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Things They Say 3

PUNTER: Hello, I've just got this floppy disk off the front of this magazine, and it doesn't work.
TECH: Okay, what happens when you put it in the drive.
PUNTER: Nothing, it just makes a kind of grinding noise, then stops
TECH: Okay, click My Computer then 3.5" Floppy. What's in that window...
PUNTER: Nothing...
TECH: It should say X number of Items, X number of bytes at the bottom...
PUNTER: Yes, 0 items, 0 bytes. I'm sure I've done everything right; I took the sellotape off really carefully and of course we've taken that metal cover bit off the front..

PUNTER: I've just restored my PB with the master CD, and it's just stopped 'half way through' and given me this message: "Please Remove Your Floppy Disk, And Reboot..." .. What do I do now then?
TECH: Take the disk out...
PUNTER: Yup...
TECH: And reboot....
PUNTER: Oh, I See...

Did you know that the MWAVE country code for Iceland is 28 ? How do I know this ? Well I've just had a customer on who had run the master CD through his Packard Bell, and it had installed all the settings for an Icelandic computer. And I mean all the settings, Windows Regional Settings, Both DOS and Windows Keyboard settings, as well as all the MWave settings. And to add insult to injury he was using the English Master CD.

I've just bought this game for my printer .....

PUNTER: I was speaking to one of your colleagues and he told me to backup all my data and then run the master CD
TECH: Yes....
PUNTER: Well the backup has been running for 18 hours now, is it okay to switch the computer off as I want to go to bed?
TECH: How many disks has it asked you for ?
PUNTER: It's still on disk 1.

Guy phones up with his P-Bell not saving incoming Faxes or Phone calls. Anyway took him through all the settings (it was Faxworks), and as a last resort went to MS DOS and got him to do a DIR. Turned out he had 1MB of free disk space, despite removing Navigator and installing no new software onto his machine. Anyway deleted all his TMP files, which gave him 4MB, and as a last resort went back into Windows and searched for all files over 1MB in size. Suddenly the answer became clear when it pulled up a 495MB Scandisk CHK file. He was also quite surprised at how quick his computer ran after we deleted it....

TECH: Are you near the computer at the moment ?
PUNTER: No but I can be, I’ll just unplug the phone from this socket and move it to the one by the machine......
TECH: Noooooo......... *Click* as the line went dead.

Just had a very pleasant chap on the phone, who has joined a computer software club. With his first order he was supplied free a Surf Master Internet bundle, giving him free access to the Internet. "Can I help him install it" he asked, "Sure" I replied. I proceeded to take him through the installation. He said "What comm port do I choose?". I replied, "Do you know what comm port you're modem is on?". He said "I don't have a modem!!". Here endeth the conversation.

Received a call from a deaf gentleman complaining about no sound on his Packard Bell! As if that wasn't enough, the call is being parlayed by the operator in a different building entirely who is using a phone with a digital readout to pass on messages! He will be phoning back when he finds an audio CD to test his speakers!

Customer rings up requiring EMS to run his brand new game. Technical Advisor says certainly Sir I think we can sort this out.

"Go to the config.sys and identify the line that contains the words EMM386.exe"
"Now then we are going to put some switches into this line so that the line reads:
Device=c:\windows\command\Emm386.exe NOEMS i=e000-efff ram
"There you go I think you will find you will have no problems now"

Would you believe that he still couldn't get his game to run.


Anyone want a cheap copy of MSCDEX, only £259 ?
What do you mean outrageous, I've just had a punter quoted £260 by Microsoft!

Why? Well an engineer has to come and load it for a start! Not enough, well to get an engineer out, you need to pay a yearly subscription for servicing!

Why does the punter want MSCDEX? Because the CD-ROM driver that comes on his Advent doesn't supply it! Has he made his backups.... Well he was doing this when his system crashed leaving him without CD-ROM, MSCDEX, or create system disks!

Advent won't supply it, we can't supply it, and Vertos can't supply it. The only place he has MSCDEX is on his Windows '95 CD. Aaarrrgghhhh!

I've just had a customer on the phone that has had a job booked by on of our Technical Advisors. He booked out a new motherboard, because the old one was American?

Well it must have been an American Motherboard, because all of his characters were in American, like the $ sign.

I went into Windows and changed his country code and it worked find.

I was just speaking to a woman about her fax machine, she said she was getting nothing when she picked up the telephone and could not send or receive faxes (but it could do a local copy). She didn't have it under warranty, so I explained about £75, and pointed out that it could actually be something as simple as the telephone cable, she then said "Oh actually the guinea pig ate part of the cable last week, do you think that could be the problem?".

