Papering Over the Problem

  • Steve The Cynic 2012-05-24 11:09
    OK, so a non-obvious functional requirement ("Printing of alerts must be audible") wasn't specified. Life sucks sometimes.

    However, Miguel is partly to blame for his predicament, as he could have done the boss demo before footling around buying a funky high-end printer.
  • Wyrm 2012-05-24 11:11
    A perfect case of the client asking for A (printed reports) because he thinks he wants B (the printer being an alarm) when he actually wants C (an audio alarm).
    Don't just ask what the client wants, always ask about the context.
  • toshir0 2012-05-24 11:12
    Well, this was your first project. We all make mistakes.
    That's so fucking retarded.

    So... basically the article is stating that people waiting for others to follow this kind of never-spoke-of-nor-recorded-anywhere specifications are everywhere.... ? That's what I feared.

    Someone hit that guy hard. Please.
  • callcopse 2012-05-24 11:14
    Wow, this must be from a while back. Even crappy monitoring stuff gets big screens showing web sites with things that go red and green and so forth, AFAIK, these days. Personally I would have attempted to persuade the boss to let me get a bat signal some place, as well as a groovy siren.
  • Shishire 2012-05-24 11:14
    So why didn't he just add a $5 pair of speakers next to the printer and configure them to play a sound when an alarm prints?
  • wolrah 2012-05-24 11:17
    Steve The Cynic:
    However, Miguel is partly to blame for his predicament, as he could have done the boss demo before footling around buying a funky high-end printer.


    But then had the boss liked it, he would have seen a working implementation with whatever random printer he used for the demo, and this would have been "critical" to get in to production as-is immediately. We'll replace it with the better model "eventually" (never). From Miguel's perspective, not knowing of the desire for the printer to be an audible alarm, doing a demo before ordering the nifty new hardware is a fine way to not get the nifty new hardware.

    toshir0:
    So... basically the article is stating that people waiting for others to follow this kind of never-spoke-of-nor-recorded-anywhere specifications are everywhere.... ? That's what I feared.


    Yup. They're everywhere. One will probably be your boss at some point. Enjoy.
  • uns 2012-05-24 11:17
    "if they can't here the printer?"

    Righting is not your strongest skill, innit? ;-)
  • toshir0 2012-05-24 11:23
    wolrah:
    toshir0:
    So... basically the article is stating that people waiting for others to follow this kind of never-spoke-of-nor-recorded-anywhere specifications are everywhere.... ? That's what I feared.


    Yup. They're everywhere. One is your boss at some point right fucking now. Suffer.
    FTFY. *sigh*
  • Dev King 2012-05-24 11:24
    This is why we had a bell on the teletype machine and a character to ring it. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bell_character
  • dogmatic 2012-05-24 11:28
    TRWTF is he couldn't 'here' the printer.
  • Your Name 2012-05-24 11:33
    > "How are the technicians going
    to know to log into the superviser program and
    check the alerts if they can't here the printer?"

    Here a printer, there a printer,
    Everywhere a printer
    Old McRemy had a farm, E-I-E-I-O
  • Not sure if Fry or just Philip 2012-05-24 11:36
    Maybe they can't locate the printer.
  • dogmatic 2012-05-24 11:38
    Seriously though, this is why you don't ask a client what they want done and just do what they tell you, you ask them what they want to accomplish, find out their ultimate goals, and then offer solutions to achieve those goals. Clients rarely come up with the best solution to a problem on their own. I consider that part of my job.
  • Poor Suffering Bastard 2012-05-24 11:39
    One has been my boss for TEN YEARS.

    KMN
  • pitchingchris 2012-05-24 11:40
    Man, I got a hereing problem.
  • Kevin Thorpe 2012-05-24 11:41
    I know, give them an old Ricoh daisywheel. When it prints an alert everyone will instinctively duck because that bugger sounds like gunfire.
  • concerned citizen 2012-05-24 11:42
    TRWTF is that all the pedants point out "here" but not "monitory." monitory != monitoring
  • ctd 2012-05-24 11:44
    Sometimes the problem isn't the lack of articulated requirements, it's the lack of viable blame.
  • operagost 2012-05-24 11:45
    I would install a small piece of plastic to drag on the roller in the feed mechanism for the output tray. The rattle should be pretty audible.
  • Don 2012-05-24 11:47
    uns:
    "if they can't here the printer?"

    Righting is not your strongest skill, innit? ;-)

    And yet, amazingly, you understood the context and intent. Damn pedant Nazi's
  • English Man 2012-05-24 11:49
    Wyrm:
    A perfect case of the client asking for A (printed reports) because he thinks he wants B (the printer being an alarm) when he actually wants C (an audio alarm).
    Don't just ask what the client wants, always ask about the context.
    No he wants an alarm to tell him about the report.

    If he still had budget left over, he should have got some little alarm put together with a serial/parallel port connection that would sound when the printer was printing.
  • toshir0 2012-05-24 11:50
    dogmatic:
    Seriously though, this is why you don't ask a client what they want done and just do what they tell you, you ask them what they want to accomplish, find out their ultimate goals, and then offer solutions to achieve those goals. Clients rarely come up with the best solution to a problem on their own. I consider that part of my job.
    OK with that part.

    Except here it seems not to be the case : if the client you're speaking of (or even a manager/boss like in the context of the article) is the kind of person who 'knows' the solution and just want automated hands (meaning "you") to just actually ACT... you're fucked. Because ANY explanation or advice from you will be preemptively seen as some way to chit-chat your slacking way out*.

    ---
    * I strongly apologize for this last sentence, totally pulled from my french-talking ass. Might be awfully wrong.
  • Nagesh 2012-05-24 11:51
    Buy tape recorder. Record printer sounds. Train monkey to press tape recorder play button every time it see paper come out of printer. Give him peanuts.
  • dkallen 2012-05-24 11:56
    toshir0:

    Except *hear* it seems not to be the case...


    BTFY...
  • linepro 2012-05-24 11:57
    Shishire:
    So why didn't he just add a $5 pair of speakers next to the printer and configure them to play a sound when an alarm prints?


    Maybe it wasn't a WTF at all. Boss wanted the new printer and hived off the sh*t one on the client.....
  • Mountain Banjo 2012-05-24 12:01
    If he still had budget left over, he should have got some little alarm put together with a serial/parallel port connection that would sound when the printer was printing.


    120V rotating "police light:" $16.59 on Amazon.
    120V Buzzer: $7.00 on Amazon.
    USB-controlled AC outlet: $36.83 on Amaozn.

    Adding all that would be less than the project's Aspirin budget.
  • JJ 2012-05-24 12:01
    Here? Monitory? Psshh. You want real pedantry, I've got it. Let's talk about how Miguel "setup a demo."

    You don't "setup a demo," you "set up a demo." If it were the first case and someone asked, "What are you doing?" you'd have to reply, "I'm setupping a demo." But you don't; you say, "I'm setting up a demo." Therefore "set up" (verb) is two words. Only when it's a noun is it one word: "Let's check the current setup."

    And yes, it is exactly the same with "log on/off/in/out."
  • Ryan 2012-05-24 12:02
    This could have been avoided by a further discussion of requirements or actually demoing the software to the customer (boss in this case). I think its inevitable that something will get lost in translation with requirements and requirements change.

    Adapting to these changes is critical.

    I wouldn't have splurged on hardware. I would have returned the money and asked for a piece of the money saved as a bonus.
  • snoofle 2012-05-24 12:05
    One could use a motion detector to see the paper coming out of the printer to trigger an audio file. Lots of choices once those come into play (imagine a Darth Vader-ish voice: There is a disturbance in the....)
  • Bub 2012-05-24 12:06
    That boss needs to hear some banjos in the shower
  • Doctor_of_Ineptitude 2012-05-24 12:06
    linepro:
    Shishire:
    So why didn't he just add a $5 pair of speakers next to the printer and configure them to play a sound when an alarm prints?


    Maybe it wasn't a WTF at all. Boss wanted the new printer and hived off the sh*t one on the client.....


    This boss has the ability to become BOFH. In one move he got rid of his old printer, got a brand new printer, that too also on Miguel budget, and also showed the new new comer his place in the on the fishing pole. And the Boss was right, not only is Miguel naive, he failed to even learn from the experience. And that is the Real WTF.
  • Bananas 2012-05-24 12:08
    Mountain Banjo:
    If he still had budget left over, he should have got some little alarm put together with a serial/parallel port connection that would sound when the printer was printing.


    120V rotating "police light:" $16.59 on Amazon.
    120V Buzzer: $7.00 on Amazon.
    USB-controlled AC outlet: $36.83 on Amaozn.

    Adding all that would be less than the project's Aspirin budget.
    And quite a BOOOORRRRRRing solution. For real geek cred, figure out how to get the speaker inside the printer to play an audio file of a dot matrix printer spitting out a page of text. That ultra high-end printer does have a speaker inside, right?

