That's Not Totally What I Meant

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  • anonymous 2007-03-27 11:02
    haha.... oh wow.
  • Dan 2007-03-27 11:03
    Meh.
  • Phalphalak 2007-03-27 11:08
    Boo
  • MX5Ringer 2007-03-27 11:10
    Truly wonderous,

    another urban myth perhaps?

    but still very nice all the same,

    My personal favourite is the user who forced two 3 1/2" disks in the drive at the same time as he was only prompted to "insert disk 2" instead of "remove disk 1 then insert disk 2"

    Catcha:- paint (like an expert!)
  • Ben 2007-03-27 11:12
    No prob, it was still good. Depending on the drive he might have to put it into a new casing; others didn't give a damn about the casing.
  • Michael 2007-03-27 11:15
    Same level as the people who filed disks in a folder by using the hole puncher.

    captcha: tesla - coil it! coil it hard
  • Wouter 2007-03-27 11:20
    My colleague experienced almost the same situation. When helping a customer with an email attachment that could not be sent to a third party email address for some reason (probably blocked by our spam filter), he asked the customer to "zip the file and please mail it to me, so I can experiment with the file".
    A week later, we received a package by mail containing a Zip disk with the file on it.
    Now, I'm not sure if the issue was caused by the fact that my colleague is native Dutch and was speaking with an Irish customer, or that it was a discrepancy on a techical level..
  • vt_mruhlin 2007-03-27 11:36
    It actually took me a minute because I haven't really had this whole concept of a "floppy" disk in years
  • s|k 2007-03-27 11:37
    Can you idiots stop with the captcha yet? WE ALL KNOW ALL OF THE WORDS ALREADY. But thank you, thank you for sharing, truly our days are better off. Nobody cares what your damn captcha is.
  • Ben4jammin 2007-03-27 11:37
    Sometimes, just for fun I will explain to a user how I just fixed their problem just to see the "deer in the headlight" look. For extra kicks I'll explain it to them and have them repeat it back to me...always good for a laugh.

    But seriously, I'm sure most of us here have learned the hard way that you shouldn't assume users know ANYTHING. It will also help sharpen your communication skills because if there is any way they can misinterprete what you say, they will.
  • mav 2007-03-27 11:42
    Whats a "disk"?
  • Sgt. Preston 2007-03-27 11:50
    Robert: Take the disk out of the mailer and place it in the drive.
    Brian: OK.

    (several minutes pass)

    At that point in the story, I thought Brian had gone out to the drive where he parked his motor and placed the disk on it.

  • sir_flexalot 2007-03-27 11:51
    I would say this is bogus, but in 4th grade and 9th grade, I saw it happen (with different-age computers of course). So why is someone with this little knowledge about computers operating the "company computer", presumably while being paid for it?
  • Alan 2007-03-27 11:53
    A customer at an internet cafe I worked in called me over saying that his disk wasnt working. I looked at the drive and I could see the end of the 3.5 inch disk in the drive, but the door hadnt closed and the eject button wouldnt move when pressed.

    One drive dissambly later, turns out they got the floppy all the way in, but upside down. I have no idea how.
  • H3SO5 2007-03-27 11:54
    MX5Ringer:


    My personal favourite is the user who forced two 3 1/2" disks in the drive at the same time as he was only prompted to "insert disk 2" instead of "remove disk 1 then insert disk 2"



    I know a software developer which found the solution for this, his software came on 5 1/4" floppies (this was in the early 90's, I think):

    - Instead of telling the user to "Please insert Disk 2" his program told to "Eject disk 1 and insert disk 2".
    - Added stickers showing the correct way of inserting the floppy.

    This solved a lot of problems with the installation.
  • Saladin 2007-03-27 11:56
    MX5Ringer:
    My personal favourite is the user who forced two 3 1/2" disks in the drive at the same time as he was only prompted to "insert disk 2" instead of "remove disk 1 then insert disk 2"

    Or, telling someone to install the new version "over the old one" resulting in them putting the new version's CD (or floppy or whatever) directly on top of the old version's disk, and then putting them both in the drive together.
  • Maclee 2007-03-27 12:00
    This really reminds me of this image:

  • ben curthoys 2007-03-27 12:00
    i used to have a single sided 5 1/4 inch drive, and a stack of double sided disks.

    so i would open the casing, carefully put the floppy to one side, cut a new "write protect" notch with scissors, drill a new index hole, put the floppy part back in, sellotape the sides down, and then use both sides of the disk by putting it in "upsidedown" when i wanted the other side. double the storage space for free.

    and it worked.
  • KattMan 2007-03-27 12:05
    ben curthoys:
    i used to have a single sided 5 1/4 inch drive, and a stack of double sided disks.

    so i would open the casing, carefully put the floppy to one side, cut a new "write protect" notch with scissors, drill a new index hole, put the floppy part back in, sellotape the sides down, and then use both sides of the disk by putting it in "upsidedown" when i wanted the other side. double the storage space for free.

    and it worked.


    That's just...well genius! Even more so than my trick of actually typing umop apisdn. Go ahead, flip your monitor over to read that one.
  • TeaBag 2007-03-27 12:07
    Many moons ago, a customer with a Mac (old style) came in to the shop complaining that a floppy was jammed in the drive. After extracting the floppy drive from the chassis, we discovered that there had already been a disk in the drive when he inserted a second. Like many Mac users of that era, when the disk stopped, he slapped it into the drive. Since there was already a disk in the drive, the new floppy slammed into the top drive head, splitting the it into several pieces and jamming both disks in the drive. Mac floppy drives weren't cheap...
  • Unomi 2007-03-27 12:07
    sir_flexalot:
    So why is someone with this little knowledge about computers operating the "company computer", presumably while being paid for it?


    I think because time is money and knowledge is not omnipotent.

    Think about little offices in little towns. They don't want their expertise divided equally over all their offices, because that means IT-skilled people doing nothing most off the time.

    But when something needs to be done on a computer system, it needs to be done as quick as possible. Many times with nobody around knowing what to do by experience.

    So, the office manager is put in place to do the things a sysadmin would normaly do. These people wouldn't care less about such systems, because most of the times it only makes noise in a closet far far away.

    So, knowledge is at the headquarter, but time is money so the office manager has to do the things to do. It would cost more if some IT-guy has to go to the office and do the five-minute task by himself.

    - Unomi -
  • el jaybird 2007-03-27 12:11
    ben curthoys:
    i used to have a single sided 5 1/4 inch drive, and a stack of double sided disks.

    so i would open the casing, carefully put the floppy to one side, cut a new "write protect" notch with scissors, drill a new index hole, put the floppy part back in, sellotape the sides down, and then use both sides of the disk by putting it in "upsidedown" when i wanted the other side. double the storage space for free.

    and it worked.


    I used to do this, except I didn't bother taking the disc out or anything. I just cut the notch with scissors, very carefully.

    And, yep, it worked.
  • igitur 2007-03-27 12:12
    Michael:
    Same level as the people who filed disks in a folder by using the hole puncher.


    Bit off topic, but that's how many condoms are distributed here in South Africa. They staple them to a safe sex pamphlet!
  • Gruff 2007-03-27 12:18
    I'll be dating myself here, but anyways...

    I had a client that needed some 8" disks labeled and sent to branch offices. Having just hired an intern but not really having much for him to do, they set him to the task with the instructions to take each disk from it's sleeve and label it, label the sleeve (and to, of course, write on the label BEFORE placing it on the disk or sleeve), then put the disk in a cardboard mailer, address it and, finally, send it off.

    A few days later, calls began to pour into the main office. It seems that perhaps the instructions weren't quite detailed enough -- they had neglected to mention that the disk should remain inside the black "wrapper", that the disk should go back in the sleeve before being put in the mailer, and that the label shouldn't be attached using paper clips.


    captcha: "riaa" <- The world's nastiest 4-letter word
  • stil 2007-03-27 12:19
    MX5Ringer:
    another urban myth perhaps?
    Quite a few of these so-called computer urban myths really do happen when the stupidity of a user is involved. When I was young and deluded, early in a support career, I actually had a customer say to me: "It's telling me to press any key to continue - which key is the 'any' key?"

    I heard later this was supposed to be an urban myth, but this didn't happen to a "friend-of-a-friend" from my pov... :)
  • Loren Pechtel 2007-03-27 12:23
    Back in college a couple of guys found an old 8" floppy disk. They did all sorts of things to it, seeing how much they could do before it quit working. The disk read properly when inserted into the drive sans casing. (It took some care to get it in properly.) I don't remember what all they did, I do recall it finally died when someone took a bite out of it.


