How many sides are there to a CD?

The answer, of course, is three.

I was reminded recently that when I was doing technical support in various previous  jobs, I used to come home and tell my family about the strange things that users got up to. Now it isn’t my intention here to belittle people who don’t know much about computers. No one knows about computers until they are given the chance to learn. It’s just that some people pick it up more quickly than others.

A few years back we used to send out CDs with anti-virus updates to all our users around the country. Those were the days when you only updated your anti-virus on a monthly basis, and received the files in the post. We hadn’t been using CDs for updates for more than a year or so – before that they fitted on a floppy disk quite happily.

Anyway, we had one user in particular who just couldn’t get the hang of the update process. In brief the process was: put the CD into the computer and when it started up click on “OK”.

So, he phoned us to talk him through it. Every month. On this particular occasion I picked up the call. The usual problem people had was remembering whether the picture side of the CD was facing up or down. So on the first attempt to put the CD in, predictably nothing happened (because they never put it in the right way up by mistake – it was like the toast landing butter side down every time).

Not to worry. Try again, making sure picture side is UP. Still nothing.

OK, let’s try it one more time shall we? Picture side UP, remember. And yes, it was third time lucky. Apparently he hadn’t tried that side yet.

So the question was – what side had he tried on the second attempt? The edge?

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