D-Jetronic Type 412 completely loose and laying on the bench…

    LOL!!!! All wires are white, with almost impossible-to-read codes, usually soaked in oil, brittle as all Hell, and many of the connectors look the same! Yup, the problem was simple’n’stupid, but it wasn’t in the D-Jet. How much of the body did he take apart to get at the computer connection? IIRC, those are not easy to snake through the rear quarter to the engine compartment.

    I wouldn’t have killed him, Guido. Without saying a word, I would have laughed at him, turned heel, and walked out, continuing to laugh down the driveway.

  40. Sir Guido Cabrone, LC, M.o.P. Comment by Sir Guido Cabrone, LC, M.o.P.

    Strict Standards: call_user_func_array() expects parameter 1 to be a valid callback, non-static method emotions::filter_text() should not be called statically in /home/misha/public_html/2007/wp-includes/plugin.php on line 59

    Without saying a word, I would have laughed at him, turned heel, and walked out, continuing to laugh down the driveway.

    Weeeellll…. Since I was dating his daughter at the time… (sayings about chrome and trailer hitches spring to mind every time I think about that relationship!)

    The only thing that kept me from killing him, (or just torching the car where it sat), was that someone, (probably Ship, the guy he got the thing from), had replaced the engine wiring harness a couple years before, and had modded a bulkhead connector in at the firewall. It only took about four hours to get it to lay back into place and I made him sit there and look up the color codes written into the shop manual he got with it.

    (I broke up with her a couple months later, having finally decided that her other “talents” didn’t make up for the fact that she couldn’t carry on a conversation above the level of “do you like this outfit? I think it’s just great!”…)

  41. Unregistered Comment by wrbones

    Strict Standards: call_user_func_array() expects parameter 1 to be a valid callback, non-static method emotions::filter_text() should not be called statically in /home/misha/public_html/2007/wp-includes/plugin.php on line 59

    As I read these intersting little views of the world, I can’t help but think of two things. Both involve a question, of sorts.

    Are we laughing because we’ve done the same kinda stupid stuff ourselves…

    …or…

    …are we laughing at stupid people because we,ourselves, are quite simply so damn smart, sexy educated, and just all around good-lookin’?

    If the former, well and good. I’ve found that Godel’s Law reigns supreme in such affairs, with more than a bit of assistance from Ol’ Man Murphy, of course.

    Entropy rules the Universe…in time…and some days are better than others for each and every one of us. Some days, the more you try to control the situation - and bring order out of chaos - the more it all to goes to hell on ya. Which is normally the same day you have to call upon a stranger for a bit of assistance…said stranger will thereafter have a little story to tell about some stupid dumbass they had to get paid to deal with. The dumbass in question being you, of course. We’re all dumbasses in someone else’s story, you see. In our own stories about ourselves, we’re always the strong, courageous heroes, the enlightened and/or suffering mentors, or else we’re the merry, but, of course, harmless pranksters.

    If we are indeed laughing at other people because we, ourselves, are so damn smart, educated - and just that handsome and beautiful? …we may not be much better than those whom we - ourselves - curse and rail against when they declare the rest of us to be decadent, spoiled, stupid, ignorant, smelly, racist, bigots for opposing their own, oh, so intelligent, educated, spiritual, knowledgable and enlightened policies.

    No dissimulation is necessary. The proposition boils down to responding with a simple ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answer.

    Of course, if a person will insist upon standing on an open hilltop - during a thunderstorm - while carrying a ten foot length of copper tubing,with an attached ‘healing’ crystal - to me, that can be legitimately considered to be the same as adding a bit more chlorine to the gene pool. Some stories do indeed have a moral, and thus, a purpose.

    Some stories, however, are only meant to serve our own, often deflated egos.

    What we must all remember, of course, is that wherever we go…there we are. If you are surrounded by dumbasses and hateful people wherever ya go…there might be a reason for that…ya dumbass.

    Now.

    Let’s all go get our signs.

    ;O)

    Just…something to think about.