    As for double-siding a floppy, it was easy. One hole punch, one cardboard template of what it should be. Put the template over the disk, punch, punch, turn the disk over, punch, 30 seconds at most. You just had to be careful not to scratch the disk with the hole punch when you stuck the bottom in between the casing and the disk.
  • Corporate Cog 2007-03-27 12:26
    wtfs from the 19th century; sweet!
  • lizardfoot 2007-03-27 12:27
    H3SO5:
    MX5Ringer:


    My personal favourite is the user who forced two 3 1/2" disks in the drive at the same time as he was only prompted to "insert disk 2" instead of "remove disk 1 then insert disk 2"



    I know a software developer which found the solution for this, his software came on 5 1/4" floppies (this was in the early 90's, I think):

    - Instead of telling the user to "Please insert Disk 2" his program told to "Eject disk 1 and insert disk 2".
    - Added stickers showing the correct way of inserting the floppy.

    This solved a lot of problems with the installation.


    The developer was simply following one of the Golden Rules of programming:

    "Never underestimate the stupidity of the end user."

  • ParkinT 2007-03-27 12:30
    It's sort of like "the old days" when we listened to music on CDs with grooves in them!
  • pweegar 2007-03-27 12:31
    Several years ago, being fresh out of college and still job hunting, I needed a free/inexpensive email provider. Well, kmart was giving cd away for excatly what I was looking for. Only problem was that my cd-rom was high speed 952X or higher) and didn't like cheap cd's. Wouldn't load the program, the cd just spun. Thought what the hell. I had another useless disk (maybe a free game demo disk from a game mag). I crasy glued them togather!!!!! Let it dry for an hour or so. inserted the new cd and the program began to load. HOWEVEr the noise it made was incredible. Very loud and sounded like something was being ripped apart. After the program loaded, and I was able to eject the cd, it came out in 2 parts. Funny, but true.
  • pauluskc 2007-03-27 12:32
    I guess it really can be used as a coaster now.
  • Feyr 2007-03-27 12:35
    <quote>
    I actually had a customer say to me: "It's telling me to press any key to continue - which key is the 'any' key?" </quote>

    working as an ISP, we had a customer looking for the ENTER key once.
  • Marcin 2007-03-27 12:49
    The real WTF is that the chicken crossed the road.
  • peon 2007-03-27 12:52
    s|k:
    Can you idiots stop with the captcha yet? WE ALL KNOW ALL OF THE WORDS ALREADY. But thank you, thank you for sharing, truly our days are better off. Nobody cares what your damn captcha is.

    Wwe also know all your f-ing comments already: how appropriate, mmmmm, do I smell, who is gygax, etc.

    Farktard nerds.
  • KattMan 2007-03-27 12:54
    stil:
    MX5Ringer:
    another urban myth perhaps?
    Quite a few of these so-called computer urban myths really do happen when the stupidity of a user is involved. When I was young and deluded, early in a support career, I actually had a customer say to me: "It's telling me to press any key to continue - which key is the 'any' key?"

    I heard later this was supposed to be an urban myth, but this didn't happen to a "friend-of-a-friend" from my pov... :)


    I intentionally built on this once in a beta product. The message box popped up for confirmation saying the following:

    Press any key to continue, any other to quit.

    and just waited for QA to bounce it back. It stayed there for three cycles before someone questioned it. No it did not make it into production.
  • Marcin 2007-03-27 12:55
    Unomi:
    sir_flexalot:
    So why is someone with this little knowledge about computers operating the "company computer", presumably while being paid for it?


    I think because time is money and knowledge is not omnipotent.

    Think about little offices in little towns. They don't want their expertise divided equally over all their offices, because that means IT-skilled people doing nothing most off the time.

    But when something needs to be done on a computer system, it needs to be done as quick as possible. Many times with nobody around knowing what to do by experience.

    So, the office manager is put in place to do the things a sysadmin would normaly do. These people wouldn't care less about such systems, because most of the times it only makes noise in a closet far far away.

    So, knowledge is at the headquarter, but time is money so the office manager has to do the things to do. It would cost more if some IT-guy has to go to the office and do the five-minute task by himself.

    - Unomi -


    This is not a good explanation - HQ could put the tech on the phone, thus saving on travel time. This happens because management don't actually think about IT, and assume that it basically runs itself for free.
  • Anonymous Tart 2007-03-27 12:57
    Gruff:

    ...
    captcha: "riaa" <- The world's nastiest 4-letter word


    Trying to work out if thats ironic :o
  • iToad 2007-03-27 13:00
    As God is my witness, I actually saw somebody fasten an 8" floppy to a steel filing cabinet with a magnet. At least when I mentioned that this wasn't a good idea, the person responsible instantly understood why.

    By the way, I still have a couple of boxes of 8" floppies (3M single side, single density, reversible) and 5-1/4" floppies. The envelopes for these things aren't easy to tear open without a knife or scissors.
  • jefrainmx 2007-03-27 13:03
    AssHole..!!
  • Arancaytar 2007-03-27 13:28
    Maclee:
    This really reminds me of this image:



    Whew.

    At least he didn't destroy anything useful. [/ms-bash]
  • too_many_usernames 2007-03-27 13:31
    Feyr:
    <quote>
    I actually had a customer say to me: "It's telling me to press any key to continue - which key is the 'any' key?" </quote>

    working as an ISP, we had a customer looking for the ENTER key once.


    What's so strange about that? Some keyboards call it RETURN and some just have the arrow icon.
  • Brady Kelly 2007-03-27 13:34
    Alan:
    One drive dissambly later, turns out they got the floppy all the way in, but upside down. I have no idea how.


    I once had a team of three in an Air Force building looking for a terminal fault that I had caused by plugging a D type connector the wrong way. I had about 7 years technician and cabling experience, and I didn't push hard.
  • enharmonix 2007-03-27 13:36
    MX5Ringer:
    Truly wonderous,

    another urban myth perhaps?

    but still very nice all the same,

    My personal favourite is the user who forced two 3 1/2" disks in the drive at the same time as he was only prompted to "insert disk 2" instead of "remove disk 1 then insert disk 2"

    Catcha:- paint (like an expert!)


    Yeah, I think it's an urban myth, too. I remember reading both today's WTF and the one you mentioned when installing an old Sierra game (Quest for Glory, I think) way back in the day. Then again, they say one's born every minute...

    Captcha: 'slashbot' That's just plain spooky! How could it know that?
  • Ken 2007-03-27 13:37
    MX5Ringer:
    another urban myth perhaps?

    I believe it could happen. I experienced first-hand a customer who, when asked to send "a copy of your data", mailed us a (paper) copy of the disk from the copy machine. (I'd say "Xerox[tm] copy", but it may not have been a Xerox, and I don't want any trouble with trademark police.)

    I also saw someone send us a "screenshot" of a problem they were having by taking a Polaroid picture and sending that it. (At least that was actually useful.)
  • wiregoat 2007-03-27 13:39
    s|k:
    Can you idiots stop with the captcha yet? WE ALL KNOW ALL OF THE WORDS ALREADY. But thank you, thank you for sharing, truly our days are better off. Nobody cares what your damn captcha is.


    captcha kungfu. Someone's about to open a can. I just could not resist.
  • Brady Kelly 2007-03-27 13:40
    igitur:
    Michael:
    Same level as the people who filed disks in a folder by using the hole puncher.


    Bit off topic, but that's how many condoms are distributed here in South Africa. They staple them to a safe sex pamphlet!


    Urban Legend Alert! I've never seen that in 37 years. OK, they haven't been handing so many out for all 37 years, but I've still never seen it in at least 12.
  • Tod K 2007-03-27 13:44
    When I was in High School and we got a new lab full *gasp* Apple ][s with *gasp* 48K or RAM our computer teacher was also teaching computers at the local JC we lovingly referred to as Mt. Mickey Mouse.

    On the first day of class he took things very slowly describing how everything was going to work and then having people come up to the front of the room and get a 5.25 floppy disk return to their seats. He then walked them through writing on the label and attaching the label to the disk. Only after that were they allowed to approach the computer. He then instructed everyone to remove their disks from the sleeves and insert them into the computer. Everyone complied except for one guy who had managed to grab a floppy without the outer sleeve who proceeded to remove the disk's outer shell through brute force and then raise his hand to ask how to get it into the computer.

    I believe there was a materials charge for the floppies as well. That's money well spent.

    =tkk
  • Abscissa 2007-03-27 13:49
    Maclee:
    This really reminds me of this image:



    It's hard to tell for certain due to the image's resolution and compression artifacts, but I could swear that screen says to insert the CD "into drive A:". Which, of course, is equally funny.
  • Kev 2007-03-27 13:58
    igitur:
    Brady Kelly:
    Bit off topic, but that's how many condoms are distributed here in South Africa. They staple them to a safe sex pamphlet!


    Urban Legend Alert! I've never seen that in 37 years. OK, they haven't been handing so many out for all 37 years, but I've still never seen it in at least 12.


