Until today I had operated under the flawed assumption that I was the tech God

The thing with running an IT department is that you’ll work for weeks on end without a breather, and yet, when you get home, you can’t help but tinker with stuff. Especially old office machines we don’t need anymore. My department is like a school playground at recess – guys will come in and be like, “Look at what I made last night.” One time my user-support guy came in and showed off how he rigged a net antenna for his PCMCIA wireless NIC using a Pringle can and some wires, and it worked.

It usually starts at lunch, when some guy says between bites of his burger, “I bet you could…” Then we lose it. You can’t step down from a challenge like that.

Of course, as department manager, it’s my job to be the alpha dog. I was convinced that I was the tech of techs and lord of lords thanks to this one: I once loaded OS/2 v4 onto a laptop, installed NetWare on it to run inside an OS/2 window, and then – using two PCMCIA network cards and a crossover cable – made the OS/2 part log in to the NetWare part. Hah hah! That thing should be on display.

But yesterday at the ComputerShow conference I ran across some guy who’d been doing IT for like twenty years. We really hit it off, and eventually I told him about my laptop triumph. After a few beers, he said I needed to check out something at his place.

He had this three-story condo near the coast. We walked inside and he started talking in a whisper, and guided my downstairs. His walls were covered with thick red upholstery, with two rows of folding cushioned seats lined up in front of a huge projector screen. He sat me down in the middle of the tiny theatre, handed me a Nintendo WaveBird wireless controller, and stepped back into the booth. He lowered the lights, and I heard the crackle of the full surround sound system filling the air. The THX logo appeared on the screen with the instantly-recognizable sound effect, so deep that my chair rattled. And then the game started.

Giant pixilated blips appeared on my screen, recognizable as Mario, the Princess, Luigi, and Toad. They walked across and began jumping next to the Super Mario II logo amidst the cheesy bleeps and bloops of the Mario theme. “What IS this?” I asked.

“This is my Game Boy,” He said.

[Daily Victim idea submitted by GameSpy reader Joseph Pizzitola, a real-life IT guy.]


Victim Pic Small

Not to be deterred, I’m working on a way to play EverQuest from my cell phone.


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