"The SALAMI Snooze" On-line edition, April 1, 1997 — Page 5

Computer Care

Note to the readers: The following is humorous satire. Obeying the rules outlined below can result in serious damage to your computer and its peripherals.

  • Never leave diskettes in the drive, as the data can leak out of the disk and corrode the inner mechanics of the drive. Disks should be rolled up and stored in pencil holders.
  • Disks should be cleaned and waxed once a week. Microscopic metal particles may be removed by waving a powerful magnet over the surface of the disk. Any stubborn metal shavings can be removed with scouring powder and steel wool. When waxing a disk, make sure the surface is even. This will allow the diskete to spin faster, resulting in better access time. (The magnet trick also works with credit cards to speed approval time at the checkout line...)
  • Do not fold diskettes unless they do not fit into the drive. "Big" diskettes may be folded and used in "little" drives.
  • Never insert a diskette into the drive upside down. The data can fall off the surface of the disk and jam up the intricate mechanics of the drive.
  • Diskettes cannot be backed up by running them through the photo copy machine. If your data needs to be backed up, simply put two diskettes into your drive. A handy tip for more legible backups: keep a container of iron filings in your desk, sprinkle liberally between two disks before inserting them into the drive.
  • Diskettes should not be inserted or removed from the drive while the red light is on, as this could result in smeared or unreadable text. Occasionally the light remains flashing in what is known as a "hung" or "hooked" state. If your drive has begun hooking, you will need to insert a few coins before being allowed access to the slot.
  • If your diskette is full and needs more storage space, remove it from the drive and shake it vigorously for two minutes. This will pack the data enough (data compression) to allow for more storage. Important: prior to shaking, cover all openings on the disk with masking tape to prevent data loss.
  • Data access time may be greatly improved by cutting more holes in the diskette jacket. This will provide more simultaneous access points to the disk.
  • Periodically spray diskettes with insecticide to prevent system bugs from spreading.

Computer-style Help Line for GM Cars

General Motors doesn't have a "help line" for people who don't know how to drive, because people don't buy cars like they buy computers — but imagine if they did . . .

HELPLINE: "General Motors Helpline, how can I help you?"
CUSTOMER: "I got in my car and closed the door, and nothing happened!"
HELPLINE: "Did you put the key in the ignition slot and turn it?"
CUSTOMER: "What's an ignition?"
HELPLINE: "It's a starter motor that draws current from your battery and turns over the engine."
CUSTOMER: "Ignition? Motor? Battery? Engine? How come I have to know all of these technical terms just to use my car?"

HELPLINE: "General Motors Helpline, how can I help you?"
CUSTOMER: "My car ran fine for a week, and now it won't go anywhere!"
HELPLINE: "Is the gas tank empty?"
CUSTOMER: "Huh? How do I know!?"
HELPLINE: "There's a little gauge on the front panel, with a needle, and markings from 'E' to 'F.' Where is the needle pointing?"
CUSTOMER: "It's pointing to 'E.' What does that mean?"
HELPLINE: "It means that you have to visit a gasoline vendor, and purchase some more gasoline. You can install it yourself, or pay the vendor to install it for you."
CUSTOMER: "What!? I paid $12,000.00 for this car! Now you tell me that I have to keep buying more components? I want a car that comes with everything built in!"

HELPLINE: "General Motors Helpline, how can I help you?"
CUSTOMER: "Your cars suck!"
HELPLINE: "What's wrong?"
CUSTOMER: "It crashed, that's what went wrong!"
HELPLINE: "What were you doing?"
CUSTOMER: "I wanted to run faster, so I pushed the accelerator pedal all the way to the floor. It worked for a while, and then it crashed — and now it won't start!"
HELPLINE: "It's your responsibility if you misuse the product. What do you expect us to do about it?"
CUSTOMER: "I want you to send me one of the latest versions that doesn't crash anymore!"

HELPLINE: "General Motors Helpline, how can I help you?"
CUSTOMER: "Hi! I just bought my first car, and I chose your car because it has automatic transmission, cruise control, power steering, power brakes, and power door locks."
HELPLINE: "Thanks for buying our car. How can I help you?"
CUSTOMER: "How do I work it?"
HELPLINE: "Do you know how to drive?"
CUSTOMER: "Do I know how to what?"
HELPLINE: "Do you know how to drive?"
CUSTOMER: "I'm not a technical person! I just want to go places in my car!"

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