    I've seen them distributed like that here in the UK.

    Screenshots taken on cameras can be rather handy though - unless they try to send them via MMS anyway...
  • Some Random 5.25" floppy user 2007-03-27 14:02
    Tucked away in some box in the attic, I have a specialized tool designed to punch a notch with perfectly squared off corners, at the proper height from the top side of the disk.

    Figure if I wait another 10-15 years on that, I can sell it off to an antiques dealer.
  • wallywam1 2007-03-27 14:02
    mav:
    Whats a "disk"?


    The correct spelling of "disc".
  • un.sined 2007-03-27 14:13
    TeaBag:
    Many moons ago, a customer with a Mac (old style) came in to the shop complaining that a floppy was jammed in the drive. After extracting the floppy drive from the chassis, we discovered that there had already been a disk in the drive when he inserted a second. Like many Mac users of that era, when the disk stopped, he slapped it into the drive. Since there was already a disk in the drive, the new floppy slammed into the top drive head, splitting the it into several pieces and jamming both disks in the drive. Mac floppy drives weren't cheap...


    All these stories of people inserting multiple floppies into a drive remind me of my kids and the Wii... I routinely have to extract multiple CD's from it...
  • real_aardvark 2007-03-27 14:15
    wallywam1:
    mav:
    Whats a "disk"?

    The correct spelling of "disc".

    Hmmm. Diskuss...
  • MrTufty 2007-03-27 14:16
    wallywam1:
    mav:
    Whats a "disk"?


    The correct spelling of "disc".

    You mean, the spelling when it's referring to a square object rather than a circular one, which a "disc" would be.
  • punissuer 2007-03-27 14:19
    ben curthoys:
    i used to have a single sided 5 1/4 inch drive, and a stack of double sided disks.

    so i would open the casing, carefully put the floppy to one side, cut a new "write protect" notch with scissors, drill a new index hole, put the floppy part back in, sellotape the sides down, and then use both sides of the disk by putting it in "upsidedown" when i wanted the other side. double the storage space for free.

    and it worked.

    Not sure I would call that free. If the disks were marked DS or "Double Sided", then you probably paid extra for them.
  • Gedoon 2007-03-27 14:19
    lizardfoot:

    The developer was simply following one of the Golden Rules of programming:

    "Never underestimate the stupidity of the end user."

    I've written on the top of the whiteboard in our office: "REMEMBER: THE USER IS STUPID." It's the motto of our IT team and it is referred to ever so often. I wonder why.
  • bananahammock 2007-03-27 14:20
    I always thought disk was just another spelling of disc, not having anything to do with squareness.
    But what do I know...
  • moosejaw 2007-03-27 14:26
    Disk is short for diskette. A little disc :)

    The disc inside the (rectangular) disk is still a circle.
  • KM 2007-03-27 14:27
    wallywam1:
    mav:
    Whats a "disk"?


    The correct spelling of "disc".

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Disc_or_disk_(spelling)
  • KM 2007-03-27 14:27
    wallywam1:
    mav:
    Whats a "disk"?


    The correct spelling of "disc".

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Disc_or_disk_(spelling)
  • floki 2007-03-27 14:30
    Having seen my father trying to insert a CD-ROM into a 3,5" floppy drive nothing can surprise me any more. In fact, when you are used to laser discs and vinyl records tearing off the floppy "casing" seems to be pretty understandable.

    CAPTCHA: riaa - you bastards
  • m0ffx 2007-03-27 14:32
    Abscissa:
    It's hard to tell for certain due to the image's resolution and compression artifacts, but I could swear that screen says to insert the CD "into drive A:". Which, of course, is equally funny.


    Looks like that to me too. Which would be the whole point - the user just did what Windows told them to!
  • Mcoder 2007-03-27 14:35
    Alan:
    A customer at an internet cafe I worked in called me over saying that his disk wasnt working. I looked at the drive and I could see the end of the 3.5 inch disk in the drive, but the door hadnt closed and the eject button wouldnt move when pressed.

    One drive dissambly later, turns out they got the floppy all the way in, but upside down. I have no idea how.

    Probably with the help of a hammer.
  • Johnny Moondog 2007-03-27 14:44
    That reminds me of 20-odd years ago at my first place of work. The MDs secretary was asked to store the 5 1/4" master disk of an expensive piece of software. She used a hole-punch on it and placed it into an A4 binder :-)
  • Bogglestone 2007-03-27 14:49
    Abscissa:
    Maclee:
    This really reminds me of this image:



    It's hard to tell for certain due to the image's resolution and compression artifacts, but I could swear that screen says to insert the CD "into drive A:". Which, of course, is equally funny.


    Y'know, it looks like the real windows CD is on top of the machine and the smashed disk is some anonymous unlabeled CD-R coaster with those stripes and all.
  • Elvis 2007-03-27 14:56
    ben curthoys:
    i used to have a single sided 5 1/4 inch drive, and a stack of double sided disks.

    so i would open the casing, carefully put the floppy to one side, cut a new "write protect" notch with scissors, drill a new index hole, put the floppy part back in, sellotape the sides down, and then use both sides of the disk by putting it in "upsidedown" when i wanted the other side. double the storage space for free.

    and it worked.


    All I did was use a hole punch to make the new write protect notch. Worked fine and since the disk inside is circular you didn't need to worry about catching it with the punch.
  • skztr 2007-03-27 15:01
    Abscissa:
    Maclee:
    This really reminds me of this image:



    It's hard to tell for certain due to the image's resolution and compression artifacts, but I could swear that screen says to insert the CD "into drive A:". Which, of course, is equally funny.


    Congratulations, you /almost/ got the joke. I guess you can leave the internet forever now, mission accomplished.
  • Thorin 2007-03-27 15:27
    This reminds me of my Gr. 12 English teacher who managed to put a 3.5" floppy in a old Mac SE, forget about that disk, then jam another 3.5" disk into the drive and up over the drive carriage somehow.

    Seriously "unique" individuals.

    And keeping with the theme my captch is "Darwin".....yes I know some of you don't care but I still find it mildly amusing.
  • Loopy 2007-03-27 15:40
    It's how I roll...



    Captcha: People who say "Captcha" should die in a fire.
  • Anonymous Tart 2007-03-27 15:47
    KM:
    wallywam1:
    mav:
    Whats a "disk"?


    The correct spelling of "disc".

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Disc_or_disk_(spelling)


    Seriously, you cant quote wikipedia in a discussion. My mate down the pub reckons that they should really be called Djisk, because the guy who invented them was Walter WikiMcBollox-Djisk.

    WHOS TO ARGUE DIFFERENT :o
  • iMalc 2007-03-27 15:49
    I've seen someone try sticking a floppy disk in a zip drive. Unfortunately it fits.
  • immute 2007-03-27 15:51
    that actually can work, if you align the holes not to hit the magnetic part
  • Doh! 2007-03-27 15:54
    Michael:
    Same level as the people who filed disks in a folder by using the hole puncher.

    captcha: tesla - coil it! coil it hard

    Wait - we have a file room full of binders with floppies in them... Are you telling me that they are worthless as backups !??!!! Gaaaaaaaah!
  • Markp 2007-03-27 16:08
    Meh, not that surprising. I mean, you buy a new CD and it's harder to get the stupid shrink wrap off and open the case than it would be to bust open an old floppy.
  • Michael 2007-03-27 16:18
    s|k:
    Can you idiots stop with the captcha yet? WE ALL KNOW ALL OF THE WORDS ALREADY. But thank you, thank you for sharing, truly our days are better off. Nobody cares what your damn captcha is.

    The forum software cares. Are you less caring than a computer?
  • TSK 2007-03-27 16:28
    I am now outing myself:

    I have programmed in C++/Java, have mastered physics and mathematics during my time as engineering student. Now my girlfriend needs a laptop so I ordered a good one.
    It came per mail and it was a beautiful thing. My girlfriend was still at work, so I decided to play a bit with it. I have seen laptops before, but I have never worked with them until then.
    Let's see....screen, mouse, headphone, network, COM, parallel port etc. etc.

    Hmm....
    Where's the on/off button ?

    I searched half an hour with increasing frustation for a button to switch this goddamn thing on. Finally I called the
    store. Embarassing silence. Then "You must open the slider on the left side". Slider ? Oops, I thought it was a slot for the flash card....

    Iahh, iahh, iahh...

    I can understand now that these things can happen. Don't ask for an explanation.