Anyone want to do a field visit?
Got a call from a Lady at 3.00am with a hardware problem on her Laptop which she bought from a store in Slough. She was demanding next day service.

Whats wrong there I hear you say........

Well she was calling from the Good Old United States of America where she now lives. She called us over here to book a service call.

Anyone fancy a trip...

Woman just reinstalled from master cd because she had no sound - unfortunately the volume control on the side of the speaker was on low, so reinstalling didn't help.

Guy messing around on the internet got an icon " I love you" on his desktop. Clicked on it, it swore at him and wiped his harddisk.

TECH: Good Morning etc....
PUNTER: I have a problem with my radio card...
TECH: OK what seems to be the problem then sir.
PUNTER: There is no sound from the radio card.
TECH: OK then I would like to do a few tests to see why the radio card is not working.
PUNTER: Is it meant to have a radio card?
TECH: You just said that it was not working..
PUNTER: Yes I know it isn't working. But I don't know if I have one.
TECH: Do you mean your sound card sir...
PUNTER: No the radio card.
TECH: What so that you can listen to Radio 1.
TECH: So what you are saying is that your radio card does not work and also that you no idea if you have a radio card on the computer.
PUNTER: That's right.
TECH: Do you have any radio software.

Store rings up:
"Hello, I wonder if you can help... Just had a customer in who heard on the news today that come the year 2000, all PC's will explode....."

(we begin this story at 5:40pm after a particularly l-o-n-g spell with no phone calls)

- " can I help?"
- "oh, hi. I've just put two 8 meg SIMMS in my packard bell. It had 8 meg in before, and now it comes up with 24 meg."
- "...errrr...."
- "But it's a Pentium"
- "...yes, well, that's right isn't it? 3x8=24"
- "But don't they have to be in pairs? I have four slots, I've put two 8 megs in and there were two already there?"
- "...yes, they'll be four meg simms - the ones you had before"
- "Oh. Right. Thankyou" (click)

Engineer went on a call to PB corner unit with no power. The customer was pressing the reset button!

A customer rings up with problems installing a modem to a PB

- "Are you in front of the machine now sir?" I ask, in all innocence
- "No, I can't" says the customer.
- "Is there any chance you can get near the machine and ring us back then, as I really need you to be in front of the computer for this" I say.
- "My computer is in Ghana" the customer replies.


PUNTER reports strange "humming, clicking, and growling" noises from his Packard Bell..."All very well" you may think, but these sounds happen when the machine is turned OFF!!!

They also seem to happen at night only, as no evidence was found to support his claims this morning.


Obviously a case of possession from Alkazon, a high level Imp Demon (Packard Bell support notes page 23). The customer was put onto a reputable exorcist.

Just had a store phoning in with an angry customer ... there's a surprise. Basically the punter has bought Corel's latest all singing and dancing DTP extravaganza, which keeps causing Windows General Protection errors whenever he tries to paste several 800x600 BMP's on his documents and import text from Word - this is on a P75 with 8MB.

Well, I sayz, try shutting down Word and just import the file manually or more realistically, put some more RAM in the machine so that it has a chance of copying ....

The chap from the store says "Well, you know Corel's a Windows program ...Well if Windows is using so much memory, can't we just shut Windows down and run Corel on its own ...?

I told him that he'd have fun trying ... "OK he says, I'll go and try that", and hangs up on me ...

PUNTER: My floppy drive is broken, I can't insert my disks.
TECH: Is there anything jammed in the drive? Is it just one disk which could be broken.
PUNTER: Welll, they go in one way up but not the other.
TECH: They are only supposed to go in one way.
PUNTER: But it says that they are Double Sided on the box.

CUST: My mouse isn't working through DOS can you help?
TECH: Yeah, Are you infront of the machine..
CUST: Yes.
TECH: What have you got on the screen?
CUST: Nothing.
TECH: Are you sure?
CUST: Absolutely nothing, apart from the Start button.
TECH: Can you click on Start / Programs / MS Dos Prompt
CUST: I haven't got that.
TECH: Are you sure ?
CUST: Oh yes, there it is.
TECH: Can you type Edit C:\AUTOEXEC.BAT
CUST: Yep.
TECH: Can you find a blank line and type in LH C:\3DBODY\MOUSE
CUST: okay.

* Machine is now rebooted - mouse not working in DOS, so we re-check the line he's typed in *

TECH: Okay if you can read the line out again
TECH: If you can delete the REM and try again.

* And you've guessed it the mouse worked perfectly through DOS, Note this is the edited highlights of the conversation which took over 50 minutes *

CUST: I’ve just installed the Sound Blaster Multimedia Sound Card and CD-ROM upgrade, how do I test the soundcard ?
TECH: Well you ...

