I just checked in a mirror and I don't appear to look like you, but somehow I feel I should.
Dabbsy has certain commitments which mean he won't be able to file a fresh one for you this week. So El Reg is running a column he wrote in 2013 in the hopes you don't remember reading it. We barely remember breakfast. Did we have breakfast? – Love, the Vulture backroom gremlins A colleague strides purposefully across the open- …
No glare here. Literally get called over to just stand there. 90% of the time I don't even look at the offending machine. The other 10%? I don't even reach the users desk before the damn thing starts working normally.
"Must've been the threat of you coming over!"
In my experience, it tends to work with any kind of tech in general, no matter how dumb. I prefer to interpret it as a sign of silent terror induced by my presence, in a kind of unspoken but implied "you can stop your bullshit right now, or I will take you apart and MAKE you" sense...
When I was in the USA designing Infiniband switches and gateways, one of the newer pieces of kit (a 32 4x port switch) was at UL in Long Island for compliance testing and was failing radiated emissions. One needs to keep in mind that Infiniband was very new in those days and the switch aggregate throughput (at wire speeds anyway) was 640 Gb/sec which was quite speedy for the time.
As one of the designers, I duly went to the test house the next day (ah - the nice journey on the LIR; things got cleaner at the side of the tracks as one left Queens but I digress). After taking a look at the kit, I simply made sure all the front panel connections were solidly engaged (which others had already done) and the switch then passed (not by much, though - I seem to recall that we were under the limit by 0.4dB but a pass is a pass).
One of the other engineers (he was in mechanical) asked how I did it and I just told him that electronics behaves around me or it gets 'fixed'.
Got me no end of unusual looks from the EMC experts.
Icon for the expressions I saw.
I used to have long hair, tied up at work. I'd stick screwdrivers and pens in it.
Had at least a couple of laptops suddenly start working the moment I pulled a screwdriver out.
It's not just the thousand yard stare. It's the well worn tool of computer dismemberment that really puts the willies into kit.
I've put "prayers to machine spirit" as call resolution more than a few times too.
I've put "prayers to machine spirit" as call resolution more than a few times too.
Back in the 1980's you often saw hardcopy terminals as system consoles for VAXes (and other systems). Normally you grabbed a chair to sit at one if you had to work using one for longer than just a moment, but quite often you'd find the console room devoid of chairs for any number of reasons.
So the best position then was kneeling. Which was quite appropriate, occasionally.
It's the zen optimisation of percussive maintenance (ie knowing quite where to hit something to make it work).
Taken to the fine art extreme it's radiating enough zen of upcoming physical violence that you put the fear of Dabbs into them and they start working to avoid it? Of course same may also be applicable to the user as well, as a pleasant by-product?
Yes! In my case it was SPSS, BiMed, Fortran, COBOL and Pascal. For the programming languages, I could spot missing punctuation, misspelled verbs, etc. for SPSS and BiMed, with zero understanding of the statistics they were trying to graph, all I could do was point to JT's office and suggest they ask him (he was the University Statistician.)
With me, it goes in waves. Most of the time, things will start to work as I look at them or very shortly afterwards, but on the odd occasion, I will have a few days in a row where NOTHING works, and if you use tech, it's worth steering clear of me.
And this is not limited to computers, it's cars, TVs, HiFi, cookers, you name it.
Biorhythms spring to mind. Maybe I emit the wrong electromagnetic signals on those days.
Ever since I started in IT (in fact prior to IT, even as an engineer) I've acquired a reputation for things just working when I'm nearby. This even manages to stretch to the seemingly completely and utterly dead PC that a friend of mine has, which I've resurrected at least 3 times now from the silicon grave. If I have to raise it from the dead a further time I'll sneakily rename it Lazarus.
Your own kit knows you like to 'play' and so likes to 'play dead' just to provide you something distracting to do when you have more (un)important things on your mind.
i.e. it knows you better than you do, you know it, so it knows you won't axe it to oblivion for trying to help you.
It does, however, get a bit upset with all the names you call it sometimes - it's doing it's best to help you after all.
My Industrial Electronics tutor at Exeter College could & did destroy semi conductors for a pastime just from proximity (He'd spend so much time trying to get a work around going that you forgot the point of the exercise).
He went through gawd knows how many home computers that were DOA at his home - Even after testing in the shops & buying different makes.
