IT - Humor

ComputerWorld, September 1st, 2020
Logic only takes you so far, my dear Watson.

"It's 1984, and the small law firm where this basically non-techie pilot fish works has finally agreed to his suggestion to get computers and inkjet printers for all the secretaries.

Fish's stock rises when productivity soars, so he doesn't mind that he'll be in charge of fixing any of the machines that start to act up.

And the computers do have their moments and require constant hardware and software tinkering. Fortunately, the printers never fail. In fact, things are going pretty well, until one computer starts rebooting itself, for no apparent reason, several times a day, costing the secretary who uses it to lose all her work in progress..."

But it's a good lesson in humility

It's the mid-1970s, and this programmer pilot fish works for an IT service provider that supports several big insurance companies.

'We ran a huge (at that time) mainframe and a nationwide network and, of course, a large computer room,' says fish.

One winter night, fish is there working on a new program. There's a blizzard outside, so when the mainframe operator has finished running the nightly batch, fish tells him to go home, figuring he knows enough to compile his code.

It's a whole new world in this place

Flashback to 1988, when this pilot fish's IT experience is limited to work at computer stores on standalone PCs. But then he's hired to work in a real data center - raised floor, glass walls and full of Wang minicomputers.

'I was given an introductory walkthrough by my boss, then shown to my cubicle just outside the glass wall and left there,' says fish. 'I was awestruck. A real computer, on a network!'

Fish reads through his employee welcome packet, then logs into his terminal for the first time. Up pops a menu of choices. Gingerly, fish begins exploring. One menu option is WSNSTART. Fish selects that and presses Enter.

Wayback Wednesday: For My Next Trick ...
ComputerWorld, September 2nd, 2020
I think I fulfilled all the requirements perfectly.

Pilot fish is assigned to write a program to handle call center requests - everything from service scheduling and machine tracking to engineering change requests and design issues.

'Doing my best due diligence, I went from one department head to the next, pen and paper in hand, and asked each one for specific ideas of what they wanted,' says fish. 'Each of them responded the same: 'I don't know. Put something together and then we'll tweak it.''

Undaunted, fish goes to potential users in each department, asking for input. But it's the same story: 'Put something together and we'll figure it out from there.'

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