Category: Technology

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Something About The Situation Is Off

| USA | Extra Stupid, Teachers, Technology

(I am fixing a computer a teacher is having problems with and because of this she cannot pull up a slideshow for her class.)

Me: “All right, ma’am, what seems to be the problem?”

Teacher: “This computer won’t work, and I need it to teach!”

Me: “I’ll see what I can do.”

Teacher: “Good luck. No one else can fix it. I think it has something to do with the Internet.”

(I look at the computer and the monitor is off. After I turn it on and the screen is still black, the Teacher has a smug look on her face.)

Teacher: “See? I told you!”

Me: “Let me look at the actual computer.”

(I look at the tower, and surprise surprise, it is off. I turn it on, and the computer successfully starts up and connects to the internet.)

Teacher: “Oh. I could have done that.”

Me: “I’m sure you could have.”

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Their Understanding Of The Problem Is A Bit Floppy

| BC, Canada | Ignoring/Inattentive, Technology

(It is the mid ‘80s and I have just finished a two-year computer programming diploma program. I am on a short-term work contract with a provincial government agency to do a few projects for them. This is the days of 5-1/4 inch floppy drives. The computer assigned to me has a strange fault where periodically it makes an odd VRRT… VRRT… VRRT… sound and corrupts the diskette in the primary drive. I quickly learn to back-up… back-up… back-up… at about twenty-minute intervals. I also report it to my immediate supervisor.)

Me: “[Manager], my computer has a malfunction and periodically makes a strange noise and clobbers the diskette in the drive.”

Manager: “Are you sure it has a problem?”

Me: “Yes.”

Manager: “Okay, I’ll call someone to check on it.”

(About a week later I am supposed to show Manager my progress to date. Also, no one has come to check on the computer.)

Me: “All right, I’ll show you what I’ve got working so far.”

(I start running the skeleton program I’ve developed so far.)

Computer: “VRRT… VRRT… VRRT…”

Me: “Oh, rats. The disk just got clobbered. I’ll have to make a copy from a back-up and then show you.”

Manager: “Your work doesn’t look too promising, but I’m busy and I’ll check back with you later.”

Me: “Could you get someone to look at the computer?”

Manager: *making face* “I’ll check into it.”

(A few days later a special trainer is flown in from Vancouver to teach the clerks in the office how to use a brand new word processing machine. She is put up in the best hotel in town. She comes in on her first morning and is instructing the first group of people. They are using my computer as I have lowest priority in the office so I am just standing nearby watching. She has loaded the program and is about five minutes into the training.)

Computer: “VRRT… VRRT… VRRT…”

Me: “Um… Do you have a copy of that word processing program?”

Instructor: “Well, of course not; it costs $1800 per package and they are only going to give me one.”

Me: “Well… The computer just ate your program disk.”

Instructor: “Don’t be silly; computers don’t do that.”

(She tries to go to the next screen and the program crashes when it tries to read the drive.)

Instructor: “Don’t worry, ladies, this sometimes happens. I’ll just reboot.”

(Screen displays disk error when she tries to reboot.)

Instructor: *turning to me* “What is wrong with this machine?”

Me: “Did you hear it when it went VRRT… VRRT… VRRT…? That was when it was eating your disk. You will not be able to continue with your instructing.”

(I got a new computer.)

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With Great Power Comes Great Malware

| Perth, WA, Australia | Technology

(My lecturer has come to the topic of loops in programming. For those who do not know, loops are blocks of code that run over and over again until a certain condition is met. The lecturer, as a teaching point, takes an example of a loop that will run forever and runs the code.)

Lecturer: “If you ever find yourself in this situation, simply hit Ctrl+C.”

(The code stops.)

Lecturer: “In the next lesson, I’ll teach you how to disable Ctrl+C.”

Me: “And then the program will run until reality redefines itself such that ten is less than zero!”

Another Student: “So is this how malware works?”

Lecturer: “Well, yes. Another student once ran an infinite loop like this, creating new files repeatedly. With great power…”

(And that is the story of how I learned how to code a worm.)

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Life Or Social Media

| CA, USA | Students, Technology

(I’m a sophomore. I’m in my math class in my group with three other students. I’m trying to do my work, while the two guys are talking to the other girl.)

Guy: “[Girl], do you have a Facebook?”

Girl: *laughs* “No. I have a life.”

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Mac Attack

| Orlando, FL, USA | Exams/Tests, Students, Technology

(I just transferred to a big university after doing my AA at a community college. My major requires me to take some extra intro computer classes, so I find myself in a couple of classes where I am surrounded by 200 freshmen or even dual-enrolled high-school kids. There is this one really rude girl in the class that no one likes.)

Professor: “Okay, so, this week we are going to learn this tool, and here are the hot keys for PC and Mac. Now, remember, all of this is free game on the quiz at the end of the week.”

Student: *raises hand* “Um, [Professor], I don’t use Mac because I don’t like it and I have a PC, so will I be exempt from knowing that information on the quiz?”

Professor: *laughs* “Um, no. Everyone has to get the same quiz, and everyone is expected to know the same information.”

Student: “But I will never use Mac; I don’t need to know this information.”

Professor: “Whether or not you use it is your choice, but you will still be expected to know it for this class.”

Student: “But that’s totally unfair! I only use PC; therefore, I only need to learn the PC information.”

Professor: “Learn whatever you want, but there WILL be Mac related questions on our quizzes, especially since most of the school’s labs use Mac, and you will be expected to know them.”

(The professor continued the lecture, and the girl got up and walked out about halfway through. Funny enough, the quiz that week only had two PC questions, and the rest Mac. I didn’t see the girl again in class so I’m assuming she withdrew from it.)

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