“What idiot keeps a permanent marker near his whiteboard?”

The funny part of this story isn’t actually computer related, but the backstory leading up to it was…

The year was 2003 – I was at my previous job, and before we had a really robust AV solution on our systems, we would routinely get infected with viruses. Our company layout was basically a North American hub, connected remotely via 56K (in some locations) all the way up to 512K IP enabled frame-relay…i.e. SLOW. However, most access at the remote plants were basically relegated to Citrix, AS/400 connectivity, with some minor domain replication going on with their AD Domain Controllers, so speed wasn’t needed, but with the very nature of IP enabled frame-relay, it made virus propagation very easy.

Anyway – one day, we had one of our epic virus infections and I was working late to try and clean up systems and view router connection stats. My manager comes in, grabs a marker from his pocket and start hashing out a response plan on my freshly installed whiteboard behind my desk.

We get a hefty bit of info/plan on the whiteboard and my boss puts the marker down on my desk – – I look at it closer – he just used a permanent Sharpie marker on my whiteboard. He immediately realized what he had done and said “What kind of idiot keeps a permanent marker on his whiteboard?” and walks out.

Not that it couldn’t be removed, but didn’t I have enough things to clean up already?

Picture source: [Blitzen the Demoralizer (CC)]

Speaking of being robbed, I want my 5 minutes back.

Just occurred a few minutes ago.

One of my users (one of the big money makers here) walks up and said…”So, I play this game ‘Crime City’ on my iPhone. I can’t seem to play it on our WiFi, so then I have to switch to my cellular connection to play it. If I keep it open, then I won’t get robbed, if I keep having to switch networks, then I get robbed.”

Thinking to myself: “Here it comes…”

“I’d like you to open up the network web-filter thing so I can play my game…I mean, it’s not porn or anything.”

are you kidding me

Hipsters, rejoice! Now you can have the best of both worlds. [video]

Seen here typing like they’ve time-traveled from the 1850’s, a person (presumably the creator) demonstrates the iTypeWriter and how he gets his money’s worth out of his screen warranty. If you watch the first 10 seconds of the video, you’ve seen it all, so heads-up, there’s no big surprise at the end.

From Austin Yang’s website (obviously this was loosely translated):

It is a typewriter for the ipad. Users can enjoy the old feeling of typing and also the lastest technology. Even though the elder users who have never used the computer or ipad, they can use this familiar typewriter and type in the familiar operation way. For some specific group of users, this product provide an easier way to type on the ipad. People could be able to recollect old experience and memory by familiar appearance and haptic feedback. Instead of stroking on the screen with no feedback, this product can reflect a strong haptic feedback. User can experience the physical strength transfer from the keypad and the movement of each key.

via: [Austin-Yang.com]

IT Manager: “This computer I built won’t boot.” [story]

This story republished with permission by the Daily WTF:

“Hey, can you give me a hand? This computer I built won’t boot.”

Alexander sighed, and went to see what Nicholas had done now.

Only a few weeks before, around the start of the year 2001, Alexander was full of hope and optimism for the new century. He and his co-workers called themselves the “AnyKey Men”: they fixed and built desktops, fed the printers, and showed the users how to find the “any key”. Alexander had a great IT manager, and some great co-workers, and was happy with his job.

Then his manager left. Alexander had been his right-hand man, and assumed he would be promoted. As much sense as promoting internally might have made, the job went to Nicholas.

Nicholas brought with him a raft of certifications purchased from a local training company. More important, he was the owner’s cousin. And more important than that: Nicholas’s mother assured everyone that he was very good with computers.

Nicholas believed his own hype, and came in the first day full of swagger. He didn’t understand what a command-line was, made a racially offensive “whooping” sound when Alexander mentioned Apache, and needed help finding the “any key”. Each time Alexander had to correct something or fix some mistake Nicholas had made, Nicholas hated him a little bit more. Alexander tried to explain to the owner that Nicholas wasn’t actually qualified, but simply got scolded for his “negative attitude” and his “sabotage” of his new boss.

And now, Nicholas was actively seeking out Alexander for help. He must have seriously screwed up this computer.

Alexander started by pushing the power button, just to see what happened. The fans spun up, but nothing else happened- no POST beeps, no blinking lights, nothing. Alexander popped the side of the case, expecting to see something horrible and obviously wrong, but at a cursory glance, the only thing wrong was the sloppy cabling. He traced, disconnected and resat all of the key cables. The green LED on the mainboard lit up, indicating it got power.

That still didn’t fix anything. Alexander checked a few more obvious things, then reached in, past the rat’s nest of cables, to pull the heat sink from the CPU. It slid right off into his hand, because it wasn’t properly seated. There wasn’t a drop of thermal grease, either.

“You really need to put thermal grease on here.”

“I totally did,” Nicholas protested. “I used a bunch.”

Alexander ignored his obvious lie, and reached in to pull out the CPU . It was a Socket-A style mount, which had a lever to release the chip. When Alexander pulled on the lever, it refused to budge. The CPU wobbled in the socket, something that the Socket-A mount was supposed to render impossible. It either was seated or it wasn’t.

Alexander put a little more force onto the lever, and after some unpleasant crackling, the socket slid open. The chip practically jumped out of the socket, overjoyed to be free of its restraints. A glob of thermal grease jumped out from beneath it. Nicholas hadn’t been lying.

Socket-A mounts, like most CPU mounts, were designed to allow a chip to enter one way. When the chip was oriented correctly, it would simply slide into the mount with no friction. Any other orientation would refuse to let the chip in. It was essentially fool-proof.

Everything is fool-proof until they invent a better fool. When the chip didn’t slide into place, Nicholas slathered an inch of lubricant on the pins and then jammed the chip into the socket like it was going into the backseat of a Volkswagen.

“Can you fix it?” Nicholas asked.

Alexander looked at the bottom of the chip. Pins were bent and a few were broken. By rights, the ceramic base should have given out with that kind of pressure, and it was only because fate loves idiots that the chip wasn’t broken into a pile of shiny pieces. “No.”

This wasn’t just any desktop that Nicholas had ruined. This particular computer was bound for the owner’s desk. Nicholas had proudly ordered the best parts available, and had spent weeks bragging about how awesome the computer would be.

The computer was broken, and Alexander was the last person to touch it. Nicholas cried to his cousin, who screamed at Alexander. Threats of unemployment flowed freely. Frustrated, Alexander returned to his desk and checked his email.

There was a note from his old boss. A new position had opened up, and he wanted Alexander to apply.

via: [The Daily WTF]