View Full Version : Who says computer jobs are dull

3rd Aug 2006, 18:34
So as to try to avoid further drifting a thread in Cabin Crew.

I once worked for a large British Aircraft Corporation in the IT dept. This was in the days of 5.25" floppy disk drives. At the desk next to me sat a scottish guy who dealt with PC calls.

One day, he bursts out laughing and shows me a photocopy of a floppy disk. It turns out that one of his users had been having trouble reading a file on a disk and so he suggested that she should send him a copy. So, off she had gone to the photocopier and 'copied' the disk.

He was unable to call he back for laughing and so I did it for him. "Ah " said I, when he said send a copy, he meant send a disk copy of the disk". Ah, " said she, silly me. I then spent 10 minutes explaining how to copy a disk however it didnt work and so she said, "I'll send this one down". Next day, a n envelope appeared containing a disk stapled to an note explaining the problem. Not even Norton could sort that one out

I know this stuff has become the stuff of urban legends, but I was there in the beginning!!

3rd Aug 2006, 18:44
I use to work as a computer tech ... the kind of things people would come up with was incredible


3rd Aug 2006, 21:30
I know what you mean...There was this one time when a program failed and I got to look at the code. It took me ages to figure out, but I finally realised that whilst you couldn't explicitely reference the zeroth element of an array in COBOL, you could use a variable to loop through the array and if that variable JUST HAPPENED TO CONTAIN zero, well then you wrote the result of the calculation to an unintended part of storage...with UNINTENDED RESULTS!

We laughed for weeks over that one.

3rd Aug 2006, 21:32
Back in the time when we used punched cards, how many times have I typed O instead of 0 . . . :ugh:

You'd think the bloody computer would REALISE that it was expecting a numeral and not a letter and make allowances!

3rd Aug 2006, 22:50
Get this - I created a tab control in .net and when it displayed, the tabs were in the wrong sequence. It took a lot of hunting down, but I finally learned that it was a known bug and on form.load I should rebuild the tab collection in the sequence I wanted.

Dull? I don't think so

4th Aug 2006, 00:24
Also back in the time when we used punched cards, I was carrying a cardboard 'box' file (that the blank cards came in) filled with a metre of programme-data cards in sequence. The box slipped from my grasp as I was climbing a four-storey open staircase. I watched in horror as the cards spread out and floated down, bouncing on the landings as they went. I had to start all over, but fortunately I had a print-out hard-copy of the data listing that was 'destroyed' but it took me over a week of solid typing to restore the deck.
I always took the lift from my office to the computer-room after that.

4th Aug 2006, 05:18
And this one time --- in band camp -------

Buster Hyman
4th Aug 2006, 05:33
Did I tell you about the time my pen leaked in my top pocket....:8

Pocket protectors ever since for me!:ok:

4th Aug 2006, 05:34
there, there, Aaaaaaarrrrrgggggghhhhh... I've done worse in C++. Was wondering for three days why the program had difficulty printing out the last name in the array till my friend, casually passing by decides to remark off-hand that how one needs to take care of array element numbers... Good ol' Duckie had forgotten that an N-element array is numbered 0 through N-1. :ugh:

Loose rivets
4th Aug 2006, 08:12
In the days that I ran a CAD company from my home, I was pleased to get a call from a major Colchester company...it led to a few sales. While I was in the building, a manager said that the IBM 360 was giving problems and asked me if I would look at it. Since I was being paid serious money, I kept a dead-pan expression and said that I would. I was taken to a rather dirty clean-room.

After some moments of looking at a vast disc-drive in a perspex case...you know the ones, with braded cable to the heads...I noticed that it was shaking in its mounts. "Yer disc drive is loose." I said in my most serious voice. (Mustn't say your in Essex) I moved it slightly on its mounts and it stopped shaking. "Hundred quid will do for that." I joked. But when the invoice was paid, they had added the 100. "You forgot your maintenance account." it said on the notes.

I was once given the keys to a London bank. No, I'm not kidding. I needed peace and quiet to get their CAD stations networked to the main system. So they asked me if I would come in on Sunday. Double pay. I let myself in and nodded to the security guard that had been briefed. It was a vast building, and a line of massive safes were visible through the windows of the office I was in. I never saw the guard again, and made sure the door was locked firmly as I left. Come to think of it, I've still got the keys!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Because it had suddenly become the thing to digitize all the branches plans, I had several trips to banks HQs. I was in possession of all the plans of all the branches of several banks. Never crossed my mind before.

