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Off topic: Most embarrassing moments with PCs
Thread poster: Gianni Pastore

Gianni Pastore  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 02:57
Member (2007)
English to Italian
Jul 12, 2007

Anything goes, H/ware and S/ware problems, BSOD screens, you name it.

As far as I am concerned, has to be the very first moment I've ever seen a PC. It was around 1994 I think (not so long ago, after all!), and this friend of mine had this Personal in his studio. I approached him from the back staring at the screen and all of a sudden I went like:

"Oooh, look! There's an arrow moving on the screen..."


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Jan Willem van Dormolen  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 02:57
English to Dutch
+ ...
Plug it in, you stupid Jul 12, 2007

My most embarrassing moment:
I'm regarded as the local pc guru at the school where I work. One day the receptionist was in panic because her printer didn't work. I spent well over an hour trying this and that, and then found out the power plug was... unplugged.((


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Jack Doughty  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 01:57
Member (2000)
Russian to English
+ ...
Password wouldn't work Jul 12, 2007

The other day I tried to enter my Yahoo email account (which I rarely use) and it wouldn't accept my password. I tried several times, I was sure I had it right because I'd made a note of it.
Finally realized my keyboard was set to Cyrillic.


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Giles Watson  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 02:57
Italian to English
Mouse-related moments Jul 12, 2007

Years ago, a friend of mine who works at the local university's IT department ran an introductory computer course for the teaching staff.

During the lesson on how to use the mouse, he noticed that one of the professors was having difficulty. When he asked what was wrong, he got the answer, "I can't move the mouse because I've run out of pad!"

Cheers,

Giles


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Yaotl Altan  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 19:57
Member (2006)
English to Spanish
+ ...
The mouse couln't spak. Jul 12, 2007

The first time my brother saw a mouse in the 80's, he wanted to input speech commands

(That kind of technology was not available then, otherwise he'd have achieved a patent for DNS)


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Juliana Brown  Identity Verified
Israel
Local time: 20:57
Member (2007)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Hmmm...how about an hour ago Jul 12, 2007

when a PM asked me to do a test translation and said it had to be done as an EPS document, and I STILL have no idea what he is talking about...

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Heinrich Pesch  Identity Verified
Finland
Local time: 03:57
Member (2003)
Finnish to German
+ ...
This is from a Startreck movie Jul 13, 2007

Yaotl Altan wrote:

The first time my brother saw a mouse in the 80's, he wanted to input speech commands

(That kind of technology was not available then, otherwise he'd have achieved a patent for DNS)


Captain Kirk holding the mouse to his lips: "Computer!"


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Piotr Bienkowski  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 02:57
Member (2005)
English to Polish
+ ...
EPS Jul 13, 2007

Juliana Starkman wrote:

when a PM asked me to do a test translation and said it had to be done as an EPS document, and I STILL have no idea what he is talking about...


Encapsulated PostScript?

Piotr


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Edwal Rospigliosi  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 02:57
Member (2004)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Not me, but close Jul 13, 2007

I was hired to translate for this sales demonstration, for a super-duper, top-of-the-line, expensive-as-hell, state-of-the-art on-line banking system.

There was a powerpoint presentation, brochures, etc., with all the sellers talking about the wonders of this new system.

Finally, they turned on the laptop, double-click on the software icon...

... and the $%&//(% thing did not work.

In front of all the top executives of the most important bank of my country.

The poor salesman spent almost 1/2 hour trying to make the thing work. At the end, the guy was almost crying in frustration. When he finally did it (with my help), most of the executives had already left. At the end, he made his demonstration in front of three people, instead of the 20 that were initially there. And of course, he lost the sale.

What had happened?

His internet connection setup was wrong. I would have solved it in a couple of minutes, if he had asked me for help first.

[Editado a las 2007-07-13 05:53]


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Marie-Hélène Hayles  Identity Verified
Local time: 02:57
Italian to English
+ ...
Poor man! Jul 13, 2007

Edwal Rospigliosi wrote:

I was hired to translate for this sales demonstration, for a super-duper, top-of-the-line, expensive-as-hell, state-of-the-art on-line banking system.

There was a powerpoint presentation, brochures, etc., with all the sellers talking about the wonders of this new system.

Finally, they turned on the laptop, double-click on the software icon...

... and the $%&//(% thing did not work.

In front of all the top executives of the most important bank of my country.

The poor salesman spent almost 1/2 hour trying to make the thing work. At the end, the guy was almost crying in frustration. When he finally did it (with my help), most of the executives had already left. At the end, he made his demonstration in front of three people, instead of the 20 that were initially there. And of course, he lost the sale.

What had happened?

