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(The Register)   The year is 2020. A client calls you complaining that their Windows XP machine is giving them problems. This story ends in a way that you will not expect   (theregister.com) divider line
    More: Amusing, Rat, Rodent, Mouse, client calls, new client of Andrew, home office, Call archives, time of the week  
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2885 clicks; posted to Geek » on 28 Jun 2020 at 11:20 PM (5 weeks ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook



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2020-06-28 11:13:33 PM  
Had a Chinchilla that chewed through a cat5 cable once, that one took a bit to figure out.

/the cable ran really close to its cage and the cute little bastard managed to grab it and pull it over to mouth range.
 
2020-06-28 11:31:08 PM  
I'm a mobile automotive diagnostics tech.  I get called out for the jobs that the shops have given up on.

One of the first things I do is a good visual inspection.  It's amazing how many of the electrical intermittent jobs have little pellets of mouse poop all over the top of the engine.

Mice love wire insulation.
 
2020-06-28 11:42:15 PM  
Is the story ending not as I expect because it didn't happen in 2020 and is just a retelling of an old story?

Our story this week comes from a reader we will call "Andrew" and concerns the time he spent taking calls from customers worrying about beige boxes and billowing clouds of burning insulation.

Also I'm just picturing him whipping them out from his pocket. In the ultimate in nerdery.

While his first instinct was the whip out his spare keyboard and mouse, Andrew told us: "I have a book that I carry listing all the odd fixes to get stuff working. In bold letters on the front page it states, 'Check all the simple stuff first'."
 
2020-06-28 11:42:22 PM  
My cars live outside, way out in the country, so mice are an issue. I keep snap traps in all of the vehicles and catch about a mouse a week. So far they like peanut butter better than electrical insulation.
 
M-G [TotalFark]
2020-06-28 11:44:37 PM  
Uh Subby, nowhere did TFA indicate that this took place in 2020.  In fact, they even say it's from the archives.
 
2020-06-28 11:47:03 PM  
a life time ago when i worked desktop support we had at least 1 computer a month come in with roaches or some other form of nastiness infesting the computer and shorting the psu or mainboard. twice we had mice. and once another tech found an expired 3 foot long rat snake.
 
2020-06-28 11:47:50 PM  
Support for XP ended years ago. Close support ticket as working as intended.
 
2020-06-28 11:51:04 PM  
Fark user imageView Full Size
 
2020-06-28 11:51:50 PM  
I have a dog who discovered the computer has a fan that is perfect height to cool her butt.  And seriously, who doesn't want a nice cool but on a hot day?  Problem is, to get the proper angle you've got to jostle the whole computer which inevitably disconnects at least one cable.  Took me days before I figured out what was causing it.  All ended well for her though, I bought a tower fan and directed it toward her bed. Comfort and cool.
 
2020-06-29 12:04:57 AM  

Fark_Guy_Rob: Support for XP ended years ago. Close support ticket as working as intended.


Vista and later versions left a huge hole in some industrial computer implementations. Not all functions could be filled by Linux, at least not immediately.
In about 25% of all U.S companies, XP is still running on some systems by necessity - Mine is one of them. We have narrowed it down to just three XP boxes now I think, but there will be XP systems running for at least the next 15-20 years in some industries and in military applications.
-
/BTW, you can still do fresh XP installs successfully, and on modern hardware, just takes the right tricks to pull off.
 
2020-06-29 12:12:05 AM  
I had a cat chew on a USB cable resulting in the chip controlling the USB ports blowing out.  Six month old laptop turned into trash.
 
2020-06-29 12:18:07 AM  
When we got a house rabbit we wound up having to spiral wrap any power and computer cables it could reach.

Fark user imageView Full Size
 
2020-06-29 12:39:05 AM  

Fark_Guy_Rob: Support for XP ended years ago. Close support ticket as working as intended.


You can still buy XP support from Microsoft.  It is not out of support, it is out of free support.  It is just a real pain to get those contracts.  Two years after they stopped the free support, they were making more on XP support than XP cost to create.
 
