Friday, July 20, 2007

Floyd's Looking

As with many families, we have our own set of catch phrases and family sayings that only members of our immediate familial circle understand. Many of them come from a shared love of Bill Cosby monologues, quotes from movies or television shows, or the zinger from some family story we tell again and again.

One such phrase from our Family Encyclopedia comes from CrafterKat's visit to Atlanta. A friend of a friend, chauffeuring her through the various Peach Blossom streets of the city, explained that she sometimes had difficulty coming up with information at the spur of the moment. Like when someone asks you a question and the answer is just in the shadows and you can't verbalize it.

She visualized the process as having a little person running around a huge library in your head, flipping through card catalogues and reference books until he comes up with the answer. Trouble is, he ages at the same rate you do, so sometimes it takes a lot longer to get the answer. The woman named him Floyd and would often say, "Floyd's looking!" when she was ruminating.

Now, to toss in a Bill Cosby line...

"I told you that story so I could tell you this one."

Text of an e-mail in response to "what are you doing?"

To: CrafterKat

From: JewelGeek

Sent: Friday, July 20, 2007

RE: Pig Dog e-mailed! Can he stay with us? Please, please, please?


The Evil PXE spoke with Microsoft today about Vista licenses.

We bought a Volume License from [Local Tech Consortium] which means that we can use one Key for all the licenses we purchased. Fine. Now we have 28 new licenses from Dell. We want to roll those into the one mega-license we bought from [Local Tech Consortium]. Should work just like it did with XP. We’re sort of on the honor system when we buy anything with a Volume License. Dell assured us that we could roll the individual licenses we got with our new machines into the Volume License we had already purchased.

So… Student Intern 1, being the ever so helpful intern he is, installed the [Local Tech Consortium] license of Vista over the Dell license of Vista. He basically wiped the hard drive on a new machine and installed it from scratch. My old computer is sitting in the hallway, unplugged, and to all concerned, is not running Vista. He got an error message saying that the license key he is using wouldn’t work.

So he calls Microsoft with the number Dell gave us.
In the Philippines.
To speak with Floyd.

I’m beginning to think it’s THAT Floyd.

The Evil PXE got on the phone and tried REPEATEDLY to explain what we needed, that applying individual licenses will not work in our environment. We need to be able to image a machine immediately and free up a license so we can install it elsewhere.

Floyd recommended that we uninstall Vista on the old machine. The Evil PXE exploded. "And just how are we supposed to do that? You can't just go into Add/Remove Programs and remove the Operating System... (pause)...Are you a tech? No, I don't think you are because any computer technician would tell you that's not what you do. You erase the hard drive. Which is what we did!"

What if the operating system just failed and we need to re-install the license on the same machine? That’s basically the same thing as was happening in my scenario. My old machine is unplugged but it could have had its hard drive go belly up. How do we instantly re-install the license? And how do we get those 28 new machines rolled into the one we already have?

Floyd’s friend said that the Evil PXE should call another number… Which he gave him… Which the Evil PXE reminded him was the one he already called. In the Philippines. To get to Floyd…

After an hour, the Evil PXE said "screw it" and called [Local Tech Consortium] in Wilsonville, about thirty minutes away. [Local Tech Consortium] apologized profusely and said that the license number he gave us has only 500 activations on it and they’ve all been used up. Several schools in Oregon are doing what we do, trying Vista out on a small set of machines. He has to call someone in Microsoft—Laurie—to have her increase the amount again. Laurie’s on vacation.

“But you can use Montana’s key. No one there is using it yet.”

And so we did.

And it worked.

And we are happy.

The End.