Hocus Pocus

computer magicIn a former life, I was a Certified Network Administrator (CNA) in Novell Netware. (Can’t get any more left-brained than that without becoming an Accountant, right?) Later, I worked with Microsoft Windows networks—different, yet the basics were the same. The more I worked with a network system, the more I knew its quirks and foibles. I understood its needs and “wants.” The network became a living, breathing entity—my “child.” This child had its own personality and frequently threw tantrums.

Knowing a computer network so well creates a sense of ‘magic.’ Computers do wondrous things and horrible things. They perform millions of calculations faster than the blink of an eye—faster than even the reflex before the blink of an eye, but only if the information fed to them is logical. Computers access information for us, create documents for us, and provide us great satisfaction—or not. Even when users don’t know what they are doing, computers still provide them with valuable information if one knows how to interpret it’s ‘babble.’

It’s all magic, right? Yes, it’s all magic. It’s full of pixies.

  • Perform “Please-let-this-work” dance around the network server waiting for it to reboot.
  • Use keyboard shortcuts at a user’s workstation, creating a sense of wonder in the user.
  • Upon arrival at a user’s troublesome workstation, the issue disappears.

All Magic

  • Plug in a computer, configure it, and connect it to the network. “Please-let-this-work” dance applies here as well.
  • Leap to the rescue in a single bound to clear a jam in the network printer that refuses to give up the paper its has wrinkled and torn paper.

Possibly Magic

  • Prepare a new user profile and grant user access to the exact directories and files needed to do their job–ready for their first day.
  • Recover a lost file for a network user. “I didn’t delete it–it just disappeared!” says User.
  • Forcefully revive a computer that has decided to take a day off.

All Powerful Magic

  • Explain to a computer user in tech-speak what you’re doing. User doesn’t understand. Translate tech-speak to magic-speak. User still doesn’t understand, but feels more comfortable with the words.

A Little Magic

  • Solve a database riddle that has a user on the brink of tossing their computer out the window. Close window.
  • Teach a user how to format a document in MS Word. Soak in the admiration.


Remain calm while training a computer newbie. MAGIC


P.S. One of my husband’s coworkers decided to test IT Guy in his office because “You can do everything!”
First question—Why does my cake not rise? IT Guy answers with an explanation of high-altitude adjustments of oven temperatures and ingredient amounts.
Second question—I’m having trouble trying to decide who I want to vote for in the upcoming election. Who should I vote for? IT Guy says “Yourself. Vote for yourself as a write-in.”
This guy is definitely MAGIC.


2 thoughts on “Hocus Pocus

  1. I relate to this! I worked in IT for many years as a software QA analyst. My job not only was to ensure the software worked correctly but to also try to break it. I enjoyed it and learned a great deal about computers, operating systems, networking, and so much more. Great post, thanks Joyce. 🙂

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