4th Aug 2006, 09:34
Because it had suddenly become the thing to digitize all the branches plans, I had several trips to banks HQs. I was in possession of all the plans of all the branches of several banks. Never crossed my mind before.

Riiiiiiight! We believe you! :E

4th Aug 2006, 09:39
I've never kissed a girl & I like model Railways.:(

4th Aug 2006, 09:44
G-CPTN - Aye, when I were a lad we learned to program on punched cards at school. The programme would be written at school then posted by mail to be executed at the local University and results returned in a week. You soon learn to pay attention to detail when, after waiting a week, your code returns with "Error at line 1, syntax error" usually when a semi-colon and colon were missing. How we laughed...

I've witnessed the old 'Send me a copy of the disk' paper copy a few times.

But the most jaw dropping one for me was at the datacentre of the UK's largest mail order company. Periodically cleaners would come in to clean the bridge and the machine rooms. Of course, to keep costs down the cheapest immigrant workers were used, who didn't quite understand English instructions or the written word.

The machine room was quite secure, with strict access control using passcards etc. The cleaner was swiped through using the card of one of the shift operators who then went back to monitoring the screens and reading the Sunday papers.

When the cleaner had finished she went back to the door and tried to get the attention of the ops guy through the small door window. But with no luck. She had obviously learned in the job that swiped doors like this usually have a button to press to unlock them from the inside without needed a swipe card.

A quick scan showed a big red button by the side of the door, with associated labelling that she couldn't understand. That must be it, the big button to open the doors.

Oh to have been there when the emergency shutdown was kicked in. The whole mainframe suite on auto-shutdown. The bridge screens turning red. Call centres across the country and on-line shoppers being disconnected, the emergency services on auto-call (fire at least).

Hundreds of lost orders. Hours to nurse the systems back on-line. Ops managers and service managers paged around the country and rushed in to work to provide local and remote assistance.

The outcome of the inevitable review was that henceforth more expensive cleaning staff would be used and they would have to be able to read and write English.

Oh how we laughed when the miserable ops manager was hauled over the coals for that one.

4th Aug 2006, 10:00
I transferred from Airline Engineering to head the IT Department. The place is full of really cute girls who look nice, smell nice and sound nice; yet all the blokes are glued to their monitors! I've never seen such a bunch of dedicated hard working fellows. Wazza matter with these IT people? :ooh:

4th Aug 2006, 10:06
I've never kissed a girl & I like model Railways.:(
Has one ever kissed you?

and everyone likes model railways.

Erwin Schroedinger
4th Aug 2006, 10:12
Two girls and double O go well together.

4th Aug 2006, 10:26
Hows the Cat Erwin???

Here is a link to lots of computer Fun. http://members.iinet.com.au/~bofh/index.html#New97 (http://members.iinet.com.au/%7Ebofh/index.html#New97)

This guy knows how to operate.:E:E:E

Erwin Schroedinger
4th Aug 2006, 10:34
Hows the Cat Erwin???

Pussy's brilliant! :ok:

The cat's OK too.

4th Aug 2006, 10:41
Erwins got a point:} Double o, is that a programming language? I've never heard of double o & girls before.

4th Aug 2006, 10:43
Erwins got a point:} I've never heard of double o & girls before.
Help...do I dare respond :E :}

4th Aug 2006, 10:44
:confused: :confused: Not keen on girls me, My dad says they wear make up & perfume because they're ugly & they smell.

4th Aug 2006, 15:14

"In the beginning, there was FORTRAN." (Jim Gray)

6th Aug 2006, 22:11

Just think, a language actually called FORmula TRANslator that requires different real and integer number inputs, and also runs on comuters so minimal that programmers do not have enough space to tell you wether thy want real or integer..... (and not forgetting that Apollo 11 got to the moon OK, but missed their splash-down point by hundreds of miles because they got a comma wrong)

Also many thanks Avtrician - lost BOFH years ago

henry crun
6th Aug 2006, 23:41
Mycroft: I could be wrong because it was a long time ago, but IIRC Apollo 11 landed only about 15 miles from the recovery ship, not hundreds.