Tech Tales From Hell presents..

F#%#@ Scanner!

Andys Tech Tales Speaking of frustration, here's a little anecdote from my (erstwhile) workplace TAFE Tasmania, in a department which teaches IT. I am surrounded by technology and I know how it works. Today I wanted to scan a couple of documents. Not much to ask..?

I go into one of the classrooms and log-on, but the PC which has been attached to the same scanner for last 2 years does not recognise the scanner. It's turned on and connected but the scanner just whirrs its little drive belt motor..

So I go upstairs to another room and try to log on, but the Scanner PC up there won't let me log-on to the same network. My password is apparently invalid up here..

I physically take the USB scanner downstairs and plug it into my own Windows 2000 Server box. It needs a driver..

After waiting an eternity for the web pages to load, I eventually find the driver which is going to be a 232MB download! This was in 2003. "Probably a 200-odd meg animation and a 300KB driver," grins my wry chum Chris Adams, from over the partition in the Multimedia Camp. Yeah thanks Chris.

Slightly offput, I ask around but no-one seems to know the whereabouts of the original HP CD-ROM driver..

So I try to download the bloody driver anyway, but all the driver links are FTP and FTP has been disabled through the company firewall (hate corporate networks).

Back to square one. I ring up the helpdesk to get my password reset but "all lines are busy.."

At this point I usually try to laugh it off philosophically and recognise it as the old 'one step forward, four steps back' scenario. But I haven't even made one single step in the right direction of getting my document anywhere near a scanner.

I might just as well have recreated the whole document in Microsoft Paintbrush in full colour, flaggelated myself raw with a birch twig and then invited a close colleague to shove a red hot poker up my arse to have achieved the same result.

Maybe I should just go back to working in Lunatic Asylums, I'm sure it was a lot less stressful..

- AndyM

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