In 1977 I picked up my first copy of Cycle, a US motorcycle magazine, which usually gave first looks and news of the latest and greatest for two-wheeled fiends. In it, there was a brilliant off-road motorcycle column written by Ed Hertfelder, called 'The Duct Tapes' which over the next few years, was the first page I read after buying a copy. On one occasion, he wrote a column, starting off with "Did you ever?" and then proceeded to catalogue the trials and tribulations of off-roading, with some rictus-inducing one-liners. OK, it's sacrilege to even attempt it, but here's the IT version.
Did you ever decide that from today you'd have a really secure password, and then have to phone the helpdesk after the next reboot? Did you ever brag that you'd never spilled coffee on a keyboard and then five minutes later? Did you ever forget that you were head to foot with nylon clothing when inserting that expensive 1GB DIMM? Did you ever download a driver update from Microsoft's Windows Update site and trash the entire OS? Did you ever backup your entire system onto a tape that you couldn't find when the whole system died 30 minutes later? Did you ever format a Compact Flash card and find that the person you'd lent it to could still see all the data on it? Did you ever try to force a LAN cable into a FireWire port - and succeed? Did you ever go to CeBIT and walk further in one day than you had on a two week walking holiday in the Peak District? Did you ever spend hours fiddling with the volume control on a cheap cassette player trying to load a game on a ZX Spectrum? Did you ever plug the wrong power adaptor into a flat panel and blow the screen? Did you ever say to your young daughter that your laptop needed a quick reboot and then see her swiftly give it a kick? Did you ever fall asleep during a PowerPoint presentation and wake up with nobody in the room? Did you ever plug a wireless access point into the company LAN and forget that the DHCP server was enabled? Did you ever spend hours trying to configure a wireless connection on a laptop with 802.11b built-in and forget the hard on/off switch hidden away on the side?
I hasten to add that the (vast) majority of these weren't me, but I suspect there are people out there who could easily top these for hilarity, desperation, and downright idiocy - are you one of them?
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