back to article Cool IT support drones never look at explosions: Time to resolution for misbehaving mouse? Three seconds

It is Friday so may we suggest taking a moment out of your preparations for a weekend charge to the pub to enjoy another tale from those tasked with helping the confused in today's On Call. "Tom" spent the decades from 1985 to 2005 working for a large insurance broker. He had reached "the dizzy heights of 'Senior Technical …

  1. Uncle Slacky Silver badge
    WTF?

    Mondarin?

    Is he any relation of Mondrian?

    1. Alister Silver badge

      Re: Mondarin?

      That's his Chinese uncle

      1. KarMann Bronze badge
        Joke

        Re: Mondarin?

        Well, he pretends to be Chinese, or at least some sort of Asian, but really, he's just a washed-up, strung-out British actor.

        1. DBH

          Re: Mondarin?

          Chinese fakes? Insurance company? It can't be a coincidence

          Did the mouse mat weigh 83 tons by any chance?

          https://www.businesstoday.in/current/world/biggest-gold-fraud-busted-in-china-83-tons-of-fake-gold-bars-used-as-loan-collateral/story/408497.html

          1. Dave314159ggggdffsdds Bronze badge

            Re: Mondarin?

            Fake news, created by Holocaust deniers...

          2. JulieM Silver badge

            Re: Mondarin?

            How the Muddy Mildred do you counterfeit freaking gold? It's really not difficult to tell what a sample of some mystery metal is made of. Nobody with O-level chemistry and physics could fall for the "scam" described in that article; which, I suppose, tells you something about the intended audience.

            1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

              Re: Mondarin?

              What makes you think an accountant has O level chemistry in their list of qualifications?

              "Oh, look, shiny!"

    2. Andrew Moore

      Re: Mondarin?

      It's a type of small orange isn't it?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Mondarin?

        It is a type of small orange which is covered in simple geometric patterns.

        1. Dave559 Bronze badge

          Re: Mondarin?

          It is a type of small orange which is covered in simple geometric patterns, and the flesh is either yellow or red, but never actually orange.

          1. Johndoe888

            Re: Mondarin?

            As opposed to the other famous Orange, search for Kyoto Tachibana :)

  2. Admiral Grace Hopper Silver badge
    Windows

    Switching on the "monitor stand"

    I'm sure I'm not the only one here old enough to have had to beat into users' heads the idea that the computer was the beige box with lights and slots and not the screen that was sat on top of it.

    1. A K Stiles Silver badge
      Boffin

      Re: Switching on the "monitor stand"

      Nope, you're not.

      Also see kicking out cables, pushing monitor power buttons with the back of the keyboard, pressing switches on power strips with shoes / handbags, replacing toner in printers / photocopiers, fixing the franking machine and swapping the fuse in the plug of the fridge in the office kitchen.

      I've never been employed as first line support but apparently having a technical bent and being in proximity to anything with a power supply immediately makes it my problem...

      1. TiredNConfused80

        Re: Switching on the "monitor stand"

        I've never been employed as first line support but apparently having a technical bent and being in proximity to anything with a power supply immediately makes it my problem...

        Indeed, my favorite was being asked to fix the coffee machine "because it has a log in code on it..."

        1. Captain Scarlet Silver badge

          Re: Switching on the "monitor stand"

          Yup anything with a plug, I have started doing the "I have never used one of these before" especially if we havent supplied it.

          I am to old to be interested in whatever crap people buy these days.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Switching on the "monitor stand"

            As the newest recruit to the electronic engineering section of a large R&D department, I was warned that one of my jobs would be fixing plugs on things for people.

            This was because after a hard fought battle the EETPU had conceded that the electronic engineers were allowed to fit 13A plugs, whereas trying to get an electrician out to do the job could take weeks - not good if you had an experiment to run.

            I really became a hero when I demonstrated how a small 3-phase motor could be converted to run with a capacitor, because of course only the electricians were allowed to connect up 440V - though usually you eventually got an apprentice sent out to do the job who had no idea what he was doing and had to be "helped".

          2. Allan George Dyer Silver badge

            Re: Switching on the "monitor stand"

            @Captain Scarlet - "I have never used one of these before"

            I don't think that phrase has ever worked for me. Somehow, when a known techie utters it, it only enhances their suitability for dealing with the problem.

            1. Captain Scarlet Silver badge

              Re: Switching on the "monitor stand"

              Ask them to log a ticket with your HellDesk (If you have one).

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Switching on the "monitor stand"

          Definitely anything with a plug, many a morning I walked through the front door to be greeted by the cleaner "Alan, can you fix t'hoover it's not sucking again."

          1. Allan George Dyer Silver badge

            Re: Switching on the "monitor stand"

            @AC - I think you might have given us a clue to your name, Alan.

            1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

              Re: Switching on the "monitor stand"

              He's a meercat?

          2. zuckzuckgo Bronze badge

            Re: Switching on the "monitor stand"

            >can you fix t'hoover it's not sucking again.

            Making things suck is a skill that we can all aspire to.

          3. fredds
            Linux

            Re: Switching on the "monitor stand"

            Install windows on it

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Switching on the "monitor stand"

        You missed out "swapping the broken toilet seat" and "helping colleage who had locked herself out of her car"

        1. Terry 6 Silver badge

          Re: Switching on the "monitor stand"

          Some years ago I went to one of the schools in my patch where I was doing specialist literacy support on behalf of the local authority ( at a small but usefully higher pay grade than the classroom teachers.

          In the open plan section there was a horrible smell coming from a row of sinks.

          I was greeted by the headteacher with a "Could you sort out that smell for us"..

          My response that I was the literacy specialist, not even employed by them and that they had a schoolkeeper for that job was met with, "Ah but he's too busy".

        2. A-nonCoward
          Paris Hilton

          locked out of car Re: Switching on the "monitor stand"

          NEVER ever jimmy open a lock in public. To my defense, I was 18 at a time, with my cute innocent doe-eyes. Big welcome-the-noobs party at the Uni, the sound equipment was in a locked room, the girl in charge was quite cute and obviously would show appreciation even to a geek if he solved her issue...

          Bottom line, after that, seemed like people looked at me sort of strange, not in a good way. Never saw the girl again....

