Ann Gordon
Moab, Utah

© 2006-2015
Gordon Computer, LLC


Technical Support and Virus Threat Stories

"No Smoke"

A guy rings tech support to report that his computer is faulty.

Tech:   "What's the problem?"
User:   "There is smoke coming out of the power supply."
Tech:   "You'll need a new power supply."
User:   "No I don't! I just need to change the startup files."
Tech:   "Sir, the power supply is faulty. You'll need to replace it."
User:   "No way! Someone told me that I just needed to change the startup and it will fix the problem! All I need is for you to tell me the command."

Ten minutes later, the User is still adamant that he is right. The Tech is frustrated.

smoking computer Tech:   "Sorry, Sir. We don't normally tell our customers this, but there is an undocumented DOS command that will fix the problem."
User:   "I knew it!"
Tech:   "Just add the line LOAD NOSMOKE.COM at the end of the CONFIG.SYS. Let me know how it goes."

Ten minutes later.

User:   "It didn't work. The power supply is still smoking."
Tech:   "Well, what version of DOS are you using?"
User:   "MS-DOS 6.22."
Tech:   "That's your problem there. That version of DOS didn't come with NOSMOKE. Contact Microsoft and ask them for a patch that will give you the file. Let me know how it goes."

One hour later.

User:   "I need a new power supply."
Tech:   "How did you come to that conclusion?"
User:   "Well, I rang Microsoft and told the guy about what you said, and he started asking questions about the make of power supply."
Tech:   "Then what did he say?"
User:   "He told me that my power supply isn't compatible with NOSMOKE."

"Screeching Wail "

A customer called in with a complex problem.

During the course of the call, the tech could hear, in the background, a screeching wail. He tried to ignore it, but it was distracting, and later he began to get worried about what sort of thing was going on there. About five minutes into the call, he considered putting the customer on hold and calling the police when the customer asked the tech if he was wondering about the noise in the background. He answered, "Yes."

The customer said, "I work in an opera school, and that particular student is excessively terrible at singing."

The tech had to put the customer on hold until he could stop laughing.

"Wavy Red Lines"

Customer: "I can't find Word on my computer anywhere."
Tech Support: "Ok, which PC do you have, sir?"
Customer: (eventually names the model we sold him)
Tech Support: "Ok, well, that machine doesn't come with MS Word, sir?"
Customer: "Why not?"
Tech Support: "Well, sir, MS Word is a separate product from your operating system. We do sell it if you would like to buy it."
Customer: "Hold on, my friend has Word on his PC. Why are you guys selling incomplete computers?"
Tech Support: "Sir, some PCs come with office software, and some do not. The software is an optional extra."
Customer: "Right, fair enough then, I'll call in and buy Word."

The customer called in and indeed bought the MS Word program. Later I got the same customer on the phone again.

Customer: "I have a complaint about this software."
Tech Support: "Ok, what seems to be the problem?"
Customer: "There's no seems about it! This software is junk."
Tech Support: "Can you be more specific, sir?"
Customer: "Whenever I type something, it makes red lines under the text. How the hell can I send someone an important letter with red lines all over it?"
Tech Support: (has to use the mute button)

"Addressing an Email"

Tech support: "How may I help you?"
Customer: "I'm writing my first e-mail."
Tech support: "OK, and what seems to be the problem?"
Customer: "Well, I have the letter 'a' in the email address, but how do I get the circle around it?"

Famous Virus Threat Story

Badtimes Computer Virus

From:   U. R. Wright
Cc:   Assistant Director

This IS a bad one! If you receive an e-mail entitled "Badtimes," DELETE IT IMMEDIATELY. Do not open it. This one is pretty nasty. It will not only erase everything on your hard drive, but it will also delete anything on disks within 20 feet of your computer. It demagnetizes the stripes on all of your credit cards.

If the "Badtimes" message is opened in a Windows environment, it will rewrite your backup files, changing all your active verbs to passive tense and incorporating undetectable misspellings that grossly change the interpretations of key sentences. It reprograms your ATM access code, screws up the tracking on your VCR, and uses subspace field harmonics to scratch any CD you attempt to play!

computer swats bug It will re-calibrate your refrigerator's temperature settings so that all your ice cream melts and your milk curdles, and it programs your phone autodial to only call your mother-in-law.

It will leave the toilet seat up and your hair dryer plugged in dangerously close to a full bathtub. This virus will mix antifreeze into your fish tank. It will drink all your beer and soda. It will leave dirty socks on the coffee table when you are expecting company. Its radioactive emissions will cause toe jam and bellybutton fuzz (be honest, you have some) to migrate to your armpits. It will replace your shampoo with Nair and your Nair with Rogaine, all while dating your current (boy)girlfriend behind your back and billing their hotel rendezvous to your credit card.

It will not only remove the forbidden tags from your mattresses and pillows, but it will replace your luncheon meat with Spam. It will molecularly rearrange your cologne or perfume, causing it to smell like dill pickles. It will give you Dutch Elm Disease, Tinea, and cause you to run with scissors and throw things.

This virus is both insidious and subtle. It is dangerous and terrifying to experience. It is also a rather interesting shade of mauve.

PLEASE FORWARD THIS MESSAGE TO EVERYONE!!! The survival of human life on earth as we know it is at stake!

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