• Hakko (unregistered)

    My Machine is Frist

  • JustSomeDudette (unregistered)

    I dread to think what insights Mr. Lasco was offering people as a consultant.

  • Martin (unregistered)

    So he lacked years of updates? And the software was still usable for his needs?

    Impossible.

  • ggeens (nodebb)

    Floppies that fit between the cracks? That would be 5 1/4" disks - unusual for the '90s.

    The real WTF is the user "installing" dozens of updates, never realising the application remains the same.

  • djingis1 (unregistered) in reply to ggeens

    Then again, the system was outdated in the 70's.

  • Ron Fox (google)

    That's a re-branding of the old "The cup holder on my computer doesn't work"...that and using turkey basters full of butter to lubricate a stuck floppy.

  • Conspirator (unregistered)

    Outdated by the 70's and yet it took floppies? That doesn't make sense. Also, Lasco never paid for anything, but his company had a big contract with them. Which was it? Those two claims are contradictory.

  • map (unregistered)

    TRWTF is that they sent a software engineer for a supposed hardware problem.

  • Remy Porter (google) in reply to Conspirator

    Spoken like someone who's never worked support. The company had a contract, and that contract probably included a certain number of support calls. Lasco refused to draw from that pool, and the software vendor didn't want to rock the boat, and thus threw their support staff under the bus and just said, "Deal with him, don't charge them for it." Happens all the time.

  • Foo AKA Fooo (unregistered) in reply to ggeens

    It is possible with 3.5" disks. We once managed to insert a disk into a synthesizer. We couldn't reproduce how exactly it happened (there wasn't exactly a big gap between the disk drive and the casing, but apparently just big enough if you pushed the disk with some force), but we had to open the thing to get the disk out again. (Only one disk, though.)

  • Foo AKA Fooo (unregistered) in reply to ggeens

    Also, what were all his previous support calls about, if he never actually did any updates, and more interestingly, what were the resolutions (that made noone in Darren's company notice no updates had been applied)?

  • The_Dark_Lord (nodebb) in reply to ggeens

    In the early 90s my situation was exactly this. The software company would send updates on dozens of 5 1/4" floppies. Every year I sent back a box full of them. Then we could choose to get 3 1/2" floppies instead. We got our first ISDN link to that new-fangled Internet thingy in 1994, we were early adopters. Still took a least 2 years before we could get updates from a FTP server.

    Also in 1991, I installed Novell Netware 2.15 from 23 floppies. Sitting on the floor between the server and the printer, INSERT UTILS 1, INSERT SYSTEM 1, INSERT LAN DRIVERS 2, INSERT UTILS 13 ...

  • The_Dark_Lord (nodebb) in reply to ggeens

    In the early 90s my situation was exactly this. The software company would send updates on dozens of 5 1/4" floppies. Every year I sent back a box full of them. Then we could choose to get 3 1/2" floppies instead. We got our first ISDN link to that new-fangled Internet thingy in 1994, we were early adopters. Still took a least 2 years before we could get updates from a FTP server.

    Also in 1991, I installed Novell Netware 2.15 from 23 floppies. Sitting on the floor between the server and the printer, INSERT UTILS 1, INSERT SYSTEM 1, INSERT LAN DRIVERS 2, INSERT UTILS 13 ...

  • The_Dark_Lord (nodebb)

    No idea why the double-post.

  • just me (unregistered) in reply to Foo AKA Fooo

    I have vague memories of this happening repeatedly with old macs (the beige Motorola-era ones) which had the appropriate slit in the case but no actual floppy drive behind the slit.

  • kurkosdr (nodebb)

    "I dread to think what insights Mr. Lasco was offering people as a consultant."

    In several fine financial institutions, the basic requirement for the job of "consultant" is to be able to dupe pension funds into buying "AAA" rated paper that consists of a few good loans at the top tranches and junk bonds and underperforming car loans all the way down, while keeping a straight face.

