from a "Wall Street Journal" article by Jim Carlton.
Compaq is considering changing the command "Press Any Key" to
"Press Return Key" because of the many calls asking where the "Any"
AST technical support had a caller complaining that her mouse was hard
to control with the dust cover on. The cover turned out to be the plastic
bag the mouse was packaged in.
A recent survey by Compaq of the financial district of London, England,
showed that poor choices are the norm for computer passwords there.
A staggering 82 percent of the respondents said that they used, in order
of preference: a sexual reference or an abusive name for their boss
(30%), their partner's name or nickname (16%), the name of their favorite
holiday destination (15%), the name of their favorite sports team or
player (13%) and whatever they saw first on their desk (8%).
(INFORMATION NEWS, January 1, 1997)
Another Compaq technician received a call from a man complaining that
the system wouldn't read word processing files from his old diskettes.
After trouble-shooting for magnets and heat failed to diagnose the
problem, it was found that the customer labeled the diskettes by rolling
them into a typewriter to type on them.
Another AST customer was asked to send a copy of her defective
diskettes. A few days later a letter arrived from the customer along with
Xeroxed copies of the floppies.
A Dell technician advised his customer to put his troubled floppy back in
the drive and close the door. The customer asked the tech to hold on,
and was then heard putting the phone down, getting up and crossing the
room to close the door to his room.
Another Dell customer called to say he couldn't get his computer to fax
anything. After 40 minutes of trouble-shooting, the technician discovered
the man was trying to fax a piece of paper by holding it in front of the
monitor screen and hitting the "send" key.
Another Dell customer needed help setting up a new program, so a Dell
tech suggested he go to the local Egghead. "Yeah, I got me a couple of
friends," the customer replied. When told "Egghead" was a software
store, the man said, "Oh, I thought you meant for me to find a couple of
Yet another Dell customer called to complain that his keyboard no longer
worked. He had cleaned it by filling up his tub with soap and water and
soaking the keyboard for a day, then removing all the keys and washing
A Dell technician received a call from a customer who was enraged
because his computer had told him he was "bad and an invalid". The tech
explained that the computer's "bad command" and "invalid" responses
shouldn't be taken personally.
An exasperated caller to Dell Computer Tech Support couldn't get her
new Dell Computer to turn on. After ensuring that the computer was
plugged in, the technician asked her what happened when she pushed
the power button. Her response, "I pushed and pushed on this foot pedal
and nothing happens." The "foot pedal" turned out to be the computer's
Another customer called Compaq tech support to say her brand-new
computer wouldn't work. She said she unpacked the unit, plugged it in,
and sat there for 20 minutes waiting for something to happen. When
asked what happened when she pressed the power switch, she asked
"What power switch?"
True story from a Novell NetWire Systems Operator:
Caller: "Hello, is this Tech Support?"
Tech: "Yes, it is. How may I help you?"
Caller: "The cup holder on my PC is broken and I am within my warranty
period. How do I go about getting that fixed?"
Tech: "I'm sorry, but did you say a "cup holder"?"
Caller: "Yes, it's attached to the front of my computer."
Tech: "Please excuse me if I seem a bit stumped; it's because I am. Did
you receive this as part of a promotion, like at a trade show? How did
you get this cup holder? Does it have any trademark on it?"
Caller: "It came with my computer, I don't know anything about a
promotional. It just has '4X' on it." At this point the Tech Rep had to mute
the caller, because he couldn't stand it. The caller had been using the
load drawer of the CD-ROM drive as a cup holder, and snapped it off the
Another user who called up complaining that the instructions said to load
the four diskettes into "Drive A" but he couldn't possibly get more than
GM vs. Bill Gates
At the COMDEX computer expo, Bill Gates, in speaking with reporters,
compared the computer industry with the auto industry and stated "If GM had kept up
with technology like the computer industry has, we would all be driving
twenty-five dollar cars that got 1000 mi/gal."
General Motors addressed this comment by releasing the
statement: "Yes, but would you want your car to crash twice a day?"
1. Every time they repainted the lines on the road you would have to buy
a new car.