  42. Emperor Misha I Comment by Emperor Misha I

    Strict Standards: call_user_func_array() expects parameter 1 to be a valid callback, non-static method emotions::filter_text() should not be called statically in /home/misha/public_html/2007/wp-includes/plugin.php on line 59

    Are we laughing because we’ve done the same kinda stupid stuff ourselves…

    …or…

    …are we laughing at stupid people because we,ourselves, are quite simply so damn smart, sexy educated, and just all around good-lookin’?

    Personally? Both.

    I laugh at the dumbasses because it feels good to be the smart one every once in a while and, at the same time, I laugh at myself because it reminds me of the times when I was the one doing the truly stupid stuff.

    Or, to put it another way, I couldn’t truly laugh at others unless I was also able to laugh at myself and I couldn’t laugh at myself if I couldn’t laugh at others. I don’t know, I guess I just like to laugh at the absurdities of life, myself included.

    The world is a screwed up place, and it helps to laugh at it. Actually, it becomes downright enjoyable when you do.

  43. psychochick Comment by psychochick

    Strict Standards: call_user_func_array() expects parameter 1 to be a valid callback, non-static method emotions::filter_text() should not be called statically in /home/misha/public_html/2007/wp-includes/plugin.php on line 59

    Hi Misha,

    I will part with an idiot story. There was the sound of water running in the house, and you could hear it in the wall out front. Two plumbing companies gave estimtes for $4600 and $6000 for re-plumbing the house, because one said it was going in the wall and the other under the slab. Then the spousal unit found a hose running in a flower bed in the backyard! Suddenly there was no more noise of water running. We had the scary dog in the backyard, so they did’t go back there. It’s scary we were about to spend that much money unnecessarily, and you would think two plumbers would figure out that a hose was running. I have to concur with the advice to not use those companies again.

    OK Geeks (I mean that as a compliment),

    1) I have a Mac–it should be impervious to hacking. (People have set them up and offered a lot of money to hack into one, like 50 K, and people couldn’t do it. The one where they could, they let the person into the network)

    2) I had offered my address to that rape victim on the pregnant victim murder thread, not realizing the whole thread would be posted somewhere else. Sometimes I make a mistake logging into my Yahoo account. Usually happens only once, maybe twice occasionally. This time three tries wouldn’t let me in. I thought someone had hacked in and changed my password. There aren’t any caps issues. There were no problems with the 2 other Yahoo accounts that weren’t mentioned on the site.

    3) If it did indeed happen and didn’t happen through the Mac, could someone do that through Yahoo, or are there all sorts of protections to keep that from happening? The password was “nine9inch”, so a program could probably get that. I know next to nothing about hacking, which is probably a very good thing.

    I can’t figure out if I’m paranoid (a given) or have a legitimate concern. Any comments greatly appreciated! Maybe I just screwed up three times singing in, but it seems unlikely. I just want to know if it seems possible that I was hacked. Thanks.

  44. Unregistered Comment by wrbones

    Strict Standards: call_user_func_array() expects parameter 1 to be a valid callback, non-static method emotions::filter_text() should not be called statically in /home/misha/public_html/2007/wp-includes/plugin.php on line 59

    Personally? Both.

    ;O) Me, too.

    For those who didn’t recognize it, my tongue was firmly planted in my cheek during my previous post. If we learned somethin’ along the way, that works, too. (Let’s see…weirdness, humor, funny shit, kinda-sorta on topic. Yeah. I think I got that one inna right place.)

    …one of these days, I’ll have to tell ya about the time my truck went to town without me or anyone else inna driver’s seat. …a chainsaw, tourists and a busy state highway were also involved.

    The chainsaw didn’t care, but I was mad ’cause I wanted to go to town, too. The tourists were givin’ me funny looks, but it was the truck’s idea. Honest.

  45. Sir Guido Cabrone, LC, M.o.P. Comment by Sir Guido Cabrone, LC, M.o.P.

    Strict Standards: call_user_func_array() expects parameter 1 to be a valid callback, non-static method emotions::filter_text() should not be called statically in /home/misha/public_html/2007/wp-includes/plugin.php on line 59

    Are we laughing because we’ve done the same kinda stupid stuff ourselves…

    …or…

    …are we laughing at stupid people because we,ourselves, are quite simply so damn smart, sexy educated, and just all around good-lookin’?

