Computer Wisdom

Oh, would you look at that.  Fakename has just made up her own oxymoron. 

Fakename has had a very active week–in fact, a very active month, in which one woman rushed into her office claiming to have been poisoned by a bottle of Evian.  You think I’m kidding.  But I digress.

Fakename has previously mentioned that she is digitally challenged, but normally is able to follow directions fairly well and get by.  (You know–“Insert Tab A into Slot B”, or “To Continue, Press F8”).   

So, due to recent changes in personnel, which we will euphemistically refer to as “turnover”, Fakename has been pressed into Worker Bee mode. 

This week’s Worker Bee activity involved emailing several hundred invoices out.  Which is supposed to occur with one click.  However, Fakename watched in horror as it apparently attempted to send out three times the number of invoices necessary, and finally gave her two error codes. 

Fakename took the only logical step:  she called the Corporate IT department.  “Hmmmm”, said Mark,the head of the department, who answered the phone.  “I don’t really know how to fix this.  Can you wait ’til Kristin comes back from lunch?”  Of course I could.  What choice did I have anyway?  Plus you have to have some sympathy for Mark.  He’s a manager, like me.  What the hell do we know? 

So when Kristin called me back, she explained that the Accounts Receivable program is in an unhappy marriage with Outlook Expresss, it was all sort of cobbled together, and oh, never mind.  (She could see my eyes glazing over via the telephone?)  So in practical terms, here’s what happens:  When Outlook encounters a bad email address, it stops it in its tracks.  It then starts over and tries to resend everything.  It does that, I guess, three times before it gives you an error code. 

Not to mention that I tried several more times anyway, and probably had about 8,000 unsent emails in the outbox before Kristin called me back and fixed it all. 

The important thing here, however, is the error codes themselves.  About the third time it happened I decided to write them down so as to be a good reporter once Kristin called me back.  The first error (whose number code I forget) said Error:  invalid email address. 

The second error said Error 421:  Too many errors.  You think I’m kidding.  I guess that came from it repeatedly trying to send.  Here is my question.  Why wouldn’t it go ahead and send to the GOOD addresses and only deny or “error” the bad ones? 

It must have something to do with that cobbled together issue.  The funny part was that Kristin had never heard of Error 421, and we had a good laugh about it.  I now fully intend to use it as shorthand to comment about all sorts of issues.  Such as the Republican Party.  If it’s good enough for Microsoft, it’s good enough for me.

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4 responses to “Computer Wisdom

  1. I, neither a programmer nor a manager, have seen Error 421: too many errors myself. In what context, I have no idea 🙂

    Back when I earned my living as a system administrator and did a wee bit of programming to assist myself, it was purely for UNIX boxes. C and sh have their own versions of error codes. PCs are a whole new world, even though I haven’t had access to a UNIX box in nearly 10 years.

  2. The problem: too much Bill Gates! Get rid of that OE and use a free e-mail program of which there are many superior to OE.

    Similarly, put away that IE malware honeypot and move on up to FireFox, which is vastly superior. They recently added “personas”, a fancy term for artwork at the top of the browser which you can change with a click at their website.

  3. Phyllis this is hysterical; starting with the water poisoning right thru to the error messages; Larry would get a kick out of that one ha ha ha. Especially the reference to the Republican party 😀

  4. Sue, Larry would probably also like the part about how managers don’t know how to do actual work 🙂 I make fun of that a lot, but in reality, I can do both…real work and managing lol.

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