Computer "Stuff" 002
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SUPPOSE EDGAR ALLAN POE HAD USED A WINDOWS COMPUTER
Once upon a midnight dreary,
Fingers cramped and vision bleary,
System manuals piled high and wasted paper on the floor,
Longing for the warmth of bed sheets,
Still I sat there, doing spreadsheets:
Having reached the bottom line, I took a floppy from the drawer.
Typing with a steady hand, I then invoked the SAVE command and
waited for the disk to store,
Only this and nothing more.
Deep into the monitor peering,
Long I sat there wond'ring, fearing,
Doubting, while the disk kept churning, turning yet to churn some
"Save!" I said, "You cursed mother! Save my data from before!"
One thing did the phosphors answer, only this and nothing more,
Just, "Abort, Retry, Ignore?"
Was this some occult illusion?
Some maniacal intrusion?
These were choices undesired, ones I'd never faced before.
Carefully, I weighed the choices as the disk made impish noises.
The cursor flashed, insistent, waiting,
baiting me to type some more.
Clearly I must press a key,
choosing one and nothing more,
From "Choose Abort, Retry, Ignore?"
With my fingers pale and trembling
Slowly toward the keyboard bending,
Longing for a happy ending,
hoping all would be restored,
Praying for some guarantee
Timidly I pressed a key.
But on the screen there still persisted words appearing as
Ghastly grim they blinked and taunted, haunted, as my patience
Saying "Abort, Retry, Ignore?"
I tried to catch the chips off-guard -
I pressed again, but twice as hard.
I pleaded with the cursed machine: I begged and cried and then I
Now in desperation, trying random combinations,
Still there came the incantation, just as senseless as before.
Cursor blinking, angrily winking, blinking nonsense as before.
Reading, "Abort, Retry, Ignore?"
There I sat, distraught, exhausted,
By my own machine accosted
Getting up I turned away and paced across the office floor.
And then I saw dreadful sight: a lightning bolt cut through the
A gasp of horror overtook me, shook me to my core.
The lightning zapped my previous data, lost and gone forevermore.
Not even, "Abort, Retry, Ignore?"
To this day I do not know
The place to which lost data goes.
What demonic nether world is wrought where data will be stored,
Beyond the reach of mortal souls, beyond the ether, into black
But sure as there's C, Pascal, Lotus, Ashton-Tate and more,
You will one day be left to wander, lost on some Plutonian shore,
Pleading, "Abort, Retry, Ignore?"
Idiots and Computers:
My neighbor works in the operations department in the central
office of a large bank. Employees in the field call him when
they have problems with their computers. One night he got a call
from a woman in one of the branch banks who had this question:
"I've got smoke coming from the back of my terminal. Do you guys
have a fire downtown?"
This has got to be one of the funniest things I've heard of in a long time. I think this guy
should have been promoted, not fired. This is a true story from the "WordPerfect Helpline"
which was transcribed from a recording monitoring the customer care department. Needless
to say, the Help Desk employee was fired; however, he is currently suing the WordPerfect
organization for "Termination without Cause." This is the actual dialogue of a former
WordPerfect Customer Support employee. (Now I know why they record these conversations).
****Note from Editor: This story has been around for a while. I've seen it several times over the years.
I would like to say that this story is an urban legend but I've had calls like this myself so it might,
unfortunately, be true.****
"Rich Hall computer assistance; May I help you?"
"Yes, well, I'm having trouble with WordPerfect."
"Well, I was just typing along, and all of a sudden the words went away."
"Hmmm. So what does your screen look like now?"
"It's a blank; it won't accept anything when I type."
"Are you still in WordPerfect, or did you get out?"
"How do I tell?"
"Can you see the C: prompt on the screen?"
"What's a sea-prompt?"
"Never mind, can you move your cursor around the screen?"
"There isn't any cursor: I told you, it won't accept anything I type."
