IT tales for your summer reading list

Lighten your summer workdays with these 12 stories from the Off the Record archives

The lazy days of summer are in full swing, but the daily grind of tech troubleshooting, upgrades, and office politics continues. The days may be longer, but the work hours may feel that way too.

Here at InfoWorld's Off the Record blog, we publish a story each week from readers, whom we keep anonymous, sharing an experience from the tech trenches. The stories chronicle some of the everyday adventures in the life of the IT professional.

Below is a collection of 12 memorable, entertaining stories from the Off the Record archives. The reading fare includes horror stories of unrealistic bosses, comedic tech situations, and puzzling tech mysteries to solve -- a perfect escape.

And if you want to cash in on your IT experiences by publishing a story in the Off the Record blog, send it to InfoWorld is looking for your amazing or amusing IT adventure, such as managing IT, developing apps, supporting users, times when IT and business expectations collide, or even a lesson learned -- stories that are memorable to you. If we publish it, we'll keep you anonymous and send you a $50 American Express gift cheque.


  • Neither voodoo nor sabotage was behind the mysterious Monday tape overload problem. Nevertheless, it took a year to find a solution in the story "Label this tape 'trouble'."
  • "How many techs does it take to turn on a computer?" It's anything but a joke to the IT staffer who had to take the call at the help desk.
  • The MIS manager in "VGA blues" specified, purchased, installed, and configured every piece of equipment in the place. His undoing came in the form of a blue monitor.
  • "When should you run from scary code?" That's the question for the techie in this IT story after he finds out he'd been hired to take the blame for a failed project.
  • What do numbers mean if we change them to say whatever we want? Find out what happens when "Teaching a database to lie."
  • What's worse: passwords taped to the monitor or a boss who assigns them all? No matter what, it's a "Password disaster in the making."
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