* Dead on cue we hear the normal Windows 95 startup sound in the background *

CUST: Oh it’s working, bye...

TECH: You’re through to etc...
CUST: I think I’ve deleted my printer.
TECH: How do you mean ?
CUST: Well I was installing a CD-ROM and I deleted some stuff off the computer and now my printer doesn’t work.
TECH: How do you mean it doesn’t work ?
CUST: Well when I switch it on nothing happens.
TECH: When you switch it on does the printer make any noise, or do any lights come on ?
CUST: No. But I’m sure that it was something I deleted on the computer. if I run my recovery CD will that fix it ?
TECH: Ermm no. Have you checked it’s plugged in and the fuse is okay ?
CUST: No, but won't reinstallng the software fix it ?

CUST: I’ve just installed Windows 95 onto my computer and everytime I reboot, it comes to a A prompt. It asked me to make the startup disk and everything and when I clicked on finish this is all that happens.
TECH: Which disks have you got into the computer at the moment ?
CUST: The Windows 95 CD-ROM and the Startup-disk ...
TECH: Have you tried taking the startup disk out ?
CUST: No..... Should I ?

I’m at the C:\WINDOWS prompt and I need to get to MS-DOS, can you help me ?

CUST: I’m trying to use the telephone feature on my Packard Bell computer and it’s not working
TECH: How do you mean not working ?
CUST: Well I can hear them, but they cannot hear me.
TECH: Okay how are you using the phone ?
CUST: Well I click on the Internet icon, and then type my user number and password, and then my friends phone number. Then I click on connect ......

Just had a lady on the phone who was very annoyed with one of our technicians...

HER: "He gave me the number for PC - it is a dead line!!!"
TECH: "Sorry madam - he gave you the number for Who !?"
HER: "PC - the company Personal Computer!"
TECH:"Madam, PC is not a company - it's just a name"
HER: "No, no, no - PC make my computer"
TECH: "What does it say on the front of your computer?"
HER: "Compaq"
TECH: "Duh!?"

PUNTER: I can’t get my new computer into Windows 95.
TECH: Okay when you switch the computer on?
PUNTER: Well it comes to a screen and has My Computer, Recycle Bin, and Internet down the left hand side.
TECH: Do you have Start buttons in the bottom left hand corner?
TECH: Well that is Windows 95.

PUNTER: How do I switch my computer off ?
TECH: What does it say on the screen?
PUNTER: It’s now safe to turn off your computer.
TECH: Try pushing the power button on the front of the computer.....

PUNTER: Hello, I need to find out the country code for Australia, but it's not in Comm Central....
TECH: No sir, it wont be - look in the back of the phone book....
PUNTER: That's just not good enough!
TECH: Why sir?
PUNTER: I've only got one hand! - I can't possibly use a phone book!!
TECH: Hmmm - so how did you use the phone then?

I've just formatted my printer ....

I've got 95 windows....

PUNTER: My microphone isn't working on my computer.
TECH: Okay, if you can close down any open windows, so you're back to the Windows Desktop.

* There is a click as the punter cuts himself off, 2 minutes later, he comes back

PUNTER: I don't know what happened, I was just closing everything down and the phone went dead.
TECH: Are you using Comm Central to phone from the computer ?
TECH: And you're speaking to me through the microphone at the moment ?
PUNTER: Yes. So it's working isn't it...

PUNTER: I've got a problem with my Fax/Modem in my computer.
TECH: And What problem have you got ?
PUNTER: Well, actually I've faxed the details through to you..

And, you've guessed it, upon checking our fax machine there was a lovely computer generated fax from the punter....NB both these calls came through on the same night, from the same punter.....

Hello. I've just got back from Paris. While I was there I went to "Burger King", and they gave me a "free E-Mail address". Tell me do I need an internet account to access the web?

PUNTER: I bought this flat bed scanner and when I type in A:\SETUP it comes up with "Drive Not Ready". I've followed the instructions in the book but it's not working..
TECH: Okay if you can go into My Computer and double click on "3 1/2 Floppy A".
PUNTER: It says "Drive Not Ready"
TECH: If you can take the disk out, what does it say on it ?
TECH: Okay if you can type in D:\SETUP and press Enter
PUNTER: Oh it's running the setup now.....

I was having problems with an error message in the System.ini file, so I moved the Windows folder into the Recycle Bin. When I went to put it back, the Bin was empty. Now when I start my computer up it gives a load of error messages and doesn't go into Windows. What do I do?