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Jimmying open a lock

            Did something like this late at night to gain entry to my university's computer department. Obviously there were students with keycards in and out of there all night, so no alarms or security to worry about, but it did get me some odd looks and comments along the lines of 'do your parents know you can do this?'. Don't think it did me any lasting harm though, the excitement of doing something illicit seemed to be quite titivating, in fact.

            1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

              Re: Jimmying open a lock

              "the excitement of doing something illicit seemed to be quite titivating, in fact."

              I think that's the effect on the girl that A-nonCoward above was hoping for too,

    2. Dan 55 Silver badge
      Holmes

      Re: Switching on the "monitor stand"

      What happened to horizontal computer cases? They were much more practical than having a monolith from 2001 beside the monitor, sometimes so tall as to tower above it too, while the monitor itself is at the wrong level. Now, all that remains of them is very niche product.

      1. Hans Neeson-Bumpsadese Silver badge

        Re: Switching on the "monitor stand"

        What happened to horizontal computer cases?

        Good point. I remember back in the late 80's/early 90's when we all had horizontal cases, it was quite the fashionable thing in my workplace to stand them vertically. IIRC this was an evolution of having the monitor sitting on the desk itself, and having the case (horizontal) off to one side...I think because it was considered to be a bit cooler than having the monitor atop the base unit in a conventional manner. The practice of then putting the base unit vertically was just to save desk real estate. None of the machines even had CD drives then so there was no worries about whether a disc would stay in place.

        1. Captain Scarlet Silver badge

          Re: Switching on the "monitor stand"

          The amount of damaged drives from users putting their HP SFF's on the side and then knocking them over was annoying. Especially as I did buy the overpriced stands for staff who let me know they wanted it on the side.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Switching on the "monitor stand"

        Pretty sure it's to do with increased power demands and thus a need for better cooling inside the case - "desktop" cases are all well and good with passive cooling, but there isn't much potential for a decent flow of air.

      3. Jou (Mxyzptlk) Bronze badge

        Re: Switching on the "monitor stand"

        > What happened to horizontal computer cases?

        Veeery simple: How often do you need to insert your boot floppy disk in drive A:, and your program + data disk in drive B: nowadays?

        Today: You simply don't need to put in disks or even CDs on a daily base. Only when you reinstall the machine, which most do via USB thumb or from the network.

      4. Ogi

        Re: Switching on the "monitor stand"

        > What happened to horizontal computer cases? They were much more practical than having a monolith from 2001 beside the monitor, sometimes so tall as to tower above it too, while the monitor itself is at the wrong level. Now, all that remains of them is very niche product.

        I used to put my case vertically because:

        (a) it was easier to move it forward/backwars to inevitably plug something into the back, without the huge weight of the CRT to shift with it at the same time.

        (b) I could take the panels off to twiddle something without moving said heavy CRT off to one side, assuming I had space on the desk for the CRT and the case horizontally.

        Basically, I used vertical cases back then because of the weight and bulk of the CRT. With flat panels now, that issue has gone away, however nowadays you don't need to access the back of your PC often (most of the time you just want to plug a USB device in, and most monitors have built in hubs for that now), and the PCs themselves are quite small.

        I still have an old tower as my desktop, but that's because its a lovely Apple G5 case that is nice to look at. If it wasn't for that, I would probably shove it out of sight somewhere behind my desk and never think of it again (unless something goes wrong).

        If you want a horizontal PC case, you can do what I did for a while, and buy a 2U rackmount case (there are "short depth" ones around 55cm) and use that. I find the 1U's have small fans which are too noisy, but the 2U fit standard "silent" fans, and take normal size PSU's well

        1. Terry 6 Silver badge

          Re: Switching on the "monitor stand"

          it was easier to move it forward/backwars to inevitably plug something into the back,

          Or, more poignantly, to get to the fu****ng serial number which is always on the f***ing back.

          And even now, when I've not had to do this for years I still feel my blood pressure rising!

    3. ColinPa

      Re: Switching on the "monitor stand"

      Comes from too many movies where the "computer blows up" and the display produces a shower of sparks.

      1. Admiral Grace Hopper Silver badge

        Re: Switching on the "monitor stand"

        I always put it down to our user base at the time being used to having a terminal and a keyboard on their desk while the processing was done in a building somewhere "over there" in an air-conditioned room filled with magical boxes, spinning tape reels and the happy band of skilled acolytes servicing their every need. I could understand the assumption that all the user had to do was switch on the screen, log in and start typing. That understanding faded and lapsed into frustration by the time we got to Windows 3.11 and folk really should have started to get it without me reaching for the Clue Hammer.

      2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: Switching on the "monitor stand"

        Hollywood "cool" has a lot to answer for. From people ripping faxes or printout off (and causing jams) to modern times when people have learned from Hollywood to SLAM their laptops shut. Even when there a pen or other foreign object just waiting to smash the screen. At least the HDDs are solid state now and can survive the shocks.

    4. Blofeld's Cat Silver badge
      Unhappy

      Re: Switching on the "monitor stand"

      Not forgetting that sitting on top of the "screen" would be a collection of soft toys and potted plants, which did wonders for the ventilation.

      The results of an over-watered potted plant dripping on to an overheated CRT were usually quite spectacular.

      1. HPCJohn

        Re: Switching on the "monitor stand"

        Back in the days of CRT monitors in offices I Was once warned against Christmas tinsel bedecking monitors.

        Something about static charge being gathered by metallic tinsel.

        I was also given the line that CRT monitors give you spots. The screen does get charged, which produces an image charge on your face which attracts dirt.

        SO spotty IT nerds may not be that much of a cliche.

        1. H in The Hague Silver badge
          Pint

          Re: Switching on the "monitor stand"

          "The screen does get charged, which produces an image charge on your face which attracts dirt."

          That takes me back around four decades, to Apple ][s with crappy monitors which got very static and gave me a facial rash. Never had that with any other display before or after. Mind you we were posh, I think we had 48 k memory, way more than the base model of 16 k.

          --> That time of week again.

          1. Dog11
            Flame

            Re: Switching on the "monitor stand"

            "That takes me back around four decades, to Apple ][s with crappy monitors which got very static and gave me a facial rash"

            I was working in a place that had IBM Displaywriters, and one of the secretaries complained that hers gave her a rash on her arms. Whether it was the static itself, or the dust that it collected, or psychosomatic, adding a filter over the CRT made of conductive glass that was grounded stopped the complaints.

