Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Cleaning up

Ah, it's a fine day. Ripa's not around. All of my tickets have been answered and most of them are final. The only thing I expect to receive back is mail telling me the problem is resolved and that I can close the ticket.

I play a game of Age of Empires and completely wallop 5 other civilisations by building a giant army right at the beginning and whacking the others into nothingness before I even reach Tool Age. Huge map and game over inside 45 minutes.

Time to read some blogs but first, a look at the incoming tickets. Nothing special here; most of them are in areas outside my knowledge. Oh, wait! Here's one. One workstation is having problems. That's right up my alley. Take ownership but first, it's time to read a few blogs.

Right. Let's have a look at this ticket.
Hi, we have one user whose computer constantly crashes whenever he uses $YourBigApp. I've attached screenshots, dumps, Windows settings, a Hijack This log and Dr Watson. I can't reproduce at will yet but I'm working on it. There are no unsupported programs or Browser Helper Objects running.
Screaming Servers, Batman! A clueful admin! This is a rarity and he's got my complete attention. Look through the attachments and what do I see? IE is dying left and right. But something doesn't make sense.


I need a round of Zuma.

Halfway through my game it hits me, so badly in fact that I blow the level.

I look back at the logs and see calls to system DLLs which aren't being returned. This is Not Good®. It normally means they're corrupted or missing.

I write back: "Please get me a directory listing for the Windows\System32 directory using the command prompt: 'dir c:\windows\system32 o:e >> sys32dir.txt' and send me the file. Here's my direct, personal E-Mail address."

I don't normally give that out but this guy was clueful and I saw a chance to resolve a problem inside two hours.

Within fifteen minutes comes the response. I look through and see that half the damned DLLs are missing. How this machine's even booting is beyond me. I break down and actually call this admin on the phone.

"Hi, this is REC from $BigCorp. Your ell-user told you he didn't do anything with the computer, right?"
"How'd you guess?" came the response, dripping with sarcasm.
"Half the Windows system DLLs are missing."
"What the...?!"
"Compare that file you sent me with your sys32 directory."
"Hold on a sec..."
"Son of a bitch!!"
"Yeah. Re-image."
"Gladly. That son of a bitch. Thanks a lot for calling."
"No problem."

Two hours later the SR was updated. Ready to close. The admin told me exactly what kind of nothing that luser did: he deleted "unimportant" files in an attempt to free up space. Space that he desperately needed for his downloads. From BitTorrent. Films.

The customer works with the MPAA and currently has a job opening.

Root Cause 17, super-sized.


Anonymous Anonymous pulled out a crayon and scribbled:

Hi Evil,

You play Age of Empires? Ok, I must suggest that you read Oryx and Crake. Your REALLY need to read Oryx and Crake. You might like it, although the ending kind of sucked. But the rest of the book was worth it. The characters spend alot of time playing games like Extinctathon & Blood and Roses and surfering reality T.V websites like an assisted suicide site called:

sorry, that was a bit off topic of your entry, but you might like the book. ;)

11 May, 2006 16:20  

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