    Captcha: aliquam: You show me your problems, aliquam for you .
  • C-Derb 2012-05-24 12:14
    This reminds me of the project manager at a friend's company who was complaining that, after interviewing 10+ candidates, he couldn't find a developer that would answer his trick question correctly.

    He said, "I have a barn that needs a window. How would you build it?" Never mind that he is interviewing software developers and not carpenters. Each developer would then ask questions about how big he wants it or which side of the barn he wanted it on. The question he wanted to be asked was "Why do you want a window?" so that he could answer "Because it gets hot and I want to keep the barn cool." Maybe building a window isn't the solution to the problem you're trying to solve.

    Fine. Point taken. This manager basically said, "The main qualification for working here is to assume I'm a dipshit."
  • Remy Porter 2012-05-24 12:17
    Isn't that the general assumption when dealing with managers? All managers have pointy hair until proven otherwise.

    //My boss has decidedly unpointy hair. I like my organization, even if they are a source of WTFs from time to time.
  • Bananas 2012-05-24 12:18
    C-Derb:
    This reminds me of the project manager at a friend's company who was complaining that, after interviewing 10+ candidates, he couldn't find a developer that would answer his trick question correctly.

    He said, "I have a barn that needs a window. How would you build it?" Never mind that he is interviewing software developers and not carpenters. Each developer would then ask questions about how big he wants it or which side of the barn he wanted it on. The question he wanted to be asked was "Why do you want a window?" so that he could answer "Because it gets hot and I want to keep the barn cool." Maybe building a window isn't the solution to the problem you're trying to solve.

    Fine. Point taken. This manager basically said, "The main qualification for working here is to assume I'm a dipshit."
    Ah, so we need to drill down to the root requirements:
    "Why do you need it to be cool?"
    "Why do you need a barn?"
    "Why are you even here?"

    Once we get the answer to that last question we can get down to work.
  • ¯\(°_o)/¯ I DUNNO LOL 2012-05-24 12:19
    Dev King:
    This is why we had a bell on the teletype machine and a character to ring it. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bell_character
    ...then there was that minor plot point in The Andromeda Strain where shreds of paper got in between the bell and its hammer, thus preventing an important message from being read until too late.

    Sounds like what was really needed was a voice synthesizer with a Centronics interface. It would save on paper, too.

    So is a 'monitory' where the high priests of the mainframe live?
  • Peter 2012-05-24 12:20
    Simple solution. Teletype(r) Model 35 RO printer. No maintenance needed. Ever. Makes PLENTY of noise. Includes a bell.
  • Zylon 2012-05-24 12:21
    toshir0:
    Well, this was your first project. We all make mistakes.
    That's so fucking retarded.

    Probably because it sounds exactly like the sort of hyperbolically exaggerated fake dialog that Remy is always making up. I won't believe that was actually said until the original submitter steps up.
  • Matt Westwood 2012-05-24 12:27
    Reminds me of the story on the news recently about the electric car.

    Seems that when they rolled out the electric car recently into the consumer jungle that is Britain, it was banned from sale as being "unsafe". Unsafe how? Well, because it was pretty damn near silent, people who are short in the paying-attention department are likely to step off the pavement in front of them without looking.

    The solution? To put a noisemaker in them to go "brrm, brrm" like a traditional noise-monster.

    What a load of fucking shit. Like, maybe the design would be to email the technicians with the error file? Even if this was 20 or 30 years ago, the technology existed for electronic communication (and in those days it was a fun and challenging intellectual exercise to do). Methinks this boss was probably a bit of a cunt.
  • d 2012-05-24 12:30
    At the end of this path of thought lies the question to which the answer is 42.
  • Seriously 2012-05-24 12:31
    why the heck are you printing an alert? What is this, 1980? send the alert to the tech's email so your AOL can tell you that you've got mail.
  • Matt Westwood 2012-05-24 12:37
    C-Derb:
    This reminds me of the project manager at a friend's company who was complaining that, after interviewing 10+ candidates, he couldn't find a developer that would answer his trick question correctly.

    He said, "I have a barn that needs a window. How would you build it?" Never mind that he is interviewing software developers and not carpenters. Each developer would then ask questions about how big he wants it or which side of the barn he wanted it on. The question he wanted to be asked was "Why do you want a window?" so that he could answer "Because it gets hot and I want to keep the barn cool." Maybe building a window isn't the solution to the problem you're trying to solve.

    Fine. Point taken. This manager basically said, "The main qualification for working here is to assume I'm a dipshit."


    But he said "The barn needs a window", not "I want a window in the barn". Hang on, the boss isn't a woman, is it? Because in that case you need to translate womanese: "we need" is womanese for "I want".
  • Ben There 2012-05-24 12:39
    Wyrm:
    A perfect case of the client asking for A (printed reports) because he thinks he wants B (the printer being an alarm) when he actually wants C (an audio alarm).
    Don't just ask what the client wants, always ask about the context.
    Never let the client specify the solution. It can be very difficult tactfully telling them they're too stupid to design stuff, but make them tell you what is the problem they're trying to solve.
  • D-Coder 2012-05-24 12:42
    C-Derb:
    This reminds me of the project manager at a friend's company who was complaining that, after interviewing 10+ candidates, he couldn't find a developer that would answer his trick question correctly.

    He said, "I have a barn that needs a window. How would you build it?" Never mind that he is interviewing software developers and not carpenters. Each developer would then ask questions about how big he wants it or which side of the barn he wanted it on. The question he wanted to be asked was "Why do you want a window?" so that he could answer "Because it gets hot and I want to keep the barn cool." Maybe building a window isn't the solution to the problem you're trying to solve.

    Fine. Point taken. This manager basically said, "The main qualification for working here is to assume I'm a dipshit."
    Well, yes. But smarter than the average dipshit: he knew he had to interview for people who could deal with a dipshit.
  • Captcha: secundum 2012-05-24 12:44
    Kevin Thorpe:
    I know, give them an old Ricoh daisywheel. When it prints an alert everyone will instinctively duck because that bugger sounds like gunfire.


    I have a (modern) cheap HP Deskjet printer. The first time I set the printing speed to "Fast" I ducked too. The cartridge moves so fast that it "hits" the sides of the printer with enough force to make the table wobble, and it literally throws the paper to you it has finished.

    It sounds like "WANNA PRINT BITCH? GIVE ME THE FUCKING PAPER ALREADY! HERE YOU HAVE YOUR FUCKING PRINTED PAGE, ASSHOLE!" every time.
  • Zylon 2012-05-24 12:45
    Matt Westwood:
    The solution? To put a noisemaker in them to go "brrm, brrm" like a traditional noise-monster.

    What a load of fucking shit.

    You're an idiot. Expecting to be able to hear a high-speed death machine, often operated by semi-sentient morons, is entirely reasonable. This sort of engineering is quite common. Ever wondered why turn signals still make an audible clicking sound? Or why residental natural gas stinks? It's all deliberate.
  • Brogrammer 2012-05-24 12:46
    Miguel rubbed off a fake alert, and a moment later the printer spit out a nice report announcing the error.


    So close to rubbed out...
  • Agention 2012-05-24 12:49
    Doctor_of_Ineptitude:
    ...his place in the on the fishing pole...


    I don't think that's a thing.
  • C-Derb 2012-05-24 12:58
    Zylon:
    Matt Westwood:
    The solution? To put a noisemaker in them to go "brrm, brrm" like a traditional noise-monster.

    What a load of fucking shit.

    You're an idiot. Expecting to be able to hear a high-speed death machine, often operated by semi-sentient morons, is entirely reasonable. This sort of engineering is quite common. Ever wondered why turn signals still make an audible clicking sound? Or why residental natural gas stinks? It's all deliberate.


    Turn signals make a clicking noise to try to get people to turn them off after changing lanes. (Fail)

    If cars making noise is a "reasonable" requirement to prevent people from stepping into traffic, why are there deaf people who live past the age of 10?
  • Mainframe Web Dev 2012-05-24 12:58
    C-Derb:
    This reminds me of the project manager at a friend's company who was complaining that, after interviewing 10+ candidates, he couldn't find a developer that would answer his trick question correctly.

    He said, "I have a barn that needs a window. How would you build it?" Never mind that he is interviewing software developers and not carpenters. Each developer would then ask questions about how big he wants it or which side of the barn he wanted it on. The question he wanted to be asked was "Why do you want a window?" so that he could answer "Because it gets hot and I want to keep the barn cool." Maybe building a window isn't the solution to the problem you're trying to solve.

    Fine. Point taken. This manager basically said, "The main qualification for working here is to assume I'm a dipshit."


    That got me. I would have answered "With a Saw-Saw."
  • Jack 2012-05-24 13:02
    Ben There:
    Wyrm:
    A perfect case of the client asking for A (printed reports) because he thinks he wants B (the printer being an alarm) when he actually wants C (an audio alarm).
    Don't just ask what the client wants, always ask about the context.
    Never let the client specify the solution. It can be very difficult tactfully telling them they're too stupid to design stuff, but make them tell you what is the problem they're trying to solve.

