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On Call Friday is that special time of the week when clocks seem to slow to a crawl and software giants drop their buggiest code. It is also the time when The Register pokes a talon into the sack marked "On Call".

Today's tale from the front line comes from a reader we'll call Jack, who worked for a publishing company. No, not us. This was back in the '90s when the impossibly youthful headline writers of today's Reg were drawing with crayons, smashing toys and occasionally soiling themselves.


So no change there then.

On the day in question, Jack told us, "I received a call from the President's administrative assistant."

Staffer - Problems - Windows - Machine - Jack

The staffer was having problems with her shiny new Windows machine. Jack dutifully trotted over to the individual's desk to take a look. Obviously, "the drive is full."

Jack began to work through the usual Windows 95 space-saving "tricks" – emptying the trash (or "recycling bin" as Jack preferred to call it), wiping temporary files, clearing caches and so on.

Time - Computer - Assistant - Errors - Job

In no time the computer was purring contentedly and the assistant was back up and running with no errors. Satisfied at a job well done, Jack headed back to the IT cave to await the next call.

It came soon enough, but this time in the form of Jack's manager instructing him to return to the administrative assistant. It seemed there were more issues.


"I go upstairs," said Jack. "I ask 'what does...
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