[Funnies] You might be an IT Pro if….

Yes, he is back with yet again, another humorous look at what makes you an IT Pro.  If you haven't seen Sean's other posts be sure to read them here and here for a good laugh!  I've gone ahead and convinced him to become a regular on the CanITPro blog so until he gets carted off to an asylum you can look forward to a good laugh every Friday!


You know over 50 phone numbers for tech support but you can’t find your car keys if your life depended on it.

You can quote anybody in your family’s email address but you can’t recall half of their birthdays.

Your desk looks like an earthquake hit it, but you can still manage to find your security pass in it on the fly.

You spend more money on your computer equipment than you do maintaining your car.

The exception to that rule is when you add computer goodies to the car.

You have at least watched “Hackers”, “Electric Dreams”, “2001: A Space Odyssey”, “Knight Rider” or any other movie / show with a “live computer” at least ONCE.

You have considered buying a “DEVO” hat at least once. Bonus points for memorizing lyrics to any DEVO song.

You have watched “Revenge of the Nerds” (I and II) and knowingly cheered for the Nerds because you’ve been there.

You “Rock out” to “All About the Pentiums” by “Weird Al Yankovic” (Give yourself an extra point if you memorized the lyrics!)

You have a computer just to hold your “MP3” archives and “Videos” (Give yourself an extra point if you have each of these on separate machines)

Your computer is plugged into the TV set. (You get an extra bonus if your FIRST computer was from the 80’s and this is “full circle”)

You collect (or have had until your respective spouse made you clear it out) old computers. Bonus points if you’ve ever successfully fixed an old computer. Ultra bonus if it involved “Percussive maintenance” (IE: HITTING IT REALLY HARD!) and it WORKED!

If you have ever tried to fix a bad key in a keyboard because a good keyboard was about $200.

If you have ever seriously tried to fix a bad floppy drive or power supply. (Bonus points for being successful).

If you ever had to discover the difference between “High Density” 5 ¼” floppys and “Low Density”.

If you have EVER “notched” the other side of a floppy disk just to get use of the other side.

If you have ever bought a professional notcher for said purposes because you just bought 100 5 ¼ floppies to backup your buddies archives.

If you have EVER seen an 8” floppy. Bonus for having used them. Bigger bonus if it was a CP/M 2.2 system.

Double insane bonus if you ever ever tried mounting Commodore floppies in your IBM and actually covered the different encouding schemes (GCR vs FM)

Out of your mind bonus if you ended up adapting the cable of the 1541 to the IBM in order to pull this off.

Stupid insane bonus if you have EVER (Put this to extremism) converted Commodore Pet documents from Paperclip to IBM format using old drives and serial cables. Big bonus if you did it while you were drunk. Absolute (go talk to Bill Gates!) if you were successful.

If you ever discovered how much juice a capacitor in a power supply has EVEN when it’s unplugged. Bonus points if you lived to tell about it.

If you have EVER accidentally discovered after spraying TV tuner cleaner on a Commodore printer (to get the darn thing to stop sticking), that you could extend the life if the ribbon and save spending money on a new one.

If you have EVER owned a plotter.

If you have EVER bought a cheap 40 column “Adding machine” printer at Kmart because a real “Big printer” was too expensive.

Bonus points if you did it JUST to see “Ascii pictures” you couldn’t view properly on your Vic20.

Bonus points if you printed “The Gal” in Ascii and your Dad found it and you got yelled at for it. (Actually negative points since you were dumb enough to leave it laying about.

You know what a “Suitcase computer or luggable is” (extra points if you’ve owned one, triple that if it ran on CP/M 2.2)

You have used real Unix (not Linux) at least once.

You have installed Linux (not Unix) from floppy disks after having it downloaded from a real Unix system. (Bonus points if you actually installed Xwindows)

Bonus points if you made Taylor UUCP in Linux connect to a Dialup UUCP session.

Further bonus if the whole point of this was just to get pictures

You get bonus points if the processor was anything Pre-Pentium. (Lying about installing Linux on a 286 does not count!)

You have downloaded “Jill of the Jungle” because it used the Sound Blaster card.

You actually bought a VGA card because “Jill of the Jungle” wouldn’t play on your Hercules Monochrome Monitor.