    Both! (I refuse to mention the time that I spent cussing Lucas, (prince of hell and darkness, with specific powers over electricity), until finally figuring out, (after a friend mentioned it to me over the phone, that the circuit breaker was in “test” mode on the power strip. (The little pilot light on the switch was glowing, but there was no juice coming from the outlets…))

  46. Unregistered Comment by jimmytheclaw

    Strict Standards: call_user_func_array() expects parameter 1 to be a valid callback, non-static method emotions::filter_text() should not be called statically in /home/misha/public_html/2007/wp-includes/plugin.php on line 59

    its an eye dee ten tee ERROR

    tell them that but dont let em write it down

  47. LC Wil Comment by LC Wil

    Strict Standards: call_user_func_array() expects parameter 1 to be a valid callback, non-static method emotions::filter_text() should not be called statically in /home/misha/public_html/2007/wp-includes/plugin.php on line 59

    MrBones:

    Are we laughing because we’ve done the same kinda stupid stuff ourselves…

    …or…

    …are we laughing at stupid people because we,ourselves, are quite simply so damn smart, sexy educated, and just all around good-lookin’?

    Myself, I laugh because they are FUNNY. I suppose I could honestly answer “both”, as well, but mostly because they are funny.

    Life is too short, too tragic, too painful and too full of problems to take it seriously. Like most people, I laugh because the alternative is to sit down in the middle of the road, and give up.

    The day humanity stops laughing at itself, we will cease to exist. That would be the biggest tragedy of all.

  48. Sir Guido Cabrone, LC, M.o.P. Comment by Sir Guido Cabrone, LC, M.o.P.

    Strict Standards: call_user_func_array() expects parameter 1 to be a valid callback, non-static method emotions::filter_text() should not be called statically in /home/misha/public_html/2007/wp-includes/plugin.php on line 59

    Wil

    Like most people, I laugh because the alternative is to sit down in the middle of the road, and give up.

    During a very bad time in my life, I was sitting in a chair quietly chuckling. I was asked, very pointedly, what was so funny?

    My reply? “Sometimes, you have to either start laughing or start killing, which do YOU want me to do?”

  49. Sir Guido Cabrone, LC, M.o.P. Comment by Sir Guido Cabrone, LC, M.o.P.

    Strict Standards: call_user_func_array() expects parameter 1 to be a valid callback, non-static method emotions::filter_text() should not be called statically in /home/misha/public_html/2007/wp-includes/plugin.php on line 59

    psychochick

    I just want to know if it seems possible that I was hacked. Thanks.

    Yes, it does. You had posted that address in the comments, (nicely obfuscated, I might add!), and had mentioned that your favorite band was Nine Inch Nails. If you don’t use a password scheme like some that have been described here. (I don’t remember what thread that was in, does anybody else?), then it is possible that someone did, indeed, hack your account.

    You have to keep in mind, here, as well as everywhere else on the ‘Net, that there are people out there who will, (and do), mess with you just because they can.

    More to the point, you are posting at a conservative website, and there are many little script kiddies out there who will spare no efforts to mess up your life just because you are doing so. Among other things, this is why the Emperor removed your personal data from that post so long ago.

    Now, is that the same email that you used to register here at?

    Did you change your password here to something else, or is that email (with the password) still in the account?

    If this is true, you had better be on the keyboard to Misha RIGHT NOW to change that situation.

    If it just turns out to be something wonky with Yahoo, then no harm done. If your account did get hit, you have a situation here.

    Better to panic when you don’t need to than to not panic when you should have.

  50. Sir Guido Cabrone, LC, M.o.P. Comment by Sir Guido Cabrone, LC, M.o.P.

    Strict Standards: call_user_func_array() expects parameter 1 to be a valid callback, non-static method emotions::filter_text() should not be called statically in /home/misha/public_html/2007/wp-includes/plugin.php on line 59

    psychochick

    One more suggestion. As soon as you read this, try going to yahoo.com and do the password recovery link.
    Then, for pity’s sake, use a secure password scheme, and do it NOW.

    (For a quick and easy one, look at the nearest book on your desk, and use either the title of the book or the author’s name/ISBN number/publisher/etc.)

    If you need suggestions, there are people here who can give you some easy and not so easy ones.

    Just do it.