2020-06-29 12:44:49 AM  
I had gone to my old home town a few years back, the whole family were in town a couple of nights for my grandfather's 90th birthday. Staying at a fairly basic motel, nothing spectacular, but fine... One of my aunts came to see me, asked if I could help the receptionist, who had been in tears, because computer issues.

So, I enter reception, do a basic software check - everything seems to be okay. Next most basic thing - check hardware, they've got an external modem... Not exactly state of the art in 2012, but whatever. It's plugged in, no lights are on, wallwart is plugged in, run along the cable - bitten about halfway along.

They had parrots that were free to roam, and it wasn't difficult to work out what happened.

I tell her the details of the power supply she needed to go buy, so she did that leaving me in reception... While she was out, I stripped and temporarily spliced the wires, got modem powered, downloaded emails...

I don't think we got a discount for accomodation, though...
 
2020-06-29 1:58:40 AM  
Don't be fatuous, Subby.
 
2020-06-29 2:05:04 AM  
I used to do camping in fairly remote parts of the Rockies. Bouncing along trails accessible only by high clearance 4wd vehicle for 2-3 hours type stuff.  One afternoon we passed by a campsite and the owner had a fence of chicken wire all the way around his vehicle. I was slightly confused, but went about my merry way.  Upon returning, I asked some fellow 4x4 enthusiasts what that was all about, and was told that marmots and other rodents indigenous to the area like to chew on wires.  Made me quite nervous to think of all the times we could have been stranded in the middle of nowhere.  On subsequent trips I made sure to include lots of extra wire of various guages, electical tape, twist caps, etc. in my emergency car stuff kit.
 
2020-06-29 2:58:46 AM  
They did something with car insulation about 2 decades ago that made it more eatable bringing back a a problem that was gone in the 70s.
 
2020-06-29 4:15:53 AM  

kyuzokai: I used to do camping in fairly remote parts of the Rockies. Bouncing along trails accessible only by high clearance 4wd vehicle for 2-3 hours type stuff.  One afternoon we passed by a campsite and the owner had a fence of chicken wire all the way around his vehicle. I was slightly confused, but went about my merry way.  Upon returning, I asked some fellow 4x4 enthusiasts what that was all about, and was told that marmots and other rodents indigenous to the area like to chew on wires.  Made me quite nervous to think of all the times we could have been stranded in the middle of nowhere.  On subsequent trips I made sure to include lots of extra wire of various guages, electical tape, twist caps, etc. in my emergency car stuff kit.


Not just wires.  Any kind of hose, too.  Brake fluid, radiator fluid...  You should be carrying spare fluids (and oil) already just for random leaks, but you'll need some serious repair kit if you want to fix marmot damage.  We're not talking about a little nibble here or there, we're talking "they removed the bottom half of  the hose along six inches of its length".  It's probably best to carry spare hoses and clamps in addition to tape and sealant.  Or just use the chicken wire. Don't forget that marmots are good diggers, so lay a few feet of chicken wire along the ground too, and anchor it firmly.
 
2020-06-29 4:32:38 AM  

nartreb: kyuzokai: I used to do camping in fairly remote parts of the Rockies. Bouncing along trails accessible only by high clearance 4wd vehicle for 2-3 hours type stuff.  One afternoon we passed by a campsite and the owner had a fence of chicken wire all the way around his vehicle. I was slightly confused, but went about my merry way.  Upon returning, I asked some fellow 4x4 enthusiasts what that was all about, and was told that marmots and other rodents indigenous to the area like to chew on wires.  Made me quite nervous to think of all the times we could have been stranded in the middle of nowhere.  On subsequent trips I made sure to include lots of extra wire of various guages, electical tape, twist caps, etc. in my emergency car stuff kit.