    Yes, that's good. But do you really think you would have thought to ask the right questions in this situation?

    Client: "When an alert condition occurs, generate a printed report."
    You: "So, the goal is to create a hard copy of the alert conditions as they happen?"
    Client: "Yes." (Of course this is what he'd say. He already knows exactly what he thinks the solution should be.)
    You: "Are you sure you don't just want the technicians to hear the printer so they know the condition has occurred?" (Yeah, right.)
  • Zylon 2012-05-24 13:08
    C-Derb:
    If cars making noise is a "reasonable" requirement to prevent people from stepping into traffic, why are there deaf people who live past the age of 10?

    Because when you're deaf you learn to really fucking pay attention to your surroundings or you die. BUT OF COURSE YOU KNEW THAT.
  • PiisAWheeL 2012-05-24 13:14
    Zylon:
    C-Derb:
    If cars making noise is a "reasonable" requirement to prevent people from stepping into traffic, why are there deaf people who live past the age of 10?

    Because when you're deaf you learn to really fucking pay attention to your surroundings or you die. BUT OF COURSE YOU KNEW THAT.
    A noisy or silent car doesnt make a bit of fucking difference to a deaf person. Blind people shouldn't have a problem because seeing eye dogs are now trained to look for and alert blind people to silent (eletcric) cars.

    So really its just a case of the government putting warning labels on things for stupid people to pay attention to, which, I am against. I agree with all the other people who say we should take warning labels off everything and let the problem solve itself.
  • Hewes 2012-05-24 13:15
    Zylon:
    C-Derb:
    If cars making noise is a "reasonable" requirement to prevent people from stepping into traffic, why are there deaf people who live past the age of 10?

    Because when you're deaf you learn to really fucking pay attention to your surroundings or you die. BUT OF COURSE YOU KNEW THAT.


    Cars that are too quiet (like for example electric cars with a nice quiet motor rather than a combustion engine) are actually a real problem...

    http://newsblogs.chicagotribune.com/the-problem-solver/2010/05/are-hybrid-and-electric-cars-too-quiet.html
  • toshir0 2012-05-24 13:17
    JJ:
    Here? Monitory? Psshh. You want real pedantry, I've got it. Let's talk about how Miguel "setup a demo."

    You don't "setup a demo," you "set up a demo." If it were the first case and someone asked, "What are you doing?" you'd have to reply, "I'm setupping a demo." But you don't; you say, "I'm setting up a demo." Therefore "set up" (verb) is two words. Only when it's a noun is it one word: "Let's check the current setup."

    And yes, it is exactly the same with "log on/off/in/out."
    That's WAY too much pedantry.... I'm logouting right now.
  • Evoex 2012-05-24 13:21
    Nagesh:
    Buy tape recorder. Record printer sounds. Train monkey to press tape recorder play button every time it see paper come out of printer. Give him peanuts.


    Wow, your post didn't even include "ain't" this time! Good job!
  • Bill 2012-05-24 13:36
    Jack:
    Client: "When an alert condition occurs, generate a printed report."
    You: "So, the goal is to create a hard copy of the alert conditions as they happen?"
    Client: "Yes." (Of course this is what he'd say. He already knows exactly what he thinks the solution should be.)
    You: "Are you sure you don't just want the technicians to hear the printer so they know the condition has occurred?" (Yeah, right.)
    Perfect world
    Client: "When an alert condition occurs, generate a printed report."
    You: "OK. What happens next?"
    Client: "Our technician picks up the report and realizes there's a problem."
    You: "How often does the tech check for new printouts?"
    Client: "He doesn't check. He's right there! As soon as he hears it printing he grabs it."
    You: "OK so you want quick response to alerts right?"
    Client: "Duhhh!"
    You: "Now where do these alerts come from?"
    Client: "The system."
    You: "Do you know what makes the system generate an alert?"
    Client: "It detects a network failure."
    You: "Can you give me an example of such a failure?"
    Client: "Well one of my network guys is constantly editing the config on the fly without checking it before he hits DO IT."
    You: "Fire him."
    Client: "Thank you, you've saved me a hundred thousand dollars, here's half."

    Real world
    Client: "When an alert condition occurs, generate a printed report."
    You: "OK. What happens next?"
    Client: "Stop asking fucking questions and just generate a report, or I'll get someone who will."
  • C-Derb 2012-05-24 13:37
    Zylon:
    C-Derb:
    If cars making noise is a "reasonable" requirement to prevent people from stepping into traffic, why are there deaf people who live past the age of 10?

    Because when you're deaf you learn to really fucking pay attention to your surroundings or you die. BUT OF COURSE YOU KNEW THAT.


    Yes, I did know that. But you make it sound like a quiet car is dangerous to ALL people, when it really is only dangerous for SOME people. And fewer people tomorrow.

    Hewes:
    Cars that are too quiet (like for example electric cars with a nice quiet motor rather than a combustion engine) are actually a real problem...

    http://newsblogs.chicagotribune.com/the-problem-solver/2010/05/are-hybrid-and-electric-cars-too-quiet.html


    I'm not against quiet cars making noise as a warning. But this really all goes back to the original story. If the problem is people are getting hit by quiet cars, *a* solution is to make them noisier. The best solution is for people to look for cars, not listen for them.

    "Now Johnny, remember to listen both ways before crossing the street, ok?" Good luck with that.
  • dogmatic 2012-05-24 13:41
    C-Derb:
    This reminds me of the project manager at a friend's company who was complaining that, after interviewing 10+ candidates, he couldn't find a developer that would answer his trick question correctly.

    He said, "I have a barn that needs a window. How would you build it?" Never mind that he is interviewing software developers and not carpenters. Each developer would then ask questions about how big he wants it or which side of the barn he wanted it on. The question he wanted to be asked was "Why do you want a window?" so that he could answer "Because it gets hot and I want to keep the barn cool." Maybe building a window isn't the solution to the problem you're trying to solve.

    Fine. Point taken. This manager basically said, "The main qualification for working here is to assume I'm a dipshit."


    That's a brilliant fucking interview question, I might have to swipe that myself. That absolutely shows if a candidate has any sort of leadership potential. You miss the point if you think it means assume the manager's a dipshit. It means, do you understand what your purpose at a company is? Are you just a code monkey that needs to be told specifically what to do or do you have a creative problem solving mind that can come up with solutions others wouldn't have thought of. A good manager doesn't have all the answers. A good manager allows those more expert than themselves the freedom to propose solutions to a problem, then evaluates all proposed solutions and chooses from them.

    I prefer to work with people who would ask "why do you need a window" than "ok hand me the saw".
  • snoofle 2012-05-24 13:48
    dogmatic:
    A good manager allows those more expert than themselves the freedom to propose solutions to a problem, then evaluates all proposed solutions and chooses from them.

    What is this good manager of which you speak? I know not of this thing!
  • Chris Sinchok 2012-05-24 13:52
    I don't know how long this cornify thing has been going on, but I wholeheartedly approve.
  • Rfoxmich 2012-05-24 13:53
    snoofle:
    dogmatic:
    A good manager allows those more expert than themselves the freedom to propose solutions to a problem, then evaluates all proposed solutions and chooses from them.

    What is this good manager of which you speak? I know not of this thing!


    What is this 'dot matrix' printer I hear of in the article. It sounds very useful, where can I get one ;-)
  • The Great Lobachevsky 2012-05-24 13:57
    C-Derb:
    The best solution is for people to look for cars, not listen for them.


    Except for the blind, of course...
  • Scrummy 2012-05-24 14:06
    toshir0:
    Well, this was your first project. We all make mistakes.
    That's so fucking retarded.

    So... basically the article is stating that people waiting for others to follow this kind of never-spoke-of-nor-recorded-anywhere specifications are everywhere.... ? That's what I feared.

    Someone hit that guy hard. Please.


    Agile development would have prevented that from happening. Through delivery in small increments, Miguel would have been able to uncover this hidden desired feature.
  • Jack 2012-05-24 14:08
    dogmatic:
    That's a brilliant fucking interview question, I might have to swipe that myself. That absolutely shows if a candidate has any sort of leadership potential. You miss the point if you think it means assume the manager's a dipshit. It means, do you understand what your purpose at a company is? Are you just a code monkey that needs to be told specifically what to do or do you have a creative problem solving mind that can come up with solutions others wouldn't have thought of. A good manager doesn't have all the answers. A good manager allows those more expert than themselves the freedom to propose solutions to a problem, then evaluates all proposed solutions and chooses from them.

    I prefer to work with people who would ask "why do you need a window" than "ok hand me the saw".

    Employees can be trained to think that way later. It shouldn't be a basis for elimination in an interview.

    How are they supposed to know at the interview whether you're someone who wants them to ask questions, or someone who would penalize them for not just following simple instructions? Don't say that they shouldn't want to work for the latter type, because sometimes it's more important just to have a job.
  • jMerliN 2012-05-24 14:14
    What a waste of paper. Is an e-mail not sufficient? :|
  • Sacrelicious 2012-05-24 14:17
    Really? You're all going to snipe at each other over someone else's spelling mistakes and ignore the chance to say Doughnut Hickey and be on topic? REALLY?!

