back to article 'I'm telling you, I haven't got an iPad!' – Sent from my iPad

The week is drawing to a close and the weekend awaits. Is there a better way to kick things off than with an episode of Register reader experiences in our regular On Call feature? Probably, yes... Today's tale from the front line of IT support comes from a reader the Regomiser has decided to call "James" and is set just as …

  1. Shadow Systems Silver badge
    Stop

    Which is why I always turn off email sigs...

    Maybe it's a hold over from Usenet days, but I hate (email) sigs.

    My "favorite" were those idiots whom had half a megabyte of sig attached to an (email) message that amounted to "Ok, thanks, bye."

    Oh, and if your sig tries to intimidate the recipient into deleting the missive under pain of legal punishment, you can take your sig & stuff it _RIGHT_ up your arse. The recipient is under no legal requirement to do any such thing. In fact, if they decide to forward it as a BCC to the entire Gmail, Apple, AOL, Microsoft, & EU email owners as global spam, there's not a damned thing the sender can do to stop it.

    Email sigs: Just Say No!

    1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

      Re: Which is why I always turn off email sigs...

      I understand and partially subscribe to your point of view.

      As a freelancer, I have to have a signature that includes my registration identification, but it is just three lines of text with my name, the name I am registered under and my registration number.

      There is no 1.5MB image, nor is there any legal warning notice.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Which is why I always turn off email sigs...

        "There is no 1.5MB image, nor is there any legal warning notice."

        My 6 page ASCII art signature depicting the African coffin dance to remind people to wear masks is only a few KB.

        It's important to keep things succinct when writing.

      2. JetSetJim Silver badge

        Re: Which is why I always turn off email sigs...

        Signatures with images are a right pain if you want to find an email from that person with an attachment in many a mail client

        1. swm Silver badge

          Re: Which is why I always turn off email sigs...

          At the college where I taught one of the professors had a sig with 20 lines of "do not forward, check with your attorney etc.", followed by even more bizarre cautions, warnings, threats etc. It was a total spoof of the required sig that the university insisted on.

        2. Weiss_von_Nichts

          Re: Which is why I always turn off email sigs...

          Since mails with images are generally HTML-formatted they alreade were a PITA before they were even sent. No further arguments needed.

    2. DavCrav Silver badge

      Re: Which is why I always turn off email sigs...

      "The recipient is under no legal requirement to do any such thing. In fact, if they decide to forward it as a BCC to the entire Gmail, Apple, AOL, Microsoft, & EU email owners as global spam, there's not a damned thing the sender can do to stop it."

      Unless your name is M. Markle. Then you can go to court to sue a newspaper for printing the contents of said communication.

      1. Symon Silver badge
        Paris Hilton

        Re: Which is why I always turn off email sigs...

        There's a world of difference between going to court to sue a newspaper (sic) and going to court and successfully suing a newspaper. Just sayin'...

      2. veti Silver badge

        Re: Which is why I always turn off email sigs...

        Well, that was clearly breach of copyright. And yes, in some circumstances you could probably be sued for unauthorised forwarding of someone else's email on the same basis.

        1. AlbertH

          Re: Which is why I always turn off email sigs...

          in some circumstances you could probably be sued for unauthorised forwarding of someone else's email on the same basis.

          Err... nope. If you send me an email, it effectively becomes my property. You can request that I don't make the contents public, but that's as far as it goes when you've pressed "send". Megan Sparkles is going to be in for a lot of expense and a lot of frustration in court!

          1. Dave314159ggggdffsdds Bronze badge

            Re: Which is why I always turn off email sigs...

            Twaddle. The sender retains copyright, and grants the recipient a fairly limited license.

            1. DryBones
              Paris Hilton

              Re: Which is why I always turn off email sigs...

              Now that was good for a laugh. Nice of you to pre-describe your comment.

              It's sent, it's out of their hands. End of.

              Why? No such agreement was reached before the email was sent. It can be printed and stapled to the town hall's board if the recipient wants. Sheer legal theatre.

              1. veti Silver badge

                Re: Which is why I always turn off email sigs...

                Copyright doesn't work like that. Would you try to claim that you could copy the content of, say, a mag you read in a waiting room, or a video you watched while standing in a queue, because you hadn't agreed to be bound by copyright?

                You can't republish someone else's work without their explicit consent, no matter how it came into your possession.

            2. Alan Brown Silver badge

              Re: Which is why I always turn off email sigs...

              "The sender retains copyright, and grants the recipient a fairly limited license."

              Yes, but damages in such a case are restricted to ACTUAL losses - which if they happen to be zero will be awarded as such - and there's no requirement for the court to award costs to the victor

              There have been a lot of cases where the plaintiff has been awarded a symbolic $1 and explicitly refused costs claims (the reason for the symbolic award is to ensure it's virtually impossible to appeal)

          2. StargateSg7 Bronze badge

            Re: Which is why I always turn off email sigs...

            THAT does NOT Apply in the USA!

            MANY lawyers have won cases where those signatures ARE ACTUALLY ENFORCEABLE depending upon the state of the user/sender AND/OR the authority of the local Intellectual Property regulations!

            I personally know of one case where a $150,000 fine was levied against an online user of a email system for forwarding a privileged email to another user! Stupidly, the defendant did NOT declare bankruptcy immediately after judgement and then got rung up in the CRIMINAL-side of the civil court system when the court order payment rules were not followed (i.e. felony-level Contempt of Court charges!) The judge sent him away for 6 months in County Jail for not attending an available-assets-discovery hearing!

            Those things on the body DO HAVE THE FORCE OF U.S. LAW if they are U.S.-based and I can tel you that that reach is GLOBAL !!!!!! People have found out THE HARD WAY just how far the U.S. legal system and the bounty hunter system stretches!

            V

    3. Jeroen Braamhaar

      Re: Which is why I always turn off email sigs...

      I'm fine with sig blocks .... so long as they keep it to the McQuary limit.

      1. Allan George Dyer Silver badge
        Coat

        Re: Which is why I always turn off email sigs...

        Somehow I read that as the Mary Quant limit, which probably has something to do with mini skirts.

        icon: the vinyl one, please.

        1. Zarno Bronze badge
          Pint

          Re: Which is why I always turn off email sigs...

          Where's the mini-skirt made of snake skin?

          And who's the other guy singing in Van Halen?

          When did reality become T.V. ?

          Sorry, that skirt quip made me think of the song.

          Have a pint!

        2. J. Cook Silver badge
          Paris Hilton

          Re: Which is why I always turn off email sigs...

          ... with fishnet stockings and go-go boots?

          *heads for the door*

      2. diver_dave

        Re: Which is why I always turn off email sigs...

        OK..

        Learn something new every day!

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Which is why I always turn off email sigs...

        Quite in agreement, which is why client enforced giganto-sigs annoy me. You know the ones with several colours because otherwise you miss the name.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Which is why I always turn off email sigs...

          I work as a contractor but permanently based at one client facility. The client **REQUIRES** a certain email signature format, on all messages, including replies and internal email:

          Name, title, a note that I'm a contractor for $myEmployer not an employee of the client, client company name, address, email (like you couldn't get it from the "from" line!), phone number, client company website, links to client company social media pages, and finally the client company logo.

          I wish I was allowed to turn it off, at least for INTERNAL emails, or use the much-abbreviated one I had before the requirement came through. The email content is frequently shorter than the signature.

          And then there's the auto-applied-by-the-server legal disclaimer for outgoing external email...

          1. wegie

            Re: Which is why I always turn off email sigs...

            "auto-applied-by-the-server legal disclaimer for outgoing external email..."

            The other half used to work for a financial services firm whose auto-disclaimer ran to three large paragraphs. As said other half refuses to edit/trim their email, conversations could end up with multiple nested instances of the bloody disclaimer spaffed across the end of each email. Occasionally I considered asking the firm in question for payment for how much of my hard drive the sodding disclaimer was occupying.

      4. Snowy
        Thumb Up

        Re: Which is why I always turn off email sigs...

        Nice idea the McQuary limit

        (Internet) The rule of netiquette stating that the text of a Usenet signature, or sig, should be less than 80 columns wide and no longer than four lines.

        From https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/McQuary_limit

        1. VicMortimer
          Alert

          Re: Which is why I always turn off email sigs...

          I'm afraid I simply must object.

          You never know when the recipient might be using a terminal that's only capable of 40 columns. An 80 column signature is unnecessary.

        2. Alan Brown Silver badge

          Re: Which is why I always turn off email sigs...

          McQuary limit: and a sig block should be prefixed with a "-- " line - this allows half-decent clients to autostrip it

    4. PerlyKing Silver badge

      Re: Which is why I always turn off email sigs...

      I think it was a finger .sig (.plan?) rather than email, but in my early days at university one of my brighter classmates discovered animated ASCII art (this was a while ago!) and added some to his .sig (and/or .plan), much to the joy of the long-suffering sysadmin :-)

    5. Lazlo Woodbine Bronze badge

      Re: Which is why I always turn off email sigs...

      I especially hate the long signatures that include a block about thinking before you print the email.

      Especially ironic when you do have to print the email and the signature block is the only text on the second page

      1. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge

        Re: Which is why I always turn off email sigs...

        you never have to print the email! are you sure you thought about it?

        1. Stoneshop Silver badge
          Headmaster

          you never have to print the emai? For rather loose values of 'never'.

          Well, sometimes I want to have the content available as hardcopy, saving me having to schlep a laptop[0] to a place where I just have to show the missive.

          [0] or a tablet, except that I don't have one.

          1. red floyd
            Angel

            Re: you never have to print the emai? For rather loose values of 'never'.

            "[0] or a tablet, except that I don't have one."

            Then why did your post say "Sent from my iPad"????

            1. Tom 7 Silver badge

              Re: you never have to print the emai? For rather loose values of 'never'.