            Re the showers of sparks, I never did see that, though occasionally a monitor died with a faint burning smell. But I wasn't present the day that the cat who slept on top of my 21" monitor got attacked by another cat and lost control of her bladder. Diagnosis on that one was by smell, too.

          2. Tom 7 Silver badge

            Re: Switching on the "monitor stand"

            ISTR Techtronic storage screens were quite good a self camouflage. If you smoked near one the smoke went horizontally towards the screen!

        2. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

          Re: Switching on the "monitor stand"

          Back in the days of CRT monitors in offices I Was once warned against Christmas tinsel bedecking monitors.

          Something about static charge being gathered by metallic tinsel

          I reckon the reason for that is the tendency for small metallic ribbons making their way into the monitor casing through the ventilation slots, and despite being plastic-coated, not being sufficiently so to prevent a high voltage short...

          1. JassMan

            Re: Switching on the "monitor stand"

            The small shiny bits that make up tinsel and other decorations are inside out compared to your understanding. The plastic which provides the base colour and physical strength is on the inside. Aluminium is then sputter coated on the outside in an almost mono-molecular layer, thus making it almost transparent. The result is as you have noticed, reasonably conductive at higher voltages.

        3. Gene Cash Silver badge

          Christmas tinsel and cats

          I don't know about the UK, but xmas tinsel is long thin metal strips here.

          Anyway, I was once treated to the sight of a cat coming up to sniff the tinsel, and it swung over to her nose, emitted a sharp snap, and swung back. Cat evaporated.

          1. TSM

            Re: Christmas tinsel and cats

            > Cat evaporated.

            Wow, that must have been a pretty decent charge....

      2. The Oncoming Scorn Silver badge
        Childcatcher

        Re: Switching on the "monitor stand"

        Finding a non-booting PC in a school (Somerset again!) under a glass roof, directly in the path of falling droplets of water from where the seal had failed.

    5. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Switching on the "monitor stand"

      Switching it off when the the software shutdown of W95 didn't.

  3. Fat_Tony

    Finger print readers

    Reminds me of finger print scanner/readers.

    We'd always see them failing a bit more in winter mornings. Root cause was people putting on a load of hand moisturiser as soon as they got into the office and it was a bit reflective so the scanner could read the prints properly. Once we figured it out, we did have one person put in a complaint that it was discriminatory because it was affecting women more than men

  4. Roger Kynaston Bronze badge
    Pint

    Impress the senior sysadmin

    Somehow I had learn't that the eject command would open the CDROM on an Ultra5 and it impressed the hell out of a senior sysadmin when I did it the first time since he hadn't seen it before. About the only time I ever got to feel smug.

    1. Tweetiepooh

      Re: Impress the senior sysadmin

      All it needed was a symbolic link "opencupholder" and you'd be made for life.

      1. The Oncoming Scorn Silver badge
        Pint

        Re: Impress the senior sysadmin

        The BOFH in me thinks to send the command remotely to close the drawer, spilling the tea\coffee over the user & play a wav file\Windows dialogue box saying

        "I don't enjoy having tea\coffee spilled over me! Do you?"

      2. Johndoe888

        Re: Impress the senior sysadmin

        A correctly rated cup holder would chop the cup in half LOL

  5. itzumee

    A working from home colleague had recurring issues with her broadband connection which would die at random times of the day, IT support asked her to send a photo of the back of her home router so that a replacement could be ordered. The photo received showed the router with a large table lamp sitting on it and blocking the air vents on it's top surface, so the poor thing was overheating and shutting off, only recovering when it'd cooled down, and so on.

    When asked why she'd placed a table lamp on top of the router, her reply was that there are vents on the sides and front of the router, so she thought it'd be okay.

    As the old saying goes, a little knowledge is a dangerous thing...

    1. wyatt

      I use to have to visit a customer who had a number of servers in an old kitchen with a small extractor and a desk fan for cooling. They kept the door closed as it was so noisy with all the server fans running on full.

      Frequently our server would overheat, it'd also log all the internal temperatures. We showed the customer how hot it was running, their response was to find the data sheet for the mother board and show that it was within it's operating parameters. Fortunately my manager agreed with me that we should exclude heat related faults from our maintenance agreement.

      1. Adrian 4 Silver badge

        Well, it wouldn't log temperatures when they were too high for it to run, now would it ?

    2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      "The photo received showed the router with a large table lamp sitting on it and blocking the air vents on it's top surface"

      That's why so many of them were made with rounded tops or, as seems to be the preferred design now, to stand upright.

      1. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

        That's why so many of them were made with rounded tops or, as seems to be the preferred design now, to stand upright.

        I'm sure this leads to the problem of them being put on bookshelves with books blocking the vents on either side.

        1. swm Silver badge

          That's why medical electronics generally have rounded tops - otherwise something squishy and drippy would be placed on top.

    3. logicalextreme Silver badge

      We had an incident during my first proper IT job in which a system became intermittently unresponsive, then completely so. Soon another system went too. Once we'd hit three and clocked that they were all hosted in the warehouse, we phoned the building manager over there to ask him to go and check the server room (which had recently been upgraded to a relatively swanky setup for our company; logged electronic access, brand new cooling, gaseous fire suppression etc.). He said there was no need because he'd just been in there half an hour ago.

      "What did you need to go in there for half an hour ago?"

      "Well I'd noticed the lights on the air conditioning were lit when I looked through the window, so I just went in to turn them off because you guys are never over here so it's a waste of energy"

      Ta mate, could you Ctrl-Z that please?

      1. The Oncoming Scorn Silver badge
        Pint

        My last day at one job included this gem of a slow running systems in the morning at a Doctors office especially on a Monday morning. So Friday afternoon go to site.

        Router is in a wall mounted cabinet, they left open for access to medical supplies during the day, but at night.......

        Other stories from Somerset County Council around the time of South West Con......

        Users blocking up vents by storing handbags & bankers boxes of papers & files

        Users blocking the top vent over the fan with Sony monitors with circular bases that when artistically centred covered the vent.

