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Your Worst IT Workshop? 497

suntory writes "I am a lecturer at a Spanish university. This week had to attend a workshop on 'Advanced HTML and CSS' for the university staff. Some of the ideas that the presenter (a fellow lecturer) shared with us: IE is the only browser that follows standards; frames and tables are the best way to organize your website; you can view the source for most CSS, Javascript and HTML files, so you can freely copy and paste what you feel like — the Internet is free you know; same applies for images, if you can see them in Google Images Search, then you can use them for your projects. Of course, the workshop turned out to be a complete disaster and a waste of time. So I was wondering what other similar experiences you have had, and what was your worst IT workshop?"
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Your Worst IT Workshop?

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  • Wow! (Score:5, Funny)

    by dada21 ( 163177 ) <> on Wednesday December 19, 2007 @04:12PM (#21755558) Homepage Journal
    I submitted this post in 1997 when I used the slashdot id suntory. I can't believe the admins are THIS slow. It still was a bad conference then.
    • Re:Wow! (Score:5, Funny)

      by Pharmboy ( 216950 ) on Wednesday December 19, 2007 @04:14PM (#21755592) Journal
      At least it isn't a dupe.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by indros13 ( 531405 ) *
      This has to be a Slashdot first: pride in having a higher userid.

      dada21 (163177)

      suntory (660419)

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward
      except Google [] wasn't around in 1997....

      nice troll
      • Re:Wow! (Score:4, Interesting)

        by sumdumass ( 711423 ) on Wednesday December 19, 2007 @10:14PM (#21760008) Journal
        Oh, it was around. It was back rub for a while and for a while. The domain was registered in 1997 or so and it was moved there.

        I actually remember hitting the implementation a few times. My ISP had a BBS that I used to connect with because I didn't have the Internet connection kit yet. That's what they called the early web browsers. They packaged the browser and some Compuserve 3 month trial thing and called it a kit. (windows still didn't have one stock at that time) The big search thing back then was aggregates like BigFoot where they presented you with what you wanted instead of doing a web search.

        Those where the days when the E-commerce buz meant a business having a single page web presence and a few email addresses they had to check on dial up. It was more like a page in the phone book but without a fancy way of finding entries. But that was when outlook did the mailbox thing and you could basically use it as a fetchmail server and an interoffice messaging system without needing exchange.

        Yea, Good times. the days when C: enter :## wasn't just a joke.
    • by g1zmo ( 315166 )
      I doubt it. I registered sometime around 1999-2000, so there's no way that you got ID# 660419 by 1997.
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by dada21 ( 163177 )
        Thanks for making me feel like I've wasted 1/3rd of my years reading slashdot.

        Sad, but I do remember when I finally registered here (after months of lurking, I'd say), I felt like my UID was _really_ late compared to a lot of the 4-digits that were posting.

        Wonder where they all went. Can't be jobs (have always had one). Can't be wives (been with the same gal for 12 years off and on). Can't be families (watch my mentally retarded BiL 4 days a week). Can't be sports (geeks don't play them). WoW maybe?
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by quantaman ( 517394 )

        I doubt it. I registered sometime around 1999-2000, so there's no way that you got ID# 660419 by 1997.
        It was a joke,

        "IE is the only browser that follows standards; frames and tables are the best way to organize your website"

        Back in 1997 this may have been somewhat accurate (not sure about the standards though).
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 19, 2007 @04:13PM (#21755572)
    I took the How to be the Web's Best Editor workshop offered by Slashdot. What a disaster.

    I submitted an article on it a few months ago. They posted it to the front page 3 or 4 times. Just search for keywords: bestt editer
    • by myrdos2 ( 989497 ) on Wednesday December 19, 2007 @05:02PM (#21756336)
      I was taking a University course on C++ and data structures. Big class, maybe 150 people in a theatre-like room. At the front of the room was a PC, connected to a projector so we could see screen. This was a Solaris system. The prof had emailed the lecture slides to himself.

      So to get the slides, he opens a terminal, and types pine. A big list of all his email fills the screen. He starts looking for his lecture notes... at which point some guy noticed one of his emails had the subject "Enormous Pussy". The prof stammered and said it wasn't what it sounded like, that's just a big cat one of his friends has, and his friend likes to send email with provocative subjects.

      At which point someone else saw an email called "Giant Beaver", destroying the prof's credibility.