              I have mails in my inbox with 'Sent from my ZX81' which they were (well not mine) thought fortunately I never quite got into the idea of typing the stack in myself to try it.

              I am surprised you can actually delete "Sent from my IPAD/IPhone" because no-on seems to do it.

              1. herman Silver badge

                Re: you never have to print the emai? For rather loose values of 'never'.

                I changed mine to 'Sent from my Sub-Etha Sens-O-Matic' and nobody ever commented on it.

              2. Alan Brown Silver badge

                Re: you never have to print the emai? For rather loose values of 'never'.

                "I am surprised you can actually delete "Sent from my IPAD/IPhone" because no-on seems to do it."

                It's the default sig block - do you think someone clueless enough to not bother reading the "no ipad" rules and deny he has an ipad would have enough clue to alter it?

            2. Stoneshop Silver badge
              Boffin

              Re: you never have to print the emai? For rather loose values of 'never'.

              We've sent a message, signed with "Sent from our Friden Flexowriter".

              Although "Composed on" or "Written on" should have been the correct wording, as the sending involved a papertape reader and a system that actually performed the sending.

          2. Yes Me Silver badge
            FAIL

            Re: you never have to print the emai? For rather loose values of 'never'.

            Of course you sometimes have to print it. For example when your stupid employer decides it's essential to autoexpire and autodelete all email after 6 months. So anything of importance (e.g. employment related promises from your stupid employer) must be printed.

            1. Rich 11 Silver badge

              Re: you never have to print the emai? For rather loose values of 'never'.

              Sounds like it's time to find a different stupid employer.

              1. Scott Wheeler

                Re: you never have to print the emai? For rather loose values of 'never'.

                Speaking cynically, an unscrupulous employee holding the only copy of such promises could turn this to his/her advantage.

            2. Jou (Mxyzptlk) Bronze badge

              Re: you never have to print the emai? For rather loose values of 'never'.

              Two solutions:

              1. Export your mailbox two or three times a year to your local storage.

              2. Move your mail to a local storage. If you have Outlook and know how to use the archiving function in a sensible way, i.e. you set it to "move everything older than this date into Archive 2019.pst", and it works quite well. The default archiving settings are total trash though. Other mail clients have similar functions.

              As for 2, I had the joy to force-migrate a customer away from an too weird Linux to Windows/Exchange in 2014, 200 MB Mailquota was one of the reasons. No irony, that Linux setup was an unstable Christmas tree, though not due to Linux, but rather how that Admin set it up. I had quite a few users which worked around that 200 MB Mailquota by moving their mail to local folders, and some had about 20 years of mail, i.e. > 15 GB in their Thunderbird local storage. Migrating that stuff back to where it gets backed up took quite some time.

              Only the CEO and some others in high positions got 1 GB quota, which wasn't enough too - and one of the reasons why they were sick of it and their Admin. Including missing ActiveSync and a few other issues.

      2. A.P. Veening Silver badge

        Re: Which is why I always turn off email sigs...

        Especially ironic when you do have to print the email and the signature block is the only text on the second page

        One of the reasons I always print emails first to PDF and if necessary print the PDF (and only the relevant pages at that).

        1. Nick Ryan Silver badge

          Re: Which is why I always turn off email sigs...

          ...and there I was thinking that the Print Preview feature was useful.

          On the other hand, printing has been the bastardised unfashionable side of computing for a decade or two and has sucked as a result.

    6. RedRichie

      Re: Which is why I always turn off email sigs...

      My pet sig hate is users that insist on 'signing' their name in a lurid script font, usually in a biro shade of blue.

      Might as well format the whole email in Comic Sans while they're at it.

      1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge
        Happy

        Re: Which is why I always turn off email sigs...

        I send all my emails in Wingdings - and save Comic Sans for the signature, where professionalism really counts.

      2. Anon

        Re: Which is why I always turn off email sigs...

        How's the photocopier meant to copy that shade of blue? So inconsiderate of them.

        1. whitepines Silver badge
          Joke

          Re: Which is why I always turn off email sigs...

          Isn't that the point? "I never signed that!"

          1. Joe W Silver badge

            Re: Which is why I always turn off email sigs...

            "No, Sharon T. Pokeworthy did. People seldom check." (BOFH...)

        2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          Re: Which is why I always turn off email sigs...

          "How's the photocopier meant to copy that shade of blue? So inconsiderate of them."

          You probably don't want an exact copy of certain shades of blue, especially if of the intelligent shade.

      3. Diogenes

        Re: Which is why I always turn off email sigs...

        Whilst I loathe and despise Comic Sans, and in the past have threatened my students with horrible punishments for using it, it seems that for some types of dyslexia, comic sans works

        1. Vasten_the_Barelegged

          Re: Which is why I always turn off email sigs...

          > it seems that for some types of dyslexia, comic sans works

          May I refer Sir, and any other pseudo Greek philosophers, to https://opendyslexic.org/

          1. jsa

            Re: Which is why I always turn off email sigs...

            Though fonts like Dyslexie and OpenDyslexic are good, so I hear, Comic Sans does have a big upper hand in terms of being fairly ubiquitous, needing no special installation on most systems, so will get the job done in a pinch.

    7. Xalran

      Re: Which is why I always turn off email sigs...

      Personnally, I only use my 20+ lines long, with hotlinked pictures and fluffs, Corporate Approved ( well Corporate provided ) signature for mails that needs to be treated with care by the recipient...

      It's a way for me to say : read carefully the fscking mail and ponder on it before doing anything stupid/ridiculous.

      The rest of the time it's first name & name.

      Some took the cue about the sig, but there's still people that don't get it and go the stupid way.

      And yes it comes down to habits taken from the old times.

      1. veti Silver badge

        Re: Which is why I always turn off email sigs...

        I hate to break it to you, but I only recently realised this myself:

        Nobody reads those emails anyway.

        Now I assume that any manager will not read any paragraph of more than four lines or two sentences, whichever is less; nor will they read more than one such paragraph, unless the first paragraph mentions a specific sum of money.

        Email has become a write-only medium. If you actually want them to act on something, you need to find another way to tell them. Of course, if you're just covering your arse, it doesn't matter.

    8. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Which is why I always turn off email sigs...

      The real gems are the corporate sigs that say if you're not the intended recipient you shouldn't read this email. Appended at the end where you only see it after reading the email. Because email clients have a facility for adding sigs but not headers and the thought that would have to go into issuing a corporate template and instructions to prepend it would be too hard.

      1. Terry 6 Silver badge
        Pint

        Re: Which is why I always turn off email sigs...

        Can't believe that got a downvote. I'd give an extra upvote if i could, but instead have a

    9. Uncle Slacky Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Re: Which is why I always turn off email sigs...

      > My "favorite" were those idiots whom had half a megabyte of sig attached to an (email) message that amounted to "Ok, thanks, bye."

      Good old BIFF@BIFF.NET (and sometimes PSUVM.EDU):

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BIFF#An_example_Biffism

    10. General Purpose

      Re: Which is why I always turn off email sigs...

      Forwarding an email can be breach of copyright. El Reg reported on a successful case in the UK's High Court back in 2007.

    11. disgruntled yank Silver badge

      Re: Which is why I always turn off email sigs...

      It seems to me that back in the day of Usenet and dial-up, Linus Torvalds had some kind of collection of ridiculous sigs, on which he commented with his usual charity. This would have been before he started work on Linux, I think.

    12. Antron Argaiv Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Re: Which is why I always turn off email sigs...

      Normally, I'd agree with you, but my iPhone currently appends:

      "Sent from my prototype self-driving Apple iCar"

      (I try to exploit whatever tech rumors appeal to me)

      1. MJI Silver badge

        Re: Which is why I always turn off email sigs...

        Many years ago when built I used to use my PC spec as sent from, was at the time a good processor and HDDs.

        Stuff Ipad I have a quad core CPU and terabytes of HDD

      2. red floyd

        Re: Which is why I always turn off email sigs...

        How about "Sent from my quantum computer at CIA Headquarters"?

        1. Charlie van Becelaere

          Re: Which is why I always turn off email sigs...

          "How about "Sent from my quantum computer at CIA Headquarters"?"

          Or better, "Routed through the quantum computers at the NSA."

          1. the hatter
            Black Helicopters

            Re: Which is why I always turn off email sigs...

            I assume all emails I send or receive are routed that way, don't you ?

        2. segillum

          Re: Which is why I always turn off email sigs...

          I had an email the other day with "Sent from my IBM 370/65" appended...

          1. Old Used Programmer

            Re: Which is why I always turn off email sigs...

            Well *somebody* has a sense of humor... If it's a model 65, it'd be a S/360. If it's a S/370, it'd be a model 165 (or--possibly--168).

        3. Jonathan Richards 1
          Go

          Re: Which is why I always turn off email sigs...

          > How about "Sent from my quantum computer

          Hmm. Maybe. Maybe not.

          1. Trygve Henriksen

            Re: Which is why I always turn off email sigs...

            May or may not have been sent from my Quantum Computer.

      3. Tom 7 Silver badge

        Re: Which is why I always turn off email sigs...

        Should you not have the sig cut off half way through with added 'OH FUCK N'

      4. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Which is why I always turn off email sigs...

        Used to have a Windows Tablet PC that had a stylus but no keyboard that relied on handwriting recognition. My sig was something like "Sent from my Windows Tablet. Warning, may have incorrect words in the massage"

    13. GlenP Silver badge

      Re: Which is why I always turn off email sigs...

      We have a standard corporate email sig, partly to ensure the legal requirements are complied with and partly for consistency, but it's added at the server end, only on external emails* and only once, if a reply to a reply already has it it's not added again.

      *We have a different, brief, one for internal emails solely as an additional security measure.

      1. The Oncoming Scorn Silver badge
        Facepalm

        Re: Which is why I always turn off email sigs...

        Had a Higher Level Manager complaining bitterly about why his new Branch manager had two signitures.

