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Best overheard tech support lines

When I was at Alpha Software, we had a database feature called "Zap".  This would not only delete the database and its underlying tables, but it would rewrite the area of the disk where the tables were, scrubbing it clean to meet some infosec requirement.

Anyhow, since this was such a destructive operation, the user interface would confirm the user's desire to Zap with a series of escalatingly alarming prompts.

"Are you sure you want to Zap the database? This operation will destroy the database entirely and cannot be undone."

Then:

"Are you absolutely certain you want to Zap..."

Then:

"Please confirm that you want to Zap..."

So not long after adding this feature came the invariable tech support request (add hick accent if it helps):

"Ah jest zapped mah database and I wanna get it back.  How kin I get it back?"

The tech support rep thought for a while and came up with the best response to a luser's request that I've yet heard:

"Sir, do you have access to a time machine?  Because NOTHING SHORT OF TIME TRAVEL will get you that data back..."

###

Any other good repartee from tech support?

dir at badblue com
Wednesday, April 21, 2004

Why didn't the tech support rep just tell the guy to restore the database from a backup?

John Topley (www.johntopley.com)
Wednesday, April 21, 2004

So could just anyone zap a database or did one need admin privileges?

name withheld out of cowardice
Wednesday, April 21, 2004

This is true.

While studying my way to a CS degree, I worked building/repairing PCs.  We had someone call up saying they thought their computer was broken and they wanted to know what to do.  The question was asked "What is it doing that makes you think it's broken?"

"I can't win this game." was the reply.

Walt
Wednesday, April 21, 2004

You have to admit that the word "Zap" might not properly convey the activity being involved (zap to me would be "refresh"). Custom lingo like that should be avoided when simple everyday words are sufficient.

"Would you like to delete and permantly erase this database?"

"Are you sure that you would like to delete and permantly erase this database?"

"Come on...you sure? Are you sure that you would like to delete and permantly erase this database?"

Actually that brings up an interesting point - whenever there is a serious, irregular activity, perhaps there should be some sort of user consciousness verification, like the anti-bot steps that make you type in the obscurred txt in a graphic.

Dennis Forbes
Wednesday, April 21, 2004

"whenever there is a serious, irregular activity, perhaps there should be some sort of user consciousness verification, "

Great idea!  Like, "If you want to permanently and irretreivably delete this database, type 'I want to permanently delete this database, and I know there is absolutely no way to get it back.' in the box below."

If that doesn't work to make people think, nothing will.

Karl Perry
Wednesday, April 21, 2004

Hmm, relying on user reading comprehension is bad, I had a lady that translated PGP Universal into PGP University. And for some reason a lot of people so far are having trouble with the word passphrase which came out as passage in one lady's email (and she spelled it out twice).

Never underestimate the predictability of stupidity
Wednesday, April 21, 2004

""whenever there is a serious, irregular activity, perhaps there should be some sort of user consciousness verification, "

Great idea!  Like, "If you want to permanently and irretreivably delete this database, type 'I want to permanently delete this database, and I know there is absolutely no way to get it back.' in the box below." "

A couple years ago I was working a summer job where I could only get about five hours of sleep a night.  Since I regularly sleep through the alarm, and have sometimes been able to cross a room, turn off an alarm, and get back to bed without waking up, I decided to implement something similar to what you described.

Every morning at 5:30 that summer, my computer would start playing ridiculously loud music, and wouldn't stop until I had typed in a string of sentences that it gave me.  I was on time more that summer than any other period of my life.

Emperor Norton
Wednesday, April 21, 2004

There's funny tech support .wav files at http://www.365jokeplace.com/Files/regular.asp?cat=taudio ...

Adam
Wednesday, April 21, 2004

Emperor Norton.

Do you still have that application. It just way too easy to hit the snooze button on modern alarms.

Tapiwa
Thursday, April 22, 2004

I downloaded a zipped .iso of Debian Linux, which had some servers comprimised a while ago. (info at debian.org.) The passphrase for the .zip was along the lines of "I know this software may be bad and may damage my computer!"--complete with exclaimation point.

null fame
Thursday, April 22, 2004

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