      The lecture itself was great.
      • by quantaman ( 517394 ) on Wednesday December 19, 2007 @06:34PM (#21757658)

        at which point some guy noticed one of his emails had the subject "Enormous Pussy". The prof stammered and said it wasn't what it sounded like, that's just a big cat one of his friends has, and his friend likes to send email with provocative subjects.

        At which point someone else saw an email called "Giant Beaver", destroying the prof's credibility.
        Huh? What's wrong with a CS prof who likes pictures of animals?

        What? Why is everyone looking at me?
      • by KingSkippus ( 799657 ) * on Wednesday December 19, 2007 @06:35PM (#21757662) Homepage Journal

        I took the advanced C++ class at my university the first quarter after they made the class transition from Pascal. I had prior work experience as a C++ programmer, so I figured it would be an easy A. Boy, was I wrong!

        The professor was like 80 years old. He must have been around before they developed the one in binary and only had zeros. That in itself isn't so bad, except that he didn't bother to even crack the book to teach C++. He'd give examples and try to work problems on the whiteboard in some kind of pseudo language that wasn't Pascal, definitely wasn't C++, and that hopelessly confused the students who didn't have a really good grasp of the language. Oh, it gets better, though.

        His TA, the girl who graded our labs, knew even less. We had a lab where we had to implement a complex number class, ho hum. The instructions stated that we had to develop methods to do things like add, subtract, multiply, divide, etc. complex numbers, but they didn't explicitly state what we had to call our functions.

        Any C++ programmer worth anything would know that the obvious thing to do is to overload the +, -, *, and / operators so that they could accept complex number arguments and return the appropriate result. I spent a few hours working on it, churned out my class, and when I got the lab back, she had failed me!

        I asked why she gave me an F, and she explained that I was supposed to implement the functions using names like add, subtract, etc. I told her that that was nowhere in the instructions for the lab, and she admitted that it was okay to use other function names, but operator overloading was a no-no. Of course, I asked why, and her answer—I kid you not—was that because if you overloaded the operators, other programmers wouldn't be able to tell the difference between your class and built-in types. I argued vehemently that that was the point of operator overloading, that it was an extremely common practice in C++, but she wouldn't be convinced.

        It was toward the end of the semester, so I took the lab to my professor and explained to him what was going on. I even took a C++ best practices book with me to show what I was talking about and to prove that I'm not some crackpot stupid student trying to eek out a few extra points. The professor proceeded to explain to me that the university had just informed him that they were letting him go after the semester, that they were firing him. (His words exactly, not mine.) He said that if I had a problem with my grade, I needed to take it up with the TA, because he wasn't going to override anything she said.

        In all the programming classes I took at the university, that was the only one in which I got a B, and I was absolutely furious. Not so much because of the negligible impact to my GPA, but because it's the only time I've ever gotten a grade that I truly felt like I didn't deserve, and it was all because of an idiot professor who didn't give a damn about anything (gee, I wonder why they fired him) and a TA who didn't know crap about the subject that she was grading us on.

        It's too bad, too. All of my other experiences at the university were relatively pleasant, and I'm a life member of the alumni association today. But that one incident still sticks in my mind as the height of stupidity. I wish now that I had had the balls to escalate it to the dean or maybe even higher. I can't help but wonder how many students failed or otherwise did miserably in that class because of him, and I can't help but wonder if any of them gave up computer science because of that bad experience. God, I hope not.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by bartle ( 447377 )
          It wouldn't be college without at least one class like that.

          The bit of TA/instructor irrationality that I had to face came from an intro EE class, building basic logic circuits. The lab bits were based around groups and early in the class I grouped with a few other guys who seemed to know what they were doing. The TA came up and said we couldn't have a group of 4, it had to be a group of 3, so I was forced into a group with 2 other castoffs.

          By the following lab one of my group members had dropped the cl

        • by jaxtherat ( 1165473 ) on Wednesday December 19, 2007 @07:55PM (#21758666) Homepage
          Yeah, similar thing happened to me. I had a database luddite for a lecturer and he failed me for using temporary views to solve a certain problem as he'd rather I did subselects, even though my SQL was simpler to read, and scaled a lot better for huge datasets.

          As this was part of the final project, of course I failed the subject...

          The Ironic part was, my solution turned out to be be THE ONLY way to do some complex data mining in MySQL 3.something for my first IT job. Imagine the lulz that were had by my boss when he found out that the solution that got the CFO off his back was also responsible for me failing databases 1001...

          oh the humanity
        • by ConanG ( 699649 ) on Wednesday December 19, 2007 @08:12PM (#21758820)
          You think you had it bad?

