I never realized it was so dangerous to be a programmer




  • Actual feedback submitted to Microsoft:

    id: 13726

    Date: 1996-07-29 17:27:41.997

    Name: ***********

    Email: *************

    Area: Windows 95

    Comments:

    PLEASE read this entire email as it is quite serious.
    I just discovered today that in the Windows 95 operating system,
    there are no switches, command line options,
    or any way whatsoever to have the XCOPY command include
    hidden/system files in it's operations.
    It is clear that at some point in the development of the Windows 95 product,
    that somebody made a conscious decision to implement the xcopy command in this manner.
    It is also clear from looking at the Windows NT XCOPY command
    that it can be implemented in the manner I describe.
    Therefore, let me give fair warning. This may not be easy,
    and I will expect no help from Microsoft in finding out who
    this person (or persons) was that made this decision,
    but....eventually I will find out who made this decision,
    and I will kill them.
    This is not an idle threat - I will pursue this matter
    until it is resolved...whoever is responsible for this incredibly
    ridiculous implementation of what would be an otherwise useful
    tool will die at my hands, hopefully in a bloody, painful fashion.
    You will not get away.



  • @El_Heffe said:


    Actual feedback submitted to Microsoft:

    id: 13726

    Date: 1996-07-29 17:27:41.997

    Name: ***********

    Email: *************

    Area: Windows 95

    Comments:

    PLEASE read this entire email as it is quite serious.
    I just discovered today that in the Windows 95 operating system,
    there are no switches, command line options,
    or any way whatsoever to have the XCOPY command include
    hidden/system files in it's operations.
    It is clear that at some point in the development of the Windows 95 product,
    that somebody made a conscious decision to implement the xcopy command in this manner.
    It is also clear from looking at the Windows NT XCOPY command
    that it can be implemented in the manner I describe.
    Therefore, let me give fair warning. This may not be easy,
    and I will expect no help from Microsoft in finding out who
    this person (or persons) was that made this decision,
    but....eventually I will find out who made this decision,
    and I will kill them.
    This is not an idle threat - I will pursue this matter
    until it is resolved...whoever is responsible for this incredibly
    ridiculous implementation of what would be an otherwise useful
    tool will die at my hands, hopefully in a bloody, painful fashion.
    You will not get away.

    is this not cause for legal court cases in usa?



  • I imagine the response to that feedback was to inform them of the /H switch, which acts exactly the same as the equivalent switch in NT4.

     




  •  When I was starting out many years back doing some helldesk I often received threats of violence and other harassment from customers, this was probably because of the poor level of service the joke of a company I worked for provided. I could do my best to provide support but when equipment needed to be repaired it would take forever and like any call centre monkey I had instructions on what could and couldn't be covered and had to stick to my script. "Just following orders" might keep your superiors happy but the customer's were effectively the enemy and a footsoldier like myself was just fair game, even when off duty.

     

    Ricky - Ricky was a tall, bald imposing man with dark brown skin and and a frown that could crush cans just by looking at them. When the company took too long to do his computer repair his solution was to stalk me, he was never violent or threatening and opted to use the "Nah nah, I'm not touching you!" approach of winding me up. He'd wait at the bus stop and get the same bus home, he'd follow me round the supermarket, I'd find him standing outside my house and he'd just keep asking "When am I getting my computer back?" and I've have to keep telling him "I don't know, I don't carry the repair guys schedule around with me!"

    Mr F - I never met Mr F but his voice is how I imagine the Y U NO guy to sound, he would just repeatedly hassle the call centre and every other phone in the company once he worked out what the direct dials were asking "Y U NO FIX MY COMPUTER?", to his credit it worked as the time spent and disruption caused by his constant pestering forced the boss to promote his repairs to the top. This was basically the rule at this place, whoever complained the most got it done first to the point that eventually, people who waited patiently in the queue actually started going backwards.

    Mick Skinner - Simple but highly effectively, his offer to 'demonstrate' his tackling skills on everyone in the shop precipitated a quick turnaround.

    JSP - When dis satisfied with the service I gave her decided to use her position as a 'Grumpy Old Woman' to rant about it on national television.

     

     



  • @BC_Programmer said:

    I imagine the response to that feedback was to inform them of the /H switch, which acts exactly the same as the equivalent switch in NT4.

    So the user never RTFM'd? I thought Windows was supposed to be easy to use!



