Friday, June 5, 2009

This year's ID-ten-T Error All Star Team

In the world of technology, we have a special error code that we use to identify some issues; we refer to this as an ID-ten-T error. Pretty much the same as a PEBKAC error, or any of these

There are many places where people list similar errors; one I read occasionally is the Shark Bait forum

We came up with the all ID-10-T team. Are these real people? Maybe. Mind you these are not the only issues they have brought to us, just a sample.
Starting five-

1. Teacher (believe it or not working on an EDD, but in School Administration so it makes sense). We get many calls from her. Three times this year “my SmartBoard is not working”. We have given up trying to diagnose using the phone or Email or Remotely. Things just get too confusing that way. For this problem we have found that the SmartBoard issue is fixed by showing her how to activate the projector using the function keys. We then point out the little icons on the keys. Each time she is amazed at this and writes it down for “the next time it happens”. Her latest was that she thought the image of her projector was too small, and therefore needed a new projector. The projector is on a cart. We demonstrated how we could change the size of the image by moving the cart back and fourth. That was amazing and wanted to know if that is a new feature on projectors. I did not want to show her the zoom function on the projector. That would be too much.

2. Secretary One of the nicest people you want to meet but has troubles with letting things work. She oftentimes needs take notes during meetings, which are projected on a screen during the meeting. In the meeting room, I have cables labeled with which two cables need to be plugged into a laptop. The VGA and Ethernet cables. These have tags on them, and next to the cords are pictures and diagrams and descriptions. Within a few moments of her starting a meeting, I am called in because “it is not working” Again, phone calls make things worse and more confusing. When I walk into the meeting room, usually with community members in attendance, she is freaking out and flustered. I look at the cables and see that she has rearranged most of them, so there an all sorts of miss-wired connections. Once I put the correct cables on the meeting table, with a note and diagram showing where to plug things in, and an offer to hook it up for her. I was then called in with a mess, and the two cables sat on the table unused. One of her better ones was “the printer is not working” After talking to her, I was more confused. Asked if there were any messages or blinking lights, of course not. Went over to her building, and sure enough, the display screen said “Add Paper”. I added paper and about 10 copies of the same thing came out of the printer.

3. Nurse. It is bad enough that she has a picture of Clay Aitkin on her desktop, but she has the amazing ability to delete applications, even without permissions to do so. Need to see her in action sometime. Several years ago, our student information system was client-server based. Every few weeks, it disappeared from her computer. It is amazing how these programs disappear on some people and not others. The client for this program was a PIA to install, with an ugly install code and then pointing to various volumes on the server. Finally I came up with a solution for her. I installed the client in a hidden file, made an alias in another file, made an alias of this in another file, made an alias of this in her applications folder, and then an alias of this on the desktop. Generally after this, she would only lose two or three of the aliases, and restoring was easier.

4. Teacher aid. Did you know that you could jam a USB cable into a fire wire port? Neither did I, but with some force it can go in there. She had run out of USB ports, so what the heck? A port is a port. She often calls with the problem that she “Cannot get onto Email, my server, the student information system, and the Internet” So you are off the network? Well I don’t know I can’t get into Email, my server, the student information system, and the Internet” OK so you are off the network. A flustered sound of babbling comes out of the phone. She is on the phone, which is VoIP, so the network is good. Did you shut off your computer last night? I always turn it off…(usually meaning the monitor). Go over how to turn off and restart the computer…. again, suddenly it works! I am the miracle worker. She is best dealt with over the phone or equipment repair when not in the room. Has a difficult time with personal space, and tends to blabber about nothing.

5. Principal-The team leader. Has not a clue about how things work, but refuses to listen to any information. He has a laptop, and keeps telling us it needs to be updated. This is of course done verbally, not via email or repair request. No problem. When can we take the computer to update it? It turns out the answer is never. He really wants it updated and the newer version of Office put onto it, but we can’t have it. Sort of a dilemma. We finally get it, but he is afraid that we will read his documents and email. Does not remember we can read all the Email we want and get into any computer file we want, and really have no desire to look at his documents, who has the time? So about a half-hour after getting the laptop, he wants it back so he can get back to work. Guess the desktop is not good enough for him. He expects his teachers to read his email within an hour of his sending it, yet he reads email about once every two or three days.

There are many that may move onto the list for next year. One odd thing, the good users, who rarely have any issues, thinks they are being dumb when something really goes screwy. The above have no problem with their issues.

We had many that just missed the list, but because these are folks with constant issues, they make the team.

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