It's the Little Things

A colleague came in this morning panicking that she could not log in to our system or our authentication gateway to got to an activity site for her student.

"We tried everything." she said,"We tried my username and password, the teacher's, the classroom and the reading aide's but nothing."

I went over the the room and she was happily working with her student on the website she had been having the issue getting to.

"I just changed computers" she said, "the issue was on that computer."

I walked over to the computer and noticed that the "Caps Lock" light was on and since passwords are case-sensitive (usually) there in lay the issue.

The point of the story is this, whenever something goes, in your view, horribly wrong on the computer, chances are that there is a simple reason and or answer for/to the issue. Just sit back, take a deep breath and look at what you did and what happened. Chances are if you do, you'll be ok.

Here are some things to remember;
  • Computers are not smarter than you are, they may be faster but they are not smarter.
  • Your computer can't act without human input. If it does something its because of input from someone whether intentional or not.
  • Computers don't have a sense of humor. If they do some thing wacky its because they are taking input and using it exactly as it was given eventhough it may not make sense.
  • If you click on something in error or make some other mistake, you will not crash the entire network, SWAT teams will not descend on ropes through your skylights guns blazing nor will NASA loose a satellite.


  1. Thank you for your judgment and wisdom in your blog and your comments about computers. Too few of us approach our computers with a frame of mind, an attitude that says "You work for me, but only as well as I use you."


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