Stories from Eyetealand

February 5, 2010

Being an IT guy I get to speak and interact with a great many people.  Both personal customers and the users in my company.

In my time I have some awesome stories of people struggling with technology.  Usually older folks who have not grown up with the technology and find it quite foreign and hard to understand.

I will try to post these stories here from time to time to amuse you.   The names and places have been changed to protect the innocent (and the embarrassed)

I will start with my favorite.  There is a very nice lady who works in a secure compound in the US.  She has to connect with our companies network as well as that of the company we are doing work with.  It’s not easy keeping it all straight. Now this lady is obsessed with colour (color in the US) printing.  It is not a requirement of the job nor do any reports demand it.  She just likes colour and she is indispensible at her job so I humour (humor) her.

Well one day her favorite printer died and she got a new HP colour printer.  But she could not get it to work.  So she called me for help.  I went through some common troubleshooting steps with her including are there light on the printer, does it have paper, is the USB plugged in, etc.  Yes to all questions.  Still the printer would not show up in her Printers folder.

Her internet was tenuous at best.  She should have been using a remote desktop to connect to us but it would disconnect constantly so it was unusable. She was in a trailer in a compound surrounded by 3 layers of fencing. It takes 45 minutes to clear security either way to get in or out.

So I ask her to turn on her VPN (Virtual Private Network).  This basically creates a tunnel through the internet connecting her computer to my internal network.  Then I could use a remote desktop to see her screen and see if I could find the problem.

The connection was so bad that if I clicked something it would take two seconds for the click to reach her screen and two seconds for the result to get back to me.  Needless to say it was a very laborious process.

USB hub was fine, the correct drivers were installed.  I had her switch USB ports, add a USB hub but nothing worked.

Finally in exasperation, as asked this question.

“You said that there were lights on the printer.  These lights on the printer, are they on?”

After she plugged the printer in she was fine……


One comment

  1. Yup. There’s nothing more hilarious than IT stories. But it’s nice to see you blogging. I like your family stories better though.

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