This week's GBU winner sent in this tale: the IT department created a manual to help certain users in using a Web portal and make life easier for them. In one of the steps, the manual asks the user to enter 'administrator' as the username and '********' as the password, requesting users to call the IT department to get the password (given that it is not a good idea to publish it). IT then receives an e-mail asking why entering ******** as the password does not allow entry into the site...?


New secretary is very anxious about her new computer, reports IT who's setting it up for her. "She kept urging me to be sure we transferred over all of her Web shots, picture files and music files," IT says. Although the official policy says users take care of non-work-related files themselves, IT says it's quicker and easier just to transfer them. So IT goes to work via remote access, and has almost finished transferring all the files when she runs into a problem: she can't find any music files. After several attempts, IT goes to her computer to check files on her hard drive. "I opened her music application, only to find an empty library," IT said. "She had no music files. She just listened to the radio station built into iTunes."


It's the 1980s, and admin gets tapped for a new project to install problem-tracking software for the company help desk. Admin has no previous experience but his boss tells him not to worry: There's plenty of documentation, and the vendor says it'll take just a week to install. From day one there were problems so the installation takes three months. Finally, main developer arrives for product testing. Admin gets the honour of entering the first test problem. He steps up to the keyboard and presses the Enter key. The software immediately crashes. The software assumes that something will be entered, developer explains.

"I reminded him that assuming doesn't prevent a helpdesk operator from accidentally pressing the Enter key without entering data," admin says. "The installer and developer immediately jumped into the code to fix the problem. An hour later and admin is ready to enter the next test problem. "I entered an asterisk -- the '*' character -- into the first field and pressed Enter. The product crashed again. This was the end of the tests. The software went live -- with issues. My next big project, two months later: install the product update released by the vendor to fix problem entry issues."

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