    Where are your priorities? Ya, bunch of nerds...
  • C-Derb 2012-05-24 14:19
    dogmatic:
    C-Derb:
    This reminds me of the project manager at a friend's company who was complaining that, after interviewing 10+ candidates, he couldn't find a developer that would answer his trick question correctly.

    He said, "I have a barn that needs a window. How would you build it?" Never mind that he is interviewing software developers and not carpenters. Each developer would then ask questions about how big he wants it or which side of the barn he wanted it on. The question he wanted to be asked was "Why do you want a window?" so that he could answer "Because it gets hot and I want to keep the barn cool." Maybe building a window isn't the solution to the problem you're trying to solve.

    Fine. Point taken. This manager basically said, "The main qualification for working here is to assume I'm a dipshit."


    That's a brilliant fucking interview question, I might have to swipe that myself. That absolutely shows if a candidate has any sort of leadership potential. You miss the point if you think it means assume the manager's a dipshit. It means, do you understand what your purpose at a company is? Are you just a code monkey that needs to be told specifically what to do or do you have a creative problem solving mind that can come up with solutions others wouldn't have thought of. A good manager doesn't have all the answers. A good manager allows those more expert than themselves the freedom to propose solutions to a problem, then evaluates all proposed solutions and chooses from them.

    I prefer to work with people who would ask "why do you need a window" than "ok hand me the saw".


    In the context of a job interview where I just met you for the first time ten minutes ago, my mind set is going to be focused on answering your questions, not questioning your questions. So I think it is a little unfair to dismiss a candidate as unqualified simply for taking things at face value.

    I missed out on a job once because the interviewer asked me "What kind of deadlines do you work with at your current company?" It was a low stress environment, I told him. I found out afterwards that he interpreted that to mean I couldn't work in a high stress environment. He never asked, "Can you work in a high stress environment?"

    No worries. He was probably the kind of manager who would ask for a printed error report when he really wanted a siren to sound instead.

    A really good manager would say, "It is getting too hot in my barn, I think adding a window would help. Do you have any other suggestions?"
  • Frank 2012-05-24 14:20
    If you're really good, you get them to buy into a solution for problems they didn't even know they have.

    If you're truly excellent, you get them to pay for a solution to something that isn't even a problem!

    If you're truly evil, you cause them a problem and have them pay for the solution. (like some antivirus vendors, allegedly!)
  • Bitter, vindictive bitch 2012-05-24 14:30
    Mountain Banjo:

    120V rotating "police light:" $16.59 on Amazon.
    120V Buzzer: $7.00 on Amazon.
    USB-controlled AC outlet: $36.83 on Amaozn.

    Adding all that would be less than the project's Aspirin budget.


    I like the way you think, but what about all that poor, unspent budget?
    We can't have any of that laying around for the next budget allocation; our budget will be cut!
    We don't need some cheap, rinky-dink, half-assed solution from Amazon. Let's go full-assed with a proper hockey goal siren or submarine dive klaxon.

    Once we install that in the boss's office, he'll definitely know when an alert arrives.
  • Anon 2012-05-24 14:39
    Zylon:
    Because when you're deaf you learn to really fucking pay attention to your surroundings or you die. BUT OF COURSE YOU KNEW THAT.


    Please don't yell. I'm deaf - not hard of hearing. Yelling doesn't help.
  • Harvey 2012-05-24 14:40
    so Miguel gets a new printer and the boss gets what he wanted. What's the prob?
  • Zylon 2012-05-24 14:41
    C-Derb:
    If the problem is people are getting hit by quiet cars, *a* solution is to make them noisier. The best solution is for people to look for cars, not listen for them.

    The best solution in any situation is the solution that actually works. What do you think is more likely to happen-- changing the sound a car makes, or changing human behavior?

    By your logic, crosswalk lights shouldn't be required. Just train people to pay more attention, right? Warning signs, warning signals... who needs 'em? Pay attention, sheeple!

    I roll my eyes in your general direction, you silly person.
  • da Doctah 2012-05-24 14:47
    Nagesh:
    Buy tape recorder. Record printer sounds. Train monkey to press tape recorder play button every time it see paper come out of printer. Give him peanuts.
    Monkey and tape recorder? Screw that. Teach a mynah bird to imitate the sound of a rickety old printer whenever the laser printer kicks on. Peanuts will probably also work here, but you might want to set up regular deliveries of Froot Loops instead.
  • Jack 2012-05-24 14:50
    Zylon:
    The best solution in any situation is the solution that actually works. What do you think is more likely to happen-- changing the sound a car makes, or changing human behavior?

    By your logic, crosswalk lights shouldn't be required. Just train people to pay more attention, right? Warning signs, warning signals... who needs 'em? Pay attention, sheeple!

    I roll my eyes in your general direction, you silly person.

    I think you're misunderstanding the purpose of crosswalk signals. They don't tell you that there is no traffic coming - they tell you that it is being signaled to stop.

    Without the signal, it's very difficult to know the state of all the traffic signals at once.

    Plus, seeing "walk" doesn't mean you don't have to pay attention. Someone could still run the light.
  • Some guy 2012-05-24 14:52
    Thanks for setupping me with a great punchline.
  • Matt Westwood 2012-05-24 14:54
    C-Derb:
    Zylon:
    C-Derb:
    If cars making noise is a "reasonable" requirement to prevent people from stepping into traffic, why are there deaf people who live past the age of 10?

    Because when you're deaf you learn to really fucking pay attention to your surroundings or you die. BUT OF COURSE YOU KNEW THAT.


    Yes, I did know that. But you make it sound like a quiet car is dangerous to ALL people, when it really is only dangerous for SOME people. And fewer people tomorrow.

    Hewes:
    Cars that are too quiet (like for example electric cars with a nice quiet motor rather than a combustion engine) are actually a real problem...

    http://newsblogs.chicagotribune.com/the-problem-solver/2010/05/are-hybrid-and-electric-cars-too-quiet.html


    I'm not against quiet cars making noise as a warning. But this really all goes back to the original story. If the problem is people are getting hit by quiet cars, *a* solution is to make them noisier. The best solution is for people to look for cars, not listen for them.

    "Now Johnny, remember to listen both ways before crossing the street, ok?" Good luck with that.


    So ... The man who invented the brrm-brrm widget for the electic car stepped out into the road and was knocked down by a bicycle.
  • AGray 2012-05-24 14:56
    JJ:
    Here? Monitory? Psshh. You want real pedantry, I've got it. Let's talk about how Miguel "setup a demo."

    You don't "setup a demo," you "set up a demo." If it were the first case and someone asked, "What are you doing?" you'd have to reply, "I'm setupping a demo." But you don't; you say, "I'm setting up a demo." Therefore "set up" (verb) is two words. Only when it's a noun is it one word: "Let's check the current setup."

    And yes, it is exactly the same with "log on/off/in/out."


    Boss: What happen?
    Operator: Somebody set up us a demo.
    Boss: What's that?
    Operator: Laser Printer turn on.
    Boss: It's you!!!

    IT Guy (Catz): All your printer are belong to us. Your reports are on the way to destruction.

    Captcha: vulputate - To remove the limbs from a Vulcan.
  • sure, sure 2012-05-24 14:56
    I've been at this place for more than 10 years.

    When I ask "why" I get a snooty reply, usually "make it happen".
  • toshir0 2012-05-24 15:14
    Harvey:
    so Miguel gets a new printer and the boss gets what he wanted. What's the prob?
    You obviously mistyped the URL of your favorite site again, Harvey.

    Here : http://thedailyproblem.com
  • Zylon 2012-05-24 15:25
    Frank:
    If you're really good, you get them to buy into a solution for problems they didn't even know they have.

    If you're truly excellent, you get them to pay for a solution to something that isn't even a problem!

    If you're truly evil, you cause them a problem and have them pay for the solution. (like some antivirus vendors, allegedly!)

    If you're an evil genius, you get them to pay you to create the problem, then pay you again for the solution.
  • Ken B. 2012-05-24 15:27
    Shishire:
    So why didn't he just add a $5 pair of speakers next to the printer and configure them to play a sound when an alarm prints?
    Darn akismet...

    http://www.audiosparx.com/sa/summary/play.cfm/crumb.1/crumc.0/sound_iid.283365
  • herby 2012-05-24 15:37
    Zylon:
    Frank:
    If you're really good, you get them to buy into a solution for problems they didn't even know they have.

    If you're truly excellent, you get them to pay for a solution to something that isn't even a problem!

    If you're truly evil, you cause them a problem and have them pay for the solution. (like some antivirus vendors, allegedly!)

    If you're an evil genius, you get them to pay you to create the problem, then pay you again for the solution.

