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God Bless America!, Features Computer Support Jokes, A humorous story I recently heard, a very "inventive" technician dealt in a unique fashion with an adamant, though definitely misinformed, computer owner. Here's how the story went? After experiencing difficulties with his computer, a poor, incognizant user called the system maker's technical support line for assistance. 

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In a humorous story I recently heard, a very "inventive" technician dealt in a unique fashion with an adamant, though definitely misinformed, computer owner. Here's how the story went? After experiencing difficulties with his computer, a poor, incognizant user called the system maker's technical support line for assistance.

Technician: Hello. How can I help you today?

Customer: There's smoke coming from the power supply on my computer.

Technician: Looks like you need a new power supply.

Customer: No, I don't! I just need to change the startup files.

Technician: Sir, what you described is a faulty power supply. You need to replace it.

Customer: No way! Someone told me that I just had to change the system startup files to fix the problem! All I need is for you to tell me the right command.

For the next ten minutes, in spite of the technician's efforts to explain the problem and its solution, the customer adamantly insisted that he was right. So, in frustration, the technician responded

Technician: I'm sorry. We don't normally tell our customers this, but there's an undocumented DOS command that will fix the problem.

Customer: I knew it!

Technician: Just add the line "LOAD NOSMOKE.COM" at the end of the CONFIG.SYS file and everything should work fine. Let me know how it goes.

About ten minutes later, the technician received a call back from the customer.

Customer: It didn't work. The power supply is still smoking.

Technician: Well, what version of DOS are you using?

Customer: MS-DOS 6.22.

Technician: Well, that's your problem. That version of DOS doesn't include NOSMOKE. You'll need to contact Microsoft and ask them for a patch. Let me know how it all works out.

When nearly an hour had passed, the phone rang again.

Customer: I need a new power supply.

Technician: How did you come to that conclusion?

Customer: Well, I called Microsoft and told the technician what you said, and he started asking me questions about the make of the power supply.

Technician: What did he tell you?

Customer: He said my power supply isn't compatible with NOSMOKE.

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1. Describe your problem:

2. Now, describe your problem accurately:


3. Speculate wildly about the cause of the problem:



4. Problem Severity:

A. Minor__
B. Minor__
C. Minor__
D. Trivial__

5. Nature of the problem:

A. Locked Up__
B. Frozen__
C. Hung__
D. Shot__

6. Is your computer plugged in? Yes__ No__

7. Is it turned on? Yes__ No__

8. Have you tried to fix it yourself? Yes__ No__

9. Have you made it worse? Yes__

10. Have you read the manual? Yes__ No__

11. Are you sure you've read the manual? Yes__ No__

12. Are you absolutely certain you've read the manual? No__

13. Do you think you understood it? Yes__ No__

14. If 'Yes' then why can't you fix the problem yourself?


15. How tall are you? Are you above this line?

16. What were you doing with your computer at the time the
problem occurred?


17. If 'nothing' explain why you were logged in.


18. Are you sure you aren't imagining the problem? Yes__ No__

19. How does this problem make you feel?


20. Tell me about your childhood.


21. Do you have any independent witnesses of the problem? Yes__ No__

22. Can't you do something else, instead of bothering me? Yes__

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This is a form to make the reporting of problems consistent, allow
records of problems to be kept, and a method of discouraging users
from reporting faults in the first place.

1. Your Name: __________________________
2. Your Login Name: ____________________
3. The date? __/__/__
4. The date the problem first occurred if different? __/__/__
5. Problem severity:
Minor ___ Minor ___ Minor ___ Minor ___
6. Which machine?
7. Which are appears to be at fault?
Communications ___ Disk ___ Base Unit ___
Network ___ Keyboard ___ Screen ___
Mouse ___ Everything ___ Don't Know ___
7.1 Is it plugged in? Yes___ No ___
7.2 Is it switched on? Yes___ No ___
7.3 Has it been stolen? Yes___ No ___
7.4 Have you tried to fix it yourself? Yes___ No ___
7.4.1 Have you made it worse? Yes___ No ___
7.5 Have you read the manual? Yes___ No ___
7.5.1 Are you sure you've read the manual? Yes___ No ___
7.5.2 Are you absolutely certain you've read the manual?
Yes___ No ___
7.6 Did you understand it? Yes___ No ___
7.6.1 If 'Yes", then why can't you fix it yourself?

7.7 Is the equipment unexpectedly noisy? Yes___ No ___
7.7.1 If 'Yes", what sort of noise?
Grinding ___ Rattling ___
Whirring ___ High Pitched Whine ___
Sound of disk head scouring disk ___
Strange, out of tune whistling or humming ___
7.8 Is there a smell of burning? Yes___ No ___
7.8.1 If "Yes", is the equipment on fire? Yes___ No ___
7.9 Is the fault repeatable? Yes___ No ___
7.10 What were you doing (with the equipment) at the time the
fault occurred?