    (for before year 2007, replace "underperforming car loans" with "underperforming mortgages")

    Addendum 2017-04-11 09:33: Oh, I just noticed it was an insurance company. In those kind of institutions, the job of a consultant primary revolves around selling bogus insurance for the aforementioned "AAA" rated paper to pension funds, while keeping a straight face.

  • Bananafish (nodebb)

    That's not bad. From 2000-2007, our ERP issued updates in the form of patches that had to be manually edited into existing code. They went something like "At line 17 of paragraph 2000-OPEN-DBFILE insert the following code" and "Modify the seventh occurrence of 'TOTAL=SUB-TOTAL + BALANCE[I]' to read 'TOTAL=SUB-TOTAL + BALANCE[I] + ADDL-RATE[I]'. If you missed a patch, half of these were impossible to apply because the paragraph only contained 12 lines or there were only 14 occurrences of that line. It took hours and sometimes days to apply patches.

    I would have been happy to play with floppies. Or cassette tape, even - and I mean the Commodore kind, not QIC cartridges!

    Addendum 2017-04-11 09:49: At my insistence (asking about it not less than 6 times at every user group meeting I attended for 7 years) we now have an automated patch utility, in case y'all were wondrin'

  • Gumpy Gus (unregistered)

    Could have been worse. Long ago, Zenith sold a "Z-100" which was a 8080 and 8088 machine. Memory is vague but I think Heath/Zenith licensed MSDOS and called it "ZDOS". They wrote their own ZDOS installer that would ask for "ZDOS Disk #1" (which had a label on it "ZDOS Disk #0"). Then it waited for you to insert the diskette into the floppy drive and push down the door latch. The installer waited for you to press the "Y" key. This repeated for all 14 floppies. The installer if it saw an input other than a "Y" would abort the installation process. Unfortunately when you pushed down the floppy latch if your finger went down another 1.4 inch it would press the keyboard "F7" key which would abort installations right then and there. Not good times.

  • Nagesh (unregistered)

    Mr Lasco is a fan in INDIA.

  • WizGnome (unregistered)

    I had almost exactly the same thing happen to me in the late 80's I had sent out several update discs to a customer with the usual instructions on inserting them one by one. I received a call from the customer saying they were having trouble removing the discs after inserting them. After spending a while on the phone talking the process through with the customer, they informed me that my instructions were not quite right as the eject button did not work and they had to remove the lid off the computer and reach inside to remove them..........................

  • operagost (unregistered) in reply to just me

    I'm trying to figure out what Motorola has to do with Apple, and why there would be a slit with no floppy behind it. Every Mac from the 128K until the first iMac had a floppy drive. Are you confusing a MODEM with the system case? That's TRWTF.

  • Renneb (unregistered) in reply to operagost

    The old Mac SE had 2 slots for floppy disks, but the second drive was optional. Therefore you could have a slot without a drive behind it. As for the relationship with Motorola, the original Macs used the Motorola 68000.

  • Doo Shpag (unregistered) in reply to operagost

    http://lmgtfy.com/?q=apple+mac+motorola

  • linepro (unregistered)

    As I recall the original version WinNT 3.1 came on an insane amount of floppy disks....

  • Gus (unregistered) in reply to operagost

    The first generation of Macs used the Motorola 68xxx series of CPUs. The OP may have been thinking of some other computer with an unfortunately placed slot.

  • Klimax (unregistered) in reply to Martin

    Most likely poor support staff had their own diskettes and applied the update themselves.

  • Gurth (nodebb) in reply to linepro

    As I recall the original version WinNT 3.1 came on an insane amount of floppy disks....

    I don’t have a copy of that, but I happen to have two boxes of OS/2 of similar vintage, and one (OS/2 2.1) contains 20 disks, while the other (OS/2 3.00 Warp including “BonusPak") has 34.

  • Yazeran (unregistered) in reply to linepro

    Not to mention the first version of Win95 I got, it was some 25+ discs if recall correctly... Not fun to get to disc 22 and then have a read error....