    P.S.: The laptop is fine and working.
  • Captcha's rock! 2007-03-27 16:36
    Personally, I like the captcha comments, if they're on-topic, witty and appropos. Besides, it's better than little kids that just like to rant... to wit:


    WWW WWW HHH HHH A TTTTTTTTTTT
    WWW WWW HHH HHH AAA TTTTTTTTTTT
    WWW WWW HHH HHH AAAAA TTT
    WWW WWW HHH HHH AAA AAA TTT
    WWW WWW WWW HHHHHHHHHHH AAA AAA TTT
    WWW WWWWW WWW HHHHHHHHHHH AAAAAAAAAAA TTT
    WWW WWW WWW WWW HHH HHH AAA AAA TTT
    WWWWW WWWWW HHH HHH AAA AAA TTT
    WWW WWW HHH HHH AAA AAA TTT


    TTTTTTTTT HHH HHH EEEEEEEEEE
    TTTTTTTTT HHH HHH EEEEEEEEEE
    TTT HHH HHH EEE
    TTT HHH HHH EEE
    TTT HHHHHHHHHH EEEEEE
    TTT HHHHHHHHHH EEEEEE
    TTT HHH HHH EEE
    TTT HHH HHH EEE
    TTT HHH HHH EEEEEEEEEE
    TTT HHH HHH EEEEEEEEEE


    FFFFFFFFF UUU UUU CCCCCC KKK KKK ????
    FFFFFFFFF UUU UUU CCCCCCCC KKK KKK ??????
    FFF UUU UUU CCC CC KKK KKK ?? ???
    FFF UUU UUU CCC KKK KKK ???
    FFFFFFF UUU UUU CCC KKKKKK ???
    FFFFFF UUU UUU CCC KKKKKK ???
    FFF UUU UUU CCC KKK KKK ???
    FFF UUU UUU CCC CC KKK KKK ???
    FFF UUU UUU CCCCCCCC KKK KKK
    FFF UUUUUU CCCCCC KKK KKK ???

  • dolo54 2007-03-27 16:40
    this really smacks of urban legend... however the paperclipped label on a disk used to happen all the time. Ok Ok, TRUE STORY: I had a boss once that would do PowerPoint training. The students were generally secretaries, not exactly computer literate, but this took the cake. He was instructing the students to mouse over and click on this item, then mouse over and click on that item... when one woman pipes up "What happens when you run out of room on your desk to mouse to?!?" He stifled his laughter and the strong urge to say "Well, you pick up your mouse and just slide your desk over."
  • Thr Crafty Sod 2007-03-27 16:54
    I can confirm that, while working for a tape backup company, I had more than one call along the lines of "my keyboard doesn't have an 'any' key". This was at the time we were going from 86 keys to 102 keys, so a lot of people felt they had been cheated when it came to keys :-}
  • swordfishBob 2007-03-27 16:54
    mav:
    Whats a "disk"?

    There's no such thing really. "Disk" is an abbreviation of "diskette", which was a cute way of saying "little disc". The original floppy discs were 8" across, and somewhat more difficult to post.

    someone else:
    is this an urban myth?

    No, people found all sorts of ways to wrongly insert these things. It was much more common than the more recent "coffee cup holder" incidents.
  • swordfishBob 2007-03-27 17:01
    punissuer:
    ben curthoys:
    i used to have a single sided 5 1/4 inch drive, and a stack of double sided disks.
    ..
    and it worked.

    Not sure I would call that free. If the disks were marked DS or "Double Sided", then you probably paid extra for them.

    Yup, but they weren't any different. IIRC, Apple computers used the top side of the disc, but IBMs used the bottom side (or was it the other way around?). Both sides must have been good, or they would have been selling "top side" discs separately to "bottom side" ones.
  • bstorer 2007-03-27 17:02
    Anonymous Tart:
    KM:
    wallywam1:
    mav:
    Whats a "disk"?


    The correct spelling of "disc".

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Disc_or_disk_(spelling)


    Seriously, you cant quote wikipedia in a discussion. My mate down the pub reckons that they should really be called Djisk, because the guy who invented them was Walter WikiMcBollox-Djisk.

    WHOS TO ARGUE DIFFERENT :o

    Referencing Wikipedia should be just like Godwin's Law. If you do it, you automatically lose.

    I am aware that I lose.
  • XIU 2007-03-27 17:05
    Corporate Cog:
    wtfs from the 19th century; sweet!


    The 20th century ;)
  • Keith 2007-03-27 17:10
    I just cut the side-select line on the connector and wired a toggle switch to it. Then I could just flick a switch to use the other side. Better for the disk, too - it keeps turning the same way, so all the dirt doesn't slide out of the cloth lining and back onto the disk like it does when you just flip the whole disk.

    Heard them called "flippies"...

    --KW 8-)
  • Joachim Otahal 2007-03-27 17:28
    ben curthoys:
    used to have a single sided 5 1/4 inch drive, and a stack of double sided disks.

    so i would open the casing, carefully put the floppy to one side, cut a new "write protect" notch with scissors, drill a new index hole, put the floppy part back in, sellotape the sides down, and then use both sides of the disk by putting it in "upsidedown" when i wanted the other side. double the storage space for free.


    You wouldn't have needed the new index hole for C64/1541 and later (includes PC) hardware, they all used soft-sectored formatting for their disks.
    So the Computer you talk about must been WAY before C64 time when it needed the extra index hole. Or you did the hole for nothing *g*.

    Joachim
  • Look at me! I'm on the internets! 2007-03-27 17:39
    Disks are magnetic or groovy (LPs) media.
    Discs are optical media.
  • Bill Brasky 2007-03-27 17:53
    ... or you could buy the $3 disk punch that did it perfectly every time!
  • esrever_otua 2007-03-27 17:53
    Corporate Cog:
    wtfs from the 19th century; sweet!


    Heh, the Real WTF with this comment is that the story is from the 20th century.

    :)
  • Foo 2007-03-27 18:06
    ben curthoys:
    i used to have a single sided 5 1/4 inch drive, and a stack of double sided disks.

    so i would open the casing, carefully put the floppy to one side, cut a new "write protect" notch with scissors, drill a new index hole, put the floppy part back in, sellotape the sides down, and then use both sides of the disk by putting it in "upsidedown" when i wanted the other side. double the storage space for free.

    and it worked.


    Way too much work. All you had to do with those is take a one hole punch and make a half-moon punch on the disk. Took all of three seconds to do.
  • H3SO5 2007-03-27 18:21
    lizardfoot:
    H3SO5:

    I know a software developer which found the solution for this, his software came on 5 1/4" floppies (this was in the early 90's, I think):

    - Instead of telling the user to "Please insert Disk 2" his program told to "Eject disk 1 and insert disk 2".
    - Added stickers showing the correct way of inserting the floppy.

    This solved a lot of problems with the installation.


    The developer was simply following one of the Golden Rules of programming:

    "Never underestimate the stupidity of the end user."



    A classic one:

    Create an idiot-proof program and Nature will create a better idiot. -- Murphy
  • danixdefcon5 2007-03-27 18:47
    MX5Ringer:
    Truly wonderous,

    another urban myth perhaps?

    but still very nice all the same,

    My personal favourite is the user who forced two 3 1/2" disks in the drive at the same time as he was only prompted to "insert disk 2" instead of "remove disk 1 then insert disk 2"

    Catcha:- paint (like an expert!)


    Ah ... that might just not be an urban legend ...

    Back in college ... some dumb MBA inserted a floppy disk (3.5in) into the drive, and then complained that she couldn't eject it.

    Oopsie ... she forgot to eject the one that was STILL inside.

    We put that floppy in display as a mockery of lusers untill the lab manager ordered us to put it away. Ah ... but how much fun we had...
  • chimaera 2007-03-27 20:07
    I promise you this is true: During a support call, I said to the user, 'Just look on the CD'


    And the user said


    I've taken it over near the window where the light's better
  • Steeldragon 2007-03-27 20:22
    skztr:
    Abscissa:
    Maclee:
    This really reminds me of this image:



    It's hard to tell for certain due to the image's resolution and compression artifacts, but I could swear that screen says to insert the CD "into drive A:". Which, of course, is equally funny.


    Congratulations, you /almost/ got the joke. I guess you can leave the internet forever now, mission accomplished.

    the loke is that he attempted to insert the CD into A: through force & broke the CD in 2
  • Daniel Talsky 2007-03-27 20:54
    You know, I think this is actually a really great idea. It's no secret a lot of engineers are a little "user hostile". It's not really the user's fault they DON'T KNOW... at least an engineer or interface designer has a chance to assume they know nothing and explain explicitly. Personally I think that writing copy habitually purely for historical reasons is laziness. Why not make your copy say exactly what it means?
  • Xazil 2007-03-27 21:00
    You probably are going to think its just another urban myth, but I have actually seen a monitor with a White-Out line painted on it back about 20 years ago. (White-Out being a small pot of white paint to cover over pen mistakes on paper.)
  • Your Name 2007-03-27 21:09
    floki:


    CAPTCHA: riaa - you bastards



    Ha, ha, ha!! Hilarious!
  • operagost 2007-03-27 23:58
    In the 1990s, they also had a punch that would add the extra high-density hole to a double-density 3.5" diskette. The data would be reliable just long enough for the foolhardy to be confident in its integrity. Meanwhile, the inferior media slowly degraded in his diskette box.
  • Xythar 2007-03-28 00:13
    Honestly, I can believe it. Especially if they'd never seen a disk before.