2. Occasionally your car would die on the freeway for no reason, and
you would just accept this, restart and drive on.
3. Occasionally, executing a maneuver would cause your car to stop
and fail and you would have to re-install the engine. For some strange reason, you
would accept this too.
4. You could only have one person in the car at a time, unless you
bought "Car95" or "CarNT". But, then you would have to buy more seats.
5. Macintosh would make a car that was powered by the sun, was
reliable, three times as fast, twice as easy to drive, but would only run on five percent
of the roads.
6. The Macintosh car owners would get expensive Microsoft upgrades
to their cars, which would make their cars run much slower.
7. The oil, gas and alternator warning lights would be replaced by a
single "general car default" warning light.
8. New seats would force everyone to have the same size butt.
9. The airbag system would say "are you sure?" before going off.
10. If you were involved in a crash, you would have no idea what
Bill Gates in Heaven
Bill Gates dies in a car accident. He finds himself in purgatory, being sized up by St. Peter.
"Well, Bill, I'm really confused on this call;
I'm not sure whether to send you to Heaven or
Hell. After all, you enormously helped society by
putting a computer in almost every home in
America, yet you also created that ghastly
Windows '95. I'm going to do something I've never
done before in your case; I'm going to let you
decide where you want to go."
Bill replied, "well, what's the difference between
St. Peter said, "I'm willing to let you visit both
places briefly, if it will help your decision."
"Fine, but where should I go first?"
"I'll leave that up to you."
"Okay then," said Bill, "Let's try Hell first."
So Bill went to Hell. It was a beautiful, clean,
sandy beach with clear waters and lots of
bikini-clad women running around, playing in the
water, laughing and frolicking about.The sun was
shining; the temperature perfect. He was very
"This is great!" he told St. Peter. "If this is
hell, I REALLY want to see heaven!"
"Fine," said St. Peter, and off they went.
Heaven was a place high in the clouds, with angels
drifting about, playing harps and singing. It was
nice, but not as enticing as Hell.
Bill thought for a quick minute, and rendered his
"Hmmm. I think I'd prefer Hell," he told St.
"Fine," retorted St. Peter, "as you desire."
So Bill Gates went to Hell.
Two weeks later, St. Peter decided to check on the
late billionaire to see how he was doing in Hell.
When he got there, he found Bill, hackled to a
wall, screaming amongst hot flames in dark caves,
being burned and tortured by demons.
"How's everything going?" he asked Bill.
Bill responded, with his voice filled with anguish
and disappointment, "this is awful! This is
nothing like the Hell I visited two weeks ago! I
can't believe this is happening! What happened to
that other place, with the beautiful beaches, the
scantily-clad women playing in the water?!???
"That was a demo," replied St. Peter.
Termination without Cause
This is a true story from the WordPerfect helpline. Needless to say the helpdesk employee was fired; however, he/she is currently suing the WordPerfect organization for "Termination
without Cause". Actual dialog of the former Wordperfect Customer
"Ridge Hall computer assistant; may I help you?"
"Yes, well, I'm having trouble with WordPerfect."
"What sort of trouble?"
"Well, I was just typing along, and all of a sudden the words went away."
"Hmm. So what does your screen look like now?"
"It's blank; it won't accept anything when I type."
"Are you still in WordPerfect, or did you get out?"
"How do I tell?"
"Can you see the C: prompt on the screen?"
"What's a sea-prompt?"
"Never mind. Can you move the cursor around on
"There isn't any cursor: I told you, it won't accept anything I type."
"Does your monitor have a power indicator?"
"What's a monitor?"
"It's the thing with the screen on it that looks like a TV.
Does it have a little light that tells you when it's on?"
"I don't know."
"Well, then look on the back of the monitor and find where the power cord goes into it. Can you see that?"
"Yes, I think so."
"Great. Follow the cord to the plug, and tell me
if it's plugged into the wall."
".......Yes, it is."
"When you were behind the monitor, did you notice that there were two cables plugged into the back of it, not just one?"
"Well, there are. I need you to look back there
again and find the other cable."
".......Okay, here it is."
