Articles about on-call

Hard disk drive with hand grenade

Disk drive fired 'Frisbees of death' across data centre after storage admin crossed his wires

On-Call The working week's winding down once again and that means it's time for another edition of On-Call, The Register's Friday tech support tale recounted by readers. This week, meet “Tim” who in the 1980s worked for Data General. Yes, that Data General, the one that EMC acquired for US$1.1bn in 1999 so it could make hay with the …
One and two keys

User dialled his PC into a permanent state of 'Brown Alert'

On-Call Why hello there, dear readers, and welcome once again to On-Call, The Register's Friday folly in which we recount readers' tales of being asked to undo the messes that users leave behind. This week, meet “Rick” who told us that in the 1990s he “worked in a security centre that had bespoke hardware and software for monitoring …

Boss made dirt list of minions' mistakes, kept his own rampage off it

On-Call Welcome again to On-Call, The Register's Friday column in which we share readers' tech support morality tales. This week, meet “Omar”, who in the early 1990s worked as a developer for an engineering company powered by a pair of ageing Digital Equipment Corporation mainframes. The workplace had another odd feature: an IT …
Simon Sharwood, 24 Nov 2017
Typing icon

Help desk declared code PEBCAK and therefore refused to help!

On-Call Why hello there Friday and hello there, also, this week's instalment of On-Call, The Register's weekly column that recounts readers' tales of tech support terror. This week, meet “Ben” who told us he once worked for “a large three-letter-acronym IT company, which at the time had their hands in just about everything IT related …
Simon Sharwood, 17 Nov 2017
Please ignore this sticky note

User asked help desk to debug a Post-it Note that survived a reboot

On-Call Welcome again to On-Call, in which The Register christens each new Friday with a reader-contributed tale of being asked to fix the unthinkable. This week, meet “William” who told us about “a call I had whilst working on the IT Service Desk at my local Hospital.” “A lady called me up to say she had been to lunch and when she …
Simon Sharwood, 10 Nov 2017
Security alert red light

Official Secrets Act alert went off after embassy hired local tech support

On-Call Welcome to yet another instalment of On-Call, The Register's week-ending column in which we share readers' stories of extreme sysadminnery performed under extreme duress. This week, meet “Lee” who told us he used to work for a British government department that operates lots of offices overseas, usually in embassies. Lee was …
Chocolate swiss roll

Boss put chocolate cake on aircon controller, to stop people using it

On-Call Far out, it's Friday! Which means it's time for another edition of On-Call, El Reg's week-ending reader-contributed tales of support gigs that went south. This week, meet “Jim” who one tended “a reasonably-sized server room/wiring closet, which hosted a number of internal and production systems. We were rather fortunate in …
Simon Sharwood, 27 Oct 2017
Data entry sign

Boss visited the night shift and found a car in the data centre

On-Call Another week is coming to an end and that means it's time for On-Call, The Register's Friday column in which we share readers' stories of being asked to do the unthinkable to satisfy the incorrigible. This week, meet “Glenn” who told us that back in the 1970s he worked for “a large multinational that had several IBM mainframes …
Simon Sharwood, 20 Oct 2017
Upside down user

Software update turned my display and mouse upside-down, says user

On-Call Welcome again to On-Call, The Register's weekly wander through readers' recollections of tech support traumas. This week, meet “Alan” who once had a gig as “both sysadmin and developer in charge of an image analysis system linked to microscopes for analysis of bacteria in a University hospital.” “These systems consisted of a …
Simon Sharwood, 13 Oct 2017

Support team discovers 'official' vendor paper doesn't rob you blind

On-Call Hello, Friday. And hello, therefore, another instalment of On-Call, The Register's week-ending reader-contributed tales of support jobs that occasionally work out for the best. This week, meet “Ben”, who told us that “In the early 'noughts I worked for a large tape/disk vendor.” In his early training some of the tape support …
Stuck in an elevator

Vibrating walls shafted servers at a time the SUN couldn't shine

On-Call If it's Friday – and absent some weird time/space slippage we're pretty sure that's the case – that means it is time for another instalment of On‑Call, The Register's Friday column in which readers recount their stories of the ups and downs of doing tech support. This week, meet “Rick”, who told us he spent the late 1990s “ …
Simon Sharwood, 29 Sep 2017
David Caruso as famously sunglasses-lowering cheeseball crime scene investigator Horatio Crane in CSI: Miami. Photo copyright CBS

Sysadmin tells user CSI-style password guessing never w– wait WTF?! It's 'PASSWORD1'!

On-Call Can you feel it? The weekend's just over the horizon, so it's time for On-Call, The Register's Friday column in which we share readers' tales of literally incredible jobs that produced improbable feats of sysadminnery. This week, meet “Ron” who told us he used to work for a government agency and sent us a story about how, on “ …
Simon Sharwood, 22 Sep 2017
Identical twins in pink and blue suits

User worked with wrong app for two weeks, then complained to IT that data had gone missing

ON-CALL Welcome again to On-Call, the Friday feature in which we help Reg readers to recount times when they were asked to fix problems that should never have happened. This week, meet “Terrence” who told us about his time working as a sysadmin for local government. “My main area of work was the system used for revenues and benefits …
Simon Sharwood, 15 Sep 2017
Open window

User demanded PC be moved to move to a sunny desk – because it needed Windows

On-Call Welcome agin to On-Call, The Register's weekly column in which we share readers' stories of being asked to achieve the improbable, by people who are impossible. This week, meet “Richard”, who wrote to share a story from his time working at a healthcare provider at which he “received a call from someone who was demanding that …
happy_woman_at_desk

User thanked IT department for fast new server, but it had never left its box

On-Call Welcome again to On-Call, The Register's Friday frolic through readers' memories of jobs that turned into oddities. This week, meet “Colin”, a former IT manager who was once asked to visit his marketing veep to sort out a laptop deemed “too slow”. The veep noted that Colin arrived to do the job at lunchtime and was polite …
Speakerphone

Bombastic boss gave insane instructions to sensible sysadmin, with client on speakerphone

On-Call Hey, hey, it's Friday! Which means weekend frolics aren't far away once you get through this edition of On-Call, The Register's weekly reader-contributed tales of workplace woe. This week, meet “Craig,” who shared a story of working for a small IT services company that hired a new “team leader”. Craig used italics because …
Simon Sharwood, 25 Aug 2017
Email rejected

Linux-loving lecturer 'lost' email, was actually confused by Outlook

On-Call Friday means a few things at El Reg: a new BOFH. A couple of beers. And another instalment of On-Call, our weekly column in which we take reader-contributed tales of being asked to do horrible things for horrible people, scrub them up and hope you click. This week, meet “Newt” who a dozen or more years ago worked at a College …
Simon Sharwood, 18 Aug 2017
Whack-a-mole

Hell desk to user: 'I know you're wrong. I wrote the software. And the protocol it runs on'

On-Call Another weekend beckons, which means another edition of On-Call, The Register's weekly reader-contributed story of dirty jobs, done dirt cheap. This week, meet “Bob” who in the early days of the Internet staffed a help desk that among other things took calls from users of the Gopher distributed file system. Bob framed his …
Simon Sharwood, 11 Aug 2017

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