  51. Unregistered Comment by Lord Spatula I, King & Tyrant

    Strict Standards: call_user_func_array() expects parameter 1 to be a valid callback, non-static method emotions::filter_text() should not be called statically in /home/misha/public_html/2007/wp-includes/plugin.php on line 59

    Are we laughing because we’ve done the same kinda stupid stuff ourselves…

    Yes and no.  I’ve done the same sort of stupid stuff (remind me to tell you how I damned near trashed the first incarnation of Spatula City BBS! one of these days - it’s a classic).

    But I never called for help unless I’d done absolutely, positively every-friggin’-thing I could  to fix it myself.

    I hate, hate, hate, HATE!!!!!!!  asking for help with the purplest of passions.  It’s that engineer’s heart in me, I s’pose.

    …are we laughing at stupid people because we,ourselves, are quite simply so damn smart, sexy educated, and just all around good-lookin’?

    Hey, I’m that way anyway

  52. LC Wil Comment by LC Wil

    Strict Standards: call_user_func_array() expects parameter 1 to be a valid callback, non-static method emotions::filter_text() should not be called statically in /home/misha/public_html/2007/wp-includes/plugin.php on line 59

    Guido:

    During a very bad time in my life, I was sitting in a chair quietly chuckling. I was asked, very pointedly, what was so funny?

    My reply? “Sometimes, you have to either start laughing or start killing, which do YOU want me to do?”

    BT,DT, outgrew the t-shirt. This particular emotional disconnect was first discribed in literature (AFAIK) by Bob Heinlein in “Stranger in a Strange Land” (Jubal Harshaw to Jill Boardman). Thought I had been hit in the head with a 2×4 first time I read the passage.

  53. Bill H Comment by Bill H

    Strict Standards: call_user_func_array() expects parameter 1 to be a valid callback, non-static method emotions::filter_text() should not be called statically in /home/misha/public_html/2007/wp-includes/plugin.php on line 59

    As I read these intersting little views of the world, I can’t help but think of two things. Both involve a question, of sorts.

    Are we laughing because we’ve done the same kinda stupid stuff ourselves…

    …or…

    …are we laughing at stupid people because we,ourselves, are quite simply so damn smart, sexy educated, and just all around good-lookin’?

    WR, I can pretty easily laugh at myself on occassion. Just a couple of days ago I had what could charitably called a ’senior moment’ involving the power windows on a freshly restored ‘66 Chevy PU. My mistake finally occured to me in a state of light inebriation- “Awwww, fuck- why am I wiring it that way? All I have to do is this…” and my problem disappeared. But let me clue you in- I’m not be sexy educated. I taught myself wiring theory, proper technique, fabrication, and all the other stuff that goes with fabricating custom systems from scratch. I’m not all-around good lookin’. It took me a very long time to find someone to get past the “Do I repulse you?” stage with. I may even be one of the duller tools in the shed. But when some asshole prima-donna wanna-be rodder vapor locks when I quote him 3500.00 for his new system, parts inclusive, telling me he’s got the 16y.o. down the block lined up for a Grant and a case of Pepsi (YES!! That really happened to me!!), I have to wonder what part of town he got his dope from, and why isn’t he sharing. The denoument came when he came back 6 months later, wailing about how nothing worked, system was shorting out, lots of broken pieces, and so on. I told him to take it elsewhere, he did, and they promtly charged him nearly double for less work. He was the one who was smart, educated, and good-lookin’. That’s why it cost him the thick end of 7K to have that job done twice.

    I’ve earned my right to laugh at some moron like that.

  54. Bill H Comment by Bill H

    Strict Standards: call_user_func_array() expects parameter 1 to be a valid callback, non-static method emotions::filter_text() should not be called statically in /home/misha/public_html/2007/wp-includes/plugin.php on line 59

    I do have to say that I take (took?) that line of work a bit too intensely towards the end. I am FAR happier at the casino as a simple slot tech.

  55. Unregistered Trackback by Cheap Custom Built Computers

    Strict Standards: call_user_func_array() expects parameter 1 to be a valid callback, non-static method emotions::filter_text() should not be called statically in /home/misha/public_html/2007/wp-includes/plugin.php on line 59

    Cheap Custom Built Computers…

    I couldn’t understand some parts of this article, but it sounds interesting…