        Overheating machines following a new suite & office moves done by Deskside support over the weekend (They worked in the council offices, the field/hardware guys worked in the wooden ht in the car park), pushing the side vents to the soft fabric new cubicle walls & being artistic with the Sony monitors.

        Their other project was memory upgrades which failed brilliantly thanks for using mismatched memory.

        Wiser heads (Me!) redid the work by pairing up machines & putting in new memory in two banks & populating all the banks with the old in the other.

        Icon - Beer O'clock

  6. Michael H.F. Wilkinson Silver badge

    Reminds me of the user claiming that since my last software update the mouse was consistently moving in reverse: pointer moving left as the mouse went to the right, or up as the mouse was moving down. I asked her to demo this, and noticed she was somehow holding the mouse with the wire (no wrireless in the early 90s) towards her. A quick 180 degree turn of the offending rodent solved it.

    I honestly did toy with the idea of introducing a software option that would invert directionality of the mouse, preferably switching on or off at random intervals for seriously annoying users (complte with undocumented key combination that would kill that behaviour), but I thought the better of it.

    1. J.G.Harston Silver badge

      I can never understand how people put mouses back to front. Surely the crippling pain in their wrist and elbow would be some sort of signal that something was wrong.

      1. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

        I was thinking they ought to notice something was up(side down) when they tried to click a button. Apparently they lacked the ability to get the pointer on the required button when the pointer moved in the opposite direction to the mouse.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I had one had a boss who had some weird trait that meant that whilst up/down were normal she needed left and right to be reversed.. there used to be an option in the mouse advanced settings to allow you to flip just the x axis.. I was the only one who spotted that option in 2 years, guess who always got a call when she got a new machine even when I no longer worked for her.

    3. Old Used Programmer

      I was sent along as "tech support" for a trial run of a training program for a new internal ordering program that was being put in. Since everything was running flawlessly, once I'd set it up, I just sat in the back of the room with nothing to do.

      I noticed that one of the trainees kept twisting the mouse as if she expected that to do something. At a break, I mentioned to the instructor that that particular trainee appeared to be trying to rotate the screen pointer by turning the mouse.

      When things started back up the trainer started wandering around the room, seemingly at random, but ending up behind the trainee I'd been watching. Then went back to the front of the room a launched into a lesson on how mice and the pointers worked.

      The trainer thanked me later for the observation.

  7. GlenP Silver badge

    Quickest Fix...

    I think my quickest fix was answering a call from a user and hearing a distinctive beep-beep-beep... so pretty much before she said anything I told her to move the file that was resting on the corner of her keyboard.

    She was impressed I knew the problem without even seeing the computer!

    Not had that problem for a while, largely since I developed a DMS so most of our docs are available online now.

    1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

      Re: Quickest Fix...

      At least it was just a file. I've heard of one user call where the problem was a large & more intimate part of upper anatomy resting on the space bar...

      1. ICPurvis47 Bronze badge
        Facepalm

        Re: Quickest Fix...

        When I was a PFY we had a lot of "Girls" in the typing pool, whose job it was to type up the minutes of various meetings and letters written or dictated by managers, etc. One of our ladies complained that her (green screen) workstation kept inserting extra spaces in the text she had typed. We had the equipment sent up to our lab, but could not get the same effect, so declared it OK and sent it back. Next day, same complaint, so workstation laboriously carried up to lab for more extensive testing, all of which it passed. When I took it back down to the typing pool (at great personal danger) I stood and watched as the lady started typing. After a sentence or two, she would lean forwards and to the right to read the next sentence on the manuscript, at which point her left boob would depress the space bar, resulting in the offending row of spaces. I went to the Pattern Makers and procured four 3 inch cubes of Deal and four 4" woodscrews. Turned the typist's chair upside down and attached one block to each leg. Problem solved, no more errant spaces.

      2. Sherrie Ludwig

        Re: Quickest Fix...

        At least it was just a file. I've heard of one user call where the problem was a large & more intimate part of upper anatomy resting on the space bar...

        My father-in-law, rest in peace, ran across that sort of problem when he worked for IBM in the "good old days" of keypunch machines. I have mentioned FIL before, the perfect IBM employee for 40+ years, dark suit, starched white shirt and personality to match. He was called out to diagnose a particular keypunch that was jamming up repeatedly. He stood at the back of the room, observing the "keypunch ladies" on a half dozen of these. He realized what the problem was as one very well-endowed lady went to clear a slight jam in the card path, but it turned into a nightmare jam as she leaned over the keyboard, simultaneously pressing many keys at once. I wish I could have observed the conversation he had with the supervisor, since he blushed spectacularly while recounting the tale....

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Quickest Fix...

      Had contractor installing a printer for a user, he was having problems with the drivers not working.

      I could hear the printer in the background, and I'm embarrassed to say this - recognised the model of the printer from the sounds it made, and could tell the contractor that he was installing the wrong drivers...

    3. DJV Silver badge

      Re: Quickest Fix...

      Not sure if this counts but I've sometimes received an email from one of my website clients saying either they can't get something working or something else is broken. However, sometimes even before I've had the chance to look at the email, another email has come in saying they figured out what they were doing wrong and it's now ok, so I end up not having to do anything whatsoever.

      This has taught me to check exactly how many emails have come in from a customer and then read the last one first.

    4. tfewster Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Re: Quickest Fix...

      "It's DNS. It's always DNS" is usually the right answer to most questions...

  8. DailyLlama
    Alert

    I'm sure we've all done this too

    I've walked into rooms where there's been a problem with a printer, and without touching or saying anything, the printer has started working. I've seen other people do it too, so I know it's not just my electromagnetic field (although I often turn street lights off when I walk past them)...

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: I'm sure we've all done this too

      It's just the air of menace and the big hammer you carry. Equipment needs to know who's boss.

      1. Antonius_Prime

        Re: I'm sure we've all done this too

        "Equipment needs to know who's boss."

        YES! This! A thousand, thousand, thousand times this!

        I have to explain to many staff that the reason the machine starts working when I do exactly what they did is because mine was the first hand to touch it and it knows I *will* slap it if it misbehaves.

        And if anyone ever starts a Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Computers, they may be subject to a Terrible Accident...

        1. Chloe Cresswell

          Re: I'm sure we've all done this too

          To quote alt.sysadmin.recovery:

          I've found an axe can do a lot for a paper-mangling printer. Especially if you shout for one at the top of your voice, and then a cow orker brings you said instrument.

