Another mouse casuality today, in the same room.  This time it wasn’t removed, but instead they had sliced open the cable sheath to expose the wires, then sliced and frayed them.

Not only is that wanton destructive vandalism, but potentially dangerous.

I’m thinking of making a poster:

“If you aren’t here because you want to be, then leave.  If you are here to just muck about, cause trouble, or hinder those who actually want to learn something, then we don’t want you here.  Do something else with your life instead.”

Believe me, I’d love to word it much stronger than that.

On a similar note, I have had notices up for a long time now advising people not to open the windows if the air conditioning is on.  Do they take any notice?  Of course not.  Doors and windows wide open, and the air conditioning blazing away.

Sometimes I’ve even entered a room to discover the aircon has been set, perhaps accidentally, to actually heat the room.  Unfortunately that’s most likely the fault of the lecturers.  They collect the aircon remote from us, at which point I set it to the right settings and temperature.  Somewhere between the door of my office and the door of the classroom, they change every single setting to the opposite of what it should be.

I think lecturers have a lot to answer for.  While these students are creating all these problems, where are they?  They’re meant to be there in the room supervising them.  I don’t know what they are really doing but whatever it is doesn’t seem to be having any effect.

Petty theft

WHY!?  Why do they do it?  In a classroom full of computers, why do they keep stealing the MICE?  We’ve had at least 30 go from three different classrooms.  So, we bought replacements, and I cable tied them all to the machines in two different places.  Now I’ve just discovered that ANOTHER one has been stolen, they actually cut the cable ties to take it.  A MOUSE!  A lousy stinking optical mouse!

And now I’ve just been told that a laptop keyboard has been damaged – one of the key mechanisms has been smashed.  God knows how much that is gonna cost to replace.  Can we just buy replacement keys?  How about the little thingies that hold the keys on?  Probably not, we’re probably going to have to buy a whole new keyboard assembly or something ridiculous like that.

The students here just have no appreciation for the equipment or environment around them.  We had a machine that someone took all the memory from.  Many machines have the CDROM drives completely trashed, stripping the gears.  Most of the keyboards now lay flat on the desk because the little stands have been snapped off.  It just makes me so angry that we spend this money on equipment for them and this is how they repay us.

Over the weekend we had ten laptops stolen from a locked cupboard in a classroom.  After investigation, it turns out most of the students who use that room knew where the key was kept because they were told so by the lecturers.  There was no forced entry, and it was almost certainly a student.  Do we really make any money by opening the college on a saturday to run just one or two adult classes?  When you factor in the cost of equipment lost during these times, it makes me wonder.

Other things have been stolen in the past, projectors, the occasional TFT.  Someone stole Site Management’s mini tractor/lawnmower.  Actually rolled up with a trailer and loaded it on.  Thankfully I can only recall one actual computer being stolen.  Our computers don’t make good games machines as everything is onboard, have no AGP port, and are mostly in Small Form Factor cases.

The whole thing just makes me so angry, and disappointed at the same time.


Printers.  It’s a love/hate relationship.  When they work, they are wonderful.  However, when they go wrong, they can be a nightmare.

It seems that both staff and students here are always inventing new and more imaginitive ways to make printers go wrong.

With inkjet printers it’s easy to cause havoc.  While a page is printing, add a big stack more paper to the in-tray and watch as the printer tries to feed 2cm of paper through the rollers.  Or, turn the printer or printserver off half-way through a job, and then watch as it tries to process half a print job.  For some reason, simply removing the paper to stop it printing hundreds of pages of dingbats just doesn’t occur to them.

A firm favourite of mine is people who install new ink cartridges but forget to remove the protective plastic covering the electrical contacts and print heads.  Similarly with Laser toner, not removing the pull-out protective seal will rarely end in good results.  What amazes me is the people who not only fail to remove that, but then proceed to force the toner cartridge into the printer clearly against it’s wishes.

The technically illiterate don’t seem to grasp the concept that when clearing a paper jam, it’s not a good thing to rip the paper into little shreds as you try to remove it.  Nor is it a good thing to have a big chunk of paper lost somewhere inside.  Inevitably, it will come back to haunt you.  Paperclips, too, are not easily digested by a printer.

The most terminal printer I have dealt with was a user that wanted to print onto a sheet of sticky labels.  Now, I don’t know if this person was using the wrong types of labels or perhaps they were just unlucky, but an entire sheet of labels went into the printer, but when the sheet came out several labels were missing.  The user thought nothing of this, until the printer started producing a lot of black marks on all their pages.

Have you ever tried to delete a print job being sent to a locally attached printer?  Is there a trick to this I’ve not yet encountered?  I turn the printer off, on, off, on, do the hokey cokey and I turn around, but yet Windows sits there telling me the document status is ‘Deleting’.  Often, I find a reboot is the only way to obliterate it entirely.  What does it find so difficult about deleting a print job?

Missing the point…

Here’s an email conversation that went on between one of the IT team (Lxxx) and another member of staff (Sxxx).  Seems that one of the ink tanks on their printer has run out of ink.

>>> Dear Lxxx
>>> The printer in room 6 is a HP 1100d
>>> Will you be able to get the ink cartridge replaced?  Many thanks
>>> Sxxx

>> Hi Sxxx
>> What colour?  There are 4!

> Lxxx, do you mean what colour ink or what colour printer?!
> Sxxx

I banged my head on the desk when I read this.

A fresh start

OK, so I finally dug out my username and password for this blog and I thought it’s about time I added some content.

My blog is not neccesarily going to be all about security, but certainly if something relevant happens in my day then I’ll be posting about it here.

I’m still experimenting with this whole blog thing.  I’ll be messing with the colours and layout etc and actually working out what I can do with it.  There’s all sorts of buttons and settings I can change, I just need to work out what they all do!

I think I’ll start by adding some links to my friends blog sites.  So, check the links section.