  • @EncoreSpod said:

    When the company took too long to do his computer repair his solution was to stalk me, he was never violent or threatening and opted to use the "Nah nah, I'm not touching you!" approach of winding me up. He'd wait at the bus stop and get the same bus home, he'd follow me round the supermarket, I'd find him standing outside my house and he'd just keep asking "When am I getting my computer back?" and I've have to keep telling him "I don't know, I don't carry the repair guys schedule around with me!"
    ...wtf


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @DOA said:

    @EncoreSpod said:

    When the company took too long to do his computer repair his solution was to stalk me, he was never violent or threatening and opted to use the "Nah nah, I'm not touching you!" approach of winding me up. He'd wait at the bus stop and get the same bus home, he'd follow me round the supermarket, I'd find him standing outside my house and he'd just keep asking "When am I getting my computer back?" and I've have to keep telling him "I don't know, I don't carry the repair guys schedule around with me!"
    ...wtf

    The apparent acceptance of the situation, without reporting it, would indicate something akin to Stockholm Syndrome. Especially if you presume at least one of the other anecdotes were personal.



    [Edit - hurrah for Spoonerisms within words (anectodes/anecdotes for those late to the party)....]



  • @PJH said:

    [Edit - hurrah for Spoonerisms within words (anectodes/anecdotes for those late to the party)....]
    +1 for 
    doing some helldesk



  • @Zemm said:

    So the user never RTFM'd? I thought Windows was supposed to be easy to use!

    Not precisely, for some reason they neither tried to use the switch themselves nor did they even do xcopy /? to see available switches (which I suppose could be called the manual)- but reached the conclusion somehow that it had no switches at all for some reason.



  •  RE: Stockholm syndrome. It was never really an issue, its not like I liked these people. The ones I gave were just an example of the kind of response this company would get, it was something you just had to put up with as part of the game at this place. It got me paid for a few years and it never got out of hand, I wouldn't have kept it up if I thought it would. You're reading from a guy who once started a fight in a chip shop over a lighter which ended with me standing holding the lighter over two guys in a pool of broken glass. a guy who opened a man's skull and gave him permanent brain damage over a an attempt to steal a bicycle. I was quite happy to let Ricky's feeble attempts at intimidation pass knowing that he couldn't get away with much if he ever took it that far.

     RE: Personal. All of the anecdotes were ones that personally happened to me, I had others if you are interested. One I call 'The crying game".

    I answer the phone one day and its the usual story of a customer with a PC problem that has come back for repair, she sounds nice, female, sexy voice. I start telling her how it is, she isn't happy. She starts crying, telling me how serious this is, how her boyfriend isn't happy about that this and it makes him angry and he might hurt her because the PC isn't working. I can't do anything for her, nothing is resolved, we hang up... I'm onto my next call... the guy next to me waves me and we go on mute, he says he's got this girl on the line in a really bad way, she started out fine but now she's crying. We swap order numbers, its the same girl.

    She tried two or three other guys with the same trick, start out polite and sexy and happy, get their sympathy then tried to use it. By then word had gotten around the desks, it didn't work.

    RE: Helldesk.

    If you've ever done it, you know why I call it that. Nuf said.

     



  • @PJH said:

    @DOA said:

    @EncoreSpod said:

    When the company took too long to do his computer repair his solution was to stalk me, he was never violent or threatening and opted to use the "Nah nah, I'm not touching you!" approach of winding me up. He'd wait at the bus stop and get the same bus home, he'd follow me round the supermarket, I'd find him standing outside my house and he'd just keep asking "When am I getting my computer back?" and I've have to keep telling him "I don't know, I don't carry the repair guys schedule around with me!"
    ...wtf

    The apparent acceptance of the situation, without reporting it, would indicate something akin to Stockholm Syndrome. Especially if you presume at least one of the other anecdotes were personal.



    [Edit - hurrah for Spoonerisms within words (anectodes/anecdotes for those late to the party)....]

    Stockholm Syndrome? That's pretty unreal. What did you expect him to do... call the cops on the guy whose computer he took? That would be pretty bad customer support, even by the low standards of IT.



  • @EncoreSpod said:

    RE: Helldesk.

    If you've ever done it, you know why I call it that. Nuf said.

     

    To help in my first month of telephone-jockey, a couple of the longer-standing helldeskers unrolled several sheets of fanfold into one long banner and stuck it up above the office window, upon which they'd drawn a sliding scale of "fuckwitted" and "clueful", adding customer names as and when they called in upon this scale so I'd be prepared. If it wasn't listed, I just had to speak the name out aloud and one of them would point to their estimation upon the scale.