          Suddenly, no more paper jams.

          Kai

    2. DoctorPaul

      Re: I'm sure we've all done this too

      Hell's teeth!!

      You mean it's not just me that has the street light thing happen??

      This needs some serious research.....

      1. Uncle Slacky Silver badge
        Boffin

        Re: I'm sure we've all done this too

        There's already research going on. People who can cause this effect do it are called SLIders (SLI = Street Light Interference).

        More here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Street_light_interference_phenomenon

        1. The Oncoming Scorn Silver badge
          Pint

          Re: I'm sure we've all done this too

          More likely Dumbledore or Ron Weasley dicking around with a Deluminator.

    3. Sgt_Oddball Silver badge
      Pint

      Re: I'm sure we've all done this too

      I thought I was the only one! Always seems to happen when walking home after drinking my taxi money..

    4. MGyrFalcon
      Stop

      Re: I'm sure we've all done this too

      My ex-wife had the exact opposite effect. I had a small rack of computers in my home office, and by rack I mean a dent and ding wooden shelving thing from Ikea. It had a Sun SS10, MAC G4 tower, 1 or 2 PC clones depending on what I was up to, and a rather large rack mount UPS underneath. If she walked with in 5´ of the rack at least one of them would crash. Usually the PC, but more often than can be attributed to chance, the Mac and SparcStation as well. After all 3 crashed 2 or 3 times when she walked too close I had to tell her not to get within 10´ It wasn’t just computers either.

      Lightbulbs had a real bad habit of burning out just as she walked under them, any incandescent bulb in any room and other peoples houses. It seemed to be tied to her mood as well. The more upset she was and in particular the more angry, the stronger the effect would get.

      1. Gene Cash Silver badge

        Re: I'm sure we've all done this too

        > My ex-wife had the exact opposite effect

        She wasn't named Margaret Dresden, was she?

      2. G.Y.

        Pauli Re: I'm sure we've all done this too

        Wolfgang Pauli had that effect

    5. My-Handle Silver badge

      Re: I'm sure we've all done this too

      I thought it was just me as well!

      The Head of Marketing had issues getting to a website. I walked in, hit the (apparently same) link that she'd been trying and hey presto!

      Can't explain the street light thing though. That's just weird.

      Infra-red light sensors as well. They don't spot me unless I'm right on top of them. Very annoying when I'm in the gents and the lights decide that no-one's about any more.

    6. Johndoe888

      Re: I'm sure we've all done this too

      That's normal, nothing plays up while being watched

    7. Old Used Programmer

      Re: I'm sure we've all done this too

      I did that once to an oscilliscope in a Physics lab once. Spooked the Hell out of the students I was working with.

  9. The commentard formerly known as Mister_C

    Mouse mats with logos -avoid, avoid, avoid

    I learned the hard way about optical mice and their dislike of contrasting lines (including printed timber "grain" on table tops) , so I used a piece of cardboard as a mat. It was scratty enough to be ready to replace on the day that a supplier's rep walked through our office and recognised an opportunity for product placement. He opened his bag of shiny things and offered me a proper neoprene mouse mat with his company's logo printed where I would see it all day, every day. I told him that it was no good because of the high contrast graphics, then demonstrated why. The unhappy look on his face made me wonder how many mats they'd had printed. The mat worked fine after I turned it over.

    1. Sgt_Oddball Silver badge

      Re: Mouse mats with logos -avoid, avoid, avoid

      The father in law gave me a very beautiful Chinese bird painting one. Had to explain that I couldn't use it for this reason which disappointed him somewhat. Now I just it as a picture on my desk and stick to using a grey paper cutting board that I've had for years (nice and stiff, really smooth and teflon mouse feet glide over it like a charm).

    2. macjules Silver badge

      Re: Mouse mats with logos -avoid, avoid, avoid

      I was given a mousemat by a now long since defunct hardware distributor (Frontline Computers in Basingstoke IIRC). Had to send it back as it was mirrored ... not the best surface for an optical mouse.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Mouse mats with logos -avoid, avoid, avoid

        My brother gave me one that was a scrap circuit board (scrapped before components were attached). It's gorgeous. I just wish I could use it - the reflections wreak havoc with optical mice.

    3. Nick Ryan Silver badge

      Re: Mouse mats with logos -avoid, avoid, avoid

      The best mouse pads that I ever used for the old mechanical (ball) mice was the grey cardboard that was typically found on the rear of a pad of paper. This also worked just as well with optical mice too.

      1. Dave559 Bronze badge

        Re: Mouse mats with logos -avoid, avoid, avoid

        Am I the only person who doesn't use a mouse mat any more?

        Yes, they were needed for ball mice, but I find that optical mice work perfectly fine just on the (literal) desk top without one.

        1. Old Used Programmer

          Re: Mouse mats with logos -avoid, avoid, avoid

          There used to be a Raspberry Jam held at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, CA. (Said Jam is no defunct because said museum wanted to be paid for people to come in and do something educational for the public...go figure.)

          I would set up system on a long side table near the snack bar in the museum lobby. The tables were completely smooth and a very even white. Optical mice wouldn't work on the surface at all. A white piece of paper would work, but not the table top.

        2. Terry 6 Silver badge

          Re: Mouse mats with logos -avoid, avoid, avoid

          Actually, I'd already stopped with the mouse mats long before they went optical. Unless the desk was particularly shiny - when a bit of the old A4 would be added to save me wasting time and effort finding the actual mouse mats.

        3. whitepines Silver badge
          Facepalm

          Re: Mouse mats with logos -avoid, avoid, avoid

          Am I the only person who doesn't use a mouse mat any more?

          I use one, but not because the mouse needs it, more like the desk needs protecting from the mouse. Had to replace a fairly nice desk once before when I wore through the veneer where the mouse was, and didn't feel like scraping the mouse or my hand across the sandpaper-like glue board underneath!

          A nice sheet of blank A4 does the job nicely, and it's rather cheap to replace when it wears out.

        4. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          Re: Mouse mats with logos -avoid, avoid, avoid

          "Am I the only person who doesn't use a mouse mat any more?"