    Michael:
    Same level as the people who filed disks in a folder by using the hole puncher.


    Or the person who 'stored' a floppy disk by sticking it to the side of the filing cabinet with a magnet.
  • cklam 2007-03-28 00:38
    Yeah, sending anything (be it software updates) on removable media (floppies, tapes, CDs) to (sometimes very clueless) users was a PITA allright.

    At one place where I worked we kept a meticolous and continously updated database of which devices would be available for each customers and what would actually would work (not in term of hardware status but of cluelessness status). That worked pretty well (except for cases where some of my former colleagues would be too lazy to check the database since they thought they "knew the customer's setup by heart").

    Embarassing the company by going with the wrong type of removable media to a customer's site (sending it by mail) or with a single non-working media was a big no-no. When you went out to a customer's site (or sent media by mail/courier) you were supposed to use two copies of the data (whatever it was) of the verified correct media type.

    These policies did not eliminate these kind of mess-ups completely but almost: considering the number of customers we had (lower 4-digit range) it happened about once every 18 months.

    Whew - long post so far; I got carried away ..... whatever.

    Another story:

    Back in the old days on the Apple ][e floppies were really expensive and so I would use double-sided floppies by turning them over. In order to get more capacity I was using a specialized floppy formatter so that I would be able to more than the 35 tracks that were normally usable on a Apple ][e 5.25" floppy. I had one drive (a Teac) that would let me use up to 42 tracks - at that time Apple ][e clones would have things like this marketed as features ....

  • cklam 2007-03-28 00:47
    Marcin:
    Unomi:
    sir_flexalot:
    So why is someone with this little knowledge about computers operating the "company computer", presumably while being paid for it?


    I think because time is money and knowledge is not omnipotent.

    Think about little offices in little towns. They don't want their expertise divided equally over all their offices, because that means IT-skilled people doing nothing most off the time.

    But when something needs to be done on a computer system, it needs to be done as quick as possible. Many times with nobody around knowing what to do by experience.

    So, the office manager is put in place to do the things a sysadmin would normaly do. These people wouldn't care less about such systems, because most of the times it only makes noise in a closet far far away.

    So, knowledge is at the headquarter, but time is money so the office manager has to do the things to do. It would cost more if some IT-guy has to go to the office and do the five-minute task by himself.

    - Unomi -


    This is not a good explanation - HQ could put the tech on the phone, thus saving on travel time. This happens because management don't actually think about IT, and assume that it basically runs itself for free.


    Marcin - welcome to the real world.

    Actually, this happens a lot with small firms who do not have any dedicated IT staff at all. In these cases it often somebody in accounting or the manufacturing manager or even the general manager/proprietor himself who does these things. They usually fight about this a bit until they realize that smartening up about a few basic things they will save time and money.
  • cklam 2007-03-28 00:54
    Gedoon:
    lizardfoot:

    The developer was simply following one of the Golden Rules of programming:

    "Never underestimate the stupidity of the end user."

    I've written on the top of the whiteboard in our office: "REMEMBER: THE USER IS STUPID." It's the motto of our IT team and it is referred to ever so often. I wonder why.


    That is a bit rude, isn't it ? I would write:

    "Users are clueless."
  • cklam 2007-03-28 01:01
    iMalc:
    I've seen someone try sticking a floppy disk in a zip drive. Unfortunately it fits.


    Yep. But one realizes it immediately because the floppy rattles around in the zip drive upon insertion.
  • cklam 2007-03-28 01:07
    swordfishBob:
    mav:
    Whats a "disk"?

    There's no such thing really. "Disk" is an abbreviation of "diskette", which was a cute way of saying "little disc". The original floppy discs were 8" across, and somewhat more difficult to post.


    [grumble]They were also shitty frisbees - no decent aerodynamics whatsoever [/grumble].

    swordfishBob:
    someone else:
    is this an urban myth?

    No, people found all sorts of ways to wrongly insert these things. It was much more common than the more recent "coffee cup holder" incidents.


    I concur, that happened all the time.
  • LaurieF 2007-03-28 01:39
    Ken:
    I believe it could happen. I experienced first-hand a customer who, when asked to send "a copy of your data", mailed us a (paper) copy of the disk from the copy machine.


    It happened to me once too, when I asked one of my users to send me a copy of her 5 1/4" floppies in the mail. She must have been really puzzled, or impressed with my powers of interpretation, but the photocopies duly turned up a couple of days later.

    I rang up and explained what I really wanted - I could just see her turning bright red on the other end of the phone as she said, "Oh, I seeā€¦".

    So the real disks turned up, another couple of days later. Unfortunately it was an old-school copier, with a rather large electromagnetic field, and the disks had been fried. Oh.
  • Prashanth 2007-03-28 01:59
    This goes back to when I was in school, 7th grade. I was the only kid in my class with a PC at home but I had no good games to play. There was this other older guy who had a stack of games on 5 1/4"s from a computer training class he'd gone to, but no computer to play them on. Relishing the prospect of playing something other than POP and Test Drive, I called him over and he came with the games...wrapped in TIN FOIL! Turns out he kept his discs wrapped in foil and kept them in the SAFE at home...can anyone guess why?...







    A: (I kid you not!)..He wanted to keep them safe from viruses!!!! Oh boy! :)
  • Stef 2007-03-28 02:52
    igitur:
    'Bit off topic, but that's how many condoms are distributed here in South Africa. They staple them to a safe sex pamphlet!'

    Wow, I hope those condoms don't have lubricant, it would stain the pamphlet with the package punctured... (See some sarcasm here...)
  • tin 2007-03-28 03:29
    Some Random 5.25" floppy user:
    Tucked away in some box in the attic, I have a specialized tool designed to punch a notch with perfectly squared off corners, at the proper height from the top side of the disk.

    Figure if I wait another 10-15 years on that, I can sell it off to an antiques dealer.


    I'm onto a winner then... I've got at least 2 here. And I think there's another at work somewhere in the depths of the cupboards too.
  • Cian 2007-03-28 03:31
    Wouter:
    My colleague experienced almost the same situation. When helping a customer with an email attachment that could not be sent to a third party email address for some reason (probably blocked by our spam filter), he asked the customer to "zip the file and please mail it to me, so I can experiment with the file".
    A week later, we received a package by mail containing a Zip disk with the file on it.
    Now, I'm not sure if the issue was caused by the fact that my colleague is native Dutch and was speaking with an Irish customer, or that it was a discrepancy on a techical level..


    Having worked in IT in Ireland for a long time, Zip drives were endemic here in the mid-late 1990s, and theres a lot of non-technical people who wouldn't know what zip, as in to compress, meant. They would, however, know that their computer had a 'big expensive floppy drive' with "Zip" written on it. Something surprisingly similar happened to me...
  • slowtiger 2007-03-28 03:57
    I've seen some of this and even did it myself.

    MO-drives and Syquest 88 cartridges fit together much too good. I know, because I crammed the latter in the first once. Repair was expensive.

    Once I saw an Art Director explaining something at the workplace of a graphic designer. He was pointing at the screen with some pen. Unfortunately it was a permanent marker.

    An intern was asked to disassemble a couple of Mac workstations. His way of disconnecting the monitor cable from the computer was fast and effective: he just ripped it off. Since he forgot about the little screws, a bunch of graphic cards were ruined.
  • Alan 2007-03-28 05:13
    bstorer:

    Referencing Wikipedia should be just like Godwin's Law. If you do it, you automatically lose.

    I am aware that I lose.