"Follow it for me, and tell me if it's plugged securely into the back of your computer."
"I can't reach."
"Uh huh. Well, can you see if it is?"
"Even if you maybe put your knee on something and
lean way over?"
"Oh, it's not because I don't have the right angle - it's because it's dark."
"Yes - the office light is off, and the only light I have is coming in from the window."
"Well, turn on the office light then."
"No? Why not?"
"Because there's a power outage."
"A power... A power outage? Aha, Okay, we've got it
licked now. Do you still have the boxes and manuals and packing stuff your computer came in?"
"Well, yes, I keep them in the closet."
"Good. Go get them, and unplug your system and pack it up just like it was when you got it. Then take it back to the store you bought it from."
"Really? Is it that bad?"
"Yes, I'm afraid it is."
"Well, all right then, I suppose. What do I tell them?"
"Tell them you're too stupid to own a computer."
Michael Jordan vs. Bill Gates
Michael Jordan will make over $300,000 a game: $10,000 a minute,
assuming he averages about 30 minutes per game.
Assuming $40 million in endorsements next year, he'll be making
$178,100 a day (working or not)!
Assuming he sleeps 7 hours a night, he makes $52,000 every night while
visions of sugarplums dance in his head.
If he goes to see a movie, it'll cost him $7.00, but he'll make $18,550 while
If he decides to have a 5 minute egg, he'll make $618 while boiling it.
He makes $7,415/hour more than minimum wage (after the wage hike)
He'll make $3,710 while watching each episode of Friends.
If he wanted to save up for a new Acura NSX ($90,000) it would take
him a whole 12 hours.
If someone were to hand him his salary and endorsement money, they
would have to do it at the rate of $2.00 every second.
He'll probably pay around $200 for a nice round of golf, but will be
"reimbursed" $33,390 for that round.
Assuming he puts the federal maximum of 15% of his income into his
tax-deferred account (401k), he will hit the federal cap of $9500 for
such accounts at 8:30 a.m. on January 1st, 1998.
If you were given a tenth of a penny for every dollar he made, you'd be
living comfortably at $65,000 a year.
He'll make about $19.60 while watching the 100 meter dash in the
He'll make about $15,600 while the Boston Marathon is being run.
While the common person is spending about $20 for a meal in his trendy
Chicago restaurant, he'll pull in about $5,600.
Next year, he'll make more than twice as much as all of our past
presidents for all of their terms combined.
Amazing isn't it?
BUT: JORDAN WILL HAVE TO SAVE 100% OF HIS INCOME FOR 270 YEARS
TO HAVE A NET WORTH EQUIVALENT TO THAT OF BILL GATES.
Country Computer Terms
LOG ON: Making a wood stove hotter.
LOG OFF: Don't add no more wood.
MONITOR: Keeping an eye on the woodstove.
DOWNLOAD: Gettin the farwood off the truk.
MEGA HERTZ: When yer not keerful gettin the farwood.
FLOPPY DISK: Whatcha git from trying to carry too much farwood.
RAM: That thar thing whut splits the farwood.
HARD DRIVE: Gettin home in the winter time.
PROMPT: Whut the mail ain't in the winter time.
WINDOWS: Whut to shut when it's cold outside.
SCREEN: Whut to shut when it's blak fly season.
BYTE: Whut dem dang flys do.
CHIP: Munchies fer the TV.
MICRO CHIP: Whut's in the bottom of the munchies bag.
MODEM: Whatcha did to the hay fields.
DOT MATRIX: Old Dan Matrix's wife.
LAP TOP: Whar the kitty sleeps.
KEYBOARD: Whar ya hang the dang keys.
SOFTWARE: Them dang plastic forks and Knifs.
MOUSE: What eats the grain in the barn.
MAIN FRAME: Whut holds up the barn ruf.
PORT: Fancy Flatlander wine.
ENTER: Northerner talk fer, C'Mon in y'all.
RANDOM ACCESS MEMORY: When ya cain't 'member whut ya
paid fer the rifle when yore wife asks.
MOUSE PAD: That hippie talk fer the rat hole.