          Upgrading a lab with new kit and the new mice are optical, partly because they are the new "in thing" and partly because the lab has to be spotless and bio-secure at all times. Except the mice act as though they aren't plugged in. No pointer movement at all. Oddly, the buttons seem to work, eg right mouse button brings a context menu up. It turns out optical mice really don't like beautifully smooth white shiny lab benches which get cleaned and sterilised frequently. A sheet of A4 paper worked as a mouse mat which was cheap and could be replaced every time the bench got cleaned.

      2. Martin an gof Silver badge

        Re: Mouse mats with logos -avoid, avoid, avoid

        Problem with cardboard and ball mice is the dust. The best mat I ever had was a 3M Precise Mousing Surface (unfortunate initials) which had tiny plastic pyramids as a surface. Ball mice needed cleaning much less often.

        It also had a muted blue pattern under the pyramids which meant that when I swapped to an optical mouse, it still worked just fine.

        In fact it's still in use on my main computer, which is currently sitting on a desk surface completely unsuitable for either ball or optical mice. The mat must be at least 25 years old by now.

        Thanks to Norwich Computer Services and Paul Beverley who drew my attention to it!

        M.

    4. Dave2

      Re: Mouse mats with logos -avoid, avoid, avoid

      One place I worked the IT department issued branded mouse mats with the help desk phone number on them. The only problem ... these very mouse mats caused problems for those with optical mice!

    5. Boothy Silver badge

      Re: Mouse mats with logos -avoid, avoid, avoid

      In the late 90s an aunt of mine bought me a Seven-of-Nine mouse mat for Christmas (can't imagine why!). Jeri Ryan was wearing a silver metallic looking jumpsuit, and of course the mat itself was very very shinny.

      This worked fine initially, as I still had a mechanical mouse, but of course the late 90s was also when optical mice started to take off, and the mat became useless[*] fairly quickly.

      * Except for aesthetic reasons of course!

  10. David Robinson 1

    Early optical rodents

    The first couple of generations of optical mice had problems with certain colours. A chap I worked with had a mouse mat with a red-eyed green tree frog printed on it. He swapped from a ball mouse to an optical one and retained the mouse mat. Every time the optical sensor moved over the frog's eyes, the mouse pointer went crazy. It took him a while to figure that one out.

    1. Captain Scarlet Silver badge

      Re: Early optical rodents

      Yeah until over ten years ago I just ordered those plain blue mousemats, my current mousemat is one of those larger gaming mousepads (Akasa Venom, but I find it works with everything. My old man actually got one as well, as for Autocad apparently loves it for detailed Cad drawings)

    2. Nick Ryan Silver badge

      Re: Early optical rodents

      I remember the early optical mice only working with their specific mouse pads and nothing else.

      1. Antron Argaiv Silver badge

        Re: Early optical rodents

        Sun, and their aluminium ones with the red and blue tartan pattern.

        1. Nick Ryan Silver badge

          Re: Early optical rodents

          That's the ones. I was trying to find a picture of them but couldn't remember who made them.

      2. wub

        Re: Early optical rodents

        "I remember the early optical mice only working with their specific mouse pads and nothing else."

        I believe these mice needed the fine grid lines printed on the surface as reference markings. I never got to play with one, might have been fun to see if the pad had to be in a certain orientation as well. So many potential failure modes to contemplate...

        1. Emir Al Weeq

          Re: Early optical rodents

          Yes, it needed to be in the correct orientation. I seem to remember that it worked OK after a 180 degree twist.

      3. KLane

        Re: Early optical rodents

        IIRC, they had a very fine grid pattern printed on or in them, that the sensor would use to determine direction and movement. This was just before they started using a 'camera' type sensor, vs a light/dark sensor.

  11. stungebag

    It normally the Caps lock

    I learned when working in schools that if a headteacher tells you they can't log on you need to turn off the caps lock. Time to fix: about a second.

    Well, a bit longer as you then need to reassure that that we all do it from time to time, of course you're not stupid and so on.

    1. Captain Scarlet Silver badge

      Re: It normally the Caps lock

      I have been caught out by that before and accidently changing the language (Left Alt + Shift) more than I care to remember.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: It's normally the Caps lock

      "Well I won't say if I've ever done that, but there's a reason it's the first item on the checklist..."

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: It normally the Caps lock

      Worse one for that was a version of VMware Fusion which would sometimes set the caps lock LED to the wrong state when you were using a VM - so it looked like it was off when it was on!

      1. Paul Shirley

        Re: It normally the Caps lock

        My favoured wireless keyboard has all the status LEDs on the receiver pod. Which is usually sitting out of sight behind piles of paper on the desk. Still having regular WTF! moments after gaming sessions & frantic kbd mashing, before remembering it might be capslock.

      2. Kevin Johnston Silver badge

        Re: It normally the Caps lock

        I still get that issue with remote desktop type stuff...You hit Capslock on the remote side and all works well but when you switch back to your local machine it is 50/50 chance if the Capslock light shows reversed or not

      3. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: It normally the Caps lock

        Back in the days of MS-DOS, it was trivially easy to programmatically alter the keyboard CAPs, NUM and SCRLCK LEDs. I've no idea if it's still possible, but it was used in some games for extra status info or just for a cheap extra effect of flashing them in sequence.

        1. Terry 6 Silver badge

          Re: It normally the Caps lock

          Lots of resources online for this still. Or if I remember correctly, there's a registry edit.

          But I have this link saved; Still works in 10

          https://www.howtogeek.com/howto/windows-vista/disable-caps-lock-key-in-windows-vista/

    4. Robert Carnegie Silver badge

      Re: It normally the Caps lock

      Fair play, Microsoft Windows login prompt now tells you "Caps Lock is on". Must have saved years of individuals' time, including mine. Though might save more time if they just turned it off for you.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: It normally the Caps lock

        "Though might save more time if they just turned it off for you."

        Can't do that. I've known several people who use Caps Lock instead of the Shift key - if Micros~1 "helpfully" turned off Caps Lock, they'd mistype their password!

    5. Dave2

      Re: It normally the Caps lock

      Linux whole disk encryption has an issue with caps lock. The LED indicator doesn't light up so you don't spot you've hit caps lock rather than shift ...