          My intro CS "professor" was absolute crap. I was a freshman with no programming experience beyond BASIC when I was 10 years old. I routinely had to correct him, nearly daily in fact. Not because I wanted to be a smartass, but because I could see the puzzled looks of my classmates as he contradicted himself constantly.

          At first, I thought it was just a language barrier (he was Indian), but as I grew more skilled in the subject I realized he was just talking out his ass all the time. This led my and some fellow students to do some detective work on his credentials... where did he get his degree? We eventually figured out he was a big fat liar!

          He claimed to have taught at various universities (I remember Georgia Tech off the top of my head). None of them had heard of him. His Ph.D. turned out to be a mail-in degree from an online school. That was, thankfully, his last semester. Unfortunately, I fear he just got a job somewhere else doing the same thing.
        • by dills ( 102733 ) on Thursday December 20, 2007 @12:40AM (#21761142) Homepage
          That sucks. I had a different experience.

          My freshman instructor in CS50, the first class you take in CS, was a special guest instructor that year.

          I shit you not, I was taught C by none other than Brian Kernighan.


          Hint: He's the "K" in "AWK". He helped Ken Thompson and Dennis Ritchie invent UNIX at Bell Labs. He co-authored "The C Programming Language", the very first book on programming in C, and widely considered by most to be the bible of modern programming.

          He was extremely fun and engaging, and I felt honored to be in the presence of one of the forefathers of modern computing.
      • by ISoldat53 ( 977164 ) on Wednesday December 19, 2007 @06:58PM (#21757914)
        I had to fly 1800 miles to attend a party at the hq thrown for all of the field personnel to reward them for being away from home so much.
    • by LibertineR ( 591918 ) on Wednesday December 19, 2007 @06:35PM (#21757668)
      1993: "Lotus Notes: Why workflow matters"

      I swear to God, the first words from the presenters mouth: "That Exchange thing Microsoft is building is no threat to us, and here is why....."

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        And I bet the second sentence started with something like "We've adopted the latest in 1950's East German war-surplus software technology..."
  • by Lookin4Trouble ( 1112649 ) on Wednesday December 19, 2007 @04:14PM (#21755602)
    Getting there was half the fun. Boston. January. 44 inches of snow.

    Then once I got there it was a week of "If you encrypt your traffic," (thusly losing the ability to QoS that traffic), "you only need to firewall your management boxes and vlan off all of your VoIP endpoints!" Cue the rest of the class firewalling off their management boxes from everyone else (including themselves) *sigh*

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by SCHecklerX ( 229973 )
      Actually that was the BEST presentation I went to! Oh, you weren't talking about Mike Lynn's "Voice Over IP" presentation at Blackhat a few years ago :-)
    • by Cally ( 10873 ) on Wednesday December 19, 2007 @04:44PM (#21756050) Homepage
      I was a Perl programmer (a proper one, not a monkey.) We got a new CTO. He liked Java. He sent us all on Java courses which, the instructor told us, were a waste of time as (a) we were all expected to be up to speed with the basics, which few of us were, and (b) because he'd been told to cover two weeks' worth of material in two days. I quit after lunch on the first day.
  • Vendor Name? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by securityfolk ( 906041 ) on Wednesday December 19, 2007 @04:15PM (#21755614)
    If you can, could you provide the name of the vendor who gave that course? I would like to avoid them at all costs :)
  • by sherpajohn ( 113531 ) on Wednesday December 19, 2007 @04:19PM (#21755660) Homepage
    with another member of the IT staff from the college I worked at, back in the early PC days. Think it was the fall of 89. It was a half day thing on a Saturday for PC maintenance. In those days power supply to the motherboard was tricky, my co-host found out the hard way when she hooked one up backwards and it kinda went boom when she powered it up.

    That was not quite as spectacular as the time a prof at the college hooked up two PC's via serial cables, one of them being on an AV cart (and plugged into it) - seems the cart was wired wrong, when he fired those up there was an small explosion, a fair bit of smoke and some actual pieces of the serial card from one of the pc's strewn about the case.

    Ah, the good old days - I worked on Tandy machines that had fully exposed power supplies, took one apart once (the PC not the power supply!) and wondered what the whirring sound was, thing was still running ;)

    Oh that I could go back to the day of swapping floppy disks to run stuff.

