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* Make up fake acronyms. On-line veterans like to use abbreviations like IMHO (in my humble opinion) and RTFM (read the f…… manual) to show that they’re “hip” to the lingo. Make up your own that don’t stand for anything (SETO, BARL, CP30), use them liberally, and then refuse to explain what they stand for (“You don’t know? RDFM”).

* WRITE ALL YOUR MESSAGES IN ALL CAPS AND DON’T USE PERIODS OR RETURNS SO THAT EVERYONE HAS TO SCROLL ACROSS THEIR SCREENS TO READ EVERY LINE ALSO USE A LOT OF !!!!!! AND DDOOUUBBLLEESS TO SHOW THAT YOU’RE EXCITED ABOUT BEING HERE!!!!!!!

* When replying to your mail, correct everyone’s grammar and spelling and point out their typos, but don’t otherwise respond to the content of their messages. When they respond testily to your ‘creative criticism,” do it again. Continue until they go away.

* Software and files offered on-line are often “compressed” so that it won’t take so long to travel over the phone lines. Buy a compression program and compress everything you send, including one-word E-mail responses like “Thanks.”

* Upload text files with Bible passages about sin or guilt and give them names like “SexyHouseWives,” then see how many people download them. Challenge your friends to come up with the most popular come-on. Take bets and calculate odds on the results of each upload’s popularity.

* cc: all your E-mail to president@whitehouse.gov so that he can keep track of what’s happening on the information Superhighway Internet.

* Join a discussion group, and tie whatever’s being discussed back to an unrelated central theme of your own. For instance, if you’re in a discussion of gun control, respond to every message with the observation that those genetically superior tomatoes seem to have played an important role. Within days, all discussion of gun control will have ceased as people write you threatening messages and instruct all other members to ignore you.

Customer: “I got this problem. You people sent me this install disk, and now my A: drive won’t work.”
Tech Support: “Your A drive won’t work?”
Customer: “That’s what I said. You sent me a bad disk, it got stuck in my drive, now it won’t work at all.”
Tech Support: “Did it not install properly? What kind of error messages did you get?”
Customer: “I didn’t get any error message. The disk got stuck in the drive and wouldn’t come out. So I got these pliers and tried to get it out. That didn’t work either.”
Tech Support: “You did what sir?”
Customer: “I got these pliers, and tried to get the disk out, but it wouldn’t budge. I just ended up cracking the plastic stuff a bit.”
Tech Support: “I don’t understand sir, did you push the eject button?”
Customer: “No, so then I got a stick of butter and melted it and used a turkey baster and put the butter in the drive, around the disk, and that got it loose. I can’t believe you would send me a disk that was broke and defective.”
Tech Support: “Let me get this clear. You put melted butter in your A: drive and used pliers to pull the disk out?”
At this point, I put the call on the speaker phone and motioned at the other techs to listen in.
Tech Support: “Just so I am absolutely clear on this, can you repeat what you just said?”
Customer: “I said I put butter in my A: drive to get your crappy disk out, then I had to use pliers to pull it out.”
Tech Support: “Did you push that little button that was sticking out when the disk was in the drive, you know, the thing called the disk eject button?”
Silence
Tech Support: “Sir?”
Customer: “Yes.”
Tech Support: “Sir, did you push the eject button?”
Customer: “No, but you people are going to fix my computer, or I am going to sue you for breaking my computer?”
Tech Support: “Let me get this straight. You are going to sue our company because you put the disk in the A: drive, didn’t follow the instructions we sent you, didn’t actually seek professional advice, didn’t consult your user’s manual on how to use your computer properly, instead proceeding to pour butter into the drive and physically rip the disk out?”
Customer: “Ummmm.”
Tech Support: “Do you really think you stand a chance, since we do record every call and have it on tape?”
Customer: (now rather humbled) “But you’re supposed to help!”
Tech Support: “I am sorry sir, but there is nothing we can do for you. Have a nice day.”

‘Twas the night before Y2K,
And all through the nation
We awaited The Bug,
The Millennium sensation.

The chips were replaced
In computers with care,
In hopes that ol’ Bugsy
Wouldn’t stop there.

