Mr. Kashmere (from John A)
Mr. Kashmere is one of our middle school teachers. There had been a merger of two schools, and everything had changed: administration, policies, procedures... and technology. One of the new technologies they had picked up as a small school was Google Apps, including Gmail.

When I heard that Mr. Kashmere was having trouble getting new e-mail, I was curious, and figured I should go have a look at what the problem was.

It was true. His Gmail inbox was not automatically refreshing. His solution? Shut down the entire computer, and turn it back on again.

I had the pleasure of introducing Mr. Kashmere to Mr. Refresh Button.

 

Important Government Assignments (from Pete)
Our helpdesk services about thirty different remote offices, most of which are sales branches that are staffed by as little as a single sales rep. Not too long ago, one of these one-man-shops called up with an urgent problem that resulted in him overnighting his laptop computer to us.

We may have been able to fix it remotely, but based on the call, it sounded like the machine could use a re-imaging. The sales rep requested that we overnight it back, as he was in a bit of a rush and had some important government assignments pending.

When I started it up, I expected to find a dozen or so malware toolbars and a handful of Trojans and viruses. But what I didn’t expect was a massive pornography collection. Not just the random temporary image here and there, but a solid sixty gigabytes of images, videos, and who-knows-what... all on a company-owned computer.

Far be it for me to be the porn police, I followed the “retain user data” policy on laptop re-imaging.

But instead of putting his porn collection where it was before, I created a folder in the middle of the desktop named “Important Government Assignments” and moved all the porn into there.

The next day I got a message that, in the future, that office would be handling its own computer problems.

 

The Damaged Laptop (from Mark B)
When questioned, the user of this laptop claimed that his cat had been playing with it...

 

The 10 Key (from Steve M)
Years ago, I worked for a large manufacturing company and was responsible for the software used by the plant’s quality department. This was a 24/7 operation, so I would get calls in the middle of the night from computer room techs when the software had problems.

One night, the techs called up and said that the woman on the manufacturing floor had tried everything — even hit the 10 key but things were not working right. This was in the good old DOS days so I know that we had some resident programs running that were tied to the F10 key, so I did not think much of this.

When I got in the next morning to look over the issue, I got the full explanation: the 10 key that the operator was referring to was the power switch labeled with a 1 and a 0.