March 1st, 2007

Burn baby burn (pic by Waywind)

Horror stories from technical hell

A Google software developer and former Microsoft engineer wrote a blog post last year -- which I just stumbled upon while doing an unrelated web search -- about helping out his kids' nanny with a new PC.

She bought a new Windows machine and the salesman convinced her to pick up a Bluetooth wireless mouse along with it. She got home, clicked on the computer's Bluetooth button to synchronize it with the mouse ... and you can guess what didn't happen next. A week later, having RTFM'ed and made no progress, she calls him in. Even with a hardcore geek at her side, it takes several reboots, a number of ominous warning messages, multiple software downloads, and an afternoon of web research to figure out what's wrong with a Plug And Play device.

And I absolutely cannot spoil this story by telling you what the problem was. Read the whole thing, and the punchline will leave you stunned.

(Hint: It wasn't a user error.)
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