"Does your monitor have a power indicator?"
"What's a monitor?"
"It's the thing with the screen on it that looks like a TV. Does it have a little light that tells you when it's on?"
"I don't know."
"Well, then look on the back of the monitor and find where the power cord goes into it.
Can you see that?"
"Yes, I think so."
"Great. Follow the cord to the plug, and tell me if it's plugged into the wall."
"Yes, it is."
"When you were behind the monitor, did you notice that there were two cables plugged
into the back of it, not just one?"
"Well, there are. I need you to look back there again and find the other cable."
"Okay, here it is."
"Follow it for me, and tell me if it's plugged securely into the back of your computer."
"I can't reach."
"Uh huh. Well, can you see if it is?"
"Even if you maybe put your knee on something and lean way over?"
"Oh, it's not, because I don't have the right angle, it's because it's dark."
"Yes - the office light is off, and the only light I have is coming in from the window."
"Well, turn on the office light then."
"No? Why not?"
"Because there's a power failure."
"A power...a power failure? Aha, Okay, we've got it licked now. Do you still have the
boxes and manuals and packing stuff your computer came in?"
"Well, yes, I keep them in the closet."
"Good. Go get them, and unplug your system and pack it up just like it was when you got
it. Then take it back to the store you bought it from."
"Really? Is it that bad?"
"Yes, I'm afraid it is."
"Well, all right then, I suppose. What do I tell them?"
"Tell them you're too f------ stupid to own a computer."
COSTELLO CALLS TO BUY A COMPUTER FROM ABBOTT
ABBOTT: Super Duper computer store. Can I help you?
COSTELLO: Thanks. I'm setting up an office in my den and I'm thinking about buying a computer.
COSTELLO: No, the name's Lou.
ABBOTT: Your computer?
COSTELLO: I don't own a computer. I want to buy one.
COSTELLO: I told you, my name's Lou.
ABBOTT: What about Windows?
COSTELLO: Why? Will it get stuffy in here?
ABBOTT: Do you want a computer with Windows?
COSTELLO: I don't know. What will I see when I look at the windows?
COSTELLO: Never mind the windows. I need a computer and software.
ABBOTT: Software for Windows?
COSTELLO: No. On the computer! I need something I can use to write proposals, track expenses and run my
business. What do you have?
COSTELLO: Yeah, for my office. Can you recommend anything?
ABBOTT: I just did.
COSTELLO: You just did what?
ABBOTT: Recommend something.
COSTELLO: You recommended something?
COSTELLO: For my office?
COSTELLO: OK, what did you recommend for my office?
COSTELLO: Yes, for my office!
ABBOTT: I recommend Office with Windows.
COSTELLO: I already have an office with windows! OK, let's just say I'm sitting at my computer and I want to
type a proposal. What do I need?
COSTELLO: What word?
ABBOTT: Word in Office.
COSTELLO: The only word in office is office.
ABBOTT: The Word in Office for Windows.
COSTELLO: Which word in office for windows?
ABBOTT: The Word you get when you click the blue "W".
COSTELLO: I'm going to click your blue "w" if you don't start with some straight answers. What about
financial bookkeeping? You have anything I can track my money with?
COSTELLO: That's right. What do you have?
COSTELLO: I need money to track my money?
ABBOTT: It comes bundled with your computer.
COSTELLO: What's bundled with my computer?
COSTELLO: Money comes with my computer?
ABBOTT: Yes. No extra charge.
COSTELLO: I get a bundle of money with my computer? How much?
ABBOTT: One copy.
COSTELLO: Isn't it illegal to copy money?
ABBOTT: Microsoft gave us a license to copy Money.
COSTELLO: They can give you a license to copy money?
ABBOTT: Why not? THEY OWN IT!
(A few days later)
ABBOTT: Super Duper computer store. Can I help you?
COSTELLO: How do I turn my computer off?
ABBOTT: Click on "START".............
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