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The “Kudos & Calamities” column was the brainchild of its original co-authors, AdamTheTech and Tyler Thompson. The idea behind the column was to be able to alternate authors every week who each tackle an interesting personal topic or news headline related to technology. The column was inherited by PCM members Kram and Ryan Passey, and was eventually retired as PCM evolved into more of a blogging format.

In the first edition of Kudos & Calamities, Adam describes this new column in more detail, as well as uses an example of an IT mishap that he encountered.  Small things sometimes make big differences – so be sure to check it out!

It’s been several years since I’ve walked through the doors of PCMech, as an inexperienced tech looking to expand his horizons.  Yes, it’s true; I too was once a n00b.  Everyone starts somewhere, even the experienced techs who have been in the trenches removing Billy Bob’s spyware before his wife comes home and figures out how it got installed.

They all wander in through the doors of PCMech for one reason or another.  Some come asking advice, and end up sticking around because of the user-friendly atmosphere and expert advice.  Some stumble across an interesting debate on the latest and greatest technology that’s coming out, eventually becoming a regular.

What myself and Tyler Thompson are going to do for you here in “Kudos & Calamities” is alternate authorship each week and take a look at some of the interesting and debatable happenings in the tech world.  Corporate movements, developing technologies, and unveiled projects–each week we will bring you our thoughts, humor and “duh” moments with anything of interest that crops up in the tech world.  Microsoft trips up again?  You’ll hear about it.  Google makes a less-than-smart move?  You’ll hear about it.  Granted, you won’t just be hearing about industry “boos”, but “bravos” as well.

When all’s quiet on the western front, as it sometimes happens in the tech industry, we’ll be sharing stories from the lives of IT techs (read: us) in the field.  Some fairly humorous stories can come out of the field of technology.  Service calls usually end up being the best ones.  There was one time where I was called by a client to take a look at a computer that would not boot.  No POST, no power, no spark of life.  Not exactly sure what the problem could be, I headed off with my toolkit in hand to see the patient.  Sure enough, the power cord was plugged into the back of the machine, so no cliché “the computer was left unplugged” stories here.  After trying the power button a few times without success, I whipped a screwdriver out from the toolkit and proceeded to tear off the side panel.

Needless to say that after about a half hour of poking and prodding, I determined the problem did not lay with the internal components.  So, here I was standing over this sad looking piece of machinery and wondering what in the world was going on.  It was one of those times where you start thinking in circles and drive yourself nuts in the process.  The only thing left to do was backtrack the whole problem from the outside of the case.  Something on the outside of the case doesn’t normally draw much attention, but here, there was no place else to look.  Can you figure out what was amiss?

The power strip…and its switch was flipped off.

Moral of the story: be sure to check *both* ends of the power cable before cracking open a computer case and spilling its guts all over the place.  It could save you a bit of time.

In any case, be sure to stay tuned for next week’s article where Tyler will be greeting you with more Kudos & Calamities.  Until then, I’ll leave you with this thought for the week: “Some things Man was never meant to know. For everything else, there’s Google.”

(Originally published on