GBU

Good

There's a big plasma screen in this hospital emergency room that's used as a tracking board, and the PC it's attached to is in a nearby closet. An ER nurse watches as IT pulls the mouse through the doorway to adjust the active window on the screen. "We didn't know that the mouse cord could stretch that far," nurse tells IT. "Whenever we want to use the mouse, we've used two people -- one moving the mouse blindly, the other yelling 'right', 'left', 'up' or 'down',"

Bad

This week's GBU mug goes out to the IT manager who sent in this tale of frustration and woe! Due to user hostility, IT section has a historical problem implementing a secure password regime, users can't even cope with a two-letter password even if it is their own initials. As a result IT decides to test a biometric solution but shortly after a few trial fingerprint scanners are rolled out, management declares that "fingerprint scanners are an invasion of privacy" and orders a halt until the matter is put before the workplace consultative committee. Not only was the trial costly in dollar terms, it cost thousands of man hours . . . almost two months worth to be exact. The IT manager is now spending a few additional hours preparing a report to the consultative committee on why fingerprint scanners are not intrusive. Ironically, the manager who bought the trial to a screaming halt has the most trouble with his two-letter password.

Ugly

Here's a tip that could have been pretty ugly for everyone involved. Thankfully, there was no permanent damage.

This IT shop's policy is to disassemble decommissioned hard drives and physically destroy the drive platters. But IT has never done that to a laptop drive before. "Wanting to destroy all the data, I proceeded to bend the disk platter," says IT. "It was only then that I found out that it was made of glass. It exploded into a gazillion little pieces, each smaller than a grain of rice. It was in our hair, clothes and desks -- and nine months later, we still find pieces in that office."

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