You know about computers, right?

terceranexus6 profile image Paula ・1 min read

A couple of weeks ago my aunt called to me, "I need your advise. You know, about technology... as an engineer" she said. "All right" I prepared myself, for all the computer issues my aunt could have. Maybe facebook login? windows blue screen? "I'm having a problem with my washing machine" she said. Oh well, I guess I'm not that good of an engineer.

Some persons really don't know what computer devs and engineers do, some of them think about us as tech magicians. What are the most hilarious things you've been asked to solve mixing engineer and dev with tech magician?


Editor guide

A woman once came to me saying that she thought her niece had accidentally deleted Windows off of her laptop. The actual problem? Her Chrome was about 30 versions out of date and had for whatever reason had stopped displaying her homepage msn.com. So I updated Chrome, cleared the cache, and gave it back. Users are funny. πŸ˜‚


accidentally deleted Windows



I did something like this on my first PC when I was 10 or something. :D

I used DOS and the Norton Commander and when looking at C: I found it rather cluttered with files. So I created a SYSTEM folder or something and moved everything into it, it was so easy with NC that I could do it without any prior PC knowledge.

Played some games for hours to go afterwards and when I started the PC the next day it wouldn't boot. I didn't even think about the whole SYSTEM thing anymore, it was just broken. Took over a week to find someone to fix it for me :\


Was asked if we could remove the box that was connected to the television display (i.e, remove the computer and just have a display). This was in 2011, so it was the transition to "smarter" devices.

My first thought was, no you need a computer to drive the display.

Upon further investigation, that television actually had a USB hub on the motherboard, though no port soldered in. So it was smarter than I thought. After some careful hacking, voiding of all warranties, and soldering a usb port to the motherboard, I was able to get Linux to boot on the television without a computer to drive it.

Sorry for perpetuating the illusion that we can perform technological magic.


Yeah, now that people know I work with "computers", every single problem with some sort of technology involved is something I must somehow be able to solve.

  • Could you take a look at my TV ?

  • I don't know how to fix those ....

  • But, you work with computers right? That's the same thing.

  • Are you fucking kidding me ?

Can't wait until people ask me to fix their microwaves...


Same here, can you fix the speakers of my stereo? also the classical can you hack a email/facebook/whatsapp account?


When ever i mention i do web security bounties the conversation goes like this

Person: So are you hacker ?
Me: Erm.. I guess ... erm or do you mean a Cracker ... I am ...
Person: So can you hack a facebook account ?
Me: Erm.. Its not exactly how you see in movies .. Its...

Person walks away πŸ˜’ πŸ˜’ πŸ˜’




Just social engineer their password out of them and then make a funny post on their account haha


definitely going to do this the next time.


I had neighbour come to me with a printed document which was too light to fax (came out white at the other end). So I scanned it in, darkened it in Photoshop and printed it out the darker version so it would fax properly.

I took it round to him and I noticed the same document was actually open on his computer! Turns out he was printing it out on a printer which had run out of ink.
The person requesting the document had actually emailed my neighbour asking for a copy of the document in the first place, I simply showed him how to email it back... No reason at all for either a printer or a fax to be involved :)

I don't think he ever actually understood what I did, or why I never did anything with the paper copy I had printed.


My mom was once scared that there was virus in my PC running Windows XP. She took a sigh of relief when I fixed it.

The problem, well, she had installed a software which changed chrome's default homepage was to bing.com with bing bar installed. Too damn funny it was πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚


Some asked my to fix their fire alarms once, siting my computer knowledge.

Most of the time when people ask me about their computers, I tell them I know about as much as these two chaps: youtu.be/8d4RtvMQp10


That's perfectly right assumption from your aunt: that washing machine probably running on a microcontroller written in C. ;)


maybe a sock debugging would be the solution


An older gentleman once asked me why the new printer he bought didn't work. after a few minutes of questioning it's revealed he unboxed it, put it next to his computer and tried to print.

Now my first question is always, is the device plugged in?


My CFO once told me she was asked to fix her physicians PC, because doesn't she work for a computer company?

There was a gym below our software company and the people there also asked me to fix their PC a few times, because we know about computers, right?

I started working with computers before I was a dev, so fixing some hardware isn't that big of a deal for me.

First I had to upgrade and fix my gaming machines, because I was too poor for new hardware or to pay someone else to do it. This led me to do it pretty much for the whole family. I worked briefly in tech-support, but I found developing new stuff more intriguing, so I studied computer science later and started working as a dev.

Friends and family always ask me to fix stuff for them and more often than not I do it. But for things like washing machines I ask my flatmate, since he is a bit better with this electrical stuff :D


Installing a fax line for my mom. Needless to say, I screwed up the phone line a bit.


The sad part: I work in IT and colleagues come to me and ask me how to do stuff.