        Said new hire & manager had to be informed that the sig's were created by the server & the new hire didn't need to create his own (He'd must have had two brain cells to rub together in order to create a passable replica, shame he puffed up his job title a bit at the same time).

    14. James 139

      Re: Which is why I always turn off email sigs...

      I've seen a fair few email sigs that contain, what looks like, a nice little 1in square portrait or company logo.

      Fair enough, you think, until you discover that the bane of all life on earth, the HTML email client, has carefully and thoughtfully just set the element to that size, and the image is, in reality, some massive 4000 square pixels.

      People should have to go on a course to be allowed to use anything but plain text emails, with annual refreshers so they don't forget how not to email.

      1. Stoneshop Silver badge
        Mushroom

        Re: Which is why I always turn off email sigs...

        People should have to go on a course to be allowed to use anything but plain text emails, with annual refreshers so they don't forget how not to email.

        People are amazingly fast at forgetting/utterly incapable of remembering. A year would be several epochs too long.

        The only way to fix this would be to have their keyboard explode when appending a .sig that's over the limit, or unlicensed use of formatting.

    15. IGotOut Silver badge

      Re: Which is why I always turn off email sigs...

      Don't forget the knobs that put their qualifications at the end.

      Your degree in art from 1989 doesn't impress me, and neither does your A+ cert.

      One pretentious dick put 6 of his qualifications at the end after a "I know the I'm right" type email (those qualifications were missing in earlier sigs) so I responded with all 36 of mine including a Fork Lift licence, Advanced driving and First Aid

      1. 2+2=5 Silver badge
        Joke

        Re: Which is why I always turn off email sigs...

        > so I responded with all 36 of mine including a Fork Lift licence, Advanced driving and First Aid

        If you don't have a Bronze Swimming Certificate you're nothing.

        1. EVP Bronze badge

          Re: Which is why I always turn off email sigs...

          I failed mine. It was too boring to obtain one. Instead, I got this bronze badge from El Reg. I’m gonna list it in my email signature, and update my CV, too.

          1. JetSetJim Silver badge

            Re: Which is why I always turn off email sigs...

            Pffft. Bronze....

            (I know a Goldie will be asking soon...)

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Which is why I always turn off email sigs...

              *along

            2. EVP Bronze badge

              Re: Which is why I always turn off email sigs...

              Yeah, and I can tell you (s)he’ll brag how ”In my time, bronze was made out of wood, and silver didn’t even exist yet!”. And how good we have it nowadays.

              There is this red square one then with a silhouette of a bald guy with schnozzle. I wonder what they are for. A booby prize, perhaps?

        2. Jonathan Richards 1
          Boffin

          Re: Which is why I always turn off email sigs...

          Pfft. I got a Cycling Proficiency Certificate in the 1960s. They didn't give out firsts like confetti in those days, I'll have you know.

          1. EVP Bronze badge

            Re: Which is why I always turn off email sigs...

            Thanks a bunch. Now I have to get one too. One just cannot have too many certificates when keeping competitive on the labour market.

          2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

            Re: Which is why I always turn off email sigs...

            "Pfft. I got a Cycling Proficiency Certificate in the 1960s. "

            Pfft! I took and passed the Advanced Cycling Proficiency Certificate too. Wimp!

          3. Shooter

            Re: Which is why I always turn off email sigs...

            I've got a Proficiency in Computering Certificate from my company IT department!

        3. low_resolution_foxxes Bronze badge

          Re: Which is why I always turn off email sigs...

          No diploma in holistic nutritional health? Shame on you.

        4. CB__

          Re: Which is why I always turn off email sigs...

          I got the Red Dwarf reference. BSc ;)

      2. NorthIowan

        Re: Fork Lift licence

        I think mine was just a certification to drive a forklift. :-(

        Although the summer lumber yard job almost got me hired at my first Engineering interview because one of the managers did a lot of woodworking.

      3. blah@blag.com

        Re: Which is why I always turn off email sigs...

        Hmmm, I have certs for NCB Flame Safety Lamp, NCB Rope Haulage Operator, Lotus Notes Administrator & Lotus Notes Developer. Possibly the haulage cert could still be useful.

    16. WolfFan Silver badge

      Re: Which is why I always turn off email sigs...

      That depends on the sig. seen, on a Microsoft mailing list, a long time ago:

      “We are Microsoft of Borg. Where you want to go today is irrelevant. What you want to do today is irrelevant. We shall take your currency and add it to our own. Resistance is futile. Bend over right now.”

      The howls from certain others on the list were things of beauty.

    17. Cynic_999 Silver badge

      Re: Which is why I always turn off email sigs...

      "

      In fact, if they decide to forward it as a BCC to the entire Gmail, Apple, AOL, Microsoft, & EU email owners as global spam, there's not a damned thing the sender can do to stop it.

      "

      Not strictly true. Forwarding an email in its entirity without permission could possibly be pursued as being a breach of copyright. (You own the copyright to any email you wrote yourself).

      1. AlbertH

        Re: Which is why I always turn off email sigs...

        Not strictly true. Forwarding an email in its entirity without permission could possibly be pursued as being a breach of copyright. (You own the copyright to any email you wrote yourself).

        I had this very debate with our legal eagles. After several expensive bouts of fruitless litigation, they were forced to conceded that once the email has reached the recipient, it becomes the recipient's property to do with as (s)he wishes. In the same way that if you buy a record or CD then decide to use it as a discus, that's your business.

        1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          Re: Which is why I always turn off email sigs...

          Then they should go back to law school. The act of forwarding is "making a copy", something very different to using a vinyl record as a Frisbeetm

    18. N2 Silver badge
      Mushroom

      Re: Which is why I always turn off email sigs...

      There is one thing far worse than an email signature in an email and it's...

      See below:

      What follows is a conversation between at least 7 or 8 people, usually representing three or four different organisations, none of which you really know. Theres a bit of light hearted office banter, plus some exceptionally dull humour, all of which you are expected to troll through to find the nugget of information you really need in a vain attempt to enlighten your miserabe existence.

      I personally, don't sign up to this mantra, replying with a 'Please explain what you really want me to do' as amiguousness and error loom along with usually fairly severe consequencies.

      Really, I'd like to tell them to stop being so f'ing lazy and skip the bile they just forwarded to me and cut to the chase.

      Or I ring them up to inform I accidentally deleted it. But there you go, see below justifies global thermo nuclear war because only that will wipe it for eternity.

      1. Insert sadsack pun here

        Re: Which is why I always turn off email sigs...

        "Below email refers. Please action the necessary".

    19. Quinch

      Re: Which is why I always turn off email sigs...

      Relevant SMBC;

      https://www.smbc-comics.com/?id=2847

    20. Jonathan Richards 1

      Re: Which is why I always turn off email sigs...

      ---

      email sigs: just say no.

      Shurely.

    21. mathew42
      Facepalm

      Re: Which is why I always turn off email sigs...

      We are required by marketing to use a signature which includes links to various social media channels.

      At various times emails have been blocked by spam filters on client's email gateways.

      The internal conflict on the correct action has been intense, although a beer helps.

      1. low_resolution_foxxes Bronze badge

        Re: Which is why I always turn off email sigs...

        Oh yeah, I get this too.

        I delete all the social media links. No one buying our engineering products gives a F about Pinterest. Annoys the marketing team, only cause their only metric in life is obsessing over daily clicks, "impressions darling", and making sure the website looks good on an iPhone.

        1. Alan Brown Silver badge

          Re: Which is why I always turn off email sigs...

          "Annoys the marketing team"

          Tell the marketing team that this kind of inane shit is a good reason for me to strike your company off as a supplier

          Why? Because it tells me they obsess on form over function and it's likely ther company support ethic will follow the same pattern

    22. low_resolution_foxxes Bronze badge

      Re: Which is why I always turn off email sigs...

      Internally OK.

      External professional customer emails - bit trickier. Isn't there some legislation about defined legal requirements in emails? A specific full business name, contact details, etc.

    23. Scott Wheeler

      Re: Which is why I always turn off email sigs...

      My SMTP 220 response (the first thing my MTA responds with after another server contacts it, and before it can send anything) has a EULA. Basically if you send anything to me, I reserve the right to do anything I want with it.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Which is why I always turn off email sigs...

        Interesting idea but unfortunately the EULA can not apply because it was stuffed into the non-parsed part of an exchange in an automated process.

        That thing in Harry Potter where Malfoy Senior frees Dobby by giving him a sock without realising? It's not real.

        1. MadDrFrank

          Re: Which is why I always turn off email sigs...

          Perhaps Magical Law is as poorly drafted as UK law. There have been a few "absolute offences" for which intention (or even knowledge) is irrelevant -- only the action counts. Some may get fixed when noticed, but I doubt all the bugs have been repaired.

          Not a new problem ... the Mikado promised to get "compassing the death of the heir apparent" redrafted to include "intentionally" -- some time next year -- but to proceed with the executions this afternoon.

  2. diver_dave

    Yeah. Been there..

    Telecoms again.

    Called by one of our more technologically challenged users.

    Phone turret not working. One of the almost indistructable 3820's.

    Get down to client [1] Ask usual questions.

    Client had of course done nothing that may cause the issues. However, turret is total Dodo.

    Pick it up... And.... Get a cup of cold coffee down my shirt.

    Fairly simple diagnosis from that point.a few choice words were exchanged. Well actually the conversation was one sided.

    She did offer to get my nice CT shirt dry cleaned.

    Roll on pint time....

    Have a good weekend all...

    Dave

    [1] Same client who took recabling every desk to the board as it was obviously cr*p because pushing her bag right under her desk was pulling extension leads apart regularly.

    Gaffa tape fix.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Yeah. Been there..

      Did you use Gaffa tape on the cables or the user?

      1. diver_dave

        Re: Yeah. Been there..

        Oh I wish. I wish...

