Computer Stupidities

24 replies [Last post]
Offline
Joined: Apr 22 2004
Posts: 379

Since this related to hardware in a very roundabout fashion, I've posted it on Other Computers.

I work as a programmer for my day job, but repair computers on the weekends. Today, I have three systems to fix.

One of the systems made my day. The user said that the system had no video using the buitl-in video, so an AGP card was purchased with the same result. After opening the case, I saw why. They had taken a floppy power connector and placed it on some of the pins on the serial port header on the motherboard. Can you say fried motherboard? Smile

Anyone else have some interesting stories about strange things users have done to their computers?

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
merty's picture
Offline
Joined: Jul 9 2005
Posts: 71
Does blowing up pc count?

Does blowing up pc count? Because i had a 486sx and i played around with it put in cd rom put on windows 95 then one day i wanted to know what the switch on the back was for i swiched it. I turned it on it sparked and never worked again Sad

Oh well it was only a 486sx Smile

coius's picture
Offline
Joined: Aug 25 2004
Posts: 1975
plenty

how about someone that plugged their computer into a USA 240v A/C power connector. THe power surge not only killed the machine, it also split the PSU board down the middle. I wanted to say, "why did make an adaptor to plug a normal outlet computer into a 240v outlet." when She showed me the "home adapter", i stopped short of saying "dumb @$$"

EDIT:

A few more.... I had a person with a special male USB power adapter (it was a funky adapter for a hard drive that used a A-plug Male adapter [like the one on the end of your usb mouse]) and plugged it into the USB port on the from of their Dell PeeCee. They fried the motherboard USB with a 14v AC feed. They voided the warrenty on their system, and the system wouldn't boot as the USB controller was physically "burned" on the board.

several more including problems with sticking a Floppy into a Zip drive. and even connecting their phone Fax/Voice Modem into a DSL Digital Line. Too bad it was the internal modem.
I have seen who ran their machine with Ice in it as they heard that computer chips work better cold. They wrapped the processor with a bag of ice, and it shorted from the condensation from the Ziploc bag.

__________________

See my PB540c 33Mhz serve a website! http://yui-ikari.coius.info/

...'s picture
...
Offline
Joined: Nov 30 2004
Posts: 79
I hear ya

Where I work we provide free IT support for staff and their home computers. Drop in, wait a few days. done.

Anyway someone brought in a computer that was having trouble with a recent install windows XP (slow to boot, slow to launch apps). Turns out that the computer was a Pentium II with 64mb of ram.

---
Work related stupidities:

"Sparky": I was given a lampshade imac with a blown power supply after someone connected a fan/heater unit to a power board. Still trying to work that one out.

"Drawbridge" Powerbook G3: after the hinges on the powerbook broke, the owner used ribbon to hold the display in place.

"The bottomless ZIP drive": A powermac g4 with a Zip drive faceplate but without the actual drive. The user kept on putting disks in the machine and was unable to understand why it was not reading them.

"The contorted TI book": After a failed attempt to install an airport card the laptop was returned to me after the owner's kid accidentally twisted the TI base cover.

"It doesn't go there": Someone connected a EFTPOS machine to the modem socket of their computer thinking it would share the internet connection.

My favorite: Adhesive labels that get stuck in the photocopier.

Offline
Joined: Aug 15 2004
Posts: 359
My sister . . .

. . . asked how to rewind the DVD so she could eject it.

I wish that were the only stupid question that she asked.

coius's picture
Offline
Joined: Aug 25 2004
Posts: 1975
hehe

williamahearn wrote:

. . . asked how to rewind the DVD so she could eject it.

My mom asked that when we first got our DVD player.

__________________

See my PB540c 33Mhz serve a website! http://yui-ikari.coius.info/

merty's picture
Offline
Joined: Jul 9 2005
Posts: 71
Re: I hear ya

pepicool wrote:

Where I work we provide free IT support for staff and their home computers. Drop in, wait a few days. done.

Anyway someone brought in a computer that was having trouble with a recent install windows XP (slow to boot, slow to launch apps). Turns out that the computer was a Pentium II with 64mb of ram.

Wow I never would of thought windows xp would work on a pentium II with 64 meg of ram.