His internet connection setup was wrong. I would have solved it in a couple of minutes, if he had asked me for help first.

[Editado a las 2007-07-13 05:53]


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PAS  Identity Verified
Local time: 02:57
English to Polish
+ ...
That was Scotty! Jul 13, 2007

Heinrich Pesch wrote:
Captain Kirk holding the mouse to his lips: "Computer!"


I am not a Trekkie, but for posterity's sake...
The movie was Star Trek 4, when they fly back in time to end up on 20th century Earth.

Cheers,
Pawel Skalinski


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Claire Cox
United Kingdom
Local time: 01:57
French to English
+ ...
Not me, but my Dad... Jul 13, 2007

My father (nearly 74!) had a problem recently with his printer. It would print from the internet, but refused to print anything other than blank pages from Word or Excel. He 'phoned me (or rather my son!) for advice and we suggested all the usual remedies - rebooting, switching the printer off and on again, take out the cartridge and reinstall, check settings, etc, but couldn't resolve the problem.

In the end he phoned back rather sheepishly, some days later, to report that he'd forgotten to take the protective strip off the black ink cartridge........


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Roberta Anderson  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 02:57
Member (2001)
English to Italian
+ ...
my very first press conference Jul 13, 2007

Before becoming a freelance translator, I had my fair share of product demos at fairs and press conferences, as well as tech support (and, Jan, if that can be any comfort to you, most printing issues people call about were indeed due to unplugged printers )

The most embarassing moment was my very first press conference.

It was for the launch of a major DTP product, in 1990 or 1991 and the build to be used for this mega-big demo was still in beta stage.
I had spent a couple of weeks preparing for it, going over the demo files and script, learning to move through the various features slalom-like avoiding any system crash, asking colleagues to be my audience and to ask me awkward questions...

Then I flew from Edinburgh to Milan and went from the airport straight to the conference center to install all the stuff. No CDs nor USB stick back then... just a bag full of disks (I think about 10 disks or so just for the application, plus a few more for the demo files - 2 sets of each, in 2 different bags, just to be safe!). And I had memorized all the configuration needed to get the beta to work properly, changing whatever had to be changed in the system.ini, autoexec.bat and config.sys files.
I installed everything, tested it, run through the demo files to see everything was in order... all perfect!
So I went off to my hotel for the night.

Next morning, up nice and early and off to the conference center.
In the meantime the other speakers had loaded their presentations on the pc and the Barko guy had set up the projector.
And when the machine was free I went over to it just for a final check.
And... yes, you guessed it - nothing was working any more!!! The application wouldn't start and whatever I tried just did not work!
Due to the time difference I could not speak to my tech guys in Edinburgh and I was all on my own, with the conference due to start soon.
Finally, I borrowed someone's laptop (a 1990 laptop... remember how slow they were?) and installed the sw and demo files there, linked that up to the barko and when my turn came I had to run my presentation from it... It was a major new release, there were journalists from all the major Italian PC magazines... and there I was saying something stupidly perky like "see the great performance of this great new feature!" and then having to wait for ages for anything to happen on screen and before I could move on to my next enthusiastic script line... trying to fill in the awful gaps with whatever interesting fact would come into my head, the well-rehearsed script was totally useless by then... And at the back of the room I could see the distributor's Marketing Manager doing all kind of signs with her hands and face, trying to tell me to speed up the rythm... Ha, you try it!
At the end, I was in tears - and the mega boss from the Paris office was there and it just made it worse, double embarassment, for the awful presentation and the tears!

[but after all there was a happy ending: when everyone was off stuffing their faces at the buffet, I called my favourite techie and over the phone he guided me through all kind of checks and fixes and finally we managed to get the main PC working again. I stood right next to it for the next 2 hrs, not letting anyone install anything else in it, and the afternoon demo to a packed room of dealers - all seats taken and no standing room left - went really smooth and they loved it - and, to my surprise, all the press reviews that followed were also all good]


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Ana Alves
Local time: 00:57
English to Portuguese
click here... Jul 13, 2007

I used to work in a place where we had to give a tutorial on a computer program every month (sometimes every week)... you have no idea the things I've seen/heard.

The best one was when I pointed at the screen and told a man: "So, now click on this icon with the mouse". And he simply grabbed the mouse and placed it against the screen, near the icon...

Ana


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Lorenzo Lilli  Identity Verified
Local time: 02:57
German to Italian
+ ...
Ink cartridge Jul 13, 2007

Claire Cox wrote:

In the end he phoned back rather sheepishly, some days later, to report that he'd forgotten to take the protective strip off the black ink cartridge........


Hey, that happened to me as well, and I'm not even 30 But at least I realized it after just a few minutes


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