Shark Tank: Looks Like a Long, Hot Summer

User says that when he takes his laptop out of its case, it's very hot to the touch. The machine checks out OK, and support pilot fish wonders aloud if maybe user just forgot to shut it down before packing it up. "I never shut down the laptop," user tells fish. "I just let it go into sleep mode, to save the time for bootup and shutdown." That's not wise, fish points out. "One of the techs in my department told me the same thing several times," user says. "But leaving it on never caused a problem before, so I just ignored the advice."

Wake Up!

Company Web site stops responding, and when pilot fish pings the servers, they don't respond either, so he heads for the server room. "It was 94 degrees inside," fish says. "Servers were shutting down, humidity was through the roof, stuff was shorting out -- utter chaos. Climate control had failed spectacularly, which puzzled us, as the system was supposed to phone an alert to the network admin if the temp got over 75 degrees." When fish hunts down netadmin, he tells fish the alert system does work. "It's been going off several times a night for months now, waking him up in the middle of the night," groans fish. "To solve the issue, he shut off the alert system."

First Things First

Did you get my e-mail? key user asks pilot fish as he stops by user's desk. No, I just got in late after running a business errand, fish says. What's the problem? "The user then spent the next few minutes complaining that he had sent me an e-mail and I had not read it yet," says fish. "He finally explained his problem, and within a few minutes, I had taken care of the issue. When I returned to my desk, I opened up my e-mail and found the message from the user. It read, in its entirety: 'Please see me.' "

The Reason Why

Help desk pilot fish gets call from a user: "Ever since I saw your tech in the building, my printer has been acting funny. Whatever the tech was working on must have emitted something that is affecting my printer. Can someone come look at it?"

Another Bad Idea

PC goes bad, so support pilot fish shifts user for a few days to the cubicle of someone who's on vacation. Next morning, fish gets a frantic call: User says his mouse has exploded! "It hadn't so much exploded as it had kind of melted," fish reports when he sees it. "It spent the night on the desk owner's USB-powered coffee-warming hot plate -- which the user had mistaken for a mouse pad."

Heat things up for Sharky. Send me your true tale of IT life at You'll snag a snappy Shark shirt if I use it. And check out the daily feed, browse the Sharkives and sign up for Shark Tank home delivery at

Copyright © 2005 IDG Communications, Inc.

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