Not just wires.  Any kind of hose, too.  Brake fluid, radiator fluid...  You should be carrying spare fluids (and oil) already just for random leaks, but you'll need some serious repair kit if you want to fix marmot damage.  We're not talking about a little nibble here or there, we're talking "they removed the bottom half of  the hose along six inches of its length".  It's probably best to carry spare hoses and clamps in addition to tape and sealant.  Or just use the chicken wire. Don't forget that marmots are good diggers, so lay a few feet of chicken wire along the ground too, and anchor it firmly.


In retrospect, it was probably a bit naive. Sadly, my 4x4 days are probably over. Not much opportunity to off-road in Tokyo. If I ever get back to Colorado, I'll be bringing fencing on my overnights innawoods.
 
2020-06-29 6:52:36 AM  

Fark_Guy_Rob: Support for XP ended years ago. Close support ticket as working as intended.


Scripted help desk drones and hacks respond that way, professionals at least try to best effort and support the hardware, which in this case would have been able to diagnose and repair the hardware issue without setting foot inside whatever OS was running on the box in question.
 
2020-06-29 7:15:40 AM  

Dryad: Fark_Guy_Rob: Support for XP ended years ago. Close support ticket as working as intended.

Vista and later versions left a huge hole in some industrial computer implementations. Not all functions could be filled by Linux, at least not immediately.
In about 25% of all U.S companies, XP is still running on some systems by necessity - Mine is one of them. We have narrowed it down to just three XP boxes now I think, but there will be XP systems running for at least the next 15-20 years in some industries and in military applications.
-
/BTW, you can still do fresh XP installs successfully, and on modern hardware, just takes the right tricks to pull off.


I thought I was the only one.
In the last six months I moved half a dozen XP workstations over to Windows 10. I still have a few more boxes that are waiting for format/reinstall. Most of what I did are networked connected computers, so the powers that be could see what OS workstations were using across the couuntry. We'd get the occasional email from above "shaming" the IT guys who still had XP systems.
 
2020-06-29 7:36:06 AM  
HAX0R3D!
 
2020-06-29 8:03:48 AM  
So, he really did "fix the cable"
 
2020-06-29 11:23:58 AM  

khitsicker: a life time ago when i worked desktop support we had at least 1 computer a month come in with roaches or some other form of nastiness infesting the computer and shorting the psu or mainboard. twice we had mice. and once another tech found an expired 3 foot long rat snake.


2 be fair

Windows is full of bugs
 
2020-06-29 11:26:53 AM  

Dryad: Fark_Guy_Rob: Support for XP ended years ago. Close support ticket as working as intended.

Vista and later versions left a huge hole in some industrial computer implementations. Not all functions could be filled by Linux, at least not immediately.
In about 25% of all U.S companies, XP is still running on some systems by necessity - Mine is one of them. We have narrowed it down to just three XP boxes now I think, but there will be XP systems running for at least the next 15-20 years in some industries and in military applications.
-
/BTW, you can still do fresh XP installs successfully, and on modern hardware, just takes the right tricks to pull off.


The windows XP cash machines at banks and retail outlets is nice.

Lots of them too

For security reasons im sure.
 
2020-06-29 12:40:32 PM  
CSB #1:

Fark user imageView Full Size


CSB #2: My employer's associate has a bookkeeper who uses a version of popular SOHO software that hasn't been supported since XP. Because she refuses to update it, I have it running in VirtualBox on a fairly new Windows 10 PC. I rarely hear from her.
 
2020-06-29 4:06:08 PM  
Back in the day I had a cat chew on one of my phone cables behind my desk -- it was chewed up just enough to keep the DSL modem from establishing a connection, even though I could still make phone calls over the same wire. Took forever to locate the problem.
 
2020-06-29 4:09:30 PM  

Dryad: /BTW, you can still do fresh XP installs successfully, and on modern hardware, just takes the right tricks to pull off.


Depends on the hardware -- for example, you can forget about it on the most recent generation Dell Optiplex computers sold in the past year, they will only boot from 64-bit UEFI now. No more legacy BIOS booting fallback option available. Even 32-bit Win10 won't work on those anymore.
 
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