Apparently he was very inclined to build up static on his person & frequently had to discharge himself (Against a radiator) before coming into close proximity to his wife to kiss her goodbye each morning.
Some utter git of a student flogged that story to one of the tabloids for a few quid (Innocent - It was before I even started the course).
...discuss? *rummaging around desk* I don't see the work order. At any rate, it will have to be preceded by the budget approval. And the worker safety evaluation. And the feasibility study. And the budget approval for the feasibility study. And hey, would you look at that - it's beer o'clock on a Friday! Well, I'll just leave you to it then...
If I had a fiver for every time a user has said "it doesn't work", and I go through what they claim is the exact same procedure (hah!) and lo and behold it DOES work, I'd be an exceedingly rich person.
Funnily it always seems to be the same people! I suspect thay have an inbuilt "that bit doesn't matter" filter, and omit tiny but important steps in procedures without realizing they're doing it. I also suspect that they can't really take on board that computers have NO ability to think "Nah, they didn't really mean that - I'll put it right for them" - computers just do what they're told to do (at least, ones I have anything to do with do!)
... I might have enough to buy a round for myself. Most of the usual IT fixes were along the lines of:
"Is the CAPSLOCK down?"
"Can you start the computer please?"
"The mouse only works if you move it"
Those were the majority. A few of the really choice ones are:
"When I say 'Please open Windows" I do not mean open a window in your office"
"We will have a team onsite tomorrow. Please would you ask His Excellency to refrain from urinating on any more IT equipment until then"
"Put all the monkeys in a cage and leave lots of rotten fruit for them to eat. Give it a few hours and then wash the waste away - you should see the USB stick then"
"You accidentally spilled a full glass of red wine over the laptop, and then rationalising that white wine counters red wine you emptied a bottle of white wine over it as well? Did it work?"
"Your user name does not begin with a space."
"Use 'Ctrl' to exit the screen saver, not space."
Now for the really difficult one: a user who needs to look at the mouse to decide which is the left or right button, and then while not looking at the screen moves the mouse before clicking the wrong button.
Maybe I said last time, I don't recommend a desk next to the office printer, if it's at all of the laser / electrostatic kind and like ones from twenty years ago. Something about those - both actual ozone and the particulate fine dust used to "print" are accused - may bring on symptoms of cough and cold. I've used quite a lot of Lemsip which I could have avoided by making the connection sooner.
The machines have an air filter, but it may be not much good.
You mean they explain the problem in minute detail as a plot filler while you work out how you're going to kill them?
If you have users who can explain their issues in detail, you are already ahead of the pack.
I have to confess to rather recently doing the thing mentioned in the article. I had trouble with an internal resource loading--Firefox reloaded it a few times then gave up. An email with my colleague resulted in a theory that I didn't have access yet, so the relevant authority was contacted and access granted. Ten minutes after that, I tried to load the site again, with the same result. I tried Edge too; no dice. I decided I wasn't going to sink to installing Chrome on my machine and contacted my colleague again. When his meeting ended, he came over to check on the problem, but when I clicked the link once more, the page loaded completely fine. As it turned out, security grants only get propagated on the hour plus whatever random time skew the machine running it has and whatever delay is caused by the other grants going through that hour. Still, I felt that embarrassment that comes from having someone come over to help with something that doesn't turn out to be a real problem.
You are quite right. He is wearing the 2028 iWatch model. This is the one that [was introduced] [will be introduced] [is being introduced] after it had taken a further 10 years work to get it as slim as a 1970's Casio watch.
It [includes][included][should include] time travel as standard but due to an unfortunate problem with the supplied butterfly-effect keyboard it put Steve Jobs back to the mid 1970's when he keyed in "2029"
@macjules: I think there should be at least one "wioll haven be" in there, along with a "returningwenta retrohome". The standard of grammar on this board is decling rapidly...
(Obviously, DNA didn't need to wrestle with autocarrot. Apologies if I have spelled something simple like "at" wrong after getting the tricky stuff right!)
..but I get weird looks from people when I occasionally fix a problem by turning the damning thing off and turning it back on again.
Someone once asked me why I had done it, when I was supposed to be some kind of 'expert'. I replied by asking them if it was now working again (it was) and just walked off.
Sometime I just can't be bothered to work out *why* something broke, I just want the problem to not be my problem any more - perhaps that's a sign of my advancing age and grumpancy.
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