    Yes, but "bstorers Law" doesn't have the same ring to it.
  • d.albuschat 2007-03-28 05:31
    Exactly the same happened to me a few months ago. I own a PSP and PSPs use "UMD"s as their optical medium. They're similar to mini-Discs as they are discs inside of a (semi-)square protection boxing. Well, my older sister wanted to play this game and nearly ripped apart the UMD. I had to tape it later on, but fortunately it still worked.
  • d.albuschat 2007-03-28 05:31
    Exactly the same happened to me a few months ago. I own a PSP and PSPs use "UMD"s as their optical medium. They're similar to mini-Discs as they are discs inside of a (semi-)square protection boxing. Well, my older sister wanted to play this game and nearly ripped apart the UMD. I had to tape it later on, but fortunately it still worked.
  • Amadan 2007-03-28 06:11
    [quote=Joachim Otahal]You wouldn't have needed the new index hole for C64/1541 and later (includes PC) hardware, they all used soft-sectored formatting for their disks.[/quote]

    Not the index hole. The write-protect hole, the square thingy on the plastic cover, that you could tape over with a little label to make the disk write-only, and which was not punched on "single-sided" disks - making the unused side unusable by write-protecting it at the hardware level, until you un-write-protected it with a bit of scissor work, or a hole puncher.

    captcha: dreadlocks. dreadful locking system? heeh...
  • Anonymous 2007-03-28 06:25
    ben curthoys:
    i used to have a single sided 5 1/4 inch drive, and a stack of double sided disks.

    so i would open the casing, carefully put the floppy to one side, cut a new "write protect" notch with scissors, drill a new index hole, put the floppy part back in, sellotape the sides down, and then use both sides of the disk by putting it in "upsidedown" when i wanted the other side. double the storage space for free.

    and it worked.
    Oh! How I miss those lovely days! :)
    punissuer:

    Not sure I would call that free. If the disks were marked DS or "Double Sided", then you probably paid extra for them.

    Yes, but that's still cheaper than two single-sided diskettes. So, while the storage capacity other side is not entirely free, it's discounted already! And you save space, too!
  • Anonymous 2007-03-28 06:26
    Ken:

    I believe it could happen. I experienced first-hand a customer who, when asked to send "a copy of your data", mailed us a (paper) copy of the disk from the copy machine. (I'd say "Xerox[tm] copy", but it may not have been a Xerox, and I don't want any trouble with trademark police.)

    This non-native speaker of English calls that a "photocopy".
  • Anonymous 2007-03-28 06:27
    ParkinT:
    It's sort of like "the old days" when we listened to music on CDs with grooves in them!

    What? You mean vinyl records? We don't call them CDs.
  • Heinz Gorgon 2007-03-28 06:54
    s|k:
    Can you idiots stop with the captcha yet? WE ALL KNOW ALL OF THE WORDS ALREADY. But thank you, thank you for sharing, truly our days are better off. Nobody cares what your damn captcha is.


    Look, now you've created more noise than all captcha signatures combined. You xevious person!

    Challenge: use the captcha word in your post. It doesn't have to make sense.

    Perhaps this will placate s|k. Perhaps it will drive him mad. We have fun anyway.
  • ben curthoys 2007-03-28 06:56
    Joachim Otahal:
    ben curthoys:
    used to have a single sided 5 1/4 inch drive, and a stack of double sided disks.

    so i would open the casing, carefully put the floppy to one side, cut a new "write protect" notch with scissors, drill a new index hole, put the floppy part back in, sellotape the sides down, and then use both sides of the disk by putting it in "upsidedown" when i wanted the other side. double the storage space for free.


    You wouldn't have needed the new index hole for C64/1541 and later (includes PC) hardware, they all used soft-sectored formatting for their disks.
    So the Computer you talk about must been WAY before C64 time when it needed the extra index hole. Or you did the hole for nothing *g*.

    Joachim


    it was for a bbc model b micro. the day that i *got* a disk drive and didn't have to wait for the tapes to load was a big day =). i think i was about 8.
  • snoofle 2007-03-28 08:28
    Somewhat off topic but related w.r.t. stupid users...

    My brother had a nearly original PC/XT (4mhz, 64K ram), and after a while, found that it was too slow. He asked that I make it faster. I bought one of those 6mhz upgrade-cpu kits, and proceeded to dismember the PC so as to be able to get at the CPU. After it was done, I decided to test the box before reattaching everything. Of course, sitting in the middle of the empty desk was the original CPU. My brother saw it and asked what it was. I paused and looked at it with a "?" on my face, and after a moment, decreed that it must be "extra" as there was no place inside the PC to insert it, then turned on the box and everything worked.

    He insisted that I put it back in the PC because we shouldn't have "extra" parts.... I tossed it into the bottom of the case (in front of him), sealed it up and refused to work on it further. He was having fits and couldn't understand how the PC worked with the extra part not yet installed.

    *sighs*
  • moe 2007-03-28 08:42
    s|k:
    Can you idiots stop with the captcha yet? WE ALL KNOW ALL OF THE WORDS ALREADY. But thank you, thank you for sharing, truly our days are better off. Nobody cares what your damn captcha is.


    He didn't get a captcha :(

    captcha: grumpy - sounds like someone has a case of the mondays!
  • Dave 2007-03-28 08:49
    I have been in software development for 20 years and have had lots of things happen to me personally. The stories discussed on this thread are true and have happened to me. Some of them are ridiculous but these were in the days when most people didn't even know what a PC was, and most didn't care.

    Many years ago I had a customer who used to send me daily photocopies of 5 1/4 floppy disks as off site backups of their system.

    Another customer open a 5 1/4 floppy with a pair of scissors and then fed the round disk out of the middle into the drive, and rang us to complain that the disk didn't work.

    Another customer, a teacher at a school, repositioned all the keys on the keyboard into alphabetical order so the children could find them easier. And then rang us to complain that when she presses the "A" key she gets a "Q" instead.

    An office manager once asked me how he was supposed to type with a mouse.

    and a cleaner at one company I worked at really did unplug the server to plug in her vaccuum cleaner every night.

    CHEERS
  • jtwine 2007-03-28 08:57
    > My personal favourite is the user who forced two 3 1/2"
    > disks in the drive at the same time as he was only
    > prompted to "insert disk 2" instead of "remove disk 1
    > then insert disk 2"

    Not a myth - been there, done that. Was a first I.T. experience where I was interning (high school) in a support capacity at a company. The machine in question was a NEC 286-class machine with the larger 5 1/4" drives (not the half height, lower profile ones).

    I was doing a WordPerfect upgrade (IIRC), and there were a couple of machine that were not connected to the Netware network (using 10Base-2, BTW :). One of which had a screen reader/magnifier for a visually impared user.

    Background: back then, a user called themselves a Power User if they could plug in their own serial mouse, install the driver for it, and successfully get a solid-rectangle cursor block moving around the screen in DOS.

    After upgrading the Network File Server's version, I was about to upgrade this user's system when they insisted in doing it themselves. Being close to lunch time, I figured "why not?" and left the disks with them.

    Upon returning from lunch, I had a message (I do not remember if it was VM, or an email via cc:Mail or Right Hand Man) that went something like this:

    Uh, hi. This is Xxxxxx. I am trying to get the upgrade working but it is failing. When it asked for the second disc, I put it in but it kept asking for the disc. I tried the third disc but it would not go. Please come down when you have a minute.

    Knowing that the "third disc would not go" part was a bad sign, I heading right down to find that indeed, upgrade discs 1 and 2 were both in the drive at the same time. They actually fit it with little trouble - none of the discs were bent or kinked in any way and still worked.

    After completing the upgrade (myself, of course), I returned upstairs and told my manager what had happened. While both laughing and being quite upset, he basically yelled at me telling me that I should never leave a user along in a situation like this, because they could do far more harm than good.

    Lesson learned.
  • captcha? who cares 2007-03-28 09:04
    ben curthoys:
    i used to have a single sided 5 1/4 inch drive, and a stack of double sided disks.

    so i would open the casing, carefully put the floppy to one side, cut a new "write protect" notch with scissors, drill a new index hole, put the floppy part back in, sellotape the sides down, and then use both sides of the disk by putting it in "upsidedown" when i wanted the other side. double the storage space for free.

    and it worked.


    Ah yeah, those were the days, I used to do the same thing for my C64.....well after we upgraded from tape to disks that was.

    Damn you C64, its you who I blame for getting me into this mess.... i coulda been a lawyer, or an accountant, or ...
  • Loopy 2007-03-28 09:11
    s|k:
    Can you idiots stop with the captcha yet? WE ALL KNOW ALL OF THE WORDS ALREADY. But thank you, thank you for sharing, truly our days are better off. Nobody cares what your damn captcha is.


    It honestly makes me insane.
  • Guy Geens 2007-03-28 09:41
    A friend of mine told me this:

    The user left a 3.5" floppy on the dashboard of her car. Outside in the sun.

    When she came back, the case had deformed and the floppy would no longer fit into the drive. She called the help desk, where my friend tried to figure out what was wrong. (The user referred to the floppy as "the plastic thing that goes into the computer".) Eventually, my friend went to her desk and told her she lost her work.

    Later, I told this story to another friend. He claimed to have encountered a similar situation. Only, he didn't give up at that point.

    He carefully disassembled a working floppy,"transplanted" the inner disc and glued it all back together. He actually recovered the data.

    Those were the days - when the data stored on a single floppy was worth enough to go through all that trouble.
  • Captcha Captcha Captcha Captcha Captcha Captcha Captcha Captcha 2007-03-28 09:41
    Instructional Tutorial on Proper Procedure to Quote Captcha

    Don't simply say: Captcha: xxx; this is boring.