I want to see windows windows xp work on a pentium I Smile
I need proof of it's existence
although there probably isn't a pentium I that can do it Sad

coius's picture
Offline
Joined: Aug 25 2004
Posts: 1975
1 more

someone connected a WIFI access point into a telephone line (ethernet->telephone line)
It blew the top out of it when the phone rang. According to my dad, they are 24v when at idle period (before ring) and spike at 120v when it is rung. The telephone ciruitry hits the ringer when the line surges

__________________

See my PB540c 33Mhz serve a website! http://yui-ikari.coius.info/

coius's picture
Offline
Joined: Aug 25 2004
Posts: 1975
well...

when I did my post about getting a dell latitude to work with 2k, a person posted that they threw XP on it. It was a P 1 MMX 166. They said it was unbearebly slow.

1 thing I love about the x86 machines, is that unlike Macintosh's. It is not limited to the ROM as to what will run on it. I had a 486 try to play a DVD. After about 1hr of it trying to render 1 frame, i just shut it off. I don't see a 68k doing that anytime soon. Same is true for reverse. You can run MS-Dos 1.0 on a brand new P4. Those machines accept anything that you throw at the CPU. Maybe the x86 chips have 1 redeeming feature

__________________

See my PB540c 33Mhz serve a website! http://yui-ikari.coius.info/

merty's picture
Offline
Joined: Jul 9 2005
Posts: 71
Well....

Well i never would of thought it but xp has been installed on a 166mhz dell let alone a pentium that's a new project

coius wrote:

1 thing I love about the x86 machines, is that unlike Macintosh's. It is not limited to the ROM as to what will run on it. I had a 486 try to play a DVD. After about 1hr of it trying to render 1 frame, i just shut it off. I don't see a 68k doing that anytime soon. Same is true for reverse. You can run MS-Dos 1.0 on a brand new P4. Those machines accept anything that you throw at the CPU. Maybe the x86 chips have 1 redeeming feature

yeah it's fun installing win 3.1.1 for workgroups on a pentium
(havn't tried a faster machine yet)

I've got a computer stupidity a IT guy not knowing a administrator password for one of their computers.

Jon's picture
Jon
Offline
Joined: Dec 20 2003
Posts: 2804
If you want to consider a Soc

If you want to consider a Socket 7 CPU as Pentium class, a 500-550 K6-3 would run it ok... Of course a P60 would be a whole other story.

__________________

I am not in this world to live up to other people's expectations, nor do I feel that the world must live up to mine. - Fritz Perls

merty's picture
Offline
Joined: Jul 9 2005
Posts: 71
I was mainly....

I was mainly talking about your pentium from 60mhz to 166mhz range really.

moosemanmoo's picture
Offline
Joined: Aug 17 2004
Posts: 686
What would be even more inter

What would be even more interesting would be one of those pentiums with the division flaw. Or, I know, a Socket 4 OverDrive system running XP!

__________________

Join the chat on irc.freenode.com, channel #applefritter.

merty's picture
Offline
Joined: Jul 9 2005
Posts: 71
So is anyone going to do it

So is anyone going to install windows xp on their old pentium 1.

Remember post pictures Wink

Offline
Joined: Jun 18 2005
Posts: 196
just 4 fun
merty's picture
Offline
Joined: Jul 9 2005
Posts: 71
my os triumps

other then installing win xp on a pentium. i have installed win 95 on a 386 sx.
and i have installed win2k on a pentium 100mhz

Jon's picture
Jon
Offline
Joined: Dec 20 2003
Posts: 2804
I used to run 95 on my old PS

I used to run 95 on my old PS/2 Model 80 tower. Man, that 4 meg ugrade made things SOOO much nicer. Even after having 8megs on it I still used Lynx.

My graphical browsing was on my tricked out A2000, but that's another thread...

I installed 98 on an IBM Thinkpad 360CSE (IIRC) a 486SLC50 machine... I used 98Lite to make it a tad better, but still.

__________________

I am not in this world to live up to other people's expectations, nor do I feel that the world must live up to mine. - Fritz Perls

Offline
Joined: Dec 20 2003
Posts: 211
Re: 1 more

coius wrote:

someone connected a WIFI access point into a telephone line (ethernet->telephone line)
It blew the top out of it when the phone rang. According to my dad, they are 24v when at idle period (before ring) and spike at 120v when it is rung. The telephone ciruitry hits the ringer when the line surges

Probably an urban myth but an amusing one:
http://www.egreeley.com/messages/1872.html

iantm's picture
Offline
Joined: Apr 2 2005
Posts: 709
Oddities

In my tour of duty in telephone tech support (2 years at AOL, 6 months within Verizon Corporate), I saw quite a bit. Here are some highlights.

- "Can you send me AOL 9.0 on a floppy, my Packard Bell 486 doesn't have a cd-rom drive."

