Articles about on-call

Black and white television with white noise

Four techies flummoxed for hours by flickering 'E' on monitor

On-Call Salutations dear readers, and congratulations on reaching the last working day of the week, on which The Register runs On-Call, our reader-contributed tales of gigs that get you giggling. This week, meet “Sonny”, who told us of his first job as a System Engineer with a local IBM PC reseller, in the early 1980s. Or as Sonny …
Kick me

Sysadmin jeered in staff cafeteria as he climbed ladder to fix PC

On-Call The end of the week is nigh and to ease your passage into the next phase of existence – the blessed weekend - El Reg brings you On-Call, our Friday column chronicling readers’ stories of jobs with strange beginnings and sticky endings. This week, meet “Tom” who “back in the halcyon days of Windows for Workgroups” found himself …
Simon Sharwood, 28 Jul 2017
Pizza and beer - friends forever

User filed fake trouble tickets to take helpful sysadmin to lunches

On-Call Hey, hey, it's Friday! Which means frolicsome weekend fun is just a day away … if you can survive work and this week's instalment of On-Call, The Register's weekly column in which we recount readers' stories of jobs gone weird. This week, meet “Wayne”, who has an different sort of story because – unusually for On-Call - it …
Simon Sharwood, 21 Jul 2017
Man browses his tablet and ignores the beach. Photo by shutterstock

User left unable to type passwords after 'tropical island stress therapy'

On-call Last Friday your correspondent snorkeled on a tropical island, but this Friday it's time for another edition of On-Call, our weekly column in which we recount readers' tales of being forced to take on tricky jobs for tricky people. And this week reader “Mal” brings us a story with a tropical island element, as he told us that …
Simon Sharwood, 14 Jul 2017

Sysadmin bloodied by icicle that overheated airport data centre

On-Call Why look at that: the calendar says “Friday” which means it's time for another edition of On-Call, The Register's weekly column in which we relate readers' recollections of being called out to fix nasty things under nastier circumstances. This week, meet “Alan” who “used to work for a rather large airport company in England …

Fresh cotton underpants fix series of mysterious mainframe crashes

On-Call Hello Friday! And hello, therefore, to On-Call, The Register's regular column in which readers explain how they were sent out into user-land to do odd things and returned triumphant, frustrated or smugly satisfied. This week, meet “Ben” who wrote to tell us that he once ran support for “a small mainframe manufacturer.” Among …
Simon Sharwood, 30 Jun 2017
Toilet with smiling loo paper

PC rebooted every time user flushed the toilet

On-Call Welcome yet again to On-Call, The Register's weekly column in which we take readers' tales of odd jobs in odd places, tart them up and present them to you as a bit of light relief on a Friday. This week, meet “Gary”, who once had a trouble ticket land on his desk stating that “the PC would reset every time the customer flushed …
Simon Sharwood, 23 Jun 2017

Fighter pilot shot down laptops with a flick of his copper-plated wrist

On-Call Why hello there readers! It's Friday and that means it's time for another edition of On-Call, our weekly column in which your peers take centre stage by sharing tales of jobs gone wrong. This week, meet “Len” who tells us he used to work for Dell and was once summoned “to the middle of nowhere in Cumbria.” Perhaps Len could …
Simon Sharwood, 16 Jun 2017

Please do not scare the pigeons – they'll crash the network

On-Call Welcome again to On-Call, The Register's Friday column in which we share readers' recollections of odd jobs in odd places at odd times. This week, meet “Ethan” who tells us that “in the heady days of the 1990s I was employed as an IT engineer at a company providing booking systems to entertainment venues around the UK.” Ethan …
Command line icon

'My PC needs to lose weight' says user with FAT filesystem

ON-CALL Friday's here again and so, therefore, is On-Call, our weekly dip into absurd tech support tales contributed by readers. This week, meet “Rick” who kicked off his career supporting laptops running Windows 95 and tells us that “One day I had a call from a sales rep who said 'My new laptop computer needs to lose some weight, it' …
Cthulu emerges from a printer. Image created by illustrator Andy Davies. Copyright: The Register

Sysadmin finds insecure printer, remotely prints 'Fix Me!' notice

ON-CALL Well what do you know? The working week is all-but over, which means it is time to share a story from a reader's working life in our weekly On-Call column. This week, meet “Doug” a techie who tells us he has “a client in central Dublin and find myself in their offices every other week or so to deal with the usual stuff, new …
Simon Sharwood, 26 May 2017

Faking incontinence and other ways to scare off tech support scammers

ON-CALL If it's Friday, it must be time for On-Call, our weekly column that recounts readers experiences of being asked to dodgy jobs at dodgy times for dodgy reasons. Last week we featured the tale of a tech support chap who took a call from a tech support scammer and managed to keep him on the phone long enough to get him logged in …
Simon Sharwood, 19 May 2017
Command line icon

PC repair chap lets tech support scammer log on to his PC. His Linux PC

On-Call Why look at that! Friday is upon us, which means it’s time for another instalment of On-Call, The Register’s weekly column in which readers share memories of being asked to fix odd stuff at unpleasant times of the day. This week, meet “Shane,” who used to do a bit of computer repair work on the side, and kept a phone just for …
Simon Sharwood, 12 May 2017
Broken optical disk

User loses half of a CD-ROM in his boss's PC

On-Call Hello Friday! And hello also to On-Call, The Register's weekly reader-contributed tale of dirty data centre deeds done dirty cheap. This week, meet “Rick” who once worked for a non-government organisation as “both a software dev and part-time support-person.” One fine Friday afternoon, Rick “received a rather panicked call …
Mickey Mouse

Waiter? There's a mouse in my motherboard and this server is greasy!

ON-CALL Welcome again to On-Call, our weekly sharing session in which readers unburden themselves by sharing memories of nasty jobs. This week meet “Charlie” who wrote to tell us he used to have a gig maintaining point of sale systems for a a restaurant chain. Charlie wrote to tell us about the day “I was called to one of the units to …
Simon Sharwood, 28 Apr 2017
Dog waits on a Welcome mat. photo by sHutterstock

Drunk user blow-dried laptop after dog lifted its leg over the keyboard

On-Call Welcome again to On-Call, our Friday re-telling of readers unforgettable on-the-job experiences. This week, meet “Jim” who once had a manager show up in the IT department and ask for a discreet chat in the colleague's office. When Jim arrived the manager “pushed his laptop bag towards me, whilst giving the bag the kind of …
Simon Sharwood, 21 Apr 2017
Paul Winchell and dummy

Boss swore by 'For Dummies' book about an OS his org didn't run

On-Call Welcome again to On-Call, The Reg’s usually-on-Friday column in which readers share tales of being asked to do nasty jobs at nasty times, often for nasty people. And yes, this is Thursday. But Friday’s a holiday (in some places) and lots of you read On-Call, so they made me do one before I started eating too many chocolate …
Simon Sharwood, 13 Apr 2017
Danger compressed air sign

Printer blown to bits by compressed air

On-Call Welcome again to On-Call, El Reg's regular Friday feature in which readers share their recollections of being asked to fix follies. This week, meet “Bill”, who in the early 2000s did IT support for an engineering company. One fine day, Bill was assigned the task of sorting out a broken inkjet printer. “I visited the site and …

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