    Then there is the last alternative: Be a government. They just take your money, and you are supposed to smile. Of course, they are the ones who supply the money in the first place (nice to own the printing press).

    (*SIGH*)
  • Captcha: ludus 2012-05-24 15:44
    AGray:
    JJ:
    Here? Monitory? Psshh. You want real pedantry, I've got it. Let's talk about how Miguel "setup a demo."

    You don't "setup a demo," you "set up a demo." If it were the first case and someone asked, "What are you doing?" you'd have to reply, "I'm setupping a demo." But you don't; you say, "I'm setting up a demo." Therefore "set up" (verb) is two words. Only when it's a noun is it one word: "Let's check the current setup."

    And yes, it is exactly the same with "log on/off/in/out."


    Boss: What happen?
    Operator: Somebody set up us a demo.
    Boss: What's that?
    Operator: Laser Printer turn on.
    Boss: It's you!!!

    IT Guy (Catz): All your printer are belong to us. Your reports are on the way to destruction.

    Captcha: vulputate - To remove the limbs from a Vulcan.


    Wow, thanks. I hadn't seen an AYBABTU reference in years.

    In return, have a dancing baby gif.
  • DGS 2012-05-24 15:46
    C-Derb:
    dogmatic:
    C-Derb:

    He said, "I have a barn that needs a window. How would you build it?" Never mind that he is interviewing software developers and not carpenters. Each developer would then ask questions about how big he wants it or which side of the barn he wanted it on. The question he wanted to be asked was "Why do you want a window?" so that he could answer "Because it gets hot and I want to keep the barn cool." Maybe building a window isn't the solution to the problem you're trying to solve.




    I prefer to work with people who would ask "why do you need a window" than "ok hand me the saw".



    A really good manager would say, "It is getting too hot in my barn, I think adding a window would help. Do you have any other suggestions?"


    So, if you get any other solution to cool down the barn you will FAIL!
    Why?
    You didnt asked, if a hot barn is real problem.
    Maybe he wanted a place to store his ice cream for later.
  • Jeff 2012-05-24 15:48
    Matt Westwood:
    So ... The man who invented the brrm-brrm widget for the electic car stepped out into the road and was knocked down by a bicycle.
    So true! I ride a bicycle for my daily commute and the stories I could tell...

    Cars won't see you; that's a given, but at least they move predictably in these things called "lanes". Somehow the minute a person gets out of a car they forget everything they learned about avoiding collisions and think they can dart about randomly, waving their arms as they talk on their phones, stepping into traffic paths without the least attempt at situational awareness.

    You'd think 200 pounds of metal and flesh moving 15MPH would be something people wouldn't want hitting them, but noooooo...
  • Tony 2012-05-24 15:48
    Your Name:
    > "How are the technicians going
    to know to log into the superviser program and
    check the alerts if they can't here the printer?"

    Here a printer, there a printer,
    Everywhere a printer
    Old McRemy had a farm, E-I-E-I-O


    +1 Quote of the day. ROTFLMAO.
  • Captcha: ludus 2012-05-24 15:59
    DGS:
    C-Derb:
    dogmatic:
    C-Derb:

    He said, "I have a barn that needs a window. How would you build it?" Never mind that he is interviewing software developers and not carpenters. Each developer would then ask questions about how big he wants it or which side of the barn he wanted it on. The question he wanted to be asked was "Why do you want a window?" so that he could answer "Because it gets hot and I want to keep the barn cool." Maybe building a window isn't the solution to the problem you're trying to solve.




    I prefer to work with people who would ask "why do you need a window" than "ok hand me the saw".



    A really good manager would say, "It is getting too hot in my barn, I think adding a window would help. Do you have any other suggestions?"


    So, if you get any other solution to cool down the barn you will FAIL!
    Why?
    You didnt asked, if a hot barn is real problem.
    Maybe he wanted a place to store his ice cream for later.


    But what if storing ice cream isn't his real problem?
    You need to know EVERYTHING before you can take any decision.
  • PedanticCurmudgeon 2012-05-24 16:03
    Sacrelicious:
    Really? You're all going to snipe at each other over someone else's spelling mistakes and ignore the chance to say Doughnut Hickey and be on topic? REALLY?!

    Where are your priorities? Ya, bunch of nerds...
    I don't think anyone else read that far in the HTML comments. I, for one, learned far more than I ever wanted to about printing.
  • Grammar Police 2012-05-24 16:04
    JJ:
    Here? Monitory? Psshh. You want real pedantry, I've got it. Let's talk about how Miguel "setup a demo."

    You don't "setup a demo," you "set up a demo." If it were the first case and someone asked, "What are you doing?" you'd have to reply, "I'm setupping a demo." But you don't; you say, "I'm setting up a demo." Therefore "set up" (verb) is two words. Only when it's a noun is it one word: "Let's check the current setup."

    And yes, it is exactly the same with "log on/off/in/out."

    Technically, the expression "exactly the same" is redundant ;-) Just say "the same."
  • C-Derb 2012-05-24 16:12
    Captcha: ludus:

    But what if storing ice cream isn't his real problem?
    You need to know EVERYTHING before you can take any decision.

    See? This is why we need to upgrade to Enterprise Barn 5.2®
  • SergeS 2012-05-24 16:40
    In this cases i recall what my dad tell me (he was at IT since 1955) - never touch something that works ...
  • eric76 2012-05-24 16:42
    Perhaps an automatic text message to the cell phones of the workers to check the printer for a report would have satisfied that requirement better.
  • William 2012-05-24 16:43
    Mainframe Web Dev:
    C-Derb:
    This reminds me of the project manager at a friend's company who was complaining that, after interviewing 10+ candidates, he couldn't find a developer that would answer his trick question correctly.

    He said, "I have a barn that needs a window. How would you build it?" Never mind that he is interviewing software developers and not carpenters. Each developer would then ask questions about how big he wants it or which side of the barn he wanted it on. The question he wanted to be asked was "Why do you want a window?" so that he could answer "Because it gets hot and I want to keep the barn cool." Maybe building a window isn't the solution to the problem you're trying to solve.

    Fine. Point taken. This manager basically said, "The main qualification for working here is to assume I'm a dipshit."


    That got me. I would have answered "With a Sawzall."


    FTFY
  • Black Bart 2012-05-24 16:57
    They should have used one of those Kodak inkjet printers - for a modern inkjet printer, printing a simple page creates enough noise to raise the dead
  • Zylon 2012-05-24 17:19
    SergeS:
    In this cases i recall what my dad tell me (he was at IT since 1955) - never touch something that works ...

    ... and what?
  • Rock Hauling Slave 2012-05-24 17:46
    Captcha: ludus:
    DGS:
    C-Derb:
    dogmatic:
    C-Derb:

    He said, "I have a barn that needs a window. How would you build it?" Never mind that he is interviewing software developers and not carpenters. Each developer would then ask questions about how big he wants it or which side of the barn he wanted it on. The question he wanted to be asked was "Why do you want a window?" so that he could answer "Because it gets hot and I want to keep the barn cool." Maybe building a window isn't the solution to the problem you're trying to solve.




    I prefer to work with people who would ask "why do you need a window" than "ok hand me the saw".



    A really good manager would say, "It is getting too hot in my barn, I think adding a window would help. Do you have any other suggestions?"


    So, if you get any other solution to cool down the barn you will FAIL!
    Why?
    You didnt asked, if a hot barn is real problem.
    Maybe he wanted a place to store his ice cream for later.


    But what if storing ice cream isn't his real problem?
    You need to know EVERYTHING before you can take any decision.


    Pyramid!

    What flavor of ice cream? Is it in a box or bucket? What brand? What is your favorite kind of ice cream? How about other foods? Do you like to eat out? What part of town is your favorite resturant in? What kind of car do you drive? Does it get good gas milage? What are your thoughts on drilling for oil in Alaska? Do you worry about the environment for polar bears? Have you seen the Top Gear polar special? Do you enjoy British TV? Have you seen The IT Crowd? Do you remember the first episode when the hiring manager asked all kinds of awkward questions that made the new hire nervous enough to hide the fact that he made a poor hiring decision?

    Interviewing question answered.
  • Gringo 2012-05-24 18:03
    That's not surprising - why do ATM's and ticket machines on public transport make noise? It's not because they can't be made silent, but people want to hear the noises they're used to.

    Imagine waiting the 15 seconds at the ATM if it didn't make noise you don't know whether your transaction is being processed or has broken down somewhere. Apparently people get this when they shop online which is why there's always warnings "This may take several minutes do not refresh your browser" - because they know people get upset if they can't see or hear something going on
  • Mick 2012-05-24 18:10
    TRWTF is anything IT related with a generous budget
  • Joggle 2012-05-24 18:12
    What's with all the idiots highlighting grammar problems (specifically 'here')? Maybe Remy was trying to emphasise that the boss pronounced it more like 'here' than 'hear'
  • Mr.'; Drop Database -- 2012-05-24 18:32
    It's been a while since we've had this many HTML comments in an article. I approve. Also unicorns.
  • uai ew 2012-05-24 18:37
    Brogrammer:
    Miguel rubbed off a fake alert, and a moment later the printer spit out a nice report announcing the error.


