Cars lost in parking garages, coffee before meetings all over shirts, and driving into floodwaters are all stories so far in the Tech Oops vein. The next story is a really interesting one. It starts early in the morning. There was a time when I was supporting a Fiery Printer for an advertising group at a bank. The helpdesk I was working on was supporting the entire bank. But I was the senior engineer, and the only one with any experience on the Mac. Back then, advertising companies and marketing groups were almost or at least most often using Macintosh computers. Fiery Printers were the color large format printers that produced high-quality graphic color poster output.
A user called me because the customer’s network team was struggling. Firery prints were 200-400 megs in size. Now today, most of us quickly move 200 to 400 megs of data. But this was in the days of 10 meg networks. The assumption, of course, is that anyone program gets all the bandwidth available. It doesn’t so when someone tells you that you have a gigabyte connection (1000 megs) you have to do some math to figure out how fast that connection is. Is it symmetrical (1000 up and 1000 down) or not. In the case of a ten meg ethernet card, back in the early 1990s, it was ten up and ten down. But the files being moved were 200 to 400 meg. So it took time to move the files.
The networking team decided to shut off the network segment. The printer was on two days before the end of the month — that way, the accounting team had full run of the network. That was a huge oops. You see the marketing department needed to print posters of the compings month’s bank special (no it wasn’t giving away toasters). The technical support person for the market team called me. We started the call as I dropped my daughter off at daycare (back in the days of bulky car phones). The second tech oops was in this was losing the call because back then you lost calls all the time. You see, back in the days of bag phones, you didn’t have caller ID.
I didn’t have a number.
My phone rang.
I said “hello.”
The tech person from the bank said: “I lost you; you didn’t call me back.”
“sorry in the car, I don’t have your number.” The only thing I could say.
“Its XXX-XXX-XXXX” the person said.
“I don’t have a pen or paper in the car either,” I replied.
“ok,” the person said, “I will say my number slowly.”