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    Reminds me of a conversation I had with another support tech when I worked at Mitel. Mitel was one of the first to market of the new digital small office PBX machines, and was (and still is, I think) very popular in hotels. The other tech was talking with the customer trying to diagnose a problem with a PBX, and asked the customer to turn on all the debug output so he could get a better sense of what was going on. The customer’s response was “I don’t know if I have enough paper for that”

    Turns out that instead of hooking up a monitor, they just hooked a line printer up as the output.

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      20 or so years ago I was working as incident response/firewall engineering for a major datacenter provider.

      I got a call in the middle of the night about a firewall being completely down somewhere on the other side of the country. The tech had a crash cart with a little Windows computer on it that he could wheel over to the downed equipment and connect to it and act as my hands and eyes (we had serial concentrators, but not everywhere).

      He tried for a good 30 minutes to get Windows Terminal to talk to this downed device. It just would not work.

      Finally he said “man, we should try like…a VT100.”

      I said “That would be great! You have a VT100?”


      I ended up having to hop onto the next flight out to deal with that problem. Good times.

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        Hah, that reminds me of another time a support tech was working on an urgent problem in St. Louis for a big influential customer and our office was in Ottawa, Canada. As is usual with problems with big influential customers, after about 30 minutes of working the problem, his boss walked in and asked how it was going. “Not well”.

        After another 30 minutes the manager of the support dep’t walked in and asked how it was going and got the same response.

        By about 12:30, after an ever-increasingly titled parade of managers asked how it was going, Terry Matthews, the Founder, CEO, Chairman and Grand-Poobah himself walked in, and said “Would it help if you were at the system?”

        at 1:30 the tech was on Terry Matthews private jet. at 4pm the problem was solved.