Shark Tank: Toast

User tells support pilot fish that his PC keeps locking up. 'His old PC has two faceplates missing from expansion bays,' fish says. 'Looking into the open bays, I saw a sandwich lying on the hard drive.' Yeah, so? user says. 'I always put my lunch in there to keep it warm.'

          User tells support pilot fish that his PC keeps locking up. "His old PC has two faceplates missing from expansion bays," fish says. "Looking into the open bays, I saw a sandwich lying on the hard drive." Yeah, so? user says. "I always put my lunch in there to keep it warm."

          One ad idea after another

          Support pilot fish races to the scene after he gets the report of a totally trashed PC that's soaking wet and a user who was injured in the process. He finds dirty water everywhere, a galvanized pail, a ceiling tile -- and an explanation. "The user put the bucket in the ceiling, to catch water from a minor leak overhead," says fish. "Over time, the bucket filled with water -- and it finally broke through the ceiling tile."

          Stuck

          "I walked into the office one Monday morning to find a mud-encrusted, mangled red metal box lying on my desk," pilot fish reports. It's the box for transporting the week's backup tapes. What happened? The tech transporting the tapes got stuck in a graveled parking lot, so he used it for leverage under his rear wheel, boss tells fish. Did he remove the tapes first? fish asks. Boss shrugs: "He didn't have the key."

          Cool, dude!

          The new cooling system for this office is delayed, so the project manager buys a room air conditioner and points it at the server. "But the back end of his air conditioner was blowing hot air into the room," says pilot fish on the scene. "It took some work to convince him that this actually made the room hotter."

          Details, details

          Local government pilot fish works with techs from phone company, which won a contract to install ATM networking downtown. "The night we were installing the first link," fish sighs, "I heard their network engineer mumble, 'It didn't work in the lab either.' That's when I had to teach those field engineers the difference between optical saturation and minimum power requirements."

          Crazy notion

          It's 1980, and this pilot fish needs to deliver a report pronto to his boss on a university campus 200 kilometres away. Fish's terminal is connected to the mainframe on his boss's campus, so he sends the report to a professor who uses the mainframe.

          "I headed the report with a line that politely asked the prof to send an assistant to deliver the report to the other building," fish remembers.

          "The professor was outraged, and replied, 'The computer is not for sending messages!' "

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