  • I took an HTML class online where the "textbook" was of questionable quality. My instructor had posted much better examples on his website. Since I already had experience with HTML, I was able to ignore the class until the very end of the semester. It took six hours to complete all the assignments that I emailed 15 minutes before the deadline. Got a solid "A" even though the textbook was solid "F".
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by speculatrix ( 678524 )

      many university lecturers get sent free books and gifts by publishers, the publishers hope that the lecturer will use it as the basis of their course, in theory if the lecturer has good ethics s/he will choose the best book for the job. However, they might curry favour with a particular publisher to get their own book into print, or might use a book written by a friend as a favour.

      When I was at university (too many years ago) some lecturers pushed very hard to get you to buy their book, making it clear t

    • Re:Blah... (Score:5, Interesting)

      by cp.tar ( 871488 ) <> on Wednesday December 19, 2007 @04:47PM (#21756108) Journal

      I'm attending a course on web design in my college this semester.

      The TA that's giving the lectures:

      1. allegedly copied those lectures from the lectures given by our academic research network (I was told that by a fellow student who took the course given by said network)
      2. once actually explained we could use <div> tags as line breaks
      3. teaches all kinds of utterly wrong stuff, including advising us to encode our work in Windows-1250 instead of UTF.

      However, two years ago I took a course given by a guy who told a friend of mine "Stop surfing the internet! Or else you won't know how to use Internet Explorer!" (yeah, it loses a bit in translation).
      He could spend two hours explaining how to navigate to a bloody webpage from IE 6. And then how to add a crappy link to whatever IE calls bookmarks.
      And when I said "could", I mean "did".

      By the FSM's noodly appendage, I wish I was making this crap up.

  • by PHAEDRU5 ( 213667 ) <instascreed@gmai ... m minus language> on Wednesday December 19, 2007 @04:19PM (#21755672) Homepage
    Since the difference between intelligence and stupidity is that there's a limit on intelligence, let's try naming the *best* conferences we've been to.

    I've been to OOPSLA a couple of times. Very enjoyable and informative. More recently, I just attended a "No Fluff, Just Stuff" conferences in Atlanta. Lots of good information, especially on Groovy and Grails.
  • by SleptThroughClass ( 1127287 ) on Wednesday December 19, 2007 @04:19PM (#21755674) Journal
    It was an AskSlashdot session which was full of the worst possible examples.
  • by Otter ( 3800 ) on Wednesday December 19, 2007 @04:19PM (#21755678) Journal
    We were getting trained on some desktop sharing / presentation software. The instructor was getting increasingly frustrated with one woman who couldn't seem to manage even the most basic steps. ("Click on the icon. No, the picture thing! Click with your mouse -- no!) Finally she gave that woman control of her own computer...

    **Whoosh**! The woman instantly tears into the instructor's hard drive like in one of those hacker movies and starts moving and deleting files! The instructor dived for her own laptop and yanked the Ethernet cable. I'm still not all sure what really happened there.

  • by Greyfox ( 87712 ) on Wednesday December 19, 2007 @04:21PM (#21755704) Homepage Journal
    However I DID have an IT guy tell me with a straight face that windows out of the box is more secure than any given Linux install out of the box. He backed down pretty quick when I suggested that we install both OSes on a machine connected to the open Internet, though...
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by apparently ( 756613 )
      However I DID have an IT guy tell me with a straight face that windows out of the box is more secure than any given Linux install out of the box. He backed down pretty quick when I suggested that we install both OSes on a machine connected to the open Internet, though...

      What year was this? A few years ago, some linux distros had some pretty dumb default ports open. Likewise, Microsoft at least showed some sense in enabling the XP SP2 'firewall' by default. Not that I'm disagreeing with you, but a few y

  • by Archangel Michael ( 180766 ) on Wednesday December 19, 2007 @04:25PM (#21755758) Journal
    While HTML and CSS are important to know still, I can't help but wonder how many people actually still build websites with HTML and CSS and Java and such? I stopped using plain HTML at least four years ago, when I discovered Content Management Systems (WebGUI back then, now using Joomla). I've built or helped build dozens of sites, all part time, using CMS, and most of my clients couldn't be happier. They have access to add content all day long, and don't have to worry about "design".

    If I went to a Web seminar like the one described in the story, and it didn't mention building sites on top of a CMS, I'd question the presenter and the company that paid for me to go. There is no reason that your average person needs to know HTML or CSS, as those should be handed over to DESIGNERS, people skilled with making things look good. If you want to see what it looks like when everyday people do design just go over to MySpace (akkkk).

