Warning – this is a bit geeky

The problem with starting posts on technical support incidents is that I then start remembering lots more. So some of this will only appeal if you have also worked on tech support yourself, I suspect.


This incident refers to versions of Windows released respectively in the early 1990s and, as the name suggests, from 1995 onwards. The big difference was with Windows 95, which introduced the much maligned “Start” button in the bottom left hand corner of the screen.

So by around 2003/4, when this incident occurred, it was ubiquitous. No matter which version of Windows a user had, there was a Start button – be it grey, green or any other colour, size or shape.

Another call comes in to the helpdesk about those pesky anti-virus CDs. Apparently this month’s CD will not run automatically. It’s a nuisance, but it happens.

The user however cannot find their Start button. I try getting them to look in every corner of the screen, hovering the mouse poitner in case it’s “hidden” and so on. Eventually the user says, innocently, “Will Program Manager help?”.

If you are a geek you will have laughed at this point.

Program Manager was in Windows 3.x and so would not have been available for at least 8-10 years. Amazingly enough their computer was still functioning well for all that time, and they were able to check emails (a miracle in itself given the Winsock problems), do letters and spreadsheets etc quite happily. Fortunately they didn’t send files to colleagues in other offices!

But again, I had to wonder – how had they been updating the anti-virus, as claimed, in previous months? I do despair.

Go on then, it's your turn

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