    2. diver_dave

      Re: Yeah. Been there..

      Additional.

      The Nortel 3820 was the fixed line equivalent of the Nokia 3310.

      I once dropped an unboxed one down the center of the stairwell. 3 floors...

      Only damage was a few scratches.

      You have to really try to kill one.

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: Yeah. Been there..

        "Only damage was a few scratches."

        To the stairs?

  3. Anonymous South African Coward Silver badge

    And James, like all good BOFHs, "went back to charging the recently-used cattleprod".

    There, fixed it for ya.

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      I was thinking more along the lines of to the pub. The good BOFH never sleeps. It wastes time better devoted to malevolence and sneaking into the building to loosen window catches and recable the boss's office to install listening devices..

    2. Hopalong

      Carpet

      I was thinking more of "Ring local carpet emporium for any end-of-roll bargains to replace what just been used. "

    3. logicalextreme Bronze badge

      I have to say I was a little surprised that he went back to sleep at the end of the story seeing as it began with him arriving at work.

      Then again it's not like I haven't gone to sleep at work either.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    On helpdesk calls

    "User has checked cables"

    Yeah, right

    1. A K Stiles Silver badge

      Re: On helpdesk calls

      Wife, who is not a total L-user when it comes to tech, gets very offended when I start at the very basic end of problem diagnosis - "I've already checked that!" "Yes I know, but that's how my problem solving works - if I haven't checked it, then it hasn't been checked". Too many experiences of people claiming they did nothing or had already checked a thing, for the simple thing to turn out to be the issue anyway.

      1. Terry 6 Silver badge

        Re: On helpdesk calls

        Part of which may not be a lie....as such. I've watched a user "check" a cable by looking to see if it's there ( it was) but not see if it's plugged in at both ends (it wasn't,). Or not checked that it's in properly (It wasn't). Or not noticed the nasty gash in the middle of the length/that it's trapped under a table leg etc. (both of those too). Or possibly not told IT support about the damage/cable trapped/pulled off its plug etc. because the IT guy didn't specify that issue.

        1. eionmac

          Re: On helpdesk calls

          Or the luxury of tasty cable. Little bites from his/her per rat! I now recognise these small bites, usually only half cut a strand of a cable.

    2. Peter2 Silver badge

      Re: On helpdesk calls

      "User has checked cables"

      Yeah, right

      Yep...

      They've checked them so much that if you ask them to unplug them, then blow on the end and plug them back in it always solves the problem.

      Obviously blowing on the end of the cables does nothing and you could just say "check the cables are pushed in properly", but the users don't do that whereas they will unplug it to pointlessly blow on them, and plugging it back in then solves the problem.

      1. Terry 6 Silver badge

        Re: On helpdesk calls

        You say "These cables are known to work loose so could you...." etc. and they're happy to do the task because it's the cable's fault

        1. Snapper

          Re: On helpdesk calls

          Fsckin bril!

          I'm gonna use that!

      2. The Oncoming Scorn Silver badge
        Pint

        Re: On helpdesk calls

        How I wish some of the more technically challenged would mistake a request for blow as suck on a power cable.

      3. Alan Brown Silver badge

        Re: On helpdesk calls

        "Obviously blowing on the end of the cables does nothing"

        Until you watch a user do it and coat the end in spit as part of the process - and he does this RELIGIOUSLY every time he connects/reconnects a cable as he's been told blwing on it will ensure it's clean

        Feel free to EWWW

        1. First Light Bronze badge

          Re: On helpdesk calls

          But will it give the computer COVID? ;-)

    3. Xalran

      Re: On helpdesk calls

      You just reminded me that I forgot to bring a 15m ethernet cable to my favorite user ( aka Mom ) so that she can connect to Internet when her laptop wifi goes AWOL ( loosing the connectivity with the box and going for another generic wifi network. )

      Damn, I'll have to tuck that in my bag for halloween, if they managed to get planes back between ORY and CFE. ( no way I'm going to endure the 4H [ potentially going on 8 ] of train going there )

      1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge
        Facepalm

        Re: On helpdesk calls

        Er... can't you just send the missing ethernet cable via snail-mail?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: On helpdesk calls

          Better yet, just one end of it, so you can connect the other end to your network as a backup.

          Obligatory XKCD: (see comment)

          https://xkcd.com/454/

          1. Tom 7 Silver badge

            Re: On helpdesk calls

            I remember the days of 10BASE5 and when I first got to play with MIDI I realised the error method provided by MIDI looping through a 400w Fender attached to some eclectic connection of early 'instruments' would have been really handy even in very large office setups.

    4. Sampler

      Re: On helpdesk calls

      Back in my green days (which I like to count in decades now as it keeps the numbers smaller and thereby some how seems not as long ago) I had a user with a totally dead, completely shuffled off the mortal coil 22" CRT monitor (such a beast they were classed as a two man lift for company insurance purposes, not that anyone actually followed through with getting a second engineer to help).

      Asked the obvious, did you check it was plugged in, affirmative from the user, so in my nativity I toddle off back to our basement office to grab a replacement, trolley it back up, swap over, pop the power button and..nothing.

      Oh dear.

      So I check the power cable I re-used and, yep, it's plugged in alright.

      They do tend to work better than when the extension block is turned on though...

      I didn't want to lose face to the nice lady so simply told her the new monitor's now up and running and popped her old one back into storage for when one actually failed...

      1. Snapper

        Re: On helpdesk calls

        Been there, done that, eaten the T-Shirt!

        1. swm Silver badge

          Re: On helpdesk calls

          I could diagnose, with a 200 MHz oscilloscope, an unplugged machine in under 3 hours.

    5. Montreal Sean
      Joke

      Re: On helpdesk calls

      But the user does have checked cables, coloured by hand in several different coulours.

      You mean you never make checkerboard patterns on your cables?

      Amateur!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: On helpdesk calls

        Please disconnect and reconnect the Bruce tartan cable. No, not the Comyn tartan one, the Bruce!

        Hmm. Sounds like a BOFH trick, actually.

    6. C R Mudgeon

      Re: On helpdesk calls

      The flip side of this: By the time I reach the point of calling Tech Support, I've already power-cycled the device several times, checked the cables, tried different cables, etc. But I've learned to just cooperate with good grace when the poor hell-desk flunkie asks me to do it again.

      The most recent time was when my ADSL modem died. The extremely loud, extremely sharp crack of thunder coinciding (to within my nervous system's resolution) with the loss of connectivity, strongly suggested a real problem. But yeah, power cycle it for him, tell him which LEDs are lit.

      After all, I know that I know what I'm talking about ... but he has no way to know that. (Besides which, rechecking the obvious can't hurt. I've made enough dumb mistakes over the years that I no longer quite trust my good opinion of myself.)

      1. Jou (Mxyzptlk) Bronze badge

        Re: On helpdesk calls

        > I've made enough dumb mistakes over the years that I no longer quite trust my good opinion of myself.

        Upvote for that.

      2. Joe W Silver badge

        Re: On helpdesk calls

        "(Besides which, rechecking the obvious can't hurt. I've made enough dumb mistakes over the years that I no longer quite trust my good opinion of myself."

        Yes. Ooooh yes. Same here. "the red hot feeling starting with M..." (Sir Pterry)

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The first rule I always taught new helpdesk staff: "Users lie".

    1. Aladdin Sane Silver badge

      Greg House? Is that you?

    2. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge

      lie detector

      I made a WMI remote query tool that would answer the question

      "Have you turned it off and on again?" *

      before you asked it.

      * as well as many other questions often too difficult for the user like "what OS is it?" or "Whats your phone number?"

      1. Nick Ryan Silver badge

        Re: lie detector

        What OS is it? Well thats's simple! It's Windows 2019, or Windows 365.

  6. Anonymous Coward Silver badge
    Facepalm

    "It is always such fun when users take it upon themselves to diagnose issues, and usually ascribe them to a mystery virus or some other example of miscreancy"

    The best I've had: I think it got a virus, so I ran a defrag on it but it made no difference.

    The real problem (other than the user) was that the son had spilled coke over the keyboard.

    1. Spock2

      The real problem (other than the user) was that the son had spilled coke over the keyboard.

      Not too hard to hoover that up.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        @spock2

        There are worse liquids. That KB required rubber gloves on my part, dumped into the ward sluice before bagging and disposal. Not recoverable as pee is quite acidic...

        1. The Oncoming Scorn Silver badge
          Headmaster

          Re: @spock2

          I top that with schoolkid vomit.

          Icon - Because the teacher asked if I wanted to take the old one offsite for safe disposal.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Cola and orange juice

      Both sugary and acid enough to cause serious damage. Spilt some my self on a laptop and it was hell getting it all clean and working

      1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

        Re: Cola and orange juice

        Happened to me once. The laptop kept working for the day - just what I needed to back up everything important.

        The next day, it was dead.

        That's when I learned to be extra careful with liquids around a keyboard.

        1. Anomalous Cowshed

          Re: Cola and orange juice

          And tomatoes. Watch out for tomatoes

          1. Tom 7 Silver badge

            Re: Cola and orange juice

            Very handy for cleaning the skunk off your keyboard to echo Spock2.

        2. quxinot Silver badge
          Pint

          Re: Cola and orange juice

          The true danger in computers is not bloody cola being spilled of the keyboard.

          It's beer being spilled into the person typing on it. Calamity and hilarity in equal measures! :D

          1. nxnwest

            Re: Cola and orange juice

            Had a touch typist with beer spilled in them at lunch return to keyboard and typed the entire afternoon with their fingers shifted off the marks by just one key. Never looked at screen once as they were typing paragraph after paragraph of boilerplate.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Reminded me of a call - had a user ring up (legitamally) complaining of lack of disk space. Helldesk response - run a defrag.

      1. C R Mudgeon

        "... had a user ring up (legitamally) complaining of lack of disk space. Helldesk response - run a defrag."