    Just my $.02 (actual value subject to market forces)
    • by moderatorrater ( 1095745 ) on Wednesday December 19, 2007 @04:40PM (#21756000)
      Your post really only applies to static html, which is not what most seminars are geared towards. If you're doing anything dynamic with a page, then doing the HTML and CSS by hand is almost always the best option. Using any WYSIWYG editor is going to give you shitty html that's nearly impossible to edit after the fact, and very few are able to work around code. I've had php CMSs that stripped out all the php and javascript in the files when it saved them, so customers or dumbass designers would use the CMS to change the design on a dynamic page and suddenly it's not dynamic anymore.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by jddj ( 1085169 )

        The people implementing a CMS site need to know (X)HTML, CSS, etc. very well. The Java developers I've known (who implement the back-ends of the big CMSes) don't know HTML, CSS, et. al. any better than the apparent moron who presented this seminar.

        If there were a good seminar available that would help the Java guys pick up good HTML skills, the real problem would then be convincing them that it's a real, core developer skill (vs. "just for designers").

    • HTML or CSS, as those should be handed over to DESIGNERS

      Me thinks (X)HTML and CSS should be handed to engineers who work together with a designer (assuming that designer means graphic designer or artist).

  • InterOp (Score:4, Funny)

    by dave562 ( 969951 ) on Wednesday December 19, 2007 @04:26PM (#21755770) Journal
    While not exactly a workshop per se, it was the biggest waste of time. My employer basically paid for me to have people try to sell me stuff. Aren't the sales people supposed to be paying me for my time in the form of free lunches, dinners, blow and strippers?
    • Re:InterOp (Score:5, Funny)

      by Quiet_Desperation ( 858215 ) on Wednesday December 19, 2007 @05:15PM (#21756510)
      Aren't the sales people supposed to be paying me for my time in the form of free lunches, dinners, blow and strippers?

      Here in aerospace, we're not allowed to accept even a freaking mouse pad from a parts supplier.

      Which is probably best, because I'd totally be whoring myself out for meals and gadgets and, if the salesperson was a cute woman, whatever I thought I could get before getting slapped.

      "Yeah, sell me some FPGAs, bitch. Yeah, you like it when I talk like that, don't you? Tell me those gate counts again, you dirty, dirty girl."

      I know. I need help. :(

  • by TheCarp ( 96830 ) * <> on Wednesday December 19, 2007 @04:26PM (#21755780) Homepage
    I did attend a USENIX tutorial that was bad. Well maybe not bad in the grand scheme of things, and I liked the presenter, it sucks to have to slam him for this... however...

    It was, if I rememeber right, "Advanced perl CGI scripting", or the moral equivalent thereof. The point was... CGI, PERL, and Advanced.

    It began with a 3 minute speech about how thats what the tutorial used to be, but people kept signing up who barely, if at all, understood perl, and didn't know jack about CGI... so the tutorial had been severely dumbed down.

    After the morning session it became clear that I was going to learn nothing, and so I took the afternoon to find some better way to waste my time, since my employer wasn't getting any value out of sending me to that tutorial in any case, may as well get some value out of the time.

    Again, was too bad, it looked like it could have been cool, and the presenter certainly knew his stuff and could have given a better course. Its just well... lets just say, it looked like I was among the minority who left.

  • by Lightborn ( 7556 ) on Wednesday December 19, 2007 @04:27PM (#21755808)

    back in the Tivoli days I got sent to a 2-day class on how to use it. It was about totally worthless.

    I found out the next week that the class had cost $750, and I actually went into the CEO's office and suggested to him that next time they want me to know something, they pay me the $750 and I'd purchase and read the appropriate book. He wasn't especially amused.
    • by wikinerd ( 809585 ) on Wednesday December 19, 2007 @04:43PM (#21756042) Journal

      pay me the $750 and I'd purchase and read the appropriate book

      You are of course correct, but if you speak with some business people you will be surprised why some businesses (and even individuals) take courses and enroll their staff to workshops and training sessions. Sometimes training is done not in order to actually learn something, but only because of various external requirements (eg legal, or requirements imposed or recommended by professional bodies), obscure accounting motives, publicity or advertising reasons ("we spent a million in staff training last year!"), hierarchical or careerist reasons ("manager: I will enroll my staff in extensive training so that my boss can't use their lack of skills as an excuse to fire me for hiring incompetent employees" or even "I, as the training manager, must make everyone attend training sessions because it's good for making me more important within the company"), or sometimes even irrational psychological reasons ("if we lose, it won't be because we didn't try hard but because out training was useless, so it's the trainer's problem not ours"). Yea I know all this is completely anti-productive and irrational, but I have actually seen all this being done in dysfunctional companies (sometimes even required by external agencies or bodies).

