I've posted quite a few tech support stories in the past. They've all been focused on the folks asking for support and stories I'm sure we all have experienced ourselves. But today, let's shift paradigms and take a look at those who give the technical support ...

Phil Harvey overheard one-side of a tech-support call from a colleague explaining to a customer why the Internet stopped working ...

"Ok, you rebooted your proxy and were still unable to get connectivity?"
"Well, we had a pretty heavy frost yesterday morning which can cause all sorts of problems ..."

Lab came across an error while using an online calculator on his state's website. It was a fairly common ASP error, they just needed to do validate a field (IsNumeric()) before trying formatting it as a number. He was nice enough to share the error with the webmaster, who replied back with, apparently, the Oregonian method of Data Validation ...

Thank you for using the calculator. We apologize for any 
inconvenience you may have experienced. 

When entering numbers in the calculator, please be sure to 
not enter any commas, spaces, letters, or any character 
other than a number (0-9) or decimal point (.). Also, please 
be sure to fill in all of the required fields, all which are
marked with a (*).

Please let us know if you continue to have problems.

-----Original Message-----
From: Lab 
Sent: Wednesday, January 26, 2005 12:04 PM
To: webmaster@oregon.gov [ED:Changed]
Subject: error on calculator


I was using the child support calculator at around noon 
today (just a few minutes ago) and encountered this error:

Microsoft VBScript runtime error '800a000d'
Type mismatch: 'FormatNumber'
/forms/020809.asp, line 23

I'm an ASP developer myself so I thought I would send you 
the error message.

And finally, Yuting Kuo had finally come to terms with the fact that the University IT Services was in no power to change the 5+ minute logon time, as that's what Microsoft requires for logons. No less, she thought she'd make a simple request to remove some rather obnoxious messages that everyone experienced after opening Outlook ...

Unfortunately we cannot. Those are automatic messages generated by Microsoft (the software developers). IT Services, Steven -----Original Message----- From: Kuo,Y (pgt) Sent: 23 October 2004 18:48 To: It_Help_Desk Subject: Outlook problem Hi, Could you please eliminate the following messages while starting outlook every single time: 1. Outlook tries to convert the personal address book to Contacts folder 2. Outlook is not set to the default contact manager, would you like to set it as default? 3. Would you like to auto archive your old items now? (always asks at every login) Thanks, Yuting

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