Shark Tank: You don't say

'The search function on one of my Lotus Notes databases isn't working,' user messages help desk pilot fish. We have many Lotus Notes databases, fish replies, which one isn't working? User fires back, 'When you open Lotus Notes, it will be the database on the left.'

          "The search function on one of my Lotus Notes databases isn't working," user messages help desk pilot fish. We have many Lotus Notes databases, fish replies, which one isn't working? User fires back, "When you open Lotus Notes, it will be the database on the left."

          Banking application keeps losing one field in a report. Pilot fish spends a week trying to locate the problem and finally finds it: "There's a bad 2 bit on the backplane of the processor," he tells the bank's president. Furious president calls computer vendor's CEO to howl that it took a week to fix this problem due to "a lousy 25-cent part."

          Mainframe channel controller's indicator lights keep blinking red for error. At 5am, after 10 hours of fruitless troubleshooting, computer engineer finally strolls into the command centre and tells IT pilot fish he's fixed all the red-light errors. How'd you do it? fish asks. Says engineer, "I just changed them all to white lights."

          Why is the wrong day's backup tape in the server? boss asks. IT pilot fish points out that the backup system hasn't worked in two years, so why waste time changing tapes every day for a broken backup system? Wrong, says boss: "Just because it doesn't work, doesn't mean we don't put the tapes in there."

          New IT security rules at this school are tight, pilot fish reports. Access to attendance application is via VPN and requires a synchronous key generator, three user names and three passwords. But one teacher finds a way around the password hassles: "Now I just turn my monitor off when I go home."

          Have your say: sharky@computerworld.com. You get a sharp Shark shirt if your true tale of IT life sees print or if it shows up in the daily feed at computerworld.com/sharky.

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