Every once in a while, I like to switch gears and post tech support stories. After all, how many among us didn't start out doing something technician related, unable to find a programming job as a seventeen year old “expert“? Well, here's something from Seth Ness' tech support days ...

An end-user called the tech suport center where I worked, and said that he'd gotten a 5.25" disk stuck in drive B: on his PC.

I couldn't imagine what his problem was, since the PC only came with space for a single floppy drive, and THAT was a 3.5" drive.

After 5 minutes of deep thought, the penny dropped. This fellah knew that the 3.5" drive was called A:, and that his hard disk partitions were called C: and D:, so he naturally assumed that there must be a drive B: somewhere.  He'd shoved a paper-thin 5.25" floppy disk into the narrow gap between the case and the 3.5" drive's faceplate, thinking that the gap MUST be a floppy drive.

And what the heck, here's another tale from Seth Ness ...

Back in '89, I worked for a very large PC hardware vendor, doing over-the-phone help desk work for end-users and filed techies.  The company'd been in business for many years, and was still supporting their old XT-type IBM compatibles in '89. 

The company was aware that in '89, their old PC/XT-type 8086 machines had a critical flaw.  Their BIOS only used 3 bits to track the year (2x2x2=8 years).  The PCs' system clocks would roll back 8 years, come January 1 of that year.  We were looking at our own little version of the "Millenium Bug".

Although it was a large company, and we were in the nationwide support center, not one of us took the clock bug seriously.  Our bosses convinced us (without checking their facts) that in 1990, nobody would be using PC/XT-type mMillenniumsupportachines in mission-critical functions, except maybe for idiot children trying to play video games on the dusty machine they'd dragged outta dad's closet.


We got over 20,000 phone calls from panicked users, all under paid support contracts, on January 1....*cringe*.... Things went downhill from there.

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