But I Made Copies!

I love the Register’s On Call feature. Basically it’s like those emails full of dumb computer user jokes that have gone around for years and years, only real. Every week, technicians write in and share stories of the ineptitude they’ve experienced in the wild. They’re usually pretty good, but every now and then you happen upon a true gem, the sort that makes you stop what you’re doing for a second and just think…wow. For example…User secures floppies to a filing cabinet with a magnet, but at least they backed up daily… right?

It’s important to note here that while this is never a good idea, it was an even worse idea than usual because this was back in the days when you needed those floppies to actually use the machine.

But though the originals were toast, at least there were copies. Lots and lots of copies.

Isabelle was now worried, and asked if the user had been making backups.
“Of course, as instructed I make a copy every night and keep them next door. Shall I go get them?”
The user soon came back with an A4 ring binder with plastic inserts inside – and Isabelle didn’t get the feeling her worries were over.
“I keep them next door as we were advised to keep them separate from the machine in case of fire,” said the diligent user.
“As soon as I switch the machine off for the day I take the disks next door and make copies. It’s convenient to leave them there and bring back the originals.”
At the same time, she opened the ring binder, selected the right day and handed Isabelle an A4 piece of paper.
“My heart was sinking as I took the A4 sheet of paper. It had two clear images of 5.25-inch disks and the labels,” said Isabelle.
“She had photocopied the two disks every day and written the date in the corner before putting it in plastic sleeves marked Monday to Friday, week 1 to week 4.”


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