    Instead, say something like:
    Captch: gotcha (really!) (note the levity and irony)

    God I love this forum
  • Been there done that don't care any more 2007-03-28 09:44
    Guy Geens:
    A friend of mine told me this:

    The user left a 3.5" floppy on the dashboard of her car. Outside in the sun.

    When she came back, the case had deformed and the floppy would no longer fit into the drive. She called the help desk, where my friend tried to figure out what was wrong. (The user referred to the floppy as "the plastic thing that goes into the computer".) Eventually, my friend went to her desk and told her she lost her work.

    Later, I told this story to another friend. He claimed to have encountered a similar situation. Only, he didn't give up at that point.

    He carefully disassembled a working floppy,"transplanted" the inner disc and glued it all back together. He actually recovered the data.

    Those were the days - when the data stored on a single floppy was worth enough to go through all that trouble.


    Or that we didn't know any better... Truthfully, is any data on any medium of any level of technology every really worth the effort? Haven't you folks ever simply ignored some urgent requirement because of <whatever> reason, and given some time, the urgency dissipated and nobody actually cared?
  • Galelasa 2007-03-28 10:01
    Prashanth:
    This goes back to when I was in school, 7th grade. I was the only kid in my class with a PC at home but I had no good games to play. There was this other older guy who had a stack of games on 5 1/4"s from a computer training class he'd gone to, but no computer to play them on. Relishing the prospect of playing something other than POP and Test Drive, I called him over and he came with the games...wrapped in TIN FOIL! Turns out he kept his discs wrapped in foil and kept them in the SAFE at home...can anyone guess why?...


    A: (I kid you not!)..He wanted to keep them safe from viruses!!!! Oh boy! :)


    I thought you were going to say he was afraid the aliens would scan his data... ;-)
  • Not A Robot 2007-03-28 10:31
    Hmm, I seem to recall this urban myth from the times when people still used 5.25" floppies - it came in a selection of stories, including the one about the secretary who folded the disks for carrying, and the one who stapled the instructions to the disk...

    Anyway, there I was, making corrections to a 200 card batch with an 80-hole card punch, when suddenly...

    Punched tape made good roaches back in the day...
  • Metalstorm 2007-03-28 11:04
    Reminds me of when I was doing tech support in a call center, someone called in because the software asked them to enter their credit card, they changed their mind and wanted their card back.

    Was basically thinking WTF?, after a while realized she stuck the credit card in the 3 1/2 drive and couldnt get it out.
  • dolo54 2007-03-28 11:28
    I have an opposite tale. As a young intern of 18 I was working for a business graphics company. They had this huge project stored on a bournoulli (sp?) drive which I had really seen before. The woman who was working on the project starts yelling "f&*# the disk won't read! the job is corrupt! we're f@#!ed!!!" so I go over as I was already kinda the junior fixit guy around there. I take a look at the disk which is covered in a hard shell and ask "how does this work?" she replies "it's a magnetic optical drive." I think "optical huh?" and then slide open the small covered slot for the reader. sure enough it looks like a cd inside. well being familiar with cds I think maybe there's some dirt on the disk, so I proceed to turn the disk inside the case and sure enough I see the offending smudge. I then took my SHIRT and wiped it off. well the woman sees this and is like "NOOOOOO what are you doing?" but it was too late. the deed was done. I say "try it now." and sure enough the data was recovered and everything worked like a charm. dumbfounded she says slowly "wow... uh, I would have never in a million years thought to do that."
  • dolo54 2007-03-28 11:29
    "never really seen before."
  • KingNetSurfer 2007-03-28 11:38
    the sad thing is this guy did exactly what he was told, insert the disk labeled Windows XP Professional CD-ROM into Drive A: Press ENTER when ready

    I give this guy an A for following directions,
    I give Micro$loth a Lawsuit for misdirection
  • [twisti] 2007-03-28 12:22
    Open one side up, take out disk internals (the round thing!) and put in CD/DVD. Due to the padding inside the old floppy disks, your CD/DVDs will always be safe and even clean! It's like having a case that polishes your CD/DVD. And it's damn space efficient.

    captcha: onomatopoeia (wtf?)
  • el jaybird 2007-03-28 13:12
    Loopy:
    s|k:
    Can you idiots stop with the captcha yet? WE ALL KNOW ALL OF THE WORDS ALREADY. But thank you, thank you for sharing, truly our days are better off. Nobody cares what your damn captcha is.


    It honestly makes me insane.


    A nice drink of cognac ought to make you feel better.
  • mnature 2007-03-28 13:43
    Some Random 5.25" floppy user:
    Tucked away in some box in the attic, I have a specialized tool designed to punch a notch with perfectly squared off corners, at the proper height from the top side of the disk.

    Figure if I wait another 10-15 years on that, I can sell it off to an antiques dealer.


    But only a few of us even know what it is just by looking at it. I must have two or three of those. I visualize a time, after I pass away, when my children will be going through boxes of archaic computer hardware, holding up something, and asking the rest if they know what it is. Then everyone falling to the floor laughing when someone identifies it as something like a floppy notch puncher.

    Why, oh why, do we hold on to this stuff?

    I do remember a time when Macintosh owners couldn't function unless they had a straightened paper clip handy . . .
  • Joachim Otahal 2007-03-28 14:35
    Hm, mix index and write enable hole...
    [quote user="Amadan"]Not the index hole. The write-protect hole....[/quote]

    You are funny, I talked about the index hole, just like Ben Curthoys did:
    [quote user="ben curthoys]so i would open the casing, carefully put the floppy to one side, cut a new "write protect" notch with scissors, drill a new index hole[/quote]

    Read his his comment.

    Check this:

    Middle large hole: That is where the motor holds the disk. 5 millimeters right of the hole you see a small hole in the casing, that is the index hole. The magnetic disk itself has a hole too which you can see when turning it inside the case, very old machines use that to know when to write a sector. That is not the write-enable cutout which is at the corner.

    And now please somebody tell my why quoting preview doesn't work :).
  • Loren Pechtel 2007-03-28 18:48
    It's definitely not an urban legend. Back in the days of 5 1/4" disks I saw it a couple of times in the computer lab.
  • muttonchop 2007-03-28 20:08
    Prashanth:
    This goes back to when I was in school, 7th grade. I was the only kid in my class with a PC at home but I had no good games to play. There was this other older guy who had a stack of games on 5 1/4"s from a computer training class he'd gone to, but no computer to play them on. Relishing the prospect of playing something other than POP and Test Drive, I called him over and he came with the games...wrapped in TIN FOIL! Turns out he kept his discs wrapped in foil and kept them in the SAFE at home...can anyone guess why?...







    A: (I kid you not!)..He wanted to keep them safe from viruses!!!! Oh boy! :)


    Many years ago, a friend's dad wouldn't let him install a game he'd borrowed from me in case it had caught a virus from my computer.

    It was on a CD.
  • Ward Cooke 2007-03-28 21:00
    With regards to copying floppy diskettes, a friend likes to tell this story.

    Back in the 90s the company he was working for was running an expensive proprietary product of some description and they needed technical support. Unfortunately, the company that supplied the product was unwilling to supply support unless they could show they had paid for it, and due to a glitch of some sort my friend's company wasn't appearing as a paid customer in the database.

    So the tech suggested, "If you can find the first installation diskette for our product, make a photocopy of it, and fax that copy to us, we'll be able to read the serial number off the label and take that as confirmation you're a customer. Then we'll be happy to help you."

    So my friend found the diskettes and walked the fisrt one to the copier. Just as he was putting in on the glass, his boss walked by and asked, "What are you doing?"

    His reply: "Oh, I'm just making a copy of this diskette."

    CAPTCHA: onomatopoeia. Lovely place; I'd like to visit it again some time.
  • RichardJ 2007-03-28 21:17
    Reminds me of one of our customers back in the days of 8 inch floppy disks. They kept a backup copy of the data in a cash box but because it wouldn't fit they folded it!
  • Michael G. 2007-03-28 21:20
    That's what we old time hackers call a "naked floppy." You get a point if you've ever booted one, which I have. (See question 356 at http://www.sthl.org/subscribe/hacker.html).

    The trick to booting a naked floppy is:

    1. Don't bend the disk when extracting it from the plastic sleeve.

    2. Do not touch the surface of the floppy with your fingers.

    3. Insert the empty sleeve or another disk into the drive to move the spring insert mechanism out of the way if needed (this may not work in all drives). This step is not necessary if you use an old Shugart mechanism such as an original Apple Disk II, which is the drive I have successfully booted a naked floppy on.