    Yazeran

    Plan: To go to Mars one day with a hammer.

  • Anon (unregistered)

    "Mr. Lasco...could always be counted on to tie up some poor tech support rep's phone every time a new update went out".

    So, how did the previous support techs not clue in that he wasn't actually running the update?

  • Russell Judge (google) in reply to The_Dark_Lord

    It was the Internet, shuddering at your post.

  • Grandpa (unregistered)

    I heard this story way back at university in the early 90th

    My first Linux install (in 1995) used 40 3.5'' HD disks and it was only a subset of the complete install. CD drives just got into mainstream, but CD-R were too expensive.

  • Dave (unregistered) in reply to kurkosdr

    Neo-Nazi propaganda alert. Of course it's pure fantasy/delusion. The bonds in question were correctly tranched, and the AAA ones have not defaulted. In fact, only the bottom tranche, the junk-rated one, ever defaulted.

  • Dave (unregistered) in reply to Anon

    "So, how did the previous support techs not clue in that he wasn't actually running the update?"

    Because users lie. If they lie enough, without screen-sharing you may have some suspicions that they're not doing what they say, but you can't prove it and you don't care anyway as long as you manage to get them off the phone. Personally I'd always tell them to reboot their phone and call me back, and then get straight on an outgoing call to a proper client who actually wanted my help.

  • Zenith (unregistered) in reply to Ron Fox

    I know I've read this before...I think it's actually a DailyWTF story that's been recycled.

  • 2001 (unregistered)

    I've seen it in real life...computer classroom with NCR PC810s (Tanks!), plenty of room to slide a 5.25 floppy above or below the drive.

  • PTO (unregistered)

    So he calls in and shouts that it's saying ERROR 123, and the hell desk looks in their big book of books and sees that the fault was fixed in version he should have installed. And nobody says anything?

  • Sam (unregistered) in reply to ggeens

    Kids these days.. remember how 5 1/4"s are called minifloppies? The machine I'm thinking they're talking about is the IBM System/38. Looks exactly like a chest freezer with a screen on the top, uses 8-inch floppies. The floppies went into this autoloader cartridge so I can see if you didn't know where to put them, they'd fall deep into the bowels of the system. They made these systems until the late 80's before it got replaced by the AS/400.

  • jaja (unregistered)

    Good bar story. Not very believable though. First he calls after every update and then we learn he never even applies the updates in the first place?

  • Gurth (nodebb) in reply to Yazeran

    the first version of Win95 I got, it was some 25+ discs if recall correctly...

    Nah, nowhere near as bad. There’s only 13 disks in the Windows 95 Update box I bought new with the 486 machine I built at the time.

  • Kashim (unregistered)

    I have some serious trouble believing this. Not that a user wouldn't jam floppies in through a crack in the case. I totally believe that. I have trouble believing that the case would get to a state where it was "full" before one of the floppies hit a fan, jammed something, or just the mass of them made the machine overheat. I also have trouble believing that all of the floppies would still work and be good after all that time, allowing the engineer to sort them out and install them. Considering the number of floppies I had go bad during the 90s, I expect at least 10% of them would be corrupt or demagged, especially being inside a computer cabinet all that time.

  • Flammable Chicken (unregistered)

    I've heard variants of this story before, and I call BS on this particular instance, as it fails the logic of it's own narrative. Potential plot holes include:

    • Lasco would have called about the first failed update (since trying to run 'UPDATE' would have resulted in a disk read error as the real disk drive would have been empty). Reporting of previous errors is also directly implied by "the damned update worn't work - again!"
    • Since 'UPDATE' wasn't being successfully called, the update program wouldn't have asked for the subsequent disks in the update package. Thus, only the first disk of each update would end up in the machine, not all of them. (If there was a hundred disks in there, at one update package per month, this would account for 8 years of updates; a "few hundred" would be considerably more)
    • Lasco states that he is "losing money" as a result of the "failed update". How was he not already losing money from all of the other "failed updates"?
  • I dunno LOL ¯\(°_o)/¯ (unregistered) in reply to Grandpa

    Back in the late '90s, when CD-R was still not cheap yet, I was using Slackware for my Linux needs, if only because it had a floppy install process.

