Spooky tech tales to make your computer crawl

Floppy disksA real cutup
Back in the day when I owned a computer storefront, a client came in and bought a brand new desktop from me. I offered to install it for free (how things change) but she informed me that she knew how to do it and had owned a computer for years. She paid in full and was on her way.

About three days passed and I get a phone call from her. Her old system used 5.25-inch floppy disks and her new system only had 1.44MB 3.5-inch disks. She told me she had a book she had been working on for 25 years backed up on floppy and that the reason she got a new computer is that her hard drive had died. I told her it was not a problem, that I had an old 5.25 floppy drive I could install and would even be happy to transfer the data to the 3.5-inch disk free of charge (again, how things change). She thanked me and stated that she would be at my office shortly.

Taking scissors to floppy disks…probably not a good idea.

About 30 minutes later she walks in carrying a large box. My first thought was, “Oh man…what the heck did I just get myself into? That’s going to take me days to read if that box is full of disks.”

She sits the box on my desk and thanks me once again for my help, explaining that it was her life’s work and that she was almost finished with it. I opened the box to find a huge pile of cut-up floppies. In horror, I asked her what happened. She stated that she figured she could just trim the edges of the disks off so they would fit into the smaller drive and it would work fine. I asked her if she still had the old computer but she had trashed it more than a week before.

About two hours later I was able to get her husband on the phone to come pick her up from my office. She was so shaken she was not able to drive herself home and so stunned she could not even tell me how to get to her house (now we have GPS…more evidence of how things change).

Oh, rats!
I got a call from a friend asking if I could come take a look at their computer, as it wasn’t powering up. They said they had a bur
ning smell and all of a sudden the machine turned off and wouldn’t power back up. I assumed it was a power supply issue and headed over. Once I got there, I pulled out the tower to find a fried/dead rat that had chewed through the power cord running to the power supply. An easy fix, but definitely gross!

Curse of the black cat
Our vehicle has automatic safety door locks that engage at about 20 mph. As I was driving home, a black cat crossed my path about four car lengths ahead of me…I got a good look at it, all black. I heard the automatic door locks engage at that very instant that I saw the cat. The rear passenger door has not opened since. It refuses to unlock.

I’ve tried everything, hip-checking the door, disassembling the handle mechanism etc., all to no avail. The dealership wants over $400 to repair it. This would not have happened if that black cat had not crossed my path. It worked perfectly for years until that very moment.

The Devil at Best Buy
My friend and her mother were walking through Best Buy, peering at the new modem models and trying to figure out those passwords only the employees know for the computers just for fun (we’ve all done it). Of course, she walked right by the printers, paying them no mind; because, really, does anyone just randomly look at printers unless they’re in the market for one?

She was facing a flat-screen monitor when she heard a noise from behind. One of the printers seemed to be spitting something out, though no one was at any of the other computers and she hadn’t even started guessing the password on her current endeavor. So what was it printing? Her mother reached into the tray and pulled out a two-page article on exorcisms. A Wikipedia article on the movie “The Exorcist” came out a few minutes later.