    So close to rubbed out...
    tehehehe "rubbed off"
  • AAaaaaa 2012-05-24 18:39
    C-Derb:
    Zylon:
    Matt Westwood:
    The solution? To put a noisemaker in them to go "brrm, brrm" like a traditional noise-monster.

    What a load of fucking shit.

    You're an idiot. Expecting to be able to hear a high-speed death machine, often operated by semi-sentient morons, is entirely reasonable. This sort of engineering is quite common. Ever wondered why turn signals still make an audible clicking sound? Or why residental natural gas stinks? It's all deliberate.


    Turn signals make a clicking noise to try to get people to turn them off after changing lanes. (Fail)

    If cars making noise is a "reasonable" requirement to prevent people from stepping into traffic, why are there deaf people who live past the age of 10?
    There's also people who are blind and deaf who live past that age - how do they know the cars are coming....is it ESP?
  • Some Govt Employee 2012-05-24 18:59
    Captcha: ludus:
    DGS:
    C-Derb:
    dogmatic:
    C-Derb:

    He said, "I have a barn that needs a window. How would you build it?" Never mind that he is interviewing software developers and not carpenters. Each developer would then ask questions about how big he wants it or which side of the barn he wanted it on. The question he wanted to be asked was "Why do you want a window?" so that he could answer "Because it gets hot and I want to keep the barn cool." Maybe building a window isn't the solution to the problem you're trying to solve.




    I prefer to work with people who would ask "why do you need a window" than "ok hand me the saw".



    A really good manager would say, "It is getting too hot in my barn, I think adding a window would help. Do you have any other suggestions?"


    So, if you get any other solution to cool down the barn you will FAIL!
    Why?
    You didnt asked, if a hot barn is real problem.
    Maybe he wanted a place to store his ice cream for later.


    But what if storing ice cream isn't his real problem?
    You need to know EVERYTHING before you can take any decision.
    well that explains why nothing gets done around here. most people here are so far away from knowing ANYTHING that collectively we'll never know EVERYTHING
  • nB 2012-05-24 19:06
    English Man:
    Wyrm:
    A perfect case of the client asking for A (printed reports) because he thinks he wants B (the printer being an alarm) when he actually wants C (an audio alarm).
    Don't just ask what the client wants, always ask about the context.
    No he wants an alarm to tell him about the report.

    If he still had budget left over, he should have got some little alarm put together with a serial/parallel port connection that would sound when the printer was printing.

    Nah, I'd go for the klaxon driven by an ejecting CD-ROM tray.
  • Mountain Banjo 2012-05-24 19:08
    There's also people who are blind and deaf who live past that age - how do they know the cars are coming....is it ESP?


    In my experience, they are the ones who are driving the cars. That's how they know.
  • AAaaaaa 2012-05-24 19:29
    Mountain Banjo:
    There's also people who are blind and deaf who live past that age - how do they know the cars are coming....is it ESP?


    In my experience, they are the ones who are driving the cars. That's how they know.
    PMSL!
  • Zylon 2012-05-24 19:50
    Joggle:
    What's with all the idiots highlighting grammar problems (specifically 'here')? Maybe Remy was trying to emphasise that the boss pronounced it more like 'here' than 'hear'

    2/5
  • Kiwi 2012-05-24 19:50
    Well, my company has just installed a multi-million dollar SCADA system and it was in the requirements that there be a line-printer for the alarm log.
    Epson makes USB dot-matrix printers at 1-2 orders of magnitude higher cost than a small laser :-)
  • Andrew North 2012-05-24 20:21
    AGray:
    JJ:
    Here? Monitory? Psshh. You want real pedantry, I've got it. Let's talk about how Miguel "setup a demo."

    You don't "setup a demo," you "set up a demo." If it were the first case and someone asked, "What are you doing?" you'd have to reply, "I'm setupping a demo." But you don't; you say, "I'm setting up a demo." Therefore "set up" (verb) is two words. Only when it's a noun is it one word: "Let's check the current setup."

    And yes, it is exactly the same with "log on/off/in/out."


    Boss: What happen?
    Operator: Somebody set up us a demo.
    Boss: What's that?
    Operator: Laser Printer turn on.
    Boss: It's you!!!

    IT Guy (Catz): All your printer are belong to us. Your reports are on the way to destruction.

    Captcha: vulputate - To remove the limbs from a Vulcan.


    I used to work for a large company with network printers and could remotely change their "Ready" message on the display.



    My favorite message, "Coolant Low" , was on the payroll dept. printer all day and had IT scratching their heads and downloading manuals.
    When my colleague in IT mentioned they were calling a repair guy, the message remarkably returned to "Ready".
  • Luiz Felipe 2012-05-24 20:31
    They need this thing to make a lot of noise.

    youtube v=SKCkdhSxlk4

    That is an alert.
  • anon 2012-05-24 21:58
    <quote>Ever wondered why turn signals still make an audible clicking sound?</quote>

    It's an unintentional side effect of the fact that they're controlled with relays. Relays click. The clicking isn't detrimental, so no one has bothered wasting time eliminating it.

  • ymous 2012-05-24 23:01
    anon:
    <quote>Ever wondered why turn signals still make an audible clicking sound?</quote>

    It's an unintentional side effect of the fact that they're controlled with relays. Relays click. The clicking isn't detrimental, so no one has bothered wasting time eliminating it.

    I tink there more to it than that, because nowadays some would be silent if it were not for the artificial beeping (especially in Heavy Vehacle)
  • da Doctah 2012-05-24 23:18
    Andrew North:
    My favorite message, "Coolant Low" , was on the payroll dept. printer all day and had IT scratching their heads and downloading manuals.
    When my colleague in IT mentioned they were calling a repair guy, the message remarkably returned to "Ready".
    When a shop I once worked for was about to lose the only guy who knew how to apply PTF and PUT tapes to the system, he called an all-day session to impart to others the knowledge he was taking awy. The department head volunteered to babysit the operator's console while the tech guys were getting this valuable training.

    Around mid-day, someone got cute and started sending a message to the console "REVERSE LOOP LOCK IMMINENT!" Set up a user name that looked like an IBM error message number and just kept sending that about every three minutes or so. After about half an hour, a timid department head peeped into the conference room to ask "does anybody know what a reverse loop lock is?" The guilty party pointed at the terminal he had sent it from and said "does it look anything like this?"

    Quoth the department head, over and over for the next five minutes: "you fuckers!"
  • Detroiter 2012-05-24 23:42
    Many years ago (mid 90s IIRC) the Detroit News ran stories about the poor state of affairs in the Detroit Fire Department. One of the tales was that the alarm system was broken (maybe stolen?) at one of the stations so they would put pieces of metal on the tractor feed paper so when a call came in the metal would fall on the floor and alert the firemen who were elsewhere in the building.
  • Norman D. Landing 2012-05-25 00:18
    anon:
    <quote>Ever wondered why turn signals still make an audible clicking sound?</quote>

    It's an unintentional side effect of the fact that they're controlled with relays. Relays click. The clicking isn't detrimental, so no one has bothered wasting time eliminating it.



    New cars (Fords, at least) haven't had mechanical relays for ages. They still go tick tick tick though. It's what people to expect to hear. Reassures them it's working.
  • Maurits 2012-05-25 00:43
    +1 on the send-the-info-via-email-or-page idea, not least because the "tech hears the printer" solution fails if the printer runs out of paper.
  • Severity One 2012-05-25 01:26
    uns:
    "if they can't here the printer?"

    Righting is not your strongest skill, innit? ;-)
    If that was the only problem... somebody should bother and proof-read this stuff, because it's still full of spelling and other mistakes; the mixing of present tense and past tense in the first sentence really the least of them.
  • Jay911 2012-05-25 01:27
    Reminds me of a story I read ages ago about a central northern US fire department (of a large city that is in horrible financial straits).

    One of the problems this department had (of MANY) was that they couldn't afford to keep the in-station alerting (horns/klaxons) in repair. Station crews did things like duct-tape the intercom mic close to the station (dot-matrix) printer so it'd make a racket over the loudspeaker when they got a call; or put a big metal bar on top of the fan-fold paper so that when the printer drew the paper in, it'd knock the bar off and make a clang sound on the floor.
  • Mick 2012-05-25 02:26
    Don:
    uns:
    "if they can't here the printer?"

    Righting is not your strongest skill, innit? ;-)

    And yet, amazingly, you understood the context and intent. Damn pedant Nazi's


    Yes, Nazies ar eberiwehre. Wyh care abotu rigth speliling wen teh contest sais oll yu ned to now? Hwo caers aut grama nd spelin but sukers?