While some folks could think
They were snug in their beds
Others had visions
Of dread in their heads.

And Ma with her PC,
And I with my Mac
Had just logged on the Net
And kicked back with a snack.

When over the server,
There arose such a clatter
I called Mister Gates
To see what was the matter.

But he was away,
So I flew like a flash
Off to my bank
To withdraw all my cash.

When what with my wandering eyes
Should I see?
My good old Mac
Looked sick to me.

The hack of all hackers
Was looking so smug,
I knew that it must be
The Y2K Bug!

His image downloaded
In no time at all,
He whistled and shouted,
Let all systems fall!

Go Intel! Go Gateway!
Now HP! Big Blue!
Everything Compaq,
And Pentium too!

All processors big,
All processors small,
Crash away! Crash away!
Crash away all!

All the controls
That planes need for their flights
All microwaves, trains
And all traffic lights.

As I drew in my breath
And was turning around,
Out through the modem,
He came with a bound.

He was covered with fur,
And slung on his back
Was a sackful of virus,
Set for attack.

His eyes-how they twinkled!
His dimples-how merry!
As midnight approached, though
Things soon became scary.

He had a broad little face
And a round little belly,
And his sack filled with virus
Quivered like jelly.

He was chubby and plump,
Perpetually grinning,
And I laughed when I saw him
Though my hard drive stopped spinning.

A wink of his eye,
And a twist of his head,
Soon gave me to know
A new feeling of dread.

He spoke not a word,
But went straight to his work,
He changed all the clocks,
Then turned with a jerk.

With a twitch of his nose,
And a quick little wink,
All things electronic
Soon went on the blink.

He zoomed from my system,
To the next folks on line,
He caused such a disruption,
Could this be a sign?

Then I heard him exclaim,
With a loud, hearty cry,
Happy Y2K to all,
Kiss your PCs good-bye!

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?”

Costello: Hey, Abbott!

Abbott: Yes, Lou?

Costello: I just got my first computer.

Abbott: That’s great Lou. What did you get?

Costello: A Pentium IV 1.4 Gig, with 512 Megs of RAM, a 21 Gig hard drive, and a 48X CD-ROM.

Abbott: That’s terrific, Lou.

Costello: But I don’t know what any of it means!!

Abbott: You will in time.

Costello: That’s exactly why I am here to see you.

Abbott: Oh?

Costello: I heard that you are a real computer expert.

Abbott: Well, I don’t know-

Costello: Yes-sir-ee. You know your stuff. And you’re going to train me.

Abbott: Really?

Costello: Uh huh. And I am here for my first lesson.

Abbott: O.K. Lou. What do want to know?

Costello: I am having no problem turning it on, but I heard that you should be very careful how you turn it off.

Abbott: That’s true.

Costello: So, here I am working on my new computer and I want to turn it off. What do I do?

Abbott: Well, first you press the Start button, and then-

Costello: No, I told you, I want to turn it off.

Abbott: I know, you press the Start button-

Costello: Wait a second. I want to turn it off. Off. I know how to start it. So tell me what to do.

Abbott: I did.

Costello: When?

Abbott: When I told you to press the Start button.

Costello: Why should I press the Start button?

Abbott: To shut off the computer.

Costello: I press Start to stop.

Abbott: Well Start doesn’t actually stop the computer.

Costello: I knew it! So what do I press.

Abbott: Start

Costello: Start what?

Abbott: Start button.

Costello: Start button to do what?

Abbott: Shut down.

Costello: You don’t have to get rude!

Abbott: No, no, no! That’s not what I meant.

Costello: Then say what you mean.

Abbott: To shut down the computer, press-

Costello: Don’t say, “Start!”

Abbott: Then what do you want me to say?

Costello: Look, if I want to turn off the computer, I am willing to press the Stop button, the End button and Cease and Desist button, but no one in their right mind presses the Start to Stop.

Abbott: But that’s what you do.

Costello: And you probably Go at Stop signs, and Stop at green lights.

Abbott: Don’t be ridiculous.

Costello: I am being ridiculous? Well. I think it’s about time we started this conversation.

Abbott: What are you talking about?

Costello: I am starting this conversation right now. Good-bye.



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