Pop Quiz: How good are you at technical support?


I enjoy telling this story of these unfortunate events as a technical support quiz.  Makes me feel a little better about myself.

The game is you have to guess what happened or what set of questions you would ask to narrow down the problem space.  There are no prizes for figuring it out, besides the sense of satisfaction of getting it right and maybe having me come to you for tech support in the future ::grins::

The Situation

(note: this is the exact info i would have given tech support / helpdesk)

I install Vista on my Toshiba M4 Tablet Friday night at the office (yes, exciting Friday night)  I immediately install the required apps from IT, change the desktop wallpaper to the bamboo theme (green is my favorite color and i love bamboo), and make a few other user appearance tweaks.  Over the weekend, I read a few blogs via IE7, download some family pics of the house being rebuilt, and change my desktop wallpaper to this picture of red leaves. 

On Monday morning, i dock my tablet and wait the appropriate amount of time for my monitor to come on.  To my surprise, i see the old bamboo wallpaper from Friday night.  I think "weird, my desktop customizations weren’t saved from Saturday."  So, i open IE when i realize that nothing is found in the history.  Now this is getting weird, almost alarming.  Now i realize that i can’t find anything from using the laptop on Saturday.  There are no pictures of the house on the laptop at all. 

I’m asking around, as this is the first real time i’ve used Vista.  I installed it the week before on both my desktop machines, but didn’t do much with it besides personal tweaks, like changing the wallpaper.  My laptop is my primary machine.  I’ve checked file versioning, file redirection, nothing.  There’s no trace of my session.

The Hint

Then i realize i’m late for my team’s morning meeting.  So, i’m going to make you click here for the next part of this saga, since i think this may be a clear give-away.  I don’t want to spoil the fun.

Happy Technical Supporting!

The Answer

Click here for the answer

Comments (5)

  1. Tim says:

    You muppet 🙂

    I’m guessing something like a KVM switch has centre-stage in this drama.

  2. saraford says:

    Is being called a muppet a bad thing?  I’m sensitive =)

  3. Tim says:

    Well, I’m not going to lie to you Sara, it’s not a good thing 🙂

    (Although you’re nowhere near the standard of the guy I wrote about here: http://www.guyswithtowels.com/articles/2006-01-19-2200.html)

    Good tech support story though. Someone should set up a website with similar stories so we can see test our problem solving skillz/see if we’d be good at tech support.

    I’d do it, but gosh, it sounds like it would involve effort.

  4. Michael says:

    Shut down, undock tablet, restart.  I suspect that you will have your profile back.  Someone else mentioned a KVM switch.  You did not mention that in your "call" to tech support.  You arn’t looking at the wrong machine are you?

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