    It worked to a fair degree (we had to take it down when expecting a customer visit and it never went up again) but in my short time I discovered:

    1. the level of cluelessness didn't always increase with the management level - some actually accepted the fact they were dimwits when it came to technology and were happy to have their hands held
    2. the level of bullshit often increased with the more junior ranks, as though they had something to prove
    3. incompetence, arrogance, selfishness, impatience and ignorance aren't just prevalent in IT - all walks of life had them. These characteristics didn't respect race, sex, age or vocation.
    4. it didn't take much to get many of those in the middle to move up towards clueful - there's a certain breed of people that actively wanted to know what was wrong and what they could do next time to fix it (or prevent it recurring)
    5. those high up in the clueful end pretty much got used to ringing in with "we've fucked
      it up, we did ${action} - please help!" and it would be sorted quite
      quickly. They found they never got ripped a new one for quick-fessing, and understood the quality of information supplied greatly influenced problem diagnosis, leading to shorter incident duration and quicker closure.
    6. those deep down in the dark dim end didn't really do much to aid us or themselves and were well-known to be complete wastes of atoms by their co-workers. Come the austerity measures, I'm sure they were the first to go. I've no idea how the hell they found gainful employment with an attitude and behaviour like that (yes, nepotism, I know...)
    I'd have to say my time on the blower was an enlightening experience. I've read many "tales from the techs" and whilst some look to be embellished for novelty value, I can certify in my experience that many seem completely plausible.

     



  • @Cassidy said:

    @EncoreSpod said:

    RE: Helldesk.

    If you've ever done it, you know why I call it that. Nuf said.

     

     

    I don not know who you are, where you come from, your gender or anything else about you but from your post I know we share an epxerience. Sir/Madame, I love you. :)

     


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @bridget99 said:

    @PJH said:
    @DOA said:

    @EncoreSpod said:

    When the company took too long to do his computer
    repair his solution was to stalk me, he was never violent or threatening and
    opted to use the "Nah nah, I'm not touching you!" approach of winding me up.
    He'd wait at the bus stop and get the same bus home, he'd follow me round the
    supermarket, I'd find him standing outside my house and he'd just keep asking
    "When am I getting my computer back?" and I've have to keep telling him "I don't
    know, I don't carry the repair guys schedule around with me!"
    ...wtf

    The apparent acceptance of the situation, without reporting it, would indicate something akin to Stockholm Syndrome. Especially if you presume at least one of the other anecdotes were personal.

    [Edit - hurrah for Spoonerisms within words (anectodes/anecdotes for those late to the party)....]
    Stockholm Syndrome? That's pretty unreal. What did you expect him to do... call the cops on the guy whose computer he took?
    No. I'd expect him to report the stalker.

  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @EncoreSpod said:

    RE: Stockholm syndrome. It was never really an issue, its not like I liked these
    people.
    ... or reported the stalker, apparently. You appear to have accepted the situation as part of your job.@EncoreSpod said:
    It got me paid for a few years and it never got out of hand,
    I'd treat acquiring a stalker as a consequence of doing your job as 'getting out of hand.'



  • One useful thing in Windows 95 which has been removed in XP is the FORMAT /AUTOTEST command.



  • @PJH said:

    @bridget99 said:
    @PJH said:
    @DOA said:

    @EncoreSpod said:

    When the company took too long to do his computer
    repair his solution was to stalk me, he was never violent or threatening and
    opted to use the "Nah nah, I'm not touching you!" approach of winding me up.
    He'd wait at the bus stop and get the same bus home, he'd follow me round the
    supermarket, I'd find him standing outside my house and he'd just keep asking
    "When am I getting my computer back?" and I've have to keep telling him "I don't
    know, I don't carry the repair guys schedule around with me!"
    ...wtf

    The apparent acceptance of the situation, without reporting it, would indicate something akin to Stockholm Syndrome. Especially if you presume at least one of the other anecdotes were personal.

    [Edit - hurrah for Spoonerisms within words (anectodes/anecdotes for those late to the party)....]
    Stockholm Syndrome? That's pretty unreal. What did you expect him to do... call the cops on the guy whose computer he took?
    No. I'd expect him to report the stalker.

    If I ever find out that someone who works for me took this approach - i.e. complained in any formal way about someone who was simply asking for an update on some work that was taking a long time - then that person will be terminated on the spot. It doesn't matter how many times they ask or where they do the asking. EncoreSpod decided he wanted to wear the lofty title of "Computer Technician" (or whatever) and he therefore must either deal with the deadlines and the heat the results when they're missed, or he must return to his previous position as a "Bag Boy" (or whatever). Something tells me this has already happened...



