Shark Tank: Um, no thanks

Just before this meeting is to start, IT pilot fish gets user's laptop attached to the digital projector. The meeting's presenter hands fish his presentation -- on a CD. 'That's when I notice the laptop has no CD drive,' sighs fish. 'No problem,' user says brightly. 'I'll get my boombox. It has a CD player in it!'

          A minute before this meeting is scheduled to start, IT pilot fish gets user's laptop attached to the digital projector. Then the meeting's presenter hands fish his presentation -- on a CD. "That's when I notice the laptop has no CD drive," sighs fish. "No problem," user says brightly. "I'll get my boombox. It has a CD player in it!"

          Unclear on the concept

          Why won't these newly installed servers work? "They installed the servers in the racks first, then drilled some holes above them," reports service pilot fish diagnosing the trouble. "In doing so, they got some metal filings into the SCSI boards, which caused trouble." Trouble enough? Nope. "Then they proceeded to drill a few more holes," sighs fish. "Right through the hard drives."

          It's a disaster

          Pilot fish is doing a full-scale evaluation for a disaster recovery plan, and he keeps asking his boss the same questions: Will there be an off-site recovery site? An off-site work area? Daily full backups? After weeks of nagging, he finally gets a response: The budget for anything off-site has been cut, and the answers are no, no and no. Then the boss has a question of his own: "So how is the disaster recovery plan coming?"

          Get him a name tag

          This boss has constant problems with his network and mail passwords. "He'd either lock himself out and not be able to get into the network or would be unable to open his mail," says IT pilot fish. "We wound up having to remove the requirement for a network password, so he'd have only one to remember. What's worse is, both passwords were his first name."

          It doesn't add up

          When a spreadsheet program isn't providing the right totals to some computations, pilot fish comes in to troubleshoot. "It turned out the lady using the spreadsheet didn't know how to make totals in Excel and was too timid to ask," fish sighs. "So she was hand-jamming all the computations on a calculator -- and just typing in the results."

          Not real time

          County's new geographic information system is a year in the making, complete with specially taken aerial photos. "At the demonstration, I try to impress a council member by zooming from the view of the entire county down to a car parked in his driveway," says IT pilot fish. "His astonished comment: 'Shelley said she was visiting her sister today!' "

          Feed the Shark! Send your true tale of IT life to sharky@computerworld.com. You snag a snazzy Shark shirt if we use it.

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