- me: "Press Control, Alt, and Delete"
customer: "on what?"
me: "the keyboard"
customer: "what's that?"
me: "the big rectangular thing with buttons on it?"
customer: "oh, the chubby!"
me: (puts phone on mute, mumbles "why do you have a computer?")

- "so, I just got the e-mail from IT saying not to open any files attached to e-mails from people I don't know. I just got an e-mail from someone I don't know, but tried opening the file three times to no avail, can you help me?"

Though, in my current job, onsite hardware support for a one to one initiative school system, I see fun stuff. Often, people feel the need to lie. Based on what students and teachers have told me, I've come to the conclusion that LCD's spontaneously crack, plastics break, key plungers come out of the keyboard, and that miscellaneous objects get stuck in the optical drive without any cause by the user.

There are issues blamed on aliens, students who are sometimes too honest, and those who think they are smarter than myself or the school district. The "don't let the district rep handle my computer because I always get in trouble when that happens" routine raises red flags.

People are dumb at times.

__________________

- iantm
ACPT & ACDT (long expired)
BMW Certified Technician

moosemanmoo's picture
Offline
Joined: Aug 17 2004
Posts: 686
There is a good collection of

There is a good collection of computer stupidities at http://rinkworks.com/stupid/.
Personally, I don't have very many stories that stand out. There was one woman who wanted a DVD-RW drive to be put in her 486, and there was also a man who decided to drill a hole in his laptop to mount it to his desk, though.

__________________

Join the chat on irc.freenode.com, channel #applefritter.

princess's picture
Offline
Joined: Sep 2 2005
Posts: 17
Re: just 4 fun

OMG!!! LMAO! that was so funny thats how i use to feel when i go call tech support for my dell laptop, funny stuff lol.

davintosh's picture
Offline
Joined: Dec 20 2003
Posts: 554
Clueless Users = Clu-sers?

One of my favorites is the G4 users who have their towers on their desks and the USB extension cable hanging from the keyboard drawer to reach the Mac. They swing their feet just right & kick the USB cable loose and wonder why their Mac has locked up. They call me up, and it goes something like this:

Me: Does the cursor move?
CU: No. It just locked up for no reason and I've lost an hour's work because I had to restart it. And there is a press waiting for this job, and yadda yadda yadda, yadda yadda yadda...
Me: Is the clock still running? (I usually set them up to display seconds in the menu bar.)
CU: Yes. I've restarted it eight times now, and every time it's the same thing. I can't even start up with extensions off yadda yadda, yadda yadda yadda...
Me: Does the caps lock light up when you press it?
CU: No. Yadda yadda, yadda yadda yadda...
Me: Check the USB cable under the desk.
CU: DOH! Same as last time! (and this is the umpteenth time for this person.)

This seems to happen with several users, multiple times per user. All repeat offenders are female, but not all blondes.

And then there are the Mac users who get the cutsie executable files from their PC clu-ser friends and call me up & ask why they don't work for them. Then I give the speech about how bad an idea it is for their friends to even think about passing that crap around and how bad an idea it is for them to even think about opening it, and how blessed we are to be in a Mac environment where that sort of thing has no consequence.

Sigh.

__________________

Obsolescence is just a lack of imagination.
Visit my blog: davintosh.com -- it may not be up to date, and it may not be exciting, but you can say you've been there.

...'s picture
...
Offline
Joined: Nov 30 2004
Posts: 79
Latest Stupidity

On of the archivists are work recently turned 68. One of the presents he recieved was a iPod shuffle. I got a call from him this morning telling me he was having problems with it.

So i went over and visited him. He took his hearing aids out of his ears and put the headphones in. There was nothing wrong with the ipod.

No matter how loud we turned the ipod up, he still could not hear it.

Offline
Joined: May 30 2005
Posts: 284
Computer Stupidities

My favorite is the guy who decided to build his own system and had absolutly no experiance. After he installed everything he noticed a couple of extra cables from the power supply and plugged them right on to the motherboard and when he turned on the power, New motherboard up in smoke

__________________

Its not what you didn't do, Its what you did that makes a differance

martakz's picture
Offline
Joined: Dec 20 2003
Posts: 634
Re: 1 more

charlieman wrote:

Probably an urban myth but an amusing one:
http://www.egreeley.com/messages/1872.html

Dog moaned? (A dog can moan?) In all the versions I read, the dog barked.

__________________

Now using x86 machines. Bye bye iMac266 (Strawberry), G3 1400 and the G3 IIsi.