        I used to work on a system on which that might actually be good advice.

        GCOS (Honeywell's mainframe O/S) had the concept of "temporary files", which would automagically go away on logout. Being temporary, they didn't count against your disk-space quota, which made them essential for users with tiny quotas, e.g. undergrad course accounts, to be able to get anything done.

        The thing is, the file system was extent-based, and temp files could only have a very limited number of extents. As the file system became more fragmented, the maximum attainable temp-file size got smaller and smaller, to the point of being unusable for some purposes. Scheduled down time to defrag the disks was an every-couple-of-months maintenance task.

    4. Mystic Megabyte
      Happy

      BOFH basics!

      I once scored a free high speed line printer that the client had spilled a sugary drink into. Using a paintbrush I washed the mother board with water. Whatever liquid it was had eaten one leg of a capacitor. New capacitor was pennies, told client the printer was toast. Result!

      1. the hatter

        Re: BOFH basics!

        Was that bound for ebay, (or pre-bay) ? Because I'm struggling to think why I'd use a line printer at home, when 'high speed' surely translates into "even louder than a regular line printer". Did the neighbours 3 roads across anger you, and you wanted to exact revenge ? Were you running a scam that required a lot of mail merge ? Plus they make an office laserjet look light and compact, and an office dot-matrix seem whisper-quiet

  7. Lee D Silver badge

    School IT revamp.

    I literally upgraded (and therefore wiped) every client and server.

    Obviously, before this, I took copies of absolutely everything. And did things piecemeal over the summer. And even went to the extent of copying/imaging/removing old client drives before doing so or as I went. People stored stuff in silly folders and something they didn't hit their network profiles and one of the things I was upgrading for was a better version of Windows that handled users profiles on a network in a better fashion, so we were killing that legacy but needed to be sure we'd got everything.

    One teacher, upon their return, was subject to a subject audit - the big bods go through their teaching and make sure they're compliant with the curriculum and so on. Strangely, at that point, she claimed she'd lost "everything" (even by her admission, that's a handful of files, but anyway). So I "must have wiped it all when I upgraded". The saga went on for a few days, while I explained that we'd wiped nothing that we didn't have copies of, and provided what I had.

    No, apparently those things were still missing. I was obviously stupid and had deleted it all. All her stuff was there. I was causing her stress. She couldn't go through with the audit without those files, etc. etc. etc.

    So I reached into my filing cabinet and - stacked among several hundred others - was every hard drive from every computer and every server. Pulled, labelled, stored just for such instances. Yes, the "upgrade" didn't wipe anything at all. Not one byte. I'd put new drives in everything, and pulled the old ones, carefully labelling them with their former location, PC number, and who used that PC. And I know that, because I did the entire upgrade single-handed, so not one computer got upgraded without that happening by myself personally.

    Strangely, that drive didn't have her claimed files either... shocking! It was at this point that, having a boss who understood IT, there was some hefty backtracking and she "found" what she was missing, and the saga blew over.

    Until a few days later, when she claimed that I was blocking websites and they were critical to her department review. It was odd, because I didn't block anything manually unless asked, it was all auto-categorised. And teachers pretty much got an exemption (their web history is recorded and flagged, but it doesn't block pages for them like it does the kids). I asked her to send me the address. She sent me her department curriculum planning document, which is something that every department keeps and contains all their ideas for teaching, what resources, etc. Obviously, that often now includes a web link or two.

    I clicked it. The site was dead. I told her "that's not us, the site is down". She made such a fuss, she went straight to the head and complained that I was blocking things she needed to "do her job", etc. etc. etc.. So I investigated. No DNS resolution for it. I poked around, looked up WHOIS records. The domain had expired TWELVE YEARS prior. No other website had ever sat on its domain. Archive.org provided a lovely timeline of updates, ending promptly at the point of domain expiry all those years prior.

    I presented this to the head and there was a ruckus. Because that website was in her curriculum plans for the last 15 years, and it hadn't existed for at least 12 of them. And she insisted that she'd been using it all that time, which was technically impossible. She couldn't provide any evidence that she'd used it, we had years of web logs, the kid's accounts had no traces of anything from it or work like that.

    She'd basically dropped herself in it twice, in quick succession, and shown everyone that she hadn't been doing her planning for all the time she'd worked there. There was a huge fuss. I don't know/care what happened because they accepted my evidence, and I left shortly after, but last I heard she was being made the "Head of VLE". The day I left, she asked me what a VLE was (virtual learning environment - a website where teachers post resources, homework, kids log in and grab them and submit them back, teachers comment on them, etc. etc. etc.). "That's like Google, right?!" she asked. Yeah. Just like Google. Bye.

    1. ibmalone Silver badge

      I have upvoted, but only with reluctance as this story of somebody attempting to cover their own mistakes by vociferously lying to put the blame on others, being proved wrong and still rewarded for it saddens me. The one bright note is being able (twice) to pull out unambiguous proof to the contrary and have it believed.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        The scary thing is, having worked in education. I can categorically guarantee that this story is absolutely true.

        You would not believe some of the things seen.

        1. Adrian 4 Silver badge

          What do you expect ?

          When they deal with 'dog ate my homework' every lesson, isn't a bit of that going to rub off ?

          1. Will Godfrey Silver badge
            Unhappy

            The strangest are the long-term primary school teachers. I'm certain they get 'infected' with something from dealing with all those kids.

            1. quxinot Silver badge

              When I was a young schoolchild, I thought I knew more than the teachers.

              This just confirms that I was correct!!--not that the following umpteen years didn't also reinforce that beilef, but there you have it...

              I remember being pulled out of class when I was perhaps 11ish to fix something on the computers in the library as another class was trying to get them to do something without success. A mix of Apple IIe and IIc's springs to mind, but it was a long, long time ago!

              1. Alan Brown Silver badge

                My parents were both primary teachers - and I had to interact with their cow-orkers at times

                Unfortunately the stereotypes are frequently true, thanks to poor pay keeping talented people away and more recently (last 40 years) religious fundamentalist groups seeing primary school as a fertile recruiting ground, so pushing their young people to signup as teachers (classic example: railing against halloween as "satanism") in order to get a foot in the door

      2. Terry 6 Silver badge

        "rewarded for it "

        My guess, that's a poisoned chalice, not a reward.

        1. The Oncoming Scorn Silver badge
          Holmes

          My automated e-mails that went out to a given type of issue, also informed the users that external vendor sites are not under our control, if they go down, we don't have any control over when the site will be working again unless we get that information from the vendor & relayed out by a company wide e-mail.

          The other was a lady, that got a replacement laptop (same model as HW failure) from me, I advised her that data should be backed up to the network, despite the fact there was very little on it, she responded that she had learned that lesson the hard way once before (in my predecessors day) & now ensured everything important was backed up, anything on the HDD was unimportant. I inherited the replacement ticket from my predecessor, so I remembered it well as first weeks on the job etc.

          A couple of years later she got a new replacement laptop, shortly after that there was a kerfuffle over missing files* from her previous but one HDD failure & she was trying to pin the blame on me that I had swapped out her old to new laptop but not transferred her data. This I explained quite happily to the union rep defending her during her suspension & she was ultimately sacked.

          *About 6 years of her visits & compliance audits of pharmaceutical sites world wide, that she had lost & spent a good 3 years of the time I was there covering up the loss. Any sympathy I had for her evaporated the moment she via the proxy of the union rep started trying to pin the blame on me.

          1. keithpeter

            I don't condone the attempted blame-shift but surely if these records were important enough to warrant dismissal then there should perhaps have been some kind of formal archive process. If nothing else, to prevent alteration after filing date &c.

            When I did lesson observations as part of local quality assurance, we had to upload completed paperwork to a system that time stamped everything.

        2. keithpeter
          Childcatcher

          Having implemented VLEs on several occasions (Web Course In A Box, Blackboard, the ever wonderful Moodle with a rabbit hole spelunk around Granada Learnwise) I would suggest that Terry 6 has it nailed.

          Some member of 'leadership' at Lee D's old employer obviously had a sense of humour.

        3. doublelayer Silver badge

          It may be, but unless there's someone else doing the real work on it to make sure it stays working, some of the students might get caught in the trap while it's still in operation. An environment through which students must submit work is a very important thing in education, and when it breaks there can be large problems.

          I am young enough that I've used such systems during my own schooling, and two events of problematic failures come readily to mind. First, there was the time when the system simply refused to accept uploaded documents. Every week, starting around 10:00 in the morning and ending at midnight or possibly later. The homework was due at midnight. I don't know how many students were thrown by this, but I had to email my professor with the documents and promise to try again later and that the files would be identical (fortunately this was accepted). The second time concerned a system for automatically detecting plagiarism which reported, on our class's final papers, nearly universal plagiarism. In fact, we had all committed exactly the crimes of which it was accusing us, namely we had copied, with only slight modifications, large chunks of other documents. Those other documents were our drafts for the same paper, which also got submitted into this system's big database. Worryingly, it seemed we had also plagiarized smaller sections from certain works which all seemed to be between quotation marks. Funnily enough, I don't remember that system being used for many other courses.

          1. swm Silver badge

            When i was teaching computer science we would run all submissions through a "cheating checker". It would compare every submission against every other submission and print out the top 15 high scorers. I remember one pair of submissions (which were quite lengthy) where the "diff" output was less than a page consisting of the student's name and class number.

            Another time two students in my sections got the high score on this cheating checker so I printed out both submissions and discovered that they were using totally different approaches to solving the problem. Copying wouldn't have done them any good - but why the high score? I looked at the raw data and discovered that the checker ignored the contents of strings and that it had matched up many "System.out.println()'s". Oh well.

            1. Adam 1

              You really need to take dup checkers with a good serving of salt. The one we use at work in our CI server has a wonderful bug that in some cases considers the method signature in your class to be a duplicate of the method signature of the interface being implemented by that class. Well, yes they do look the same. Funny that.

