Ellis Morning

Ellis is a Computer Science graduate who fought in the trenches of Tech Support, occasionally crossing enemy lines into the Business Analyst and Project Management spheres of war. She's now a freelance writer and author of sci-fi/fantasy adventure novels about a spacefaring knight errant on a quest for justice and enlightenment. Read more at Ellis' website.

A Sterling Interview

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Greater blue-eared starling (Lamprotornis chalybaeus)

Marissa's not-for-profit organization sought a college graduate with the ability to code and create basic software solutions. Given their organization's financial limitations, they couldn't afford to pay employees as well as many other places could, thus they'd been struggling for over a year to find a qualified entry-level candidate. Finally, a fresh graduate came along who made a strong impression during his interview. Greg was personable and possessed the required fundamentals. There was potential for him to learn more on the job.

The Renegade Datacenter

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Datacenter Cloudwatt

The bank Edward worked for had a datacenter problem. Said datacenter resided in the basement of their headquarters. Over a twenty-year period, it had been expanded twice, and now covered the entire floor. There was simply no place left to go. The datacenter contained everything from state-of-the-art racks to $10 Ethernet hubs that no one had touched in a decade, and many of these mission-critical components were situated directly upon the floor. Every other week or so, some technician would trip on a cable and knock out a server or switch.

Painful Self-Development

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View my timesheet page

Daniel didn't believe the rumor at first. Whenever his company chased after the hottest new business trends, they usually pursued the worst trends imaginable. But word was that this time, they'd seen fit to mimic Google’s fabled "20% Time."

Best Of 2019: The Hardware Virus

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We continue our holiday break by looking back at the true gift that kept on giving, the whole year round. Original. --Remy


Jen was a few weeks into her new helpdesk job. Unlike past jobs, she started getting her own support tickets quickly—but a more veteran employee, Stanley, had been tasked with showing her the ropes. He also got notification of Jen's tickets, and they worked on them together. A new ticket had just come in, asking for someone to replace the DVI cable that'd gone missing from Conference Room 3. Such cables were the means by which coworkers connected their laptops to projectors for presentations.

Lying Metrics

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Locator LED

Our anonymous submitter—we'll call him Russell—was a senior engineer supporting an equally anonymous web service that was used by his company's desktop software for returning required data. Russell had a habit of monitoring the service's performance each day, always on the lookout for trouble. One fateful morning, the anomalies piled on thick.

The Support Game

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PDP-11 (459312210)

In the 1970s, shortly before our friend Argle dared to do exactly what his boss asked of him in an efficient manner, he worked at the computer lab of a local community college. When his friend Terry was hired on as a new assistant, Argle sat down with her at the Tech Support desk for a run-down of hard-earned knowledge and best practices.

Once Bitten, Twice Tested

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Blake had recently been hired as a software tester, tasked with testing the company's product on the latest operating system, Windows 2000. After running through his battery of tests, he informed management that he hadn't encountered any issues, and the product was dubbed Windows 2000-ready. During the next several weeks, the product was smoothly deployed by customers—until an installer bug report came in.

Redesign By Committee

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Sample web form

Carl was excited to join his first "real" company and immerse himself in the World of Business. The fresh-faced IT Analyst was immediately assigned to a "cross-strata implementation team" tasked with redesigning the RMA form completed by customers when they returned goods. The current form had been flagged for various weaknesses and omissions.