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Where’s the ‘On’ switch?


My first day working at my new job, my boss didn’t have a desk for me yet. She took me into an office that was not in use, as the individual was gone for the holidays. A hurricane had gone through our city the weekend before, so all of the computers in the building had been unplugged and laid up in case of flooding.

When we went into the office, my boss pushed the power button on the desktop. Nothing happened. Minutes pass with her repeatedly pressing power and looking for signs of life in the computer. Finally she looks at the floor and sees the surge protector. She flips the switch and again tried the power button. Still nothing. After a few more minutes of consternation, she realizes the surge protector isn’t plugged in. She grabs the cord, finds the plug, and plugs it in… to the surge protector.I’m quietly standing behind my boss, trying not to laugh out loud when I see her do this. She then continues to try in vain to turn on the computer by pushing power and flipping the surge protector switch.

Finally, she follows the surge protector cord around to where it is plugged into itself, and says “That’s odd! Why would someone have plugged the surge protector into itself?”. She was completely serious- and genuinely baffled! I was dying trying to not laugh at her. Finally she got the computer started and I was able to get my work done.

By: Lindsay

[Picture Source: grggrssmr (CC)]

Tesla Printing


So I was the network admin for a mining company, and we had just opened another office about 45 minutes drive from the office I normally worked in.  The second day the new office was open I got a call;

“The printers aren’t working.”

Me: “Have you checked all the cables?”

“Yes, everything is hooked up.  We checked twice.”

I run user through the printer checklist.

“It’s still not working, I think you’ll have to come down and fix it”

…45 minutes later

Me: “Well, here’s your problem, the power cable was on the shelf.”

“I thought we had wireless?”


Yeah, wireless electricity.  I guess we have a Tesla coil in the printer room…

By: Justin

[Picture Source: pslawinski (CC)]

F1 have error


It’s the least of his problems…via [computing.net]

The printers from hell.


A little while ago we went from 60+ owned desktop printers to 16 leased MFDs. From a management point of view, much much cheaper to run and 4 hour callout on repairs. From a user point of view a longer walk to collect printouts and oooooo! CHANGE!

So, within a few weeks most users have settled down. Except one. Over a year later she is still complaining.

“The printer won’t print”

Me: *quick look at remote status app* “Its out of paper”

“What kind of crap design is this?”

“The printer won’t print”

Me: *quick look at remote status app* “oh, its out of toner”

“How can it be out of toner? we’ve only had the printer 9 months its crap!”

“The printer won’t do double sided, what a waste of money”

Me: *show the double sided button*

“We need the guys to come and look at the printer”

Me: “Why?”

“Every time I click this button in SIMS.net it crashes with the message unhandled exception”

Me: “So why is that the fault of the printer?”*

“blahblahblahblah – insert user generated bullcrap here”

And the greatest of all, to do a copy you have to log on with user and password. So I’ve had about 5 iterations of this.

“I can’t log on to the printer”

Me: “but you are logged on to the PC?”


Me: “Its the same User/Pass”

“No its not, its different on the printer”

Me: “It can’t be, they both authenticate against the same source”

*I go down, test printer with other users – it works*

Eventual solution?

“So if my password has capital letters in, I have to put the capital letters in the printer? Thats crap!”

* Yes, I know. don’t encourage the users.

By: Simon

The Web Site is Down: Sales Guy vs. Web Dude [video]


I’m sure most of you have seen this one by now, but since this is a classic and is probably one of the most hilarious videos that relates to sys/network admins, I thought you guys wouldn’t mind seeing it again. Enjoy!  Note that there may be some NSFW language and imagery in here. OK, who am I kidding? There’s more than a few F-bombs thrown around and a phallic icon layout toward the end.

via: [thewebsiteisdown.com]

A Printing Problem…


A fairly busy day and things ticking along as normal when I recieve a call regarding a printer that “isn’t working” and “unable to print”.

Being the person that it was that had raised the call, it was something I had to hurry down to.

I arrive at their office and take a look at their printer after they have told me the whole story again. Upon checking the cables, I discover that the USB cable for the printer has been lodged into the network port on the laptop.

I removed it and plugged it in correctly.

They felt slightly embarassed and let’s say I left the office trying my best not to laugh…

By: SteveUK

why please help thankyou


I too have trouble holding the internit time.

via [computing.net]




Awkward silence: now available via IM!


What make this even funnier is that it was my sister in law that said this to me…

A Story About ‘Magic’


I dont personally know when or where this was originally posted but it must be fairly old as the PDP-10 machine mentioned it from around the 60/70’s! this version was borrowed from the catb.org Jargon file.

Some years ago, I (GLS) was snooping around in the cabinets that housed the MIT AI Lab’s PDP-10, and noticed a little switch glued to the frame of one cabinet. It was obviously a homebrew job, added by one of the lab’s hardware hackers (no one knows who).

You don’t touch an unknown switch on a computer without knowing what it does, because you might crash the computer. The switch was labeled in a most unhelpful way. It had two positions, and scrawled in pencil on the metal switch body were the words ‘magic’ and ‘more magic’. The switch was in the ‘more magic’ position.

I called another hacker over to look at it. He had never seen the switch before either. Closer examination revealed that the switch had only one wire running to it! The other end of the wire did disappear into the maze of wires inside the computer, but it’s a basic fact of electricity that a switch can’t do anything unless there are two wires connected to it. This switch had a wire connected on one side and no wire on its other side.

It was clear that this switch was someone’s idea of a silly joke. Convinced by our reasoning that the switch was inoperative, we flipped it. The computer instantly crashed.

Imagine our utter astonishment. We wrote it off as coincidence, but nevertheless restored the switch to the ‘more magic’ position before reviving the computer.

A year later, I told this story to yet another hacker, David Moon as I recall. He clearly doubted my sanity, or suspected me of a supernatural belief in the power of this switch, or perhaps thought I was fooling him with a bogus saga. To prove it to him, I showed him the very switch, still glued to the cabinet frame with only one wire connected to it, still in the ‘more magic’ position. We scrutinized the switch and its lone connection, and found that the other end of the wire, though connected to the computer wiring, was connected to a ground pin. That clearly made the switch doubly useless: not only was it electrically nonoperative, but it was connected to a place that couldn’t affect anything anyway. So we flipped the switch.

The computer promptly crashed.

This time we ran for Richard Greenblatt, a long-time MIT hacker, who was close at hand. He had never noticed the switch before, either. He inspected it, concluded it was useless, got some diagonal cutters and diked it out. We then revived the computer and it has run fine ever since.
We still don’t know how the switch crashed the machine. There is a theory that some circuit near the ground pin was marginal, and flipping the switch changed the electrical capacitance enough to upset the circuit as millionth-of-a-second pulses went through it. But we’ll never know for sure; all we can really say is that the switch was magic.

I still have that switch in my basement. Maybe I’m silly, but I usually keep it set on ‘more magic’.

1994: Another explanation of this story has since been offered. Note that the switch body was metal. Suppose that the non-connected side of the switch was connected to the switch body (usually the body is connected to a separate earth lug, but there are exceptions). The body is connected to the computer case, which is, presumably, grounded. Now the circuit ground within the machine isn’t necessarily at the same potential as the case ground, so flipping the switch connected the circuit ground to the case ground, causing a voltage drop/jump which reset the machine. This was probably discovered by someone who found out the hard way that there was a potential difference between the two, and who then wired in the switch as a joke.

By: James

[Picture Source: Marcin Wichary (CC)]