7.10.1 If 'Nothing', explain why you were logged in.

7.12 Do you have any independent witnesses of the problem?
Yes___ No ___
7.13 Describe the problem

7.14 Now, describe the problem accurately

7.15 Speculate wildly about the cause of the problem


7.16 Can't you do something else, rather than bothering me?
Yes___ No ___

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A Modern Teenage Cyberpunk

I am the very model of a modern teenage Cyberpunk
I rent my own apartment and it's full of e-lectronic junk
I own a VAX, a 486, I've even got a PDP
I've finished Myst and Doom but I am stumped by Wing Commander III

I'm very well aquainted too with matters pornographical
I have a list of image sites, both overseas and national
So if you want to see a picture of that Anna Nichole Smith
I'll fire up my terminal and fetch for you a naughty GIF

I'm totally an anarchist, the government I'd like to wreck,
Though if they were to get blown up, who'd give to me my welfare cheque?
In short if you need answers that concern your electronic junk,
I am the very model of a modern teenage Cyberpunk

I know the ancient myths about RTM, Pengo and Mitnick
I 'hack' into computers and I then perform a credit check
I scare all my non-hacker friends with tales of cracker theivery
and even though I'm spouting crap they'll listen and believe in me

I've learned to spot a troll and I've seen flames about the way I spell,
I've traced badly forged cancels and seen napalm poured on AOL
I've laughed at all the newbies and their flailing cries of "You all Suck!"
I've been flamed by Carasso, with an anvil I have then been struck

I've hung around in alt.tasteless and seen war waged on rec.pets.cats
I've spent my time in talk.bizarre and used those stupid Relay Chats
In short, if you need answers that concern your electronic junk,
I am the very model of a modern teenage Cyberpunk

Well postings like "MAKE.MONEY.FAST", I am now somewhat wary at,
I have been "Global Killfiled" by the Joel Furr Commissariat,
When rosebud posts a lengthy rant 'bout Microsoft she swears is true,
I know that she is just another short lived kook without a clue

When I have learnt what progress has been made upon the Internet,
When I know something more than just a smattering of netiquette,
In short when I can have a world-wide soapbox on which I can stand
I've got no time for other things, like beer and trips to Disneyland

My life outside the Internet is very very sad you see
I cannot get my spots to fade, my social life's a tragedy,
But still if you need answers that concern your electronic junk,
I am the very model of a modern teenage Cyberpunk.

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Are you an Internet nerd?

This quiz is dedicated to all of those people who find themselves constantly roaming the net. Do you leave yourself logged in twenty-four hours a day, even when you're not home? Is your wpm typing speed higher than your IQ? Are you having trouble seeing things at distances greater than 2 feet? Yes, YOU. You know who you are.

Ok... shall we begin? Yes? 5 points... (you could've backed out.)

Unless otherwise stated, point values are as follows: 2 for (a), 4 for (b), 6 for (c), and 10 for (d).

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1) How many valid net addresses do you have? Multiple machines at the same site do not count.

[] Internet [] UUCP [] Other public access [] Other

[] Bitnet [] Freenet [] Internet BBS [] All seven

(2 points each)

2) How many hours did it take for you to create your .sig?

a) Huh?
b) More than one
c) More than five
d) I'm still looking for a really funky quote

3) On an average working day, how many email messages do you receive?

a) Nobody sends me any mail... sniff
b) Three, but they're all from Lester in the next cubicle
over, because he has nothing better to do
c) I can't count that high, I failed calculus
d) Don't ask me now, I'm too busy. Send me e-mail.

4) All right, fess up. Have you ever read just to see what the heck those perverts were talking about?

a) Yes, and I'm so ashamed
b) Yes, and I'm so embarrassed
c) Yes, and would you please explain a few things to me...
d) No, never. (10 points. You're lying.)

5) Have you ever met one of your past SO's (significant others) via a computer network?

a) No
b) Yes, through a newsgroup we both posted on
c) Yes, by chatting randomly over the Internet (shame!)
d) Yes, by chatting over RELAY

6) Once you've logged onto your system, what do you spend most of your time doing?

a) Putting books on reserve in the library computer system.
b) Reading Alice in Wonderland in the online bookshelf
c) Reading the monthly postings on rec.humor.funny
d) Writing up stupid quizzes because you've done everything

7) If someone were to telephone your home at any given moment of the day, what would be the percent chance that your phone would be busy?

a) Zero... I've got call waiting
b) 25%.... I only dial in from work (Uh, hi, boss)
c) 75%.... Duh, so that's why nobody ever calls me
d) Zero... My modem has a separate phone line

8) Which Usenet newsgroups do you spend the most time reading?

a) The comp. groups... because they're so informative
b) The soc. groups.... because they're so multicultural
c) The rec. groups.... because they're so diverting
d) The alt. groups.... because I don't know what half
those words mean

9) What's your worst complaint about having an Internet account?

a) I have to pay $5/month for it
b) The damn sysadmins won't give me enough quota to hold
all my .gif's
c) All those programmers keep tying up the modem lines
d) I have to stay in school to keep it

10) Check your watch now. What time is it?

a) 10 am... coffee break
b) 3 pm.... General Hospital's on
c) 12 am... one last login before I hit the sack
d) 4 am.... Oh my God, I've got a test tomorrow

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0-25 points: You're not a nerd. Go read a manual or two and come back next year.

25-50 points: You're an up-and-coming Internet nerd. Why don't you telnet over to and play around with the Quartz BBS for a while.

50-75 points: You're a full-fledged Internet nerd. Join the club.

75-100 points: You're an Internet addict. Try going to the library this week, it'll do you some good.

100+ points: You're an Internet obsessive-compulsive. Unplug your computer, go out in the woods for a few days, and relax. Lay back and listen to the birds singing. Clear your mind. And don't forget to unsubscribe yourself from all those lists before you leave.

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