You played Castle Wolfenstein 3D on a 286.

Bonus points if you discovered that Castle Wolfenstein 3D did Digital Stereo effects on the SoundBlaster Pro.

You actually sent money down to ID Software on the day “DOOM” was released and actually installed it on the original 4 floppy disks.

If you played Doom on anything less than a color VGA monitor you get bonus points.

If you discovered that Doom was also in Stereo on your Sound Blaster Pro.

If you cat scared the bejeezus out of you while you were playing “DOOM” that first night until 3am you get more points (mostly because it was being played in Stereo on a “scary” GrayScale Multisync.

Bonus points if you know what a “Grayscale Multisync” type monitor is.

Super ultra mega bonus if you have sat down and networked three computers side by side with three monitors JUST to see the “3D” Doom with the infamous “Left view” on one pc “Center View” on another “Right view” on the third.

If you have actually used a 110 baud teletype.

If you have ever owned or used a modem that was slower than 2400 baud (Bonus if it was 300 baud, bonus if it was acoustic, super bonus if you have actually “whistled” and got the computer at the other side to respond!)

If you have ever dialed into a “BBS”

Bonus if you have “hosted” a “BBS”

Further bonus if the computer was not anything higher than a 286 or newer than a Mac II.

Final further bonus if you did not have a hard disk to run it from.

If you ever written a terminal emulator to translate “PetAscii” to “Atascii” to allow your Commodore 64 to talk to an Atari BBS. (Bonus points if you were successful and impressed the “Sysop” so much he DIDN’T kick you off.

Bigger bonus right now if you know what “Sysop” is short for.

If you have ever actually used the “Compuserve” service and chatted in it’s forums.

Negative points if you accidentally “keyed in the wrong channel” and found yourself in the Gay forum (not that there’s anything wrong with that!) while using CompuServe.

If you have ever bought a book on how to USE CompuServe.

If you have ever dialed into the DATAPAC system to use CompuServe (*because there was no local dialup number*)

If you ever played with the Datapac system and ended up being somewhere OTHER than CompuServe.

If you have EVER rewired the phone jack in the demarcation point in the basement just to physically move a phone line in the basement to an existing upstairs line (or vice versa). Bonus if you were successful. Another bonus if you got a “good zap” stripping wires and realized that phone lines have “Plenty O Current”.

You get a bigger bonus for having actually wired up a light bulb to “use that free current” and not getting caught by the phone company.

If you know what “Phreaking” is.

If you have at least tried to Phreak once (even it it was experimental and used just to dial PizzaPizza long distance) Bigger bonus if you “Phreaked” that from a BlueBox.

Absolute silly bonus if you understand what 2600Hz is and why it is important.

If you know what a “Lisa” is.

If you have actually used “Lisa”.

If a really filthy thought just passed into your head from the previous statement take off SEVERAL SEVERAL points. (Give yourself a quick bonus point in the other direction if you thought of Beavis and Butthead saying “used” heh heh heh “used” heh heh heh)

If you have ever written anything to put text on the Graphic mode of an APPLE II

If you ever have played Wizardry on the Apple II.

If you have ever CHEATED by editing your character in Wizardy on Apple II.

If you have ever seen an “Apple Syntauri” music synthesizer.

If you have ever watched “Bits and Bytes” on TV Ontario with “Luba Goy and Billy Van”

If you stuck around to watch “The Academy” JUST to see Jim Butterfield.

If you liked the theme song to “Bits and Bytes”

If you know what a mainframe is (Bonus points for having actually used one, extra bonus points if you managed to get an old one “just to have” in your basement)

If you have ever been to a “LAN” party.

Bonus points if you hosted it.

If you have ever run an Emulator of ANY type on your PC.

Bonus points if you have actually owned any of the computers you are emulating.

If you know what MAME or any OTHER arcade Emulator.

If you have at least 3 DVDS of roms for MAME please hand yourself an even bigger bonus.

If you have had to learn how to backup DVD’s give yourself a bonus.

Silly bonus if you bothered to wire in a power outlet yourself to A) Save $50 on the electrician and B) Just to make your Laser printer work. Bonus if you wired it correctly and didn’t actually start an “arc welding job” on the circuit breaker box.