    Captcha: vulputate - bitching aloud when some corrects your mistakes
  • Severity One 2012-05-25 03:30
    Norman D. Landing:
    anon:
    <quote>Ever wondered why turn signals still make an audible clicking sound?</quote>

    It's an unintentional side effect of the fact that they're controlled with relays. Relays click. The clicking isn't detrimental, so no one has bothered wasting time eliminating it.
    New cars (Fords, at least) haven't had mechanical relays for ages. They still go tick tick tick though. It's what people to expect to hear. Reassures them it's working.
    In my car (11 years old now, but you don't drive very long distances when living on an island) the dials are analogue, but electronically controlled. If you hold the trip counter reset pressed when turning on the ignition, they do a self-test and start moving on their own, which is quite fun to watch.

    On the other hand, I've had it twice (in 11 years) that I was driving and had to do a full reboot (i.e. switch off the engine and start again) because the dials were all dead.

    And even though there's this snazzy electronic control, there doesn't appear to be any relationship between the respective dial and how much fuel is actually left. For sure it's not linear.
  • Forumtroll 2012-05-25 03:30
    How hard would it be to also call a code function when printing?

    that code function could be connected via rs232 to a klaxxon horn next to the printer. Easy job, and only involves using an arduino..
  • Morten 2012-05-25 03:54
    C-Derb:

    But you make it sound like a quiet car is dangerous to ALL people, when it really is only dangerous for SOME people. And fewer people tomorrow.


    Of course it's dangerous only to fewer people tomorrow. The people killed by cars today, will have to be subtracted from the pool of people threatened by cars tomorrow.
  • Bartholomew Taps 2012-05-25 04:12
    Boss got a nice new laser printer out of somebody else's budget.
  • oheso 2012-05-25 04:31
    Joggle:
    What's with all the idiots highlighting grammar problems (specifically 'here')? Maybe Remy was trying to emphasise that the boss pronounced it more like 'here' than 'hear'


    Here, here!
  • oheso 2012-05-25 04:37
    Severity One:
    the mixing of present tense and past tense in the first sentence really the least of them.


    That was the first one. I expected the author to be Mark from that alone ...
  • Gurth 2012-05-25 04:52
    C-Derb:
    If cars making noise is a "reasonable" requirement to prevent people from stepping into traffic, why are there deaf people who live past the age of 10?

    A guy I knew a few years ago had something like 30% hearing left on one side and 50% on the other. He once told me how to recognize deaf people in traffic: they'll be the ones looking around themselves.
  • Crisw 2012-05-25 05:02
    The Great Lobachevsky:
    C-Derb:
    The best solution is for people to look for cars, not listen for them.


    Except for the blind, of course...


    Ans people that can't see around corners.
  • Boris the Viking 2012-05-25 05:10
    Because they can still see the car maybe?

    The added noise will be an important safety feature for any BLIND people

    Moron
  • Severity One 2012-05-25 05:31
    C-Derb:
    This reminds me of the project manager at a friend's company who was complaining that, after interviewing 10+ candidates, he couldn't find a developer that would answer his trick question correctly.

    He said, "I have a barn that needs a window. How would you build it?" Never mind that he is interviewing software developers and not carpenters. Each developer would then ask questions about how big he wants it or which side of the barn he wanted it on. The question he wanted to be asked was "Why do you want a window?" so that he could answer "Because it gets hot and I want to keep the barn cool." Maybe building a window isn't the solution to the problem you're trying to solve.

    Fine. Point taken. This manager basically said, "The main qualification for working here is to assume I'm a dipshit."
    I'd be wary of a software development/IT manager with a keen interest in agriculture. Next thing you know you'll be milking cows.
  • AncientProgrammer 2012-05-25 05:35
    So stupid people who assume that just beacause they can't hear any traffic they can safely cross the street? This is what natural selection is all about!
  • Severity One 2012-05-25 05:37
    Joggle:
    What's with all the idiots highlighting grammar problems (specifically 'here')? Maybe Remy was trying to emphasise that the boss pronounced it more like 'here' than 'hear'
    Or maybe Remy can't spell worth shit. That too is a possibility.
  • Stefan 2012-05-25 05:44
    Common problem. We used matrix printers in restaurants' kitchens so the chief would know when to produce a meal.
  • Justin 2012-05-25 05:53
    Fire the boss.
  • Lockwood 2012-05-25 06:56
    I'm surprised Remy hasn't hired a 'quire' to sing all the comments he added...
  • Nagesh 2012-05-25 06:57
    da Doctah:
    Nagesh:
    Buy tape recorder. Record printer sounds. Train monkey to press tape recorder play button every time it see paper come out of printer. Give him peanuts.
    Monkey and tape recorder? Screw that. Teach a mynah bird to imitate the sound of a rickety old printer whenever the laser printer kicks on. Peanuts will probably also work here, but you might want to set up regular deliveries of Froot Loops instead.

    Every Bill, Steve and Larry know that Mynah bird have very low staying power. Monkey much stronger and will also amuse other employee working at facility.
  • Nagesh 2012-05-25 06:59
    Evoex:
    Nagesh:
    Buy tape recorder. Record printer sounds. Train monkey to press tape recorder play button every time it see paper come out of printer. Give him peanuts.


    Wow, your post didn't even include "ain't" this time! Good job!


    Wow, you are one of those blind people who not different between Nagesh and fake Nagesh. Next time pay more attention to who is posting, madarchod!
  • QJo 2012-05-25 09:44
    C-Derb:
    This reminds me of the project manager at a friend's company who was complaining that, after interviewing 10+ candidates, he couldn't find a developer that would answer his trick question correctly.

    He said, "I have a barn that needs a window. How would you build it?" Never mind that he is interviewing software developers and not carpenters. Each developer would then ask questions about how big he wants it or which side of the barn he wanted it on. The question he wanted to be asked was "Why do you want a window?" so that he could answer "Because it gets hot and I want to keep the barn cool." Maybe building a window isn't the solution to the problem you're trying to solve.

    Fine. Point taken. This manager basically said, "The main qualification for working here is to assume I'm a dipshit."


    The correct answer, of course, is: "Nope, sorry, that's a hardware issue. I don't do hardware."
  • Zylon 2012-05-25 11:45
    Stefan:
    We used matrix printers in restaurants' kitchens so the chief would know when to produce a meal.

    Unfortunately, they kept running out of spoons.
  • C-Derb 2012-05-25 11:50
    Morten:
    C-Derb:

    But you make it sound like a quiet car is dangerous to ALL people, when it really is only dangerous for SOME people. And fewer people tomorrow.


    Of course it's dangerous only to fewer people tomorrow. The people killed by cars today, will have to be subtracted from the pool of people threatened by cars tomorrow.

    That was exactly the point I was making.
  • dtobias 2012-05-25 14:04
    Jeff:
    So true! I ride a bicycle for my daily commute and the stories I could tell...

    Cars won't see you; that's a given, but at least they move predictably in these things called "lanes". Somehow the minute a person gets out of a car they forget everything they learned about avoiding collisions and think they can dart about randomly, waving their arms as they talk on their phones, stepping into traffic paths without the least attempt at situational awareness.


    I have to "counter-complain" a bit; when I'm a pedestrian, I find bicycles to be an annoyance in that their riders often insist on riding on the sidewalk even on streets that have a perfectly good bike lane. And they may be coming in either direction on the sidewalk, so I never know what to expect until it's coming right at me.
  • Jay 2012-05-25 15:55
    uns:
    "if they can't here the printer?"

    Righting is not your strongest skill, innit? ;-)


    I think you mean: "Righting is knot you're strongest skill".
  • OccupyWallStreet 2012-05-25 16:12
    Here? Monitory? Psshh. You want real pedantry, I've got it. Let's talk about how Miguel "setup a demo."

    You don't "setup a demo," you "set up a demo." If it were the first case and someone asked, "What are you doing?" you'd have to reply, "I'm setupping a demo." But you don't; you say, "I'm setting up a demo." Therefore "set up" (verb) is two words. Only when it's a noun is it one word: "Let's check the current setup."

    And yes, it is exactly the same with "log on/off/in/out."


    "setup" is just a contraction of "set up". You can add the space and it makes perfect sense. It's really just a computerism that made it out and became part of natural language. As a noun, two words is probably "more correct" but one word is perfectly understandable. Probably to avoid stuff like installsrs saying things like "This set up program will help you set up FooBar on your computer".

    Even your example works - "Let's check the current set up".


    Norman D. Landing:
    anon:
    <quote>Ever wondered why turn signals still make an audible clicking sound?</quote>

    It's an unintentional side effect of the fact that they're controlled with relays. Relays click. The clicking isn't detrimental, so no one has bothered wasting time eliminating it.



    New cars (Fords, at least) haven't had mechanical relays for ages. They still go tick tick tick though. It's what people to expect to hear. Reassures them it's working.


    Well, given that the eyes should be on the road, having a silent blinker means to verify if you've got it on after flicking the stalk isn't efficient and potentially dangerous. But having it click/beep softly lets you know without having to take your eyes off the road.

