Category Archives: computers

Help stories from Tech Support

Another Compaq technician recieved 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 then rolled them into the typewriter to type the labels.

Tech Support

“Hello. Tech Support; 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.”

“Went away?”

“They disappeared.”

“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?”

[Uh-oh. Well, let’s give it a try anyway.] “Can you see the C:
prompt on the screen?”

“What’s a sea-prompt?”

[Uh-huh, thought so. Let’s try a different tack.] “Never mind.
Can you move the cursor around on the screen?”

“There isn’t any cursor: I told you, it won’t accept anything I

[Ah–at least s/he knows what a cursor is. Sounds like a
hardware problem. I wonder if s/he’s kicked out his/her
monitor’s power plug.] “Does your monitor have a power

“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?”

[sound of rustling and jostling] [muffled] “Yes, I think so.”

“Great! Follow the cord to the plug, and tell me if it’s plugged
into the wall.”

[pause] “Yes, it is.”

[Hmm. Well, that’s interesting. I doubt s/he would have
accidentally turned it off, and I don’t want to send him/her
hunting for the power switch because I don’t know what kind of
monitor s/he has and it’s bound to have more than one switch on
it. Maybe the video cable is loose or something.]

“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.”

[muffled] “Okay, here it is.”

“Follow it for me, and tell me if it’s plugged securely into the
back of your computer.”

[still muffled] “I can’t reach.”

“Uh huh. Well, can you see if it is?”

[clear again] “No.”

“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.”

“I can’t.”

“No? Why not?”

“Because there’s a power outage.”

“A power–!?!” …[AAAAAAARGH!]

“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!” [slam]

Did you hear about

Did you hear about the woman who was married to a succession of three Microsoft employees and still died a virgin?

Her first husband was in Training, and kept teaching her how to do it herself.

The second was in Sales, and kept telling her how good it was going to be.

And the third was in Tech Support, and kept saying ”Don’t worry, it’ll be up any minute now….”

YtoK Problem Solved!

Y-to-K Date Change Project Status Our staff has completed the 18 months of work on time and on budget. We have gone through every line of code in every program in every system. We have analyzed all databases, all data files, including backups and historic archives, and modified all data to reflect the change.We are proud to report that we have completed the ”Y-to-K” date change mission, and have now implemented all changes to all programs and all data to reflect your new standards: Januark, Februark, March, April, Mak, June, Julk, August, September, October,November, December. As well as: Sundak, Mondak, Tuesdak, Wednesdak, Thursdak, Fridak, Saturdak.I trust that this is satisfactory, because to be honest, none of this Y to K problem has made any sense to me. But I understand it is a global problem, and our team is glad to help in any way possible. And what does the year 2000 have to do with it? Speaking of which, what do you think we ought to do next year when the two digit year rolls over from 99 to 00?We’ll await your direction.


When a guy’s printer type began to grow faint, he called a local repair shop where a friendly man informed him that the printer probably needed only to be cleaned. Because the store charged $50 for such cleanings, he told him he might be better off reading the printer’s manual and trying the job himself.

Pleasantly surprised by his candor, he asked, “Does your boss know that you discourage business?”

“Actually, it’s my boss’s idea,” the employee replied sheepishly. “We usually make more money on repairs if we let people try to fix things themselves first.”

Techs to Change a Light Bulb?

Q: How many Windows programmers does it take to change a light bulb?

A: Four hundred and seventy-two: One to write WinGetLightBulbHandle one to write WinQueryStatusLightBulb one to write WinGetLightSwitch- Handle…

Q: How many technical support personnel does it take to change a light bulb?

A: We have an exact copy of the light bulb here, and it seems to be working fine. Can you tell me what kind of system you have? OK. Now, exactly how dark is it? OK. There could be four or five things wrong… Have you tried the light switch?

Q: How many managers does it take to change a light bulb?

A: We’ve formed a task-force to study the problem of why light bulbs burn out, and to figure out what, exactly, we as supervisors can do to make the bulbs work smarter, not harder.

Q: How many beta testers does it take to change a light bulb?

A: We just notice that the room is dark; we don’t actually fix the problem.

Q: How many Microsoft technicians does it take to change a light bulb?

A: Three. Two to hold the ladder and one to screw the bulb into the faucet.

Q: How many MIS guys does it take to change a light bulb?

A: MIS has received your request concerning your hardware problem and has assigned you request service number 39,712. Please use this number for any future reference to this light bulb issue.

Q: How many C++ programmers does it take to change a light bulb?

A: You’re still thinking procedurally. A properly designed light bulb object would inherit a change method from a generic light bulb class, so all you’d have to do is send a light-bulb-change message.

Q: How many developers does it take to change a light bulb?

A: The light bulb works fine in my office.

Q: How many shipping department guys does it take to change a light bulb?

A: We can change the light bulb in seven to ten working days, but if you call before 2 p.m., and pay an extra $15, we can get the light bulb changed overnight.

Q: How many Microsoft engineers does it take to change a light bulb?

A: None. Bill Gates will just redefine Darkness(tm) as the new industry standard.

Q: How many service technicians does it take to change a light bulb?

A: Just one, and he does it very well, but there is that $85.00 non-refundable on-site service fee to consider . . .

Q: How many quality assurance techs does it take to change a light bulb?

A: Two, and you’ll need a 48 hour burn-in, two hours of cool down, and a very thorough bench analysis of the new bulb so don’t expect to see either bulb for a week or so.

Q: How many receptionists does it take to change a light bulb?

A: Zero-well, actually one: the one who told the office manager about the light bulb problem in the first place.

Q: How many software engineers does it take to change a light bulb?

A: None. That’s a hardware problem.