Big bonus if you know what an Exidy Sorceror is. Triple bonus for having owned one. Extra sneaky bonus if you have every actually FIXED one.

Ultra super rare bonus for having owner an “Altair”.

Comments (8)

  1. Rodney Buike says:


    My name is Rodney and I am an IT Pro…..


  2. Sean Kearney says:

    My name is Sean.  And I am an IT Pro (Actually, I consider myself a rank amateur compared to the big guys.   I’m more of an "overly exuberant" enthusiast.

    Now is that Modest?  or is that MODEST!

    Look out Redmond here I come.  Super Janitor on the loose.

  3. Steve Syfuhs says:

    “If you have EVER rewired the phone jack in the demarcation point in the basement just to physically move a phone line in the basement to an existing upstairs line (or vice versa). Bonus if you were successful. Another bonus if you got a “good zap” stripping wires and realized that phone lines have “Plenty O Current”.”

    Approximately 15v on dial tone, up’s it to 40v (ish) when ringing, and drops to around 8-9v while in use.  I remember re-wiring the junction box twice (first time I got caught, second time I knew better :)) into an old 2400baud modem for a Kaypro running CPM.  You wanna see Arc Welding?  Watch that 40v pass through semi-warm solder and come in contact with a 200v/470uF capacitor anode.  Blew up the capacitor, and replaced it with one from a harvested power supply. — It’s now a yearly ritual to take a bunch of old, spare parts from around the lab that have accumulated and just mix and match connections to see what kind of things occur [read: what blows up].

    I came across some old vacuum tubes a couple months back, and the ritualistic sacrificing will begin sometime at the end of July, beginning of August.  Safety first, of course.

  4. ye110wbeard says:

    Also note another thing of interest.  (Completely trivial).   The Commodore 1525 printer ribbon could have it’s live extended with "Tv tuner cleaner".

    Found that out COMPLETELY by accident.   It used the center for punching down but there was PLENTY ‘O SPARE INK on the top and the bottom.

    So in a pinch… Because computer shops just have them in when you needed them most.  Also flipping over a cassette drive on later models on the Datasettes was a cool way to make "misaligned tapes" read.

  5. Damir says:

    Sean, this brings me way back to the days of my KayPro II with dual single-sided 5.25" floppies that I turned over and punched the other side of.  I also worked on an old Xerox CP/M system that ran the financial accounting of the company I worked at back then using dual 8" floppies.

    I think I’m really old…….


  6. ye110wbeard says:

    Great!   I still remember the 8" floppies when I took a training course in my 20’s in the late 80’s at Control Data Institute.

    Oh you guys make me feel NORMAL.  I’m not sure if that’s a good thing or not… 😉

    We’ll see how abnormal I get after I get past #2.

    Confidence (and studying the heck out of Exchange 2007 manual!)

    Spare a PBX for the poor… spare a PBX for the poor.

  7. Rodney Buike says:

    Up until I left a former employer we were using 8" floppies and this was in 2006!  One of my first projects was a new data collection service which reduced the number of floppies we used in a day.  It wasn’t until early 2007 that they were able to get rid of them all together.

    I remember the data entry clerks hammering away on the IBM keypunch terminals, writing to the floppy and then the AS/400 operator loading the disks and importing the data.


  8. ye110wbeard says:

    Ok… well the Commodore / IBM conversion was a true story.   A job that never finished (Consultant dropped the ball or something out of my hands happened).   A hospital here in Ontario had all of their manuals on Commodore Pet 5 1/4" floppies.  1998 I think.   I managed to jury rig (before the flood) A Commoodore 128 with a "Batteries Included" IEEE488 adapter, 8250 Dual Floppy drive, Commodore Vic Serial adapter to the IBM (with a cable with pins 2/3 reversed because the Vic was DTE or DCE can never get that right) Load the manual in PAperclip on the 128, Printed it to a "text / Serial printer" and captured it with the IBM in Windows 95 in Hyperterminal.  

    Oh yeah, and to clean up the output?   Good old Qedit in Dos!   I liked it then because it still used Wordstar Keystrokes (NEVER liked Word-Im-Perfect 5.1).

    Too geeky…. help help… need GREEN Jolt !

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