            2. Terry 6 Silver badge

              Oh yes, my daughter got something of the sort. She was accused of plagiarising an essay, that she'd written, because a different lecturer had set the same subject for an essay the previous year*. She hadn't even used that one as a source, just that the new version used many of the same sets of arguments and evidence. Because it had to. They took their time before admitting it, though.

              *It was one of those areas that is covered within two different course components, in different modules at different times or something like that.

          2. This post has been deleted by its author

            1. 2+2=5 Silver badge
              Joke

              @Terry 6 - you appear to have plagiarised a post from 'Terry 6'. Mark: 0/10

              1. Terry 6 Silver badge
                FAIL

                Thanks, deleted. I left first one too late to edit, so I plagiarised it. Then forgot to delete it.

      3. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        "I have upvoted, but only with reluctance as this story of somebody attempting to cover their own mistakes by vociferously lying to put the blame on others, being proved wrong and still rewarded for it saddens me. The one bright note is being able (twice) to pull out unambiguous proof to the contrary and have it believed."

        Sounds like she was demoted from front line teaching to a simple and basic admin role.

        1. tekHedd

          Demoted?

          Ask a teacher: a move out of the classroom is never a demotion.

  8. mark l 2 Silver badge

    I used to have a job working on the help desk of online PC manufacturer in the early 2000s. We had a customer who claims their PC had made a loud bang and smoke had come out of the back of the PC, 1 week before their warranty was due to expire.

    When it was received back it was found that the scorch marks were actually caused by the customer using a lit candle to make it look like something had blown and they had inadvertently dripped molten wax all over the inside of the PC in their attempt to make it look like it had developed a fault. Yet when confronted with this they swore blind not only that they had not done it, but that they don't even own any candles.

    As it was despite their efforts the PC booted up without any problems and so was shipped back to them, minus the candle wax.

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      It's harder to fake damage than people think.

      A young woman had had a telling off from the police apparently tried to inconvenience them by reporting she'd been kidnapped and assaulted and here was her clothing to prove it. She didn't seem to realise that if she couldn't manually cause the damage she claimed (pulling off well stitched on buttons and tearing a dress from the hem) it wouldn't happen in an assault either. The use of scissors to start the tear and to snip off the buttons was quite obvious, as was the lack of the sort of tears that occur in reality.

      1. The Oncoming Scorn Silver badge
        Pint

        Failing drive or memory & HP or Dell helpless desk being more difficult than usual - 5 seconds in a microwave usually does it quite well.

      2. Adam 1

        > It's harder to fake damage than people think.

        Not really. You just need more volts.

  9. chivo243 Silver badge
    Facepalm

    Lost count

    So many half-truths and I don't knows over the years, one stands out. User complained that their Macbook Air was running really slow, type a word and wait 10 seconds for it to appear on screen. I head over the service counter, and have a look. They type and indeed 10 seconds later, the text appears. I have a look at the keyboard, CODE RED! Nurse! Gloves! Stat! Grimiest keyboard I've seen in a long time. And then I get a whiff of coffee. I tell the user to wait as I move the MBA over to the work bench. I whip off the bottom plate, and I see pools of coffee! I told the user what I found, and they replied, I don't drink coffee, so it wasn't me! I said, But this is assigned to you, you are responsible for the upkeep and care of the computer. Priceless dumb looks...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Lost count

      Laptop is reported having broken screen. Wasn't like that yesterday, I saw it it in use.

      "I just took it out of the drawer and it was like that"

      ffs, when we lend out 3 to 400 pounds worth of kit, look after it!

      1. Arthur the cat Silver badge
        Facepalm

        Re: Lost count

        when we lend out 3 to 400 pounds worth of kit

        Cheap kit. At one company we had a line manager who was given a shiny new workstation grade laptop worth about £2.5k, plus a docking station for it. He destroyed both within 20 minutes.

        "Nobody said you had to unlatch it from the dock, so I thought it was a bit stiff because it was new, and levered it out with a screwdriver."

        1. The Oncoming Scorn Silver badge
          Childcatcher

          Re: Lost count

          One officer in the Royal Marines claimed that every laptop, he received had a broken screen prior to use, after the second one was returned, we hooked it up & found he had been using it quite well despite the out of the box damage.

          Private school, one of the kids came in with a broken screen on his laptop*, issued a loaner which came in the following day for a damaged screen, everyday of the week. The last day he came in with it, just as the replacement LCD arrived for his original unit, which was fitted & handed back to him.

          *Regular advisory about not using laptops as folders for schoolwork.

          1. Snapper

            Re: Lost count

            Had a client where the Bright Young Things used the MacBook Airs as clutch purses. Key's, passcards with neckchains, phones and, in one case, a lipstick. Boss couldn't see the problem. Went out of business a year later.

        2. J. Cook Silver badge

          Re: Lost count

          See, that's a training issue, and the person handing over the laptop and dock should have taken a couple minutes to explain how to dock and undock the kit.

          Unless the line manager was one of those "I work in the technology, and therefore I understand how all this works, despite the fact that this is brand new kit that I've never seen before" people who shoved the tech out the door 500 msecs after getting everything plugged in and powered up....

          One hopes it was taken out of his check, or his department's budget.

          1. J.G.Harston Silver badge

            Re: Lost count

            Pah! You're expecting the IT engin... tech... box deliverers to have actually been told how to use the damn things. Never happened in my experience.

          2. Arthur the cat Silver badge

            Re: Lost count

            See, that's a training issue, and the person handing over the laptop and dock should have taken a couple minutes to explain how to dock and undock the kit.

            I believe the conversation went along the lines of "Have you used a laptop dock before?", "Yes, of course I have, just leave it there."

            One hopes it was taken out of his check, or his department's budget.

            The latter. His punishment was much mockery from the software devs.

            HeThey used... sarcasm. HeThey knew all the tricks, dramatic irony, metaphor, bathos, puns, parody, litotes and... satire. HeThey waswere vicious.

        3. EVP Bronze badge

          Re: Lost count

          It wasn’t actually his fault. Someone left the line manager alone with a computer and a screwdriver. What do you expect is going to happen?

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Lost count

        It doesn't take much to break laptop screens, especially as laptops are getting slimmer.

        Had one where the user had left a pen on the keyboard, closed the lid and broke the screen.

        I was a bit annoyed at this as it was a fairly new laptop, and tried to replicate his fault (on his laptop - not a new one) by putting a pen on the keyboard and close the lid. Turns out it doesn't take much force at all to break the screen, as it flexes you can hardly feel the pen until it's too late.

        Disclamier - I'm sure that he weakened the screen when he cracked it.

    2. logicalextreme Bronze badge

      Re: Lost count

      A couple of jobs ago we had quite small desks in a tiny office and I acquired some sort of condition that caused me to regularly spill drinks on my desk for about the first eighteen months of working there. Once I sent an entire steaming mug of coffee straight onto (and into) the laptop. Before I could even manage to turn it upside down, the screen briefly flickered off and back on, waited a beat, then flickered off without returning. I yanked the power and set about dissembling it and towelled off and laid all of the components out on the desk while I used a spare.

      Happy that they were sufficiently dry a couple of days later, I put it back together, plugged it in, hit the power button and it booted up without a trace of a problem. Fantastic stuff.

      I didn't notice it until the I was debugging a particularly poorly-optimised SQL statement a couple of months later, but from then until the day I left the company any operation that put the CPU through its paces would be accompanied by the delicious smell of roasting coffee.

  10. Admiral Grace Hopper Silver badge
    Holmes

    Every time

    "Hi there, you tried to access a dubious website this morning".

    "No I didn't".

    "Yes you did. sexydirtypron.ru at 09:53:01 from [machineid], you were logged in as [username]". If you say that someone else was logged in using your machine and your id this converation may go to places you might regret".

    " ... ... ... ... "

    1. Jamie Jones Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Re: Every time

      At a previous job, way back in the large 90's, I was informally running the sites web proxy. Chatting casually to one unit manager one day, I told him that porn is being looked up all the time.

      I had to log requests, but I didn't view or act on them - that's up to corporate, and if they flagged an access from my proxy, I'd have to pass them whatever relevant logs I had.

      Fortunately, in the years I was doing this, this NEVER happened. But invariably I'd be debugging/tracing, and I'd see the contents of the log.

      He was curious to what was logged, so I offered to show him.

      Back in my office, I had only run a tail on the log file for a minute when some dodgy porn site popped up.

      "See?", I said. There's porn all the time..

      "Who's PC is that?"

      "Hang on..." (looks up address) "Errm, it's yours!"

      This was one case where someone could not be accused of lying when he protested his innocence!

      It turned out that as he was away on his lunch break, one of his staff used his faster PC for his staff break!

      Fortunately, he was a chilled sort of guy, and nothing was ever made official, but the staff member concerned got an embarrassing talking to!

      1. Alister Silver badge

        Re: Every time

        That reminds me of a time when we also noticed some porn sites appearing in our proxy logs. It was only a small company with 15 developers, so identifying the machine used was not difficult, so we thought..

        However, the timestamp was from early in the morning, before any right-thinking developer would have dragged themselves out of bed and into the office, so we were curious how it had happened.

        It began to happen on a regular basis, a couple of mornings a week, but not always from the same machine, and so we decided to look more closely. The days and times coincided with the hours that the office cleaners worked (06:30 - 08:30, Tuesdays and Thursdays), so we approached the cleaning company and asked them to talk to their staff.

        It still kept happening, so we set up a webcam overlooking the desks, but disguised inside a cardboard floppy container. The next morning, we reviewed the footage, and found that one of the cleaners used to bring her teenage son into work with her, and he would wander round the desktops until he found one that had been left unlocked, and would then amuse himself with a bit of porn.

        We showed the footage to the cleaning company, and the cleaner was disciplined. We also had a rant at the developers about leaving their machines unlocked overnight.