    3 1/2" HD floppies weren't very reliable anymore by that time (the generic disks in boxes of 25 at the office supplies store), and I would always have errors reading floppies that I had just written from another computer (the one with the images downloaded to the hard drive), but at least I could just write it again. 720K/800K DSDD disks were a lot more reliable.

  • Dan (unregistered) in reply to I dunno LOL ¯\(°_o)/¯

    Another fun one was the 1.44MB floppy that would be formatted on one system and completely unreadable on the other. As I discovered long after the computer had been obsoleted, the controller card still had the jumper for the HD 3.5" drive set on HD 5.25". <face palm=""> I suspect that several machines I've had to work with had been upgraded this way. &quot;Hey, it can read what it wrote, so it can't be this machine's fault&quot;<p> <p>But yeah I had the same experience with the 1.44's too. Some failed just fresh out of the box. Then we switched to Zip drives. Then those started failing pretty quickly. Fortunately, CD-Rs became a thing. But then the drive would fail in strange ways, the least bad being that only the drive that wrote the CD-R could read it.</p> <p>So far thumb drives are working well though.</p> </face>

  • Dan (unregistered)

    Haha, love what this board did thanks to the "HTML tag".

  • Ulysses (unregistered)

    Hey Rachel, can I get that on a floppy I can promptly place onto my PSU?

    Didn't think so.

  • markm (unregistered) in reply to ggeens

    "That would be 5-1/4" disks"

    More likely, it would be 8" floppies, which were usual for 1970's "mini-computers". They were like larger and floppier 5-1/4 disks, and if the panels didn't quite fit, you certainly could slip them through the cracks.

  • markm (unregistered) in reply to Sam

    Yes, that's the sort of computer that the OP described, although I'm not familiar with the IBM model. If we're talking about a system from around 1970, there are no "servers", just mainframes (which occupied a whole large room) and "mini-computers" (which started out bigger than a refrigerator, and eventually came down smaller than a chest freezer); some other examples from the late 60's and the 70's were the DEC PDP-8 and PDP-11, and the Data General Nova. These used 8" floppies where a mainframe might use reel-to-reel tape and removeable hard disk packs for storage and punch cards for input. The PDP-8 and Nova were still in use in the 90's as controllers for ICT (in-circuit testers); I recall paying $500 for to replace a 5MB (???) PDP-8 hard drive, at a time when a 500MB hard drive for a PC cost about $100 - but we needed a drive with a long outmoded interface - and replacing a Nova with a PC containing an emulator card. Even now, I support five Z1800-series ICT machines. At least these use PC's, but the application appears to have been written in Borland Turbo C when they ported it from a minicomputer to DOS, and it can't run on any OS newer than Windows 98. But one "modern" tester broke down more and incurred higher maintenance costs than all five of the Z's, and we're still ordering new test fixtures and test programs for them.

  • markm (unregistered)

    What sounds fishiest about this to me is that it implies their 40+ year old minicomputers are still running. Some of these were very solid and reliable machines, but it's been a long, long time, and many parts have been out of production for 30 years. There is a time when it's cheaper to port your software to modern hardware than to continue repairing the old hardware, and I think we're long past that time.

  • James (unregistered)

    FAKE!

  • A newspaper It guy (unregistered) in reply to markm

    I have working Novell Netware network with 386 on server and seven 286 clients. There is still 4 regular users which use them because as they say "work much faster than Word". Clients boot in about 20 sec and is ready to typing. Other reason why this is still work is that we have extra space in building...so yes some old PC still work. Last problem with this was back around 2007 when I change disk on server (clone from old still workable disk).

Leave a comment on “My Machine Is Full”

Log In or post as a guest

Replying to comment #:

« Return to Article