Re: At least they had a firedoor...
"Youngest (and lightest) engineers."
Because they'd yet to succumb to the effects of years of Friday liquid lunches?
112 posts • joined 8 Sep 2009
Although, with me, it's not a rubber duck I talk to but a non-programmer. I've lost count of the number of times I'd be explaining a knotty coding issue to someone when they'd notice the light coming on behind my eyes. "Gotta go!"
Been there, done that. A friend's daughters had received identical laptops for Christmas, could I call around and configure them for wi-fi access? First laptop, I got it onto their wi-fi no problem. Second one, just wouldn't. Went through a few cycles of driver installs and other diagnostic steps until I noticed a little slide switch on the front edge of the laptop. *Click* and the laptop could see the wi-fi.
A Møøse once bit my sister... No realli! She was Karving her initials on the møøse with the sharpened end of an interspace tøøthbrush given her by Svenge - her brother-in-law - an Oslo dentist and star of many Norwegian møvies: "The Høt Hands of an Oslo Dentist", "Fillings of Passion", "The Huge Mølars of Horst Nordfink"...
And I don't mean the ones used for baptisms. Which monospaced fonts have you found offer the clearest distinction between lower 'el', upper 'eye' and number '1' and upper 'oh' and number '0'? And also look good at a range of sizes? Lucida Console (Windows) and Liberation Mono (Linux) are my go-tos, just wondering what else is out there.
My dad mainly uses his laptop these days, but in his study has a old tower PC I built for him. I recently got a call from him, "My PC won't turn on."
Me: "Well, it is quite old, it's probably given up the ghost."
Dad: "But I hardly use it."
Me: "Didn't you tell me that you never used to turn it off because it took too long to start up?"
The next time I was around my parents, I cracked open the side panel to see if I could spot anything obvious but nothing jumped out at me. Out of curiosity, I did a search for the motherboard model number. Released in 2004, so a 16 year old PC, most likely running XP.
Me: "Yeah, after 16 years, I think it owes you nothing at this point."
Fortunately I was able to pull the IDE(!) HDD and successfully copy his files to an external HDD.
I've done "rm -rf /usr" before. Fortunately it was on a personal Linux machine. For whatever reason I'd made a copy of /usr and then came time to remove it. Of course muscle memory kicked in and put the '/' before 'usr'.
Back to the title of my post. I got into Linux in the late 1990s. Back then, you learnt by scouring Usenet groups and using this up and coming search engine called 'Google'. (I wondered whatever happened to them?) You'd try something, break your system and work out how to put the pieces back together. Over the years I've noticed a trend for newer users not to experiment but want the answer spoon-fed to them.
Many moons ago, my dad had the electrical maintenance contract for a local software company. One day he gets a call from the head of facilities.
"There's a big board meeting going on and the room's in darkness, can you get here ASAP and look into it?"
My dad drops his current task and hies himself to the software company. He gets escorted to the boardroom where his first diagnostic test is to flick the light switch, which had the effect of illuminating the room. My dad left shaking his head at the thought of all these people charged with running a company not thinking to check the light switch.
There are many IT tales regarding random reboots due to cleaning staff or tradespeople unplugging kit. One would think they would have been told upfront not to unplug anything they did not plug in and if they do, it's instant dismissal.
Having different socket/plug configurations doesn't stop someone unplugging to only realise their plug won't fit.
The first couple of generations of optical mice had problems with certain colours. A chap I worked with had a mouse mat with a red-eyed green tree frog printed on it. He swapped from a ball mouse to an optical one and retained the mouse mat. Every time the optical sensor moved over the frog's eyes, the mouse pointer went crazy. It took him a while to figure that one out.
I purchased my own rodent and keyboard for use in the office, whereas most others are content with the cheap shite supplied with the base units. If I'm using something 7+ hours a day, I want to make sure I'm comfortable with it. 16 year old MS IntelliMouse Explorer 3.0A, still going strong. Keyboard is one using Cherry MX Red switches, as I'm not allowed to use my Model M in the office. Something about Health & Safety and exceeding dB limits...
In the 25 years or so I've had to interact with Excel, it's never given me any grief. Word, hell yes. When using Word my reflex was to Ctrl-S every five minutes. Then there was Word 6 and 9x tendency to muff up the documents by saving older edits, which rendered the file unable to be opened. We found that the Word document could be opened in OpenOffice and saved back out. That stripped all the old crap out of the file and allowed it to be opened in Word once more. Added benefit was it reduced the file size.
The only complaint I have about Excel is our customers using it to send us log files. "Let me get this straight. You had a perfectly serviceable text log file and you decided to paste it into an Excel spreadsheet before sending it to us?"
"The wonder-OS [NT4] needed at least 16MB (preferably a bit more) and a decent CPU while Windows 3.1 would toddle along with 1 or 2MB and a considerably lower class of CPU."
When I first started this job, those were the specs of the PC I was assigned. My current work laptop has 16GB RAM and a 6-core i7 with Windows 10 as the OS, all to run PuTTY.
For reasons lost in the mists of time, I'd made a copy of /usr on a system. Time came to remove the copy.
root@server # rm -rf /usr
Yep, absolute path not relative path.
There's the one rule we live by in our office: "No five-minute changes on a Friday afternoon." Violating this rule usually means you'll be staying back 3 hours to undo the chaos such a change visits upon the system.
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