On Monday, I came into work and discovered that one of the Army Reservists (a curse be upon them and their officers–oh wait, their officers are the curse, nevermind) had gotten the unsecured fiber line wrapped around the chair caster and then stood up with such force that it ripped the fiber–and the plastic collars they plug into–right out of my desktop machine. The NIC was now decorative, and the PC only useful for converting electricity to heat.
Our nearest tech support is several time zones away. They visit once or twice a year. Our only color printer has been broken since 2008. I didn’t have a lot of hope for this situation.
Though it was surely futile, I submitted a help ticket, expecting that they would add it to the list of things they fix when they come out next in six to eight months. Lo and behold, the support contractors get approval from on high to “work it out” with the local person (me) to fix the issue.
This has never happened. At least, not in writing.
I pulled a spare media converter (a box that plugs fiber in one end and gives you an ethernet jack on the other) out of storage, hooked it up, and fired up the computer. They gave me the local admin password and I enabled the built-in (but normally unused) ethernet port, configured all of the TCP/IP stuff (DHCP is for the weak of will), and gave them the MAC address to plug into the router ACL (so my connection didn’t get immediately killed when I plugged it in).
Observations: first, it’s a damned good thing we have a former/recovering IT person in the office because the phone person was an idiot and I had to pretty much suggest the next course of action at every stage of the game, to include telling her what command she needed to tell me to type so I could give her the MAC address.
Second, the technical thinky part of this took about 4 seconds, but I was jazzed that I got to actually fix something and get my machine up and running. We’re already so short on systems that some of the teams have started moving to shift work; I did not want to join them for something as stupid as this. And it’s nice when some of my problems are as simple as plugging in some cables and configuring a TCP/IP stack.