Izzy's Tales of Tech Support

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A customer called to say his new computer wouldn't turn on. I went to his house to find that he had plugged his 6-outlet surge protector into one of its own outlets. I told him that if he ever got that working, he should call me immediately because we would make a fortune selling free electricity.

A customer called to say the computer he had just bought and brought to his home would not accept any floppies. He had two 5 1/4 inch floppy drives and both of them would not read or format any disks. As I was trying to diagnose the problem, since both drives had worked in my office, he asked me what the four buttons on the case were for. I asked what four buttons. He said the four rubber buttons on the top of the case, one in each corner. He had the machine upside-down on the desk.

Until that day, he was my eye doctor.

A company had bought several identical machines from us. They complained that one of them kept freezing or rebooting every ten minutes. I drove an hour to their location and replaced the machine. They called to say that the new machine was also freezing or rebooting every ten minutes. I told them that I had tested that machine for two days and that the machine I had taken back from them was also working fine. The problem had to be something on their end. I suggested that they swap that machine with one of the other ones they had bought. Sure enough, the "bad" machine worked fine in the new office and the replacement machine, that had worked fine for several days, now rebooted or froze every ten minutes.

I suggested a problem with the outlet in the room or some other machinery interfering but nothing was found. Then they called to tell me they had solved the problem. One of their people had watched the secretary working on the machine. After ten minutes, she crossed her legs. There was a crackling sound and the machine froze. The culprit was the static caused by her woolen pantyhose. An anti-static mat solved the problem.

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