      The prompt doesn't warn you either (GIU logins often warn you if caps lock is on)

      1. Terry 6 Silver badge
        Flame

        Re: It normally the Caps lock

        Does anyone need caps lock?

        I normally disable it. Only problem being people so used to using caps lock instead of shift. Some of them can't cope with this. So I had to leave it be. Which was fine when we had individual PCs. Less so for shared ones.

    6. wjake
      WTF?

      Re: It normally the Caps lock

      We have one particular piece of software that uses an ALL CAPS username and password.

      Caps Lock is not the same as shift. You cannot log in with Caps Lock, you have to hold the Shift key while entering username and password.

      1. Terry 6 Silver badge

        Re: It normally the Caps lock

        Yuk

  12. hmv Silver badge

    Simlar ...

    I turned the mouse the right way up - student was using it upside down as a trackball having never used such a device before. Funnily enough I usually prefer to fly a trackball myself these days (an "Expert Mouse").

    1. J.G.Harston Silver badge

      Re: Simlar ...

      I want a mouse I can move with my foot, giving me both hands for the keyboard.

      1. druck Silver badge
        Thumb Up

        Re: Simlar ...

        Damn good idea, a giant trackball / foot rest, with buttons you can heal and toe like a Japanese racing driver.

        1. H in The Hague Silver badge

          Re: Simlar ...

          "Damn good idea, a giant trackball / foot rest, with buttons ..."

          There are actually quite a few models available.

          When I had bad RSI I figured it wasn't the pointing with the mouse that hurt me, but clicking the buttons. So I got some foot pedals from a musical instruments shop and connected those to a mouse PCB - worked really well. Nowadays you buy units like that.

          1. Robert Carnegie Silver badge

            Re: Simlar ...

            You also can do things with accessibility software, like "click" when the pointing device stops moving.

      2. hmv Silver badge

        Re: Simlar ...

        I suppose you could try that with an Expert Mouse but it might be easier to grow a third arm. Plus it's harder picking up the ball and throwing it at annoying people.

      3. Adrian Midgley 1

        Those are called ...

        Moles.

        See also Bat.

    2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: Simlar ...

      "I turned the mouse the right way up - student was using it upside down as a trackball having never used such a device before."

      But may well have used a trackball on games like Missile Command and/or Centipede, so not really all that odd when you think about it.

  13. MarkET

    Tech Support woes et al...

    Providing support for hardware and assembler types often involved asking if we should bring the "micro-scope". Newbies often thought we were taking the proverbial before they encountered logic analysers and DAS systems...Also, once went to see a potential software supplier who lived on a farm, had a server rack in an open stable. Not to mention his wife's unmentionables drying in front of the fire.

    1. Robert Carnegie Silver badge

      Re: Tech Support woes et al...

      The importance to a rack of severs of maintaining a stable temperature...

      ...for small and midsize business support.

  14. Steve Kerr

    Continue

    Fix an issue with a managers HP printer printing emails in the mid 90's where he had been having aggro for weeks with desktop support where emails weren't printing, about a second "Load Letter" - press continue.

    When outlook used to default and be hard to change from Letter to A4 and it always seem to end up back at Letter

    That's all he needed and wanted to know.

    1. Uncle Slacky Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Re: Continue

      Obligatory Office Space: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5QQdNbvSGok

  15. Christoph

    In the days when 3 1/2 inch disks had just taken over. Got a call that a floppy wouldn't work. When I got there he was talking to some people so just pointed me over to the computer where I turned down the clamp handle on the 5 1/4 inch floppy. He got an "Ah!" expression.

  16. Alan J. Wylie

    "Senior Technical Analyst Programmer"

    Or its abbreviation: "Sen Tech Anal Prog"

  17. bobsmith2016

    I used to work in a school which used usb touch screens. Every so often I'd get a paniced call, 'my mouse is stuck'.

    Raised a laugh from the kids when I strolled over to the screen and removed whatever was leaned against it.

  18. BenDwire Silver badge
    Facepalm

    Green and Amber screens

    The mention of green screens reminded me of the early PC days when the monitor was monochrome, and either green or amber for upmarket CAD systems (Hercules graphic cards anyone?). I remember my CAD operator walking into my office and cheerfully sat down with a fresh coffee, saying that his screen just died, and therefore could do no more work until I bought him a new one. After assuring me he'd done nothing to cause the fault except tidy his desk off I went to have a look. Power LED? Check. Computer on? Check. Cables connected? Check. Keyboard pushed right under the monitor, touching the control knobs ... Ah! Restoring the brightness and contrast levels to a central position soon wiped the grin of the smug git's face ...

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: Green and Amber screens

      "Restoring the brightness and contrast levels to a central position soon wiped the grin of the smug git's face"

      Turning the brightness and contrast down to minimum used to be a fun jape. Usually it stopped after the first contract maintenance engineer (me!) arrived on site, explained that this was not a contractual fault and we'd be billing them for the call-out.

  19. Gene Cash Silver badge

    Mondrian

    It took me over 30 years to figure out what that art style was called... and it was because of a girl's dress in a web comic. One of the forum users called it the "Mondrian dress" and I had to Google that.

    1. Vincent Ballard
      Coat

      Re: Mondrian

      For everyone who's still wondering after reading your post, it's neoplasticism.

      1. Robert Carnegie Silver badge

        Re: Mondrian

        I was going to offer squareism but that turns out to be real and different.

  20. Whiskers

    Lead aprons

    Anyone else remember the lead-lined aprons issued to 'Computer Operators' because of the (alledged) radiation from the cathode ray tube monitors? My company's health and safety people allowed their use to be optional unless the operator was pregnant. Most of the computer operators had peviously been short-hand typists now updated to using 'word processors' - big ugly things looking like the control station from Star Trek, with stacks of big floppy disks around.

    1. swampdog
      Joke

      Re: Lead aprons

      "big ugly things looking like the control station from Star Trek, with stacks of big floppy disks around."

      You meant the word processors, right?

    2. Spanners Silver badge
      Happy

      Floppy discs around

      I remember the psychological effort of getting secretaries weaned off floppies.

      "If I save them on this W drive thing, how will I meet them lined up in my floppy disc box?" or

      "But other people will be able to read them!" - that's because W stands for workgroups. and

      a complete inability to understand that when they got a new PC or moved to a new office, they did not need to back up their stuff and restore it on the new computer.