    4. Carefully slide in the naked floppy, hope you center it well.

    5. Close the drive door and boot it.

  • Zzyyx 2007-03-28 21:24
    In the mid-80's, I worked in the R&D division of a multinational engineering firm. We were among the first in the company to use an electronic design CAD suite, and offered training to other divisions. As is typical with CAD programs, the most common commands were assigned directly to the F1-F12 function keys, with other common commands accessed by meta + fkey combinations. Mounted just above the function keys on the workstation keyboards were thin plastic "cheat card" holders with decks of ruler shaped cards listing command bindings for various programs. The top row of each card listed command bindings for the straight function keys, the middle row showed Ctrl + fkey bindings, and the bottom row showed Alt + fkey bindings.

    At one training course, a co-instructor and I noticed an older guy coming unglued with frustration at a workstation. My colleague and I walked over to assist and observed the individual furiously stabbing his finger into various labeled rectangular areas on the cardboard cheat sheet. When my colleague asked what was wrong, the guy retorted angrily that the "function keyboard" was broken on that workstation.

    My colleague did an admirable job keeping a straight face long enough to instruct the gentleman on the fine points of function key use. We managed to get to our office down the hall and close the door before hitting the floor, contorted in laughter.

  • Kuba 2007-03-28 23:41
    iToad:
    As God is my witness, I actually saw somebody fasten an 8" floppy to a steel filing cabinet with a magnet. At least when I mentioned that this wasn't a good idea, the person responsible instantly understood why.


    I tried it with a 5.25" HD floppy once just for the fun, and nothing happened. It was a cabinet-style rectangular magnet like you'd find in cabinet door latches. I used to keep the floppy "posted" on the fridge that way. I remember my dad being scared, since it was an important floppy. I told him that even though the sleeve says not to, it doesn't hurt. That floppy had been sitting on the fridge, taken off almost every other day, for more than a year. It got some bad sectors in the end, but this was simply due to lots of use, not due to the magnet.

    AFAIK, there is no permanent magnet out there that will do *anything* to current generation of hard drives. Even if you'd open the drive in a clean room and touch the magnet to the platter. Nothing will happen. The permanent magnets are an order of magnitude (at least) too weak to have much effect.
  • Kuba 2007-03-28 23:43
    Abscissa:
    Maclee:
    This really reminds me of this image:



    It's hard to tell for certain due to the image's resolution and compression artifacts, but I could swear that screen says to insert the CD "into drive A:". Which, of course, is equally funny.


    Dude, that's like the whole point, DUH!
  • Kuba 2007-03-29 00:02
    Joachim Otahal:
    ben curthoys:

    so i would open the casing, carefully put the floppy to one side, cut a new "write protect" notch with scissors, drill a new index hole, put the floppy part back in, sellotape the sides down, and then use both sides of the disk by putting it in "upsidedown" when i wanted the other side. double the storage space for free.


    You wouldn't have needed the new index hole for C64/1541 and later (includes PC) hardware, they all used soft-sectored formatting for their disks.


    Hmm, AFAIR soft sectoring still needed the index hole to know where to start 1st sector. Hard sectoring would use multiple index holes. 3.5" disks do it by mechanically aligning spindle (with an index sensor) to the medium's hub.
  • Mario 2007-03-29 02:19
    Are you proud of that? Everyone that had a Commodore 64 or 128 with a disk drive did that.

    Well, we either simply cut the whole - the disk is far enough-, or used a "5.25 floppy disk hole maker".
  • Michael G. 2007-03-29 02:40
    Mario:
    Are you proud of that? Everyone that had a Commodore 64 or 128 with a disk drive did that.

    Well, we either simply cut the whole - the disk is far enough-, or used a "5.25 floppy disk hole maker".


    A standard single-hole punch worked well, too. Just punch a half-circle. If you missed and were a bit off, just take another bite, so to speak.

    Also, regarding the index hole that the OP mentioned: Many systems didn't even use the single-hole for lining up sector 1. The Apple II was that way. When it formatted the disk, it simply put the sectors wherever they landed on the disk. When it subsequently read from/wrote to the disk, it looked for the header of the correct sector.
  • Michael G. 2007-03-29 02:43
    Kuba:
    iToad:
    As God is my witness, I actually saw somebody fasten an 8" floppy to a steel filing cabinet with a magnet. At least when I mentioned that this wasn't a good idea, the person responsible instantly understood why.


    I tried it with a 5.25" HD floppy once just for the fun, and nothing happened. It was a cabinet-style rectangular magnet like you'd find in cabinet door latches. I used to keep the floppy "posted" on the fridge that way. I remember my dad being scared, since it was an important floppy. I told him that even though the sleeve says not to, it doesn't hurt. That floppy had been sitting on the fridge, taken off almost every other day, for more than a year. It got some bad sectors in the end, but this was simply due to lots of use, not due to the magnet.

    AFAIK, there is no permanent magnet out there that will do *anything* to current generation of hard drives. Even if you'd open the drive in a clean room and touch the magnet to the platter. Nothing will happen. The permanent magnets are an order of magnitude (at least) too weak to have much effect.


    Oh yeah? Hold a strong magnet close to the platters of a spinning hard drive and see what happens...
  • Maarten 2007-03-29 05:39
    It truly amazes me that nobody spotted the real WTF... It is in those 2 lines:

    Brian: OK, I got the disk, what do I do now?
    Robert: Take the disk out of the mailer and place it in the drive.

    Something makes me believe that Brian already took the disk out of the mailer, so Robert should have instructed him just to place it in the drive.
  • Mike Wilson 2007-03-29 06:13
    Some time around 1979 I asked a client to post me a copy of their disk (8 inch floppy) so I could investigate a problem. It arrived in the mail with a complement clip stapled to it. Another time a client mailed a floppy folded in half to fit the envelope.
  • Anonymous 2007-03-29 06:33
    Michael G.:
    Kuba:

    AFAIK, there is no permanent magnet out there that will do *anything* to current generation of hard drives. Even if you'd open the drive in a clean room and touch the magnet to the platter. Nothing will happen. The permanent magnets are an order of magnitude (at least) too weak to have much effect.


    Oh yeah? Hold a strong magnet close to the platters of a spinning hard drive and see what happens...

    It sucks! :D
  • Sockatume 2007-03-29 09:02
    un.sined:

    All these stories of people inserting multiple floppies into a drive remind me of my kids and the Wii... I routinely have to extract multiple CD's from it...


    That shouldn't be possible. On my Wii, at least, a pair of plastic shutters come down and close off the disk slot as soon as a disk is inserted. And I doubt you could force a disk past them without breaking the disk and/or shoving huge shards of broken shutter into the drive.
  • Douglas 2007-03-29 14:06
    no fucking way dude! i am rather young and i still know what 5&frac14; inch disks looked like. Heck my first computer had two of them, and no hard drive! Eesh kids these days!
  • Darwin 2007-03-29 17:00
    Abscissa:
    Maclee:
    This really reminds me of this image:

    (You've all seen the image several times already.)


    It's hard to tell for certain due to the image's resolution and compression artifacts, but I could swear that screen says to insert the CD "into drive A:". Which, of course, is equally funny.


    Not quite so funny, since the image is obviously staged. There's no way the CD would break like that if you were just trying to shove it in the wrong drive.

    Someone had to intentionally break it with their hands, and then place it in the mouth of the 3.5in drive for the photo. If the broken CD is staged, it's quite possible that the text on the screen is fake, too.

    Captcha: withheld to preserve the sanity of sensitive forum participants

  • punissuer 2007-03-29 18:27
    Anonymous:
    ben curthoys:
    i used tohave a single sided 5 1/4 inch drive, and a stack of double sided disks.

    so i would open the casing, carefully put the floppy to one side, cut a new "write protect" notch with scissors, drill a new index hole, put the floppy part back in, sellotape the sides down, and then use both sides of the disk by putting it in "upsidedown" when i wanted the other side. double the storage space for free.

    and it worked.
    Oh! How I miss those lovely days! :)
    punissuer:
    Not sure I would call that free. If the disks were marked DS or "Double Sided", then you probably paid extra for them.
    Yes, but that's still cheaper than two single-sided diskettes. So, while the storage capacity other side is not entirely free, it's discounted already! And you save space, too!
    But you could flip and notch "single-sided" disks too. Correct me if I'm wrong, but the only difference (besides the price) between DS disks and SS disks was that the DS disks had been scanned for defects on both sides instead of just the top. The bottoms of SS disks were usually good enough to use--they just hadn't been certified.
  • Fisher 2007-03-30 08:40
    igitur:

    Bit off topic, but that's how many condoms are distributed here in South Africa. They staple them to a safe sex pamphlet!


    PMSL
  • RedMercury 2007-03-30 12:38
    Okay, so I was believing it right up until where it mentioned "Mailer". That is an American term and is not used in the U.K.