It’s time for another TR Out Loud! Sonja Thompson drags Toni Bowers back into the recording studio this week, and they both agree to not torture the TR community with karaoke. Find out what discussion threads and members are hawt this week, plus hear about some embarrassing moments on the job from the cornhole queen. If you’re not a fan of video (sorry about the Flash, Jaqui), you can choose to just listen to the audio file.

Top discussion threads:

  1. Gallery: 10 most annoying programs on the Internet
  2. IT managers: Prepare for the millennials!
  3. TR Out Loud – May 23, 2008
  4. Click the wrong link and wind up in jail
  5. Friday Night Music – Favorites – May 23 ’08

Most “Thumbs Up” in the TR Questions arena this week?

  1. OH Smeg (13 thumbs)
  2. Peconet Tietokoneet (10 thumbs)
  3. CaptBilly1Eye (6 thumbs)
  4. True Blue (5 thumbs)
  5. Old Mycroft (4 thumbs)

Most Comments in the TR Forums this week?

  1. boxfiddler (462 posts)
  2. jdclyde (435 posts)
  3. NickNielson (372 posts)
  4. mojodelirium (281 posts)
  5. Peconet Tietokoneet (237 posts)

Answers from last week’s Question of the Week

Here are a few responses that we received from last week’s QotW, provided by Neilb: “What’s one of your most embarrassing moments on the job?”

  • Faradhi: As for the question of the week, One moment I am willing to speak about is actually a week span. It was my first job in IT out of college. (Not counting the internship) I was hired at a Health Care College. (Nursing, Respiratory Care, Nuclear Medicine etc) It was actually the first in house IT professional that the college had. (The college previously used the affiliated Hospital’s IT department) Well during my first week there, I had to move a bunch of equipment from certain offices to a Gym where they would be registering students. Well one person had a VERY expensive 19 in monitor, a CRT big heavy sucker. Well, we set it up and of course, the lay out changed and I had to move this big sucker from one table to another about 3 ft away. Well, I think I made it about 2 ft before the monitor went crashing to the gym floor. If that was not embarrassing enough, the next day, My first registration where I was supposed to be on hand for the entire day just in case something went wrong, I actually report to the ER with appendicitis. So not only do I destroy one expensive monitor, I end up missing the registration all together. It all turned out fine and I continued breaking things for the next few years. From then on my boss would tell people that I will either break it or fix it whenever someone approached him for my help.
  • The Scummy One: Recently I had to put on a meeting (host). I knew the content well AND wrote everything out in a clear manner. It was reviewed and everything looked great. I then got lazy — yes, a lazy Scummy!!! Since I knew the content and everything that needed to be gone over, I did not bring my written notes. Moreover, my laziness led me to believe I could do without a powerpoint presentation. More than 30 people join in and — since this is my first time hosting a meeting, something happened. My brain decided it didnt want to work properly so my ‘content’ was a little scrambled, re-repeated several times, etc.. Then it hit the Q&A and I had to repeat several times what I had gone over before… I thought that I sounded like a fool, however the feedback that I got was pretty good — well, mostly at least. Luckily I did know the content well! It was mostly my wording and presentation that I felt sucked.. Next time, when I need to setup a meeting and I have a few days notice, I am going to work more from my notes AND f time permits, have a presentation or written presentation to show and help guide the meeting better.
  • jdclyde: I started my current job as a Cobol programmer, working with RM Cobol, running on SCO Unix. Had been working on a conversion program and it had been a long day. Went to type the command to compile, and instead of “rmcobol <source> <dest>” I put a space between the “rm” and the “cobol”. The message I got back was “File Cobol could not be found, not deleted.” rm is the command to remove/delete. it didn’t find cobol, so it ignored it and went to the next files in the command. I lost both my source and the previous compile. DOH! Good thing I had worked it out on paper first, so it wasn’t to hard to redo.
  • S!ick: During one of my radio shows, while I was playing a song on-air, I was taking phone calls off-air. When I do, I record them so I can play some back later on-air… I recorded one call, edited it, and played it back on-air:

(me) “…and that will be happening…”

(caller) “No shit?”

(me) “None, whatsoever…”

I forgot to edit that portion out. I received one phone call…from a listener:

(caller) “Did you hear what he said?”

(me) “What did he say?”

(caller) “Huh? Uh…oh…nevermind…”

  • Hal 9000: About the only things that do occur is when a Member of the public walks into somewhere they shouldn’t be and see me doing something to their new Pride & Joy. Some things can look nasty while they do no harm and are the only way to do things. Though with PC’s now that has even dropped dramatically. So there is no need to drill holes or otherwise attack the case nowadays to make things fit. Used to be a big problem with someone needing extra cooling and me having to cut holes in the case to allow it to happen. If they saw the finished job they liked it but when they saw it happening they thought somewhat differently about what they had asked to be done or what was required Under Guarantee.
  • Computer Cookie: Fixed a long time clients virus problem about two weeks ago, sent her home with it, her son was going to reinstall it. An hour later she calls and asks if I can help her as the monitor is not displaying anything, the monitor is powered the computer seems to boot. After talking to her son everything seems to be plugged in OK, she get back on the phone and asks if I can come and look at it. I’m thinking the video card, that I insisted she include when she purchased the box from me 14months ago has failed, SHHHHit. Luckily I live in a small town, so 10 minutes later I;
  1. Turn the computer on and off, unplugged everything, plug everything in again, turn the computer on and off.
  2. Repeat the above step, stalling.
  3. Repeat again as I’m still trying to think what I can say other than that “the video card (which ultimately added about 15% to the cost of the box) has failed.
  4. Prepare to tell her the video card has failed and it’s out of warranty, but that I can get the onboard video working.
  5. Unplug and the computer, carry it into the kitchen and show her the back of the computer and point to the video card and say to her that it must’ve died!

This is when I realise that the monitor was plugged into the onboard video when I got there and that was what I also did when I plugged it in steps 1-3. Blush and bravely (foolishly) admit that I didn’t have it plugged in correctly either. Oh, ah, so I’ll just plug it back in again and everything should be fine. She’s been a good client for about five years and she just laughed and remarked “so Chris (her son) isn’t that stupid after all.”

How to earn fame and free stuff

Instead of a specific question of the week, I encourage everyone to send in their questions, comments, or weekly scoop on technology, the TR forums, or life in general (hint: pictures are fun).

Send an e-mail to TROL at or call toll free (866)-414-CNET (2638). You can also leave a voice message on Skype at TR Out Loud (tr.out.loud). If I share your e-mail or voice mail in next week’s show, you can have your pick of some free TR goodies, including mugs, shirts, toolkits, frisbees, disposable cameras, and the following list of premium products:

  • IT Vendor Management Tool Kit (CD-ROM)
  • IT Managers Hiring Tool Kit (CD-ROM)
  • PC Troubleshooter Resource Guide, Fifth Edition (Book with CD-ROM included)
  • Administrator’s Guide to Active Directory, Second Edition (Workbook with CD-ROM included)
  • IT Security Survival Guide, Second Edition (Workbook with CD-ROM included)
  • IT Professional’s Guide to Project Management, Volume 2 (Workbook with CD-ROM included)
  • Administrator’s Guide to TCP/IP, Second Edition (Workbook with CD-ROM included)
  • Administrator’s Guide to Windows Server 2003 (Workbook with CD-ROM included)
  • IT Manager’s Guide to Business Strategy (Workbook with CD-ROM included)
  • IT Professional’s Guide to Desktop Control, Second Edition (Workbook with CD-ROM included)