On a dark and stormy night a few years back... I got a request to troubleshoot a PC that had died. The user was shall we say less that Martha Stewart for keeping his workspace tidy so could be many different things. The need was urgent because not only was the user down, the group he worked in was down too. Coming over it was a dark and scary cubicle. Rain was coming down outside and a late fall day not long before Halloween. The power outage, weather and decorations set the frightful stage to make it a dark and rainy night... well... late afternoon. Facilities soon had the breakers back on again and I was looking over the employee's workstation stuffed into the back corner. It had overheated a few times and the last tech had taken the side panel off and left it leaning against the case for better air flow. Moving some of the clutter out of the way I unwrapped the mystery... moving the panel to the side to get a better look inside... it was a rat's warren inside, dust, droppings, dust bunnies... and... a literal rat. unbeknownst to the user his dietary habits and leftovers had attracted the other IT and cord loving bunch who had setup shop and conveniently removed one rat infestation challenge by connecting the terminals, shorting out the station, and tripping power leaving the group in the dark and a slightly smoking corpse. Needless to say, the employee soon had a brand-new workstation, the mystery was solved. If it wasn't for those pesky kids and their snacky habits.. they would have gotten away with it too. -Darren Cannon
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First Networking was in service of Gaming. My buddy and I both had some old 286s I had built for us both, and added NIC cards. We would go to each others houses each in turn lugging the old suitcase sized towers and then setup a direct patch cable between us and then spend the next hour both selecting the game and then setting the specific variables to ensure the NICs saw the data packets properly, were actively communicating and the game registered the other player for the network play. A quarter of the time they games simply would not see each other till we got everything set up specifically right. As we got better at it, we included several others and soon were playing Mechwarrior 1 and 2 (see below) in a LAN and working to figure out how to setup Internet supported gaming as that was so new it was a challenge converting LAN into internet connectivity and communication... still... many fun hours of Mechwarrior were played together in our mobile LAN setup depending on whose home we went to.
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