A tragic story of RTFM....



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Location: Guayaquil, Ecuador

Post Mon Mar 10, 2008 5:33 pm

A tragic story of RTFM....

So... I'm at my desk taking care of things, and I get a flustered and visibly shaken woman who comes to my desk.  The other members of the IT office are either sick, or on vacation... so I'm it to take care of whatever is ailing her.  She tells me a story of how this former employee of our organization was the head of an 80,000 dollar project, and he had left 3 years earlier.  All his maps, files and whatnot were backed up onto CDs, his computer hard drive, and an external hard drive.  Well... his computer was wiped and given to another user, and the CDs magically disapeared sometime.. possibly in a remodel of the floor of our building, but no one knows.  That left... the external hard drive as the sole surviving archive of this project.

Now... my first thought, was why was this information not put on the network drives?  But... I let that one slide.  When she brought me the external hard drive, the first thing I noticed was that it is a LaCie drive.  That lit up a few red flags with me... since we are a M$ shop.  I figured I'd give the guy the benefit of the doubt though.  I plugged in the drive, and nothing came up... I went to disk manager... and it's 250 gigs of unallocated space.  But.. "Haha!" I thought.. perhaps he was used a Mac for this project.. somehow getting it past the red tape and paperwork involved with any non 'standard' thing in the Government. 

I went at it with a forensics distro of Linux, to see if anything was on the drive at all... and all that was there was a little 'dear john' letter stating that to save files to the drive one must be runing mac os 8.1 or newer.  Heh, I then pulled out the user manual provided with the drive, and on the very first page.. it states specifically that to use the drive with Winblows one must first reformat it. 

Yes my friends... RTFM, or at least the first page... or restore backups to make sure they work once in a while... or just... do backups onto that magical little square box attached to the computer.  (Not you all of course... but users in general).  There is a reason Help Desk will never be my career in life... because I would pull my F@#$#*&* hair out dealing with PEBKAC errors.  Please... return from vacation I pray to the others in my office.. I don't wish to deal with the idiocy.
"Bad.. Good?  I'm the guy with the gun"


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Post Mon Mar 10, 2008 5:54 pm

Re: A tragic story of RTFM....


The worst help desk thing I have ever seen is someone's personal computer (which I had to look at because said user works from home often) that "survived" a fire... if you would call that surviving. It smelled like burnt hot dogs, and I had to wear a gas mask to keep from gagging and getting debris in my eyes while cleaning it out. Ick. I've also seen computers with roaches living in them, though not in the office.

I always read at least the first page of the manual. :P
Put that in your pipe and grep it!

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