    2. GlenP Silver badge

      Re: Every time

      at 09:53:01

      Quoting the exact time to the second is remarkably effective at negating the "It wasn't me!" response.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Every time

      Private Eye had a story a few issues back about a tech journo, lets call him 'John Smith', who was contacted by a big legal firm, who sort of accused him of repeatedly trying to hack into one of their Zoom conferences under the name 'jsmith'. He decided to investigate before contacting them and looked the firm up on LinkedIn....

      He suggested they might want to have a quiet word with their 'Jane Smith' as she seems to have been having problems accessing her Zoom account

    4. J. Cook Silver badge

      Re: Every time

      been there, done that, I think I'm up to four people that I've provided evidence to HR for being naughty, and they got fired for violating company policies. (there were probably other factors, but that's far above my pay grade...)

      We've had a few of the more brazen types trying to look at pron on the 'shared' machines we have in the employee canteen, obstinately for the purposes of being able to look up their benefits or use company related web sites while on their lunch break. Our security group has full visibility to the screens, and gee, the idiots got caught.

    5. C R Mudgeon

      Re: Every time

      "I don't give a hoot if you look at p0rn, but not during office hours please; we can't spare the bandwidth."

      I can't actually recall whether that was said by me or by a friend. Either way, the person it was said *to* was high enough up the ladder that my(?) concern actually carried some weight.

      Simpler (and more bandwidth-constrained) times...

      1. Alan Brown Silver badge

        Re: Every time

        "I don't give a hoot if you look at p0rn, but not during office hours please; we can't spare the bandwidth."

        In an office or lab environment, accessing porn is considered creating a hostile environment.

        This is the go-to for discipline and has been since the days when steroidal males would cluster around lab machines making females in the room feel uncomfortable

        On shared machines, doing so may leave traces where someone might stumble across it - also a hostile environment

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    [Humour failure] "James was working in the IT team for UK local government. In keeping with the thrusting, staying up-to-date ethos of such organisations, there was a "no iPads/personal devices" rule strictly enforced. After all, who knows what horrors the newfangled things might be carrying in or, more importantly, out?"

    Really we quite liked iPads but they feckin things were/are massively expensive to buy in those days and needed 1:1 setup and maintenance (they are still a massive ballache in large numbers but not as bad as those days). Cllrs and senior people demading new toys just for them were/are a massive drain on the limited stock of IT people. Also they were crap for day to day use.

    We had that same issue. Clls demaded iPads. Turned out "iPad" meant tablet computer just like "Hoover" = vacuum cleaner. So they got very expensive Dell tablets (at least we could manage them centrally and not have to push apps through a VDI on an iPad).

    Then they said they needed keyboards because typing on a tablet was hard.

    Then they wanted mice for them because using your finger was hard.

    When asked if in fact since they had a screen with a keyboard and a mouse if they did in fact want a laptop since that was about half the price of their current setup? Nope they definitely "needed" a tablet.

    These days we have to supply them with Surface tablets, but then we also have to give them desktops to do any work on since the Surface is just to carry around and put on a desk in meetings like a decorative figurine.

    1. Zippy´s Sausage Factory

      "The Surface is just to carry around and put on a desk in meetings like a decorative figurine."

      I guess this is what most Surfaces are used for. Having prodded one in the local shop, they don't seem particularly sturdy to me. The creaking noises when I touched the screen were particularly alarming.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        My Daughter is a lawyer and was delighted in the surface pro with attached keyboard she was given in her last role. It did everything she needed and was portable enough to be shoved in her handbag for meetings on client sites rather than carry a laptop bag. She's not gentle with kit but the surface survived everything she could throw at it.

        Its an expensive bit of kit and too small for my old eyes but it works for her and she doesn't have to commute through London with a laptop bag any more as she works stupidly long hours and still takes work home late at night this is a hue relief to me.

      2. GlenP Silver badge

        We give our field staff MS Surfaces. We've had very few issues* and no damage failures.

        *Except for battery life. Depending how they're handled and used the batteries can be severely degraded after 2 years, equally we've got 4 year old ones still going.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Elected Members

      I'm a Contract PM but seem to specialise in Government projects. I've had the dubious honour with working as the interface between the IT Department and the team who provide day to day support for Councillors. A very common practice was for members to redirect their emails to personal gmail or hotmail accounts. The root cause turned out to be the fact that they had to use strong passwords to access the Council email system. Whilst staff were unable to autoforward emails to external domains the council leader insisted that this restriction we removed for members. They were briefed on the GDPR/ Privacy and data security risks but we were overridden. We had even provided Outlook Web Access so they could read emails on private devices but the requirement to put in a sensible password was just too hard.

      Another council was forced to buy very expensive convertible laptops (even dearer that ipads). The justification was based on a business case that council meetings would be paper free. We did suggest a pilot but were overruled and 70 devices were purchased. Needless to say it was impossible for them to flip between 2 or 3 reports / supporting letters / planning documents on a 13 inch screen so all the paper was printed for every meeting anyway. It turned out he 70 devices purchased were never really used as they were significantly heavier than the laptops they already had. The following year the campaign for ipads for members was started. I'm not sure how that ended up. Frustratingly these initiatives never get funded, they just come from the tightly stretched operational IT budget.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Elected Members

        They still all forward their emails to personal accounts and refuse to go through basic security training.

        1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          Re: Elected Members

          "Just sign this disclaimer that you refuse to take security training before I set up your email account. Nothing I can do about it, the auditors will check. They seize on that sort of thing with elected councillors, you know."

        2. davenewman

          Re: Elected Members

          Many councillors are more at risk of the Council Cabinet reading their emails than any external security risks - especially opposition councillors. So they minimise the use of official council email.

          1. The Oncoming Scorn Silver badge
            Holmes

            Re: Elected Members

            Son did something on Dad's councillors.

            Dad logs ticket saying e-mail doesn't work

            Get to his office & discover XP Home installed.

            Ticket handed to Workshop Manager to deal with (Having already lost one contractor by an upset councillor, who was challenged over her use of our loading bay as a car parking space & risk of damage. - Nobody (Contract or perm) was willing to work on her laptop, some weeks later when it developed a fault & was given to the permy workshop manager)

      2. J.G.Harston Silver badge

        Re: Elected Members

        "The justification was based on a business case that council meetings would be paper free."

        Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha!

        breathes

        hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha

        sorry, need to breath, everything's going dark.

        hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha

      3. Jou (Mxyzptlk) Bronze badge

        Re: Elected Members

        > They were briefed on the GDPR/ Privacy and data security risks but we were overridden

        The only important thing to do here: Paper, and them signed.

    3. Terry 6 Silver badge

      Status. It's all about status. Big bosses have to have an office with a window and a big desk etc.

      Big bosses get big shiny toys long before frontliine staff who need proper kit get anything at all.

      BTW. Punch did a cartoon decades ago of a sharply suited Mafiosi stood in front of a big desk, being told "I waited for years before I had my own blood stained carpet".

    4. J.G.Harston Silver badge

      Back in another life when I was a local councillor I was clinging on by fingertips insisting *NO*, I *don't* want to have a tablet foisted on me. I didn't learn to touch-type when I was 8 years old to go back to finger painting, I'm a software developer, I'm not a b***y illiterate moron. Plus, I want to actually sit down at an actual desk and actually type at an actual keyboard to work, with space to spread documents around, not balance some crap on my knee in the supermarket because some idiot wants to contact me RIGHT NOW THIS INSTANT.

      They managed to force me to have a Blackberry. That was useful for browsing the web while on the bus. I think it's at the bottom of the wardrobe, they never asked for it back when I left.

    5. nxnwest

      "decorative figurine." Yep. Had an manager who would plop down laptop, ipad, work assigned iphone and personal iphone at every meeting. I'm the tech guru and I insist on attending all in person meetings sans any device.

      1. A K Stiles Silver badge

        Seems a not uncommon occurrence.

        At one point they'd shifted a couple of us developers so that we were managed not as a dev team but as members of teams we were doing work for.

        Every team meeting I went to, the nine other people would rock up with a variety of *pad devices whilst I turned up with a paper pad and a couple of pencils. In theory there was an iPad for team use, but because it had to be connected to a single person's apple account, the manager effectively owned it, and other team members who wanted some shiny toys went out and bought their own...

        So many of the bloomin' managers refused to turn of the clicky 'keyboard' feedback sound, whilst taking notes in the middle of meetings too!

  12. Paul Johnston

    How to spot a lie

    A couple of decades ago I had just started a job at Uni, running all the Unix stuff, workstations DNS server, NIS NFS, Mail,the whole shebang!

    I was invited to go to the pub on Friday night early on and one night late on the tales of who did what to whom and who got caught started! As the newbie I just sat and listened.

    First thing Monday morning I got a mail from the head of school, who wasn't one of the drinkers to the effect I shouldn't spread rumours and that doing so might end up bad for me at this time I was still under probation. Never one to sit and consider the options I went straight to his office and pointed out I wasn't the one saying anything as I had only been there a few weeks and all this stuff predated me so he should look to others as the issue.

    Typical senior prof, ummed and ahed and said he wasn't picking on me and had actually sent it to all staff involved.

    Nipping back to the office looking at the mail server I saw (without looking at anyone's mail I hasten to add) the modification stamp on my mailbox file was when the prof had sent the mail to me and no one else in the pub gang had been modified at the same time. (I always got in early Monday just to check before start of play).

    Later spoke to people and they said no they hadn't received a mail about conduct off premises outside work hours about stuff which it was nothing to do with the boss!

    Welcome to academia!

    1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

      Re: How to spot a lie

      I'm working with academia right now.

      I've been waiting 3 weeks now for them to pull the finger out and test the code that is waiting patiently to be useful.

      To all my emails asking about progress they come back answering they don't have time. Yeah, you don't have time to click a fucking button, sure.

      Now they're on holiday.

