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What’s the first question that the computer community asks?
“Is it PC compatible?”

A is for awk which runs like a snail, and
B is for biff which reads all your mail.

C is for cc as hackers recall, while
D is for dd the command that does all.

E is for emacs which rebinds your keys, and
F is for fsck which rebuilds your trees.

G is for grep a clever detective, while
H is for halt which may seem defective.

I is for indent which rarely amuses, and
J is for join which nobody uses.

K is for kill which makes you the boss, while
L is for lex which is missing from DOS.

M is for more from which less was begot, and
N is for nice which it really is not.

O is for od which prints out things nice, while
P is for passwd which reads in strings twice.

Q is for quota a Berkeley-type fable, and
R is for ranlib for sorting ar table.

S is for spell which attempts to belittle, while
T is for true which does very little.

U is for uniq which is used after sort, and
V is for vi which is hard to abort.

W is for whoami which tells you your name, while
X is, well, x of dubious fame.

Y is for yes which makes an impression, and
Z is for zcat which handles compression.

A helicopter was flying around above Seattle when an electrical malfunction disabled all of the aircraft’s electronic navigation and communications equipment. Due to the clouds and haze, the pilot could not determine the helicopter’s position and course to steer to the airport.

The pilot saw a tall building, flew toward it, circled, drew a handwritten sign, and held it in the helicopter’s window. The pilot’s sign said “WHERE, AM?” in large letters.

People in the tall building quickly responded to the aircraft, drew a large sign, and held it in a building window. Their sign said “YOU ARE IN A HELICOPTER.”

The pilot smiled, waved, looked at his map, determined the course to steer to SEATAC airport, and landed safely.

After they were on the ground, the copilot asked the pilot how the “YOU ARE IN A HELICOPTER” sign helped determine their position. The pilot responded “I knew that had to be the MICROSOFT building because they gave me a technically correct, but completely useless answer.”

Check out the following excerpts from a Wall Street Journal article by Jim Carlton.

Compaq is considering changing the command “Press Any Key” to “Press Return Key” because of the flood of calls asking where the “Any” key is.

AST technical support had a caller complaining that her mouse was hard to control with the dust cover on. The cover turned out to be the plastic bag the mouse was packaged in.

Another Compaq technician received a call from a man complaining that the system wouldn’t read word processing files from his old diskettes. After trouble-shooting for magnets and heat failed to diagnose the problem, it was found that the customer labeled the diskettes then rolled them into the typewriter to type the labels.

Another AST customer was asked to send a copy of her defective diskettes. A few days later a letter arrived from the customer along with Xeroxed copies of the floppies.

A Dell technician advised his customer to put his troubled floppy back in the drive and close the door. The customer asked the tech to hold on, and was heard putting the phone down, getting up and crossing the room to close the door to his room.

Another Dell customer called to say he couldn’t get his computer to fax anything. After 40 minutes of trouble-shooting, the technician discovered the man was trying to fax a piece of paper by holding it in front of the monitor screen and hitting the “send” key.

Another Dell customer needed help setting up a new program, so a Dell tech suggested he go to the local Egghead. “Yeah, I got me a couple of friends,” the customer replied. When told Egghead was a software store, the man said, “Oh, I thought you meant for me to find a couple of geeks.”

Yet another Dell customer called to complain that his keyboard no longer worked. He had cleaned it by filling up his tub with soap and water and soaking the keyboard for a day, then removing all the keys and washing them individually.

A Dell technician received a call from a customer who was enraged because his computer had told him he was “bad and an invalid.” The tech explained that the computer’s “bad command” and “invalid” responses shouldn’t be taken personally.

An exasperated caller to Dell Computer Tech Support couldn’t get her new Dell Computer to turn on. After ensuring the computer was plugged in, the technician asked her what happened when she pushed the power button. Her response, “I pushed and pushed on this foot pedal and nothing happens.” The “foot pedal” turned out to be the computer’s mouse.

Another customer called Compaq tech support to say her brand-new computer wouldn’t work. She said she unpacked the unit, plugged it in, and sat there for 20 minutes waiting for something to happen. When asked what happened when she pressed the power switch, she asked, “What power switch?”

First man: “You know, I hear Microsoft is going to start making Condoms.”

Second man: “That gives a whole new meaning to the words, ‘General Protection Fault.’”



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