A Shark Tank tale a few weeks ago about mice at a school not working because they were exposed to too much sun reminded a New Zealand pilot fish of a similar thing happening.
"My company ordered new desks for everybody (about 15 of us)", he notes. "These were really nice, hand made wooden desks. For the first couple of weeks everything went well, then one day the glass tops arrived. The glass was designed to protect the hardwood tops, which it did very well (unless you managed to get water under it but that is a different story).
Anyway 15 sheets of glass were delivered, we all took everything off our desks, gave them a wipe down, put the glass on top of the desk and started to boot up again.
After a few minutes a chorus of "Huh?, what the..??" started to fill the office. Followed by the more and more frantic slapping of mice on the glass surface (especially from the marketing corner of the room).
It didn't take long for us to realise the glass was confusing the light on the mice and totally stopping them from working. We went and bought out Dick Smith's supply of mouse mats.
This was a number of years ago and not long after, optical mice started to become common.
No cable, no printer IT site manager pilot fish at a big manufacturer gets a call from an engineer — who's frantic. "He said he was sending some engineering drawings to his plotter that he needed for an upcoming presentation, but nothing was printing out," says fish. "Could I please investigate and fix the problem right away?" Fish checks the printer queue on the server. Everything looks OK in terms of the printer description, and the print spooler service is started. But documents are indeed stuck in the printer queue. So fish drops what he's doing and heads across the company campus to the engineer's office, so he can check the plotter itself to see if it's a hardware issue. But everything seems to check out. The IP address on the plotter is correct. It matches the IP address on the printer queue. All printer cartridges appear to be full and functional. The paper is loaded properly. Fish is just making sure that the network cable is securely connected when the user interrupts him. "Is this cord that we inadvertently cut when we were moving furniture around significant?" he asks. "Naturally, it was the Cat-5 cable," fish sighs. "I replaced the cable, and the plotter started printing all queued documents."