    It's why GPSes have voices rather than just sticking with arrows on a screen.
  • Cat 2012-05-25 19:19
    Wyrm:
    A perfect case of the client asking for A (printed reports) because he thinks he wants B (the printer being an alarm) when he actually wants C (an audio alarm).
    Don't just ask what the client wants, always ask about the context.


    I've had the same issue arise, and usually it's that they want *both* the printed report and an audible signal that the report printed. Loud printers are simply a serendipitous solution to both at once.
  • Dave 2012-05-26 02:48
    Dev King:
    This is why we had a bell on the teletype machine and a character to ring it. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bell_character


    Except that in a VT-52 it sounded like a '52 Chevy stripping its gears, which was sure to get your attention.
  • Jeremy Friesner 2012-05-26 03:10
    Shishire:
    So why didn't he just add a $5 pair of speakers next to the printer and configure them to play a sound when an alarm prints?


    This. A 30-second .WAV of a dot-matrix print-head chattering would have been awesome.
  • Jeremy Friesner 2012-05-26 03:23
    [quote user="C-Derb"][quote user="Zylon"]If cars making noise is a "reasonable" requirement to prevent people from stepping into traffic, why are there deaf people who live past the age of 10?[/quote]

    Never mind traffic, think parking lots. It's really easy to get ninja'd by an electric car backing out if the driver isn't looking behind him, because (by default, anyway) an electric car that's about to move backwards looks AND sounds very much like a parked car -- silent and still.
  • Gibbon1 2012-05-27 02:14
    callcopse:
    Wow, this must be from a while back. Even crappy monitoring stuff gets big screens showing web sites with things that go red and green and so forth, AFAIK, these days. Personally I would have attempted to persuade the boss to let me get a bat signal some place, as well as a groovy siren.


    Nah, what you really want is to enable the webfilters for the technicians when there is an alarm, thus cutting off their access to WOW, porn, ebay, and ESPN until the problem is resolved.
  • DGS 2012-05-28 06:46
    Jeremy Friesner:
    It's really easy to get ninja'd by an electric car backing out if the driver isn't looking behind him, because (by default, anyway) an electric car that's about to move backwards looks AND sounds very much like a parked car -- silent and still.


    By default, every car that is about to move backwards have the reversing lights turned on.
    I would only walk across if i see the brakes light on too.
  • Annonymous 2012-05-28 10:54
    Severity One:
    C-Derb:
    He said, "I have a barn that needs a window. How would you build it?" Never mind that he is interviewing software developers and not carpenters. Each developer would then ask questions about how big he wants it or which side of the barn he wanted it on. The question he wanted to be asked was "Why do you want a window?" so that he could answer "Because it gets hot and I want to keep the barn cool." Maybe building a window isn't the solution to the problem you're trying to solve.
    I'd be wary of a software development/IT manager with a keen interest in agriculture. Next thing you know you'll be milking cows.

    If they are willing to pay a programmer's salary to have someone milking cows, it could make for a nice break from reading TheDailyWTF.
  • Anon 2012-05-28 13:19
    anon:
    <quote>Ever wondered why turn signals still make an audible clicking sound?</quote>

    It's an unintentional side effect of the fact that they're controlled with relays. Relays click. The clicking isn't detrimental, so no one has bothered wasting time eliminating it.



    You guys are completely missing the point. In a car, you do not want to have to look at something to know if it's working. Turn signals click because otherwise you would have to look at your dash to know when they stopped after a turn. It also helps when you use them because it confirms that the arm stuck and that the signal is on.

    If you want to advance the human race, you should definitely expect people to look before crossing rather than relying on noise.
  • aeil urg 2012-05-29 00:43
    DGS:
    Jeremy Friesner:
    It's really easy to get ninja'd by an electric car backing out if the driver isn't looking behind him, because (by default, anyway) an electric car that's about to move backwards looks AND sounds very much like a parked car -- silent and still.


    By default, every car that is about to move backwards have the reversing lights turned on.
    I would only walk across if i see the brakes light on too.
    Indeed. When you see that a driver has brake lights on it means they have their foot on the brake and you can be 100% certain they have seen you and will not be shifting said foot and backing out at a rate of lightyears
  • Rootbeer 2012-05-29 09:27
    JJ:
    You want real pedantry, I've got it.


    I think you mean "IF you want real pedantry, I've got it."
  • Rootbeer 2012-05-29 09:53
    C-Derb:
    If the problem is people are getting hit by quiet cars, *a* solution is to make them noisier. The best solution is for people to look for cars, not listen for them.


    Okay, but since an automobile designer doesn't have the authority to install common sense in the general public, he's limited to those potential solutions that are actually achievable.

    Arguing that an increased incidence of fatal pedestrian-involved accidents is the solution, rather than the problem, is quite frankly sociopathic.
  • Daniel 2012-05-29 14:41
    Exactly! Knowing how to do this one thing is what separates good consultants from terrible ones.
  • Daniel 2012-05-29 14:42
    Wyrm:
    Don't just ask what the client wants, always ask about the context.


    Exactly. This is what separates great consultants and sales guys from absolutely terrible ones.
  • Jim 2012-05-29 23:19
    Daniel:
    Wyrm:
    Don't just ask what the client wants, always ask about the context.


    Exactly. This is what separates great consultants and sales guys from absolutely terrible ones.
    I know...there's a really good Salesman at my local Unlucky Fried Kitten:
    Him: "What would you like?"
    Me: "Zinger Tower Burger Combo, please"
    Him: "In what context are you wanting the Zinger?"
    Me: "Shut the Fuck Up, and make my damn lunch"
    Him: "I only ask, because although you might think you want it, I don't believe it is actually what you want"
    Me: "Trust me, I know what I want"
    Him: "And what's that?"
    Me: "THat fucking Chicken Burger over there on the Wall with that fucking potatoey thinkg in it that looks an inch fucking taller than the rest of them"
    Him: "See - that's much better, because now we have some context - there's no chicken in that burger, the potato thingummy-bob is just made from flour, and the picture artifically makes the burger look bigger than the others."
    Me: "By Jove, that rather changes it, doesn't it?"
    Him: "So if you can specify exactly what you want, I'll be able to choose the best option for you"
    Me: "I'd like something that will sate my apetite, preferably with something cool on the side, and I think I'd prefer chicken to anything else"
    Him: "I'm sorry, we have nothing that fits that description here"


    Incidentally, I love how so many "experts" and "consultants" and even "developers" wax eloquent about how requirements gathering is this or that, and then whine when a Big Blue company that happens to work on the same contract as them provides infrastructure that is not even remotely useful because they knew what the client wanted/needed better than the client themselves....Now that's irony!!
  • ILackedAles 2012-05-30 11:06
    The 'ninja car' thing is totally true in my experience. I drive a hybrid and people in parking lots just stroll along in front of me, completely unaware that a vehicle is approaching. I've also found that applying the horn causes annoyance in others, while revving the engine causes fear. Fear FTW.
  • Jeff Grigg 2012-05-31 04:39
    This is what they need:
    http://www.delcomproducts.com/products_USBLMP.asp

    Colored lights. They can flash. And they can buzz.
  • method1 2012-05-31 07:45
    Don:
    uns:
    "if they can't here the printer?"

    Righting is not your strongest skill, innit? ;-)

    And yet, amazingly, you understood the context and intent. Damn pedant Nazi's

    Maybe so, but why should anyone else have to use their brainpower to parse your "noise" & dig out the signal. Imagine how tiresome it would be to read books like that(even for you) Also you didn't finish your reply, because you put a completely superfluous apostrophe in "Nazis", it reads like "Nazi's *what?*" - car, cock, poodle, nemesis, rapist, what's the missing word? Must be something that belongs to the Nazi in question.Try to use better English, & stop calling people mass murdering racist scum please.
  • Mike MacKenzie 2012-05-31 10:41
    In the "Andromeda Strain" movie, the teletype's bell is blocked by a piece of chad, so the alert is ignored.

    I wonder how many laser printers will alert on a ^G? Many have small speakers for internal alerts.
  • Barf 4Eva 2012-06-02 11:45
    trwtf are p*ss poor requirements and running with them. Happens...
  • ChristW 2012-06-07 06:13
    Dev King:
    This is why we had a bell on the teletype machine and a character to ring it. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bell_character


    You didn't really need the bell to ring to hear it print, though... And I guess this comment ages me :-)
  • Stevie D 2012-06-07 09:02
    In a similar vein to the printer story...

    A few years back, all the main stations in London (and probably elsewhere, but London was where I was) had huge racks of mechanical departure boards in the entrance hall to show what trains were lining up to leave, made up of revolving slats with different stations printed on them. So every time one train left and a new one appeared there was a lot of noise as all the boards flipped over ... it was great, because then you knew to look up from the book/newspaper you were reading to see if there was any news on your train.

    Now those mechanical boards have all gone, replaced by digital displays that have no sound, and I've often thought how great it would be to play back the clickety-clack noise from the old boards every time the displays changed ...
  • Silent but Deadly 2012-06-20 09:50
    You would probably be asked to leave.