We haven't had a tech support story in quite a while now, and that's too bad if you ask me. I think many of us programmers enjoyed beginnings as young technicians, eagerly waiting to get enough education or experience (or at least graduate highschool) to land that programming job. SethNess shares an entertaining story that reminds me of these days ...

About 10 years ago, I was working as the only IT-proficient person in a big office, with 35 networked PCs and a custom UI.


It was Hawaii, I was from the East Coast, and I was missing SNOW in a big way.  So, I flew back to NY for a week, for the Christmas season.


3 days into my vacation, I got a panicked call from my boss back in Hawaii.  "Come back NOW, half the PCs are freaking out !  The monitors...they're ALL WHITE, there's nothing on the screens !"




Out of sheer boredom and homesickness, I'd written a screensaver app that would cause pixel-sized "snow" to fall, flake by flake, with gentle puffs of wind, whenever the main UI menu was left alone for more than 5 minutes.  The onscreen "snow" would gradually fill up the screen from the bottom up, just like real snow.


I figured it'd be a fun, seasonal thing to have around Christmas.  Sadly, my Hawaii-based, non-techie co-workers didn't have a clue.  They thought the "snow" was broken screens, and were afraid to touch the PCs for fear that they'd make things worse.


Instead, they'd gone around to every PC, turned each one on, and panicked when each one developed the same "persistent white screen problem".


I told the boss to "press any key", and Presto-Change-O, the normal, no-snowdrift menu popped up (of course).  Then I had to explain the concept of "screen saver" and the concept of "virtual snow at Christmas... it's fun !"  New York was chilly, but the Hawaii office was even chillier, when I got back. *grin*


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