Microsoft Vissa (from Mike Cook)
A couple years ago, after trying nearly everything to get my new Dell to work, I did the unthinkable. I called Dell's tech support. After giving the service tag and all that other jazz, I explained the problem to the technician.

"According to the BIOS," I said, "my computer has 4GB of RAM installed. But Vista Ultimate only shows 2GB."

"Hmm," the tech responded, "what is this Vissa software you are using?"

"Microsoft Vista Ultimate," I explained, "you know, the new Microsoft OS?"

The rep paused. "I'm sorry, we don't support third party software. But if you would like, I can help you restore your computer to its original state. Do you have your Dell Resource CD?"

"No, no," I countered, "this isn't third party software. It is the operating system that came with the computer when I purchased it from you."

"What is the software called again?"

"Microsoft Vista," I said slowly, "Ultimate Edition."

The rep put me on hold for a few minutes and returned several minutes later. "Where did you get this Vissa program? I will see if anyone here has heard of it."

"Well," I wasn't sure how to respond, "it's Microsoft's newest Operating System, and it is called Vista."

"Ooooh," the rep responded, "Vissa! Yes, I understand now."

I just waited for a moment.

"Well Mr. Mike," he said, "this is a problem with the Vissa software. We have notified Microsoft and they have informed us that you can not use more than 3GB of memory with this software. I suggest you uninstall it and install the XP Pro that came with your computer."

"But, my computer came with Vista Ultimate installed on it. It is less than two weeks old."

The technician seemed a little confused, "okay, but I can send you a copy of XP Pro?"

"No thank you," I said, "my friend bought the exact same PC, and his shows the 4GB in Vista, so I don't think it is a bug."

"I see. So is there anything else I can help you with, Mr. Mike?"

"I would really like to find out how to resolve this," I pleaded, "I read up a little on it on a website, but I cannot make changes to the BIOS with everything grayed out. I was hoping you could help me?"

"Unfortunately we don't offer support for other software like Bios and Vissa, but we can help you restore your system back to its original configuration if you would like?"

"No," I was started to get agitated, "I really would like see the 4GB in Vista."

Without even acknowledging my request, the rep said "so is there anything else I can help you with Mr. Mike?"

"But can't you tell me who else I could check with to try and find answer to this problem?"

In the same exact tone, the rep repeated "so is there anything else I can help you with Mr. Mike?"

I said no, and disconnected the call shortly thereafter.


But I Never Changed My Password! (from Billy Ray)
A user recently send this email to the support mail box. He was apparently having trouble logging into our production SAP system.


I'm new here (Emp#27263) and I can't get into my 
SAP account.

For the past two days, I've been inputting my SAP 
password (sunshine17), but it's not allowing me 
to enter.

This is the exact same password that I used with my 
previous employer (AMP Co), and they have SAP too. 
However, I'm constantly refused access.

Thank you,
Earle L------

I was so very tempted to ask him to contact his old employer for a password reset.


Support Yahoos (from Jonathan)
A few years ago, a common free email provider who we'll call "Yooha" had an outage on one of their load balanced email servers. Since it was only a problem on accounts tied to that server (and because I was in the middle of a fairly time sensitive transaction), I thought I'd send them a note about it in case they hadn't heard about the problem yet. Here is the text of my email:

----- Original Message ----
From: Jonathan Cortis 
To: [email protected]; 
Sent: Saturday, July 22, 2006 7:01:20 PM

Server is down and not responding to 
pings or requests. My wife's email account is always 
directed to that server, so she cannot check her mail. 
For reference, her username is redacted.

You might want to take that server out of the rotation.

Thank you,

I was quite surprised by their grateful response:

Wow, Jonathan.

Thanks for assessing a very complicated situation, and 
immediately coming up with a complete solution.

In fact, we have so little idea of what's going on 
over here, perhaps you can come on over and single-
handedly solve it for us.  

We'll get right on your commands, just as soon as we 
finish our donuts.

Oh, and after our week off, too.  And, then there's the 
matter of finding out which extension cord that is 
plugged into...

[email protected]

A Mute Point (from Sharon C)

After our Techical Support guy set up a DVD player and TV for a presentation in one of the conference rooms, the Admin staff member preparing for the event sent the following email to the Helpdesk.

Thanks for setting up the TV and DVD recorder. But 
the DVD must play as MUTE.  Please come upstairs 
before 4:00pm and press MUTE.


Hey, That's Ours! (from Jamey Westmoreland)

A few weeks ago, I had a server morning that had been giving me problems for a couple of days. My diagnosis: a failing mother board.

I knew the server was under support so I called up the Dell Computers. The tech asked the standard, "please tell us the express support code on the front," so I read back the number on the machine.

"Hmm," the tech responded, "that server is in our warehouse."

"No no," I said jovially, "I can assure you it's in my rack. I'm looking right at it."

"Oooooh," the rep said, "so, our records show that a refund was issued for this server and you used that refund to purchase a more powerful server."

"Huh," I was a bit confused.

"Yeah," he said, "you were suppose to ship that one back."

After some more back and forth, we realized that the exchange was supposed to happen fifteen months ago, which was right about the time my predecessor had left. It seemed he never bothered to process the return of the server, and when I arrived it was racked and ready to go. And somehow, it slipped through the cracks on Dell's end.

Understandably, the tech support guy said that he couldn't help me without a contract... or, for that matter, a server that they owned.

Fortunately, we were able to get a new server ordered right away, and this time, we actually owned it.

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