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Tales from the toolroom - confusion breeds profit

By AlbertLionheart ยท 12 replies
Mar 30, 2009
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  1. Another of those short but profitable calls...
    A client has moved his office within the same building and had got the machine going again in all but one respect - his ADSL link.
    Part of the move had been a new telephone socket so when it failed to work the first person he called back was the guy who had done the wiring - who checked it all and confirmed everything was OK.
    He then called me and we checked out the connections as far as was possible over the phone - still no good.
    Site visit = fees!
    On site - checked everything and all appeared in order. ADSL sync light was on but strangely no IP address being issued by the router. Router ethernet link light on as was the light on the back of the PC on the NIC card. Hmm - checks all the cables again and see what looks like a Belkin USB network interface device - not using that so ignored it. Checked all the cables again and then notice that the cable plugged into the Belkin USB NIC is not a patch cable but a mobile phone charger cable. What?
    Unplugged it and suddenly all was calm and serene - everything working like a dream and my client ashamed but happy; me several quid richer. Tee hee!
  2. poertner_1274

    poertner_1274 secroF laicepS topShceT Posts: 4,172

    Unfortunately this stuff happens all the time. At least it wasn't you taking advantage of them, like you typically hear about.
  3. NetCablesPlus

    NetCablesPlus TS Maniac Posts: 228

    How in the world could a phone charging cable fit into a USB NIC card?
  4. AlbertLionheart

    AlbertLionheart TechSpot Chancellor Topic Starter Posts: 2,026

    The phone charger uses the standard US pattern - you can shove one of those into a CAT5 cable socket eezy peezy!
  5. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 5,443   +38

    LOL my friend had a similar experience with a woman who was getting an "error" when she tried to boot up her PC (Windows 98SE). Turns out she had left a disk in the floppy drive which gave her that "Remove disk and press any key" message. ;)
  6. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,742   +419

    Big Lots (bargain closeout store) sells a pack of somewhere around 9 'adapters' that convert a lot of different connections, weird things like a USB to wall phone.. I imagine their intended use is just converting the connection for transferring power. Much like how some 2.5" external hds will come with a second USB connection cord that becomes a 5V power cord on the other end.
  7. AlbertLionheart

    AlbertLionheart TechSpot Chancellor Topic Starter Posts: 2,026

    O yus - had callouts to fix that sort of problem before - with CDs left in the drive as well because some bright spark had set the thing to boot from the CD drive
  8. werepossum

    werepossum TS Rookie Posts: 31


    One of my favorite stories is when one of our engineers inserted a manufacturer's catalog CD and not only did the program not start, but the CD disappeared. He came to me and said his CD had gone out the back of the drive. After some questions to make sure I understood the situation, I told him confidently that the CD was still in the drive - it just isn't physically possible for the disk to come out the back of the drive, but he kept assuring me it had. So I go to the drive and sure enough, I can't eject a disk, nor can I see one inside. After some more questioning (Are you SURE you put the disk inside?) and a check of the 5-1/4" floppy drive (wouldn't be the first time!) I insert another CD into the drive and it works fine

    Now I'm out of options, so I open up the machine - and sure enough, I find the CD inside! It took me a minute, but I eventually figured it out, Instead of pushing the button, opening the tray, placing the CD in the tray, and closing the tray, he had pushed the CD into the crack between the CD and floppy drives where, sure enough, it did not play and would not eject. When I popped off the face and slid out the CD drive, the CD dropped down into the machine.
  9. AlbertLionheart

    AlbertLionheart TechSpot Chancellor Topic Starter Posts: 2,026

    Excellent! - not heard that one before although I have retrieved credit cards from 3.5" floppy drives in the past!

    I'd forgotten about Rachael (name changed to protect the guilty) and her keyboards. At regular 6 monthly intervals I would get a call from her (legal) chambers saying the keyboard had failed again and could she have a new one - never a repair; always wanted a new one. As her office was 50 miles away I got fed up with this eventually and trundling over there with a replacement ceased to be a form of entertainment. The last time I went I took the old and confirmed dead keyboard into the gents loo and disemboweled it - and I found bagel crumbs on the left and kosher coffee on the right - not just little bits but heaps of it. I took the evidence back to Rachael and suggested as politely as I could that if she moved the keyboard out of the way when she had her break it might save her the cost of regular keyboard replacements. Not a good move - chambers rule about eating at the desk was being ignored by her and all I had done was prove that she was a very naughty girl. Loss of client.
    Moral: Don't rock the bagel train or you will spill the coffee beans
  10. NetCablesPlus

    NetCablesPlus TS Maniac Posts: 228

    LOL...you forgot that the customer is always right! Sorry that you lost the customer, though...

    Boy, I have to check that product out! LOL...
  11. werepossum

    werepossum TS Rookie Posts: 31

    I think the best tech support story is the guy who called and said his computer had stopped working. The tech walked him through several things, none of which produced even a peep, so he asked the guy to make sure the power cable was completely seated in the power supply. The guy grumbled, saying he'd have to go get a flashlight. When the tech asked why he would need a flashlight to find a cable at the top rear of the computer, the guy replied "Because our lights went out and we're sitting in the dark."

    The tech was silent for a moment, then asked if he still had all his original packaging. When told yes, he told the guy to pack up all the components in the original packaging and return it to the store from which it was purchased. When asked what he should tell them, the tech replied "Tell them you're too f***king stupid to own a computer."

    The tech was fired, of course. He should have received a medal, but ain't no justice in business.
  12. NetCablesPlus

    NetCablesPlus TS Maniac Posts: 228

    At the risk of going way off topic, I have heard werepossum's story before (several times, in fact) and it always reminds me of a similar story from my early days as a professional trumpet player. The story went that a very trusted and famous trumpet instructor was listening to a new student play for the first time. The student had been poorly trained foir years, had every bad habit in the book, and was simply horrendous. The instructor tried various techniques to find any hint of talent in the student, but was having great difficulty doing so. Finally, the light bulb went off and the instructor was ready to offer his first homework assignment for the new student.

    "I want you to go home and leave the trumpet in its case for the next two weeks. During that time, your embouchure (how you hold your lips using the muscles in your cheeks and lips) will lose tone and the muscles will become soft and supple again. I also want you to do some special flexing of your fingers to work out any tension and cramping that may occur from holding the trumpet and pressing its valves. I also want you to practice a few simple yoga breathing exercises every day for half an hour to loosen up your diaphragm which will maximize your lung output. At the end of the two week period, you will be a 'fresh slate'.

    The student, getting excited by the program, then asked what he would do once the two weeks were up. The instructor was quick to reply:

    "Sell the trumpet."
  13. werepossum

    werepossum TS Rookie Posts: 31

    LMAO, thanks!

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