Shark Tank: The Clue Train Doesn't Stop Here

FRAMINGHAM (05/08/2000) - Clueless in Security: Sysadmin pilot fish lands great new job. Tells boss and offers two weeks' notice or, "if you want, I can leave sooner." Boss says stay. Next day, fish finds network passwords all changed; his access rights, except those to the Web site, cut off - "Standard damage control," says the boss. Fish offers again to leave. "No," boss says. "You promised two weeks." Postscript: Fish still has complete access to everything via the executive director's passwords - she's used the same ones for years.

Clueless in Systems: IT consultant pilot fish reading tech monthly finds story about his project for his current employer. In the piece, the CTO crows about a component-based architecture pilot linking the Web site with the mail-order business. Thing is, fish says, mail order wasn't part of the pilot. And the "component" the CTO mentioned is a printer linked to the Web site. Once the order's printed out, it's still entered manually.

Clueless in Userville: E-mail administrator pilot fish e-mails users telling them how to upgrade their messaging software. Instructions include removing old software before installing new. Soon after, help desk is flooded with calls from users "stuck" midprocess. Fish investigates, makes note to self: Next time, change Step 1 to "Print these instructions."

Clueless in Procurement: User department is having trouble with its portable printers. Management dispatches troubleshooter pilot fish, who quickly pinpoints the problem: User application is set up to use only the protocol for IBM Corp. printers. Meanwhile, the user department equipped the entire field staff with new printers without testing them or even asking IT's opinion - printers that understand only a Hewlett-Packard Co. printer protocol.

Happy ending: The nice-guy fish sneaks a change into the application to solve the purchasing snafu.

Clueless in Love: This pilot fish is one of many at his company who gets a penitent message last Thursday from Zona Research, apologizing for accidentally sending copies of the "I Love You" virus to all of its clients. OK, says the fish, except that shortly after that he gets two new messages from Zona, each containing the VeryFunny.vbs variant of the same virus.

Analyst outfit IDC also got whacked by the virus and sent a warning message to its clients. But the warning ends in midsentence: "Please contact the sender to get a cle."

Hey, forget the cle - contact Sharky with true tales from IT and get a sharp Shark T-shirt: sharky@computerworld.com. And do a deep dive daily at computerworld.com/sharky.

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