Guest-Starring: Frederic Beauvois

Today’s strip guest-stars Frederic Beauvois, dedicated by one of his friends, as a “Welcome to the island” gift. Cryptic, yes, but hey, sometimes that’s the way it is.

Enjoy your ‘toon, Fred!


P.S. What are some of the most horrific computer tragedies YOU’VE witnessed first hand? Sound off in the comments below!

These beautiful and intelligent people wrote

  • Jakk FrostReply
    September 27, 2009 at 7:55 pm

    That would have to be my own tragedy, back when I was a kid, just starting out with computers (I’m a Windows guy, so don’t hold it against me, k?), got my first PC and used it like any kid who doesn’t know squat about his computer, I surfed the net, downloaded pictures of my favorite actors and actresses… and cartoons.

    One day I got sick of the pop-ups I kept getting, and went looking for a pop-up blocker (I often frequented those download warehouse websites like Tucows), found one, and downloaded it to try it out.

    Now, at the time, I didn’t know, or care, if I was running windows 98 or 2000, or even what the difference was (it was 98, btw). Apparently that was a pretty important thing to know. The pop-up blocker said it required windows 2000, so I figured ok, no biggie, if I’m not running 2000, the program will see that when I try to install and tell me it can’t. Logical right?

    Guess not.

    As soon as the thing installed, I started having problems, such that I can’t describe, mostly because it was so long ago that I don’t remember them, just that it was bad. In the end, that tiny little program to block pop-ups had somehow done physical damage to my computer, frying my hard drive, motherboard, and god knows what else. It was a lost cause and we wound up having to get an entirely new computer.

    Yeah, the parents weren’t too thrilled with me about that…

  • PhazzerReply
    September 27, 2009 at 8:23 pm

    One time I had to go over to a friends house because he said his computer was acting weird (Problem of the century, right?). I get there and find out his computer is infected with a plethora of viruses. I figured he was downloading porn from a dubious website or something but as it would turn out he was playing the little “Shoot the and win an iPod!” games on the pop ups. I don’t think I’d ever face palmed so hard in my life.

  • PatrickBPReply
    September 28, 2009 at 1:04 am

    Visited a customer today who told me he “dropped his PC”. What really happend was it fell off the back of his truck. The computer case was ripped open from the back. His question? “Is the motherboard okay?” He wasn’t happy when I said a new computer was an option….

  • Kevin RubinReply
    September 28, 2009 at 8:29 am

    While not exactly the same, this reminds me of when I was doing tech support a decade ago for software. But we had a new big, key customer so the manager said to help with whatever hardware and networking we could for them. I was on the phone with their office manager, a non-techie (she knew their business inside and out, of course) and trying to help get their fancy server up on the network.

    I walked through some of the usual software stuff (I’m a software guy…) and couldn’t find anything wrong. Finally I asked her to look at the back of the computer for the network cable and asked if it was plugged in. She confirmed it was, I asked if it was tight or loose or jiggled around and she confirmed it was tight.

    Then I asked if the other end was plugged tightly into the wall. She said she’d have to crawl under the desk and for me to hold on a moment. I did, and when she came back on the phone she said “there is no other end.”

    Fortunately she knew that was a task for their network vendor, and not for me to troubleshoot over the phone…

  • GJBReply
    September 28, 2009 at 9:38 am

    I hate USB plugs. Inevitably I’m always trying to plug them in the wrong way the first time.

  • tcmcelmurryReply
    September 28, 2009 at 11:29 am

    As a network administrator I’ve seen my share of people cramming things in, modifying things to attempt to get them to fit or work beyond their means so I could easily fill up an entire site with stories.

    One I always reference when talking to folks was when I first got out of College and was working my first paying job. It was 1997 and I was called out to a site that we had recently upgraded. They had a whole plethora of data on 5.25″ disks and we had spent several days converting it over to 3.5″ for them for the arrival of their new systems.

    The call came in that one of the disks had jammed and they could not get it out of the drive. Well my first thought was that the spring had come lose on the slider arm and the arm was jamming. Happened frequently with older 3.5″ drives, so I loaded up and headed over. Upon arriving I noticed a pair of needle nose pliers sitting on the desk and they lady told me she had tried to jerk it out but couldn’t. As I leaned down to examine the drive I noticed something sticking out of it that resembled black plastic, then it dawned on me what had happened.

    She had arrived at work, grabbed out one of the old 5.25″ disks and preceded to stick in the 3.5″ drive. When she couldn’t find a successful way to get it in she had folded the 5.25″ disk in half and crammed it as hard as she could into the drive. Needless to say she was totally embarrassed, and when I got back to the shop me and the guys had a good hard laugh.

  • AnonReply
    September 28, 2009 at 12:35 pm

    I’m a Genius at an Apple Store and I had a fun one last week.

    A customer brought in an iPhone that wouldn’t charge. The customer said there might be something stuck in the dock connector. Sure enough, I got out the loupe and there was some brown material in there. I wasn’t too concerned, as I’ve seen chocolate, dirt, etc. since iPhones end up in pockets quite often.

    After about a minute of digging out the brown material with a small tool, the customer’s (about) 5 year old kid said “mommy, that’s probably from when the iPhone fell in the toilet!”

    I couldn’t wash my hands fast enough.

  • TulleReply
    September 28, 2009 at 3:15 pm

    My sister is what you might call a hardcore blond, i.e. no technical skill what so ever. A couple of years back she was complaining she couldn’t open any of the folders on her computer, so I turn on her computer, wait for it to boot, and open my documents.
    Everything worked fine.
    So I go to her and tell her I cant find any problems with her computer, and that she can use it now.
    Two minutes later she comes back to me and says that she still cant open any folders.
    I walk with her down to the computer, sit down, and I open my documents again, while she is peering over my shoulder.
    “What was that you did with the mouse? To open it?”
    -“What, a double-click?”
    –“You have to double-click to open stuff?”

    That was five years ago, on a Win98. Ive spent the last week trying to explain to her that the Wi-Fi signal from the router has a hard time getting through a floor and ten meters of house, and that is why her internet sometimes has connection issues. Her solution? Take five two-feet USB extender cables and bring the receiver out into the next room.

  • Mike DedmonReply
    October 8, 2009 at 3:09 pm

    I used to be the network engineer for a large semiconductor company. One of our test floors called because a PC wouldn’t boot that morning. After a LOT of troubleshooting, I discovered that someone had pulled a memory chip out of the computer. In the process they had broken it in half. Their attempt to cover it up was to super glue it back together and put in back in the case. Yeah – I know! REALLY happened!

Tell me what you think!