Shark Tank: See a PIN and pick it up ...

New system requires PIN for access, but user can't log in. Helpdesk pilot fish walks him through it, but user complains, 'It isn't taking my PIN number.' You sure it's the right one? fish asks. 'I have two, Visa and MasterCard,' user says. 'Neither one worked.'

Hospital's new computerised transcription system requires a PIN for access, but one older doctor can't manage to log in. "I didn't have time for the instruction class -- how do I do this?" he asks helpdesk pilot fish. Fish walks him through it, but doc complains, "It isn't taking my PIN number." Are you sure it's the right one? fish asks. "I have two, Visa and MasterCard," doc says. "Neither one worked."

Them

Pilot fish reviewing backup policy is surprised when sysadmin tells him his group doesn't store backups off-site. What if there's a disaster? fish asks. "If there's going to be a disaster, whoever lives the farthest away takes the back-up tapes home," sysadmin says. But what if it's an unexpected disaster? fish asks. "Oh," sysadmin tells him, "they'll always let us know in advance if there's going to be a disaster." Says fish, "I didn't have the guts to ask who 'they' are."

No secrets here

Pilot fish quits his county government job but still has his email account to help during the transition. Then he receives a message from a new IT guy, asking all users with remote access for their phone numbers, log-ins and passwords. "I hoped all the users I had repeatedly schooled in security would refuse to respond," says fish. But one department head not only emails his password, but also clicks on "Reply to all," fish says -- "so every user in the county got the message."

Sure, that should fix it

This not-for-profit group has constant IT troubles and an IT guy who keeps spending money without fixing the problems. So the organisation's president sets up an IT advisory board to come up with a plan, says pilot fish on the board. But in-house IT guy resists implementing the new plan -- so much that he's fired. The result? "The president hires back the IT guy as a consultant at a better rate to fix the problems he didn't fix as an employee," sighs fish. "Go figure."

If at first ...

User ignores the requirements listed on the box of this CD burner -- after all, how different can Windows 98 Second Edition be from the regular version of Windows 98 on his laptop? Now it won't boot properly, so he tries using the Windows ME disk from his daughter's PC to repair the damage. "Fortunately, I was able to undo most of the mess he made," says IT pilot fish. "Then he asked, 'After you reload everything, do you think I can try to hook up that burner again?' "

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