      This project is 3 days contractual, and it will have taken 3 months real time.

      That is academia.

      1. AlbertH

        Re: How to spot a lie

        This project is 3 days contractual, and it will have taken 3 months real time.

        Bill them for ALL the time, including the waiting. That'll focus their minds!

      2. Terry 6 Silver badge

        Re: How to spot a lie

        Failue of Academia, maybe. Failure to assign responsibility, certainly..

  13. Chairman of the Bored Silver badge

    Paranoia- inducing signatures

    I worked for an organization that required your basic "I am not a contracting officer... You cannot construe anything in this email as a constructive change or commitment..." signature. Written by lawyers, the sigs were generally longer than our emails.

    A few users were observed to have terse, cryptic signatures when communicating with each other. OMG! Non-conformists! Spies! Traitors! Bag biters! Call the authorities!!!!

    Turns out they were playing multiple simultaneous games of chess.

    Only the nails that stand up get hammered flat.

  14. Fading Silver badge

    Denial is the first defence.

    It is a lot easier to trouble shoot if you know the events leading up to the problem - unfortunately the user is more likely to be a hindrance to this and is probably best kept out of harms way (sent somewhere else so they don't overhear the aghast swearing and incredulous expletives). No one likes to be publicly shown-up and there are benefits for keeping known episodes of idiocy on the QT as long as they know you know (and with Karma you never know when you may require such a face saving) .

    1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

      Re: Denial is the first defence.

      That is exactly what led me to creating logs of what my code was doing. Too many times I have wrote a script and got told it wasn't working any more but nothing had changed. I wasted years of my life racking my brain to find out what wasn't working any more, until I logged what the input was and what the result was, and found out that it is way easier to come to the user with a printout showing what was going on and wait for the penny to drop.

      1. Psmo Silver badge

        Re: Denial is the first defence.

        Similarly, I always let unexpected errors bubble up these days; too many edge cases and environment issues exist for me to be confident that I've caught all possible sources.

      2. Jay 2

        Re: Denial is the first defence.

        Yeah, I've lost count of the times someone claims some of my noddyesque scripts have "stopped working" and there "must be something wrong with them" when they've been running without incident for years. Admittedly there may be an external reason why they may not do what they're expected to do, but people never really consider that.

        1. Old Used Programmer

          Re: Denial is the first defence.

          I once wrote a rather large COBOL program (11K lines of procedure code) that ran as part of a hourly batch cycle ten times per day. I was told, about ten years after I'd left the company, that in the ensuing time there had been *one* ABEND attributed to my program.

      3. Mike 16 Silver badge

        Re: Denial is the first defence.

        A friend worked as a student for the "consultant" office at his campus computer center. He said the most effective troubleshooting session went something like:

        User: "The computer is broken"

        Him: "What makes you say that?"

        User: "This program worked yesterday and now it doesn't"

        Him: "What changed?"

        User: "Nothing"

        Him: "Why did you run it again?"

      4. swm Silver badge

        Re: Denial is the first defence.

        Although, when I worked at Xerox, I designed and built a laser printer driver for a new product. The developers claimed I was sending a bogus character so I put in microcode a logger that logged every character sent and received. Nope, no extra characters.

        So I went to the developers lab using my hardware and software and they had put a terminal in parallel with the laser printer. Sure enough, there was an extra character. After some head scratching i noticed that the character was sent when the software terminated. A few minutes later I discovered that resetting the UART was causing the extra character to be sent (after my microcoded logger had shut down). Easy fix was to output a MARK before resetting the UART.

        Sometimes the customer is right and it pays to keep an open mind.

  15. Azamino
    Meh

    Humans are strange creatures

    Not strictly speaking an IT issue, but it fits in with the general trend of denial / feigned ignorance.

    Decades ago I was working for a quango and in one corner of the office a floor box fuse started regularly blowing and knocking out the kit on a bank of desks. There was much investigation, switching to alternative floor boxes, splitting the kit between different floor boxes etc, but we never got to the bottom of it and were unable to reproduce it ourselves. Then the problem seemed to go away.

    All was finally explained when an office junior chose her leaving drinks as the ideal time to name and shame her team leader for plugging in a hot-air fan heater which would run for a while and then blow the fuse.Turns out that this individual knew not to use the heater, so hid it out of sight before I or the facilities manager arrived to investigate. Why her staff, who must have been pretty pissed off by the outages, never dobbed her in is another mystery.

  16. RyokuMas Silver badge
    Trollface

    Caught...

    "Ever found someone had been telling porkies, all in CAPITAL LETTERS?"

    A few times on these forums...

    ... sorry, too good to resist! :P

    1. Psmo Silver badge
      Trollface

      Re: Caught...

      YOU'RE VERY SORRY AND SO AM I!

      1. James O'Shea

        Re: Caught...

        Bombastic Bob, is that you?

  17. ColinPa

    my data's gone missing

    A customer phoned to say that our product kept deleting key data - why was it so bad? This was the first complaint we had heard so it was a surprise to us.

    After a few days of to-ing an fro-ing they sent us the logs, they were getting more irate.

    We went back and said

    At 0430 on Monday, a userid JOEBLOGS issued a purge command ... Could this be relevant?

    Whoops - thank you - we'll sort him out. They took the evidence to him, and of course he denied it, saying he was away. They brought in the CCTV and showed him sitting at a terminal typing at the date and time the event happened.

    He decided to pursue opportunities in other areas.

  18. Andy A
    FAIL

    More new kit causing havoc

    In the days of Windows 3.1 and Netware servers, I was providing support to a large organisation which used Ye Olde Microsoft Mail. Normally it worked fine, with most problems involving failure of comms between two "postoffices".

    On the run up to Christmas one year, the whole system died. No emails going in any direction. Mail clients hung on startup.

    It turned out that someone had got hold of WIndows 95 and stuck it on the network, without permission. They had also started to use its supplied email client, which talked to the Microsoft Mail Postoffice.

    However it lacked some of the restrictions of the earlier software.

    The user had sent a 5 line email, warning people to book taxis early in the run up to Christmas. To everyone.

    The list of recipients went over the 64K limit enforced in all earlier versions. Clients would overflow their buffers and start again.

    The only way out was to physically visit each of the 40 or so Postoffice machines (no remote control software in those days) and delete the offending message file from its drive. Luckily you could work out which one it was from the size.

    The fix was of course not covered under our contract, being obviously "User Error".

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Logs don't lie

    This reminds me of a recent exchange i had with a colleague.

    we have a fortig(sh)ate which manages our vpn, and reads the permissions from a couple of AD groups.

    the guy in question asked to be able to reach another subnet, so i changed his domain permissions and told him that the gateway needs a vpn restart to re-read the domain groups and apply his permissions.

    he said that he'd done that and it still wasn't working, to which i diligently repeated that he needs to log the bloody ***ttyclient off and on again.

    then he tried to raise his voice, hinting that i didn't know what he was doing, to which i replied that the dashboard was showing his session had been active for 3 hours, so clearly he hadn't logged off since i applied the changes.

    He didn't offer to buy me a beer but i didn't hear from him since.

  20. Kubla Cant Silver badge

    a reader the Regomiser has decided to call "James"

    One day, it will output the name "Reg", and that will be the end of the world.

    1. Jonathan Richards 1

      > that will be the end of the world

      Regnarok

  21. Jesthar

    Do not provoke the Keeper of the Logfiles...

    User: WHY is my account on your system DEACTIVATED? I need CONSTANT access to do my Very Important Job! And look, I decided to cc in all my local senior managers so they know how inconvenienced I am by your incompetence!

    Me: Here's a screenshot proving you haven't logged in for over five years, and it's been deactivated nearly as long. And yes, I DID just use Reply To All...

    1. Jonathan Richards 1
      Thumb Up

      Re: Do not provoke the Keeper of the Logfiles...

      Yep, had exactly this happen with a specialist accounting system which had a fairly expensive per-seat license, and a pain-in-the-arse installation and update mechanism. Of course, PHBs couldn't bear actual workers to have system access that they themselves didn't have, and would tell me that they used it all the time... until I quoted back their most recent login time with last year's date on it. Luckily, I had support from my own bosses for taking it away despite protests.

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Most councillors

    Are a fucking arse to support. And reporting them for fucking clear breaches of the councillor code of conduct never seems to fucking going anywhere.

  23. Juan Inamillion

    Disclaimer

    -----------------------

    NOW HEAR THIS: This e-mail is intended for the use of the individual addressee(s) named above and may contain information that is confidential, privileged or unsuitable for overly sensitive persons with low self-esteem, no sense of humour or irrational religious beliefs. If you are not the intended recipient, any dissemination, distribution or copying of this e-mail is not authorised (either explicitly or implicitly) and constitutes an irritating social faux pas. Unless the word absquatulation has been used in its correct context somewhere other than in this warning, it does not have any legal, or grammatical use and may be ignored. No animals were harmed in the transmission of this e-mail, although the Kelpie next door is living on borrowed time, let me tell you. Those of you with an overwhelming fear of the unknown will be gratified to learn that there is no hidden message revealed by reading this warning backwards, so just ignore that alert Notice from Microsoft. However, by pouring a complete circle of salt around yourself and your computer you can ensure that no harm befalls you and your pets. If you have received this e-mail in error, please add some nutmeg and egg whites and place it in a warm oven for 40 minutes. Whisk briefly and let it stand for 2 hours before icing.

    1. EVP Bronze badge
      Big Brother

      Re: Disclaimer

      Rock or table salt? None shall pass until I get this piece of information!

  24. T. F. M. Reader

    The most important tech angle?

    I've never had an iPad. Are you saying it could do email but could not cut autoresponse loops???

    1. Nissemus

      Re: The most important tech angle?

      I wondered this as well. Auto-replies are supposed to have a null sender, so the iPads must have been either ignoring the presence of the other's null sender or giving their sender a non-null value.

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2020