      I think that the thing that eventually won the over was the search functions ability to search for words inside really large numbers of documents across their entire. It was much easier to use back then.

      When floppy drives stopped appearing on new PCs, none of them noticed.

  21. Blackjack Silver badge

    File not found

    "So did you save the file on the PC or the floppy disk?"

    "What?"

    3 minutes later, the file was in one out of ten floppy disks. Got lucky and found it in the third try.

  22. El Duderino
    Stop

    Screwdriver

    Late 80s or early 90s (too many brain cells have meanwhile been obliterated to recall the exact timeframe) I worked for a software house that had its first RISC mini delivered, an HP3000/925 which I was eager to get my mitts on. The kit had been delivered, the customer engineer arrived and off we went to the data centre (read: basement of the house where the company was situated).

    I dutyfully and impatiently assisted him getting my new toy racked, experiencing those Christmassy emotions I vaguely (same brain cell thing) recalled from my childhood, after which the moment suprème arrived and we powered the mighty machine up. The system console (an HP2392 or 'Calypso' terminal) was sitting on a desk next to the rack which was about 2m high. The Calypso stayed quiet and just offered a green glare. We booted and rebooted (or at least attempted to), checked cable connections over and over again, unracked and reracked, and all seemed fine, except we didn't see anything happening on said console.

    That is, until I eagle-eyed - after 2 or 3 hours of unsuccessful troubleshooting and both of us contemplating to declare it a DOA, despite all diagnostics giving it a clean bill of health - noticed that a screwdriver (not of the liquid variety) that early in the process had fallen off the top of the rack, had hit the 'Stop' key on the keyboard, which sent a Control-S or X/OFF. The Calypso actually displayed 'STOP' below its function key blocks at the bottom but we had been concentrating on the void in the rest of the display.

    We both still bring that up today. Good times.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Screwdriver

      Aah the joys of HP consoles... I remember turning up for work one day at a major bank, my colleagues panicking because the HP OpenMail server was not pumping into its X400 mta. Quick look at the X400 logs, last entry hours ago. OK, it also logs to the con. Onto the con, nothing. Hit a couple of keys, still nothing. Ctrl-Q whoosh! The dams are open, email flows. Bloody mta, 100% Heisenberg pain in the arse it was.

  23. swm Silver badge

    TTY fix

    When model 35 TTY's were used to connect to time sharing mainframes our head secretary got a call from a user. She heard a loud buzzing noise in the background caused by low paper in the TTY so she said press the "buzzer release" button on the far left to stop the noise so they could talk. The buzzing stopped and she asked the user what the problem was. The user sheepishly said, "That was the problem."

  24. Spanners Silver badge
    Happy

    there's something onyour keyboard

    Pick up line.

    Hear very recognisable KB buffer overflow noise.

    Say "can you remove whatever's on your keyboard please"

    User says "my computer's working now. You're amazing!"

    Under 2 seconds. I win!

  25. JimC

    Turned up brightness...

    Green screen days. User complained of nearly blank screen with random letters scattered about.

    Turned up brightness so all the characters appeared, not just the highlighted ones

  26. Jou (Mxyzptlk) Bronze badge

    That is MY story!

    I literally had that several times! Luckily the optical mice got better and many even work fine on glass nowadays

  27. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge
    Pint

    Dreaming in Hex???

    Octal please.

    12702

    00101

    12703

    00001

    60302

    and the answer is?

    anyway, it is time for a sunday Pint (Sussex Bitter) in the back garden.

    1. X5-332960073452

      42

      Some letters

  28. Ghostman
    Alien

    it quits working when I----

    One problematic fix i had to do was an older gentleman kept bringing in his laptop complaining that his wi-fi quit working. Turn on laptop, connect to my wi-fi, worked fine every time he brought the laptop in.

    Shortly before I retired he had the laptop back in. My wi-fi isn't working, and hasn't worked properly since the last time i saw you.

    Again, connected to the wi-fi I used and it worked fine (I had learned to just leave the connection in the list).

    Showed him it worked fine and again asked if he had any problems with his other wireless devices.

    He said he never had any problems with his phone or tablet, but every time he plugged in the Ethernet cord, his wi-fi quit working on his laptop.

    Cue Loony Tunes music and a Yosemite Sam angry face.

  29. SuperGeek

    A not-so-close shave

    I repair computers, home appliances, consumer electronics, and also help out with small healthcare devices. Mobility scooters, powerchairs, heart monitors, TENS, that kind of thing. Recently got a call from a customer saying her Ladyshave had stopped working. "It's worked fine since I bought it two years ago, now it's not cutting!"

    Guided her to where the cutter button was, and told her to open it over a bin, and clean the blades. "Ooh, didn't know it needed to be emptied and cleaned!" Same with Hoovers. The amount people drop off to my shop not sucking that just need deep filter cleaning. They empty the cyclone can but forget the filters, and motor filter. They think the detritus just evaporates. Unbelievable. Humans are so cute!

  30. Geebee Zeebee
    Holmes

    Which server was it?

    An entire bank of servers has been mislabelled. Nobody knew which was which. Ops were about to fix it, when one server died.

    The hot spare was ready, but nobody knew which one to replace. People were talking all kinds of crazy ideas that would take hours to try.

    I created an Ansible file with one single command and fed it to the cluster.

    CD drives on 83 servers slid open. One didn't open - they replaced that. Job done.

    Time to write script and launch: 5 seconds.

    1. Jou (Mxyzptlk) Bronze badge

      Re: Which server was it?

      Another method: If you have actual servers they all have ILO/iRMC/Whatever, and with such a large number a central management for that. Turn on the blue light for the affected server, and if that doesn't work any more turn it on for all servers. That is OS independent. Your Ansible method is nice if you have the environment, but it shows the lack in a lot of other important things, like the labeling you mentioned.

      I hope you did following, in writing: "I just saved the company X admins guessing and trying for two or more hours each by investing one minute, therefore saving the company Y hours of working people. Not taking into account other costs saved by speeding up the processs." you can guess the rest. Advertise your efficiency, and don't forget the recommendations on what to do to avoid future confusion.

      There are too many admins out there with no will to optimize and simplify, rather clocking in hours no matter how stupidly.

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