  • @bridget99 said:

    If I ever find out that someone who works for me took this approach - i.e. complained in any formal way about someone who was simply asking for an update on some work that was taking a long time - then that person will be terminated on the spot. It doesn't matter how many times they ask or where they do the asking.
     

    I bet your staff are truly thankful that they have a supportive and understanding manager, right?

     



  • @EncoreSpod said:

    gave him permanent brain damage over a an attempt to steal a bicycle
    I had my bicycle stolen when I was a kid. I have no problem with crippling these people.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @bridget99 said:

    about someone who was simply asking for an update on some work that was taking a long time
    Indeed. However that wasn't what was happening from the description:@EncoreSpod said:
    He'd wait at the bus stop and get the same bus home, he'd follow me round the
    supermarket, I'd find him standing outside my house
    If you think this is acceptable behaviour from a customer, and any employee suffering this should just accept it, then I'd be most surprised to learn that you haven't been the defendant in any constructive dismissal cases.



  • @zzo38 said:

    One useful thing in Windows 95 which has been removed in XP is the FORMAT /AUTOTEST command.
    Oh, the good old days.

    1.   Create bootable floppy disk
    2.   Add line to autoexec.bat:    format c: /autotest
    3.   Insert floppy into random computer
    4.  When computer is turned on . . . . . surprise **

     

     

    Update:  Apparently, merely typing line 2 above constitutes a threat.  While typing this, my AV program keeps popping up a warning:

     

    And I couldn't even post this this until I disabled the AV.



  • @El_Heffe said:

    @zzo38 said:

    One useful thing in Windows 95 which has been removed in XP is the FORMAT /AUTOTEST command.
    Oh, the good old days.

    1.   Create bootable floppy disk
    2.   Add line to autoexec.bat:    format c: /autotest
    3.   Insert floppy into random computer
    4.  When computer is turned on . . . . . surprise **

     

     

    Update:  Apparently, merely typing line 2 above constitutes a threat.  While typing this, my AV program keeps popping up a warning:

     

    And I couldn't even post this this until I disabled the AV.

    You run antivirus on your computer? WTF is up with that? Are you going to post pictures of your grandchildren next? How old are the grandkids these days... any physicians or college professors in the bunch yet? How's your bursitis LOL?



  • @bridget99 said:

    You run antivirus on your computer? WTF is up with that? Are you going to post pictures of your grandchildren next? How old are the grandkids these days... any physicians or college professors in the bunch yet? How's your bursitis LOL?



  • @El_Heffe said:

    @bridget99 said:

    You run antivirus on your computer? WTF is up with that? Are you going to post pictures of your grandchildren next? How old are the grandkids these days... any physicians or college professors in the bunch yet? How's your bursitis LOL?

    This is a programmer forum, sir. Real programmers don't run antivirus. You need to step off. Even if you actually do write code, this site isn't FOR you, it's ABOUT you.



  • @bridget99 said:

    You run antivirus on your computer? WTF is up with that? Are you going to post pictures of your grandchildren next? How old are the grandkids these days... any physicians or college professors in the bunch yet? How's your bursitis LOL?
    No, TRWTF is that zzo38 runs AVG, which at last check was a steaming pile of crap. Security Essentials is far superior.



  • @Douglasac said:

    zzo38 runs AVG
     

    He's not.



  • @El_Heffe said:

    And I couldn't even post this this until I disabled the AV.
     

    Just another case where GNU/Linux and it's userspace is simply superior ... I can type "mkfs /dev/sda1" just fine, and you could, too ;)

    So, kids, remember: instead of making a DOS bootdisk with "FORMAT C:"  just put MinGWs "mkfs.ext3" on it, and you can cause troubles even if there's a virusscanner installed! ("Oh sure, please scan this disk - better safe than sorry.")



  • In the old days it was your personal computer and you could do on in whatever you liked.

    Never mind that you could accidentally do something that prevented the operating system from working. It didn't really matter anyway as you could just boot from a floppy and it hardly needed much to boot anyway.

    As they continued to make the operating system more complex they started protecting people against their own stupdity but the public hates being told what they are or not allowed to do on their own computer. So Microsoft made it on Windows 95 that users were all admins and this remained the default on home XP systems too. I have to admit I am in the majority of computer users that do not like to be told that I am not allowed to do something on my own computer.

    There are other things I particularly hate - being asked to reboot, and programs that start with Windows or don't stop running when you think you have closed them, or leave services running. Apple are among the worst offenders so I presume getting a Mac wouldn't ease my issues with that.

    I have had far fewer problems with Windows 7 than I used to have with XP with regards to BSODs and computer failing to boot.

     


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