I will have to apologize in advance to my buddy Maggie and her man-friend ITSam. I am sure that ITSam is the exception to the rule I will expound upon within the confines of this blog post.
Is it a requirement that technology types have no sense of humor? Computer geeks have no funny bone? Network nerds have no tickle box?
A couple of weeks ago, I got some strange message of death on my school computer, something about the LDUEAHN (or some other random selection of capital letters) not being found. Our secretary emailed the technician assigned to our school, because a computer-based school should NOT have an I.T. guy on the premises at all times, no sirree.
When he showed up on the premises a day or three later, he immediately unplugged the tower and said he would need to take it with him. I said something along the lines of, "Can't you just bring me another one?" I explained that it wouldn't read a flash drive, I had to walk ALL the way around my desk and plug one in the back of the unit, and the CD drive wouldn't open anymore.
He looked at me in all seriousness and said, "I don't just have a stash of these to give away." He didn't crack a smile.
Because my unit had been making grinding noises that sounded like a Cessna 182 that would NEVER get off the ground, I said to him, "It sounded so bad I was afraid it was going to take off a couple of times." He replied that there was no way it was going to take off, not with a message like the one I had received.
He unplugged the flash drive I had left in the back and left it on my desk.
A week or two later (or it may have been the next day), he brought my unit back.
He explained that the problem was that there had been a flash drive plugged into the back of the unit when I turned it on. It was trying to boot from the flash drive instead of the thingamajig it usually boots from.
HE unplugged the flash drive. Shouldn't he have thought of that? I actually had the fleeting thought myself, based upon back in the old days when I would leave a floppy disk (remember those?) in the drive and the computer would try to boot from that. Because it said something was MISSING, though, I didn't give it a whole lot of thought. Besides, if HE didn't think of it, I wasn't going to mention it.
He did replace the CD drive, though, and I think I was supposed to give him a trophy or something for it.
Then he explained about the computer not reading the flash drive in the front of the computer.
Have you ever bought a new computer (camera, video recorder, GPS unit, iPad, iPhone, dozen eggs, scented candle, Snuggie, African Violet, baseball cap, jar of dry roasted peanuts) and found one of these in the box?
I had seen them before, and when he mentioned it, I found one in my desk drawer. I had no idea what it was.
Apparently not all flash drives are created equal. The ones that my computer wouldn't read are apparently "inferior" (read: cheap) and the little silver piece that plugs into the computer isn't as long as the "superior" (read: expensive) ones.
This little cord fixes that. You plug your cheapie flash drive into one end, and the other end is the appropriate length for plugging into a USB port.
That would explain why I was unable to scan on a flash drive from my printer/scanner/copier/fax machine, in spite of the fact that it clearly had a USB drive.
You learn something new every day.
I wish technology would slow down just a tad, just long enough for the I.T. guys to go to humor school.