  • by lawman508 ( 969924 ) on Wednesday December 19, 2007 @04:31PM (#21755880)
    I've GIVEN some great, and somewhat bad talks in my day - every good speaker will tell you the same thing.
    Most of the bad talks were situations where I was asked to sub for someone - or an area where I "WANTED" to be an expert - but really wasn't.
    Many times, after a talk, I find that something I said was just plain wrong - it happens - to everyone - even the best speakers out there.
    They key is, as an attendee, to not sit around and waste time listening to a bad speaker. I just quietly walk out, picking up an evaluation form in the process, and making sure the instructor gets my feedback.
    As an occasional bad speaker - the best thing an audience member can do for me is to let me know if I have gotten it wrong! In the end, the only way tp turn a bad speaker into a good one - is through feedback - even if it is "YOU SUCK!"
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by postbigbang ( 761081 )
      I love the feedback scores. I try to achieve the best marks and usually hit the nail on the head.

      Then I went on a seminar series that had vendor sponsors. I got all top evaluation marks-- hundreds-- and only a rare 'good' instead of excellent.

      I was replaced on the next seminar tour by a vendor sycophant-- because the vendors had complained. His marks? Not so good. Did they replace him? Of course not. Sponsors fill the gas tanks.
  • Fistfight (Score:2, Funny)

    by boristdog ( 133725 )
    I once attended a Windows 3.1 seminar back in 1994 where some jackass kept complaining that I sat in HIS chair (out of 300 identical folding chairs) after the lunch break.

    He was about a foot taller and at least 30 lbs heavier than me. I finally told him to shut the hell up or we could go outside and I would kick his butt. He shut the hell up and apologized later.

    That's about all I remember from that seminar.
    • by flaming error ( 1041742 ) on Wednesday December 19, 2007 @04:59PM (#21756276) Journal
      That was you? Let me apologize again.

      I had just returned from my Peace Corps stint in Ghana, and I was suffering from highly virulent dysentery. During lunch I discovered my containment garments had a rip in the seat.

        > I finally told him to shut the hell up or we could go outside and I would kick his butt
      As soon as I saw you had symptoms, I decided it was too late to try and convince you.

      But you really should seek professional help. Sounds like you haven't gotten over it yet.
  • In University, in a web design class. The teacher was demonstrating coding a page. As he was entring links into URLs, I start spelling "P-L-A-Y-B-O-Y-.-C-O-M", which the teacher dutifully typed. When he realized what he wrote, he backspaced over "BOY" and typed "GIRL", then went on with his demonstration.

    5 minutes later, by accident, he clicks on the link, triggering a cascade of pop-ups with naked men in front of the class, which was laughing it's lungs out...

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by vlm ( 69642 )
      funny you should mention playgirl... They were an early "pioneer" in name based virtual hosting...
      A friend of mine left the company but left his vanity domain on our DNS server.
      So i resolve and place the resulting IP address in my friends www entry for his domain.
      I verify the DNS is resolving to the correct address and never bother to see if my prank works.

      Well, turns out instead of the relatively mild and innocent playgirl page, which was only about as shocking as a cosmo magazine front cov
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by stinkytoe ( 955163 )
      I remember watching UC Berkeley's webcast of their intro to computing class, CS61A. (i think it was fall of '02). Anyways, one of the assignments they did was an english to pig latin translator in scheme.

      He typed:
      '(cs61a is a great class)

      and got (something like):
      (acs61ay isay aay eatgray assclay)

      the class was laughing their ass off for a few minutes befure the prof. looked at his laptop and realized what exactly happened.
  • Perl class (Score:5, Funny)

    by HW_Hack ( 1031622 ) on Wednesday December 19, 2007 @04:38PM (#21755968)
    This was a class offered internally by Intel --

    So this total propeller head who's teaching the class says "Perl is the easiest language to learn - very natural and logical syntax" ...... I lasted until the morning break - then went back ot my office to get some work done .....
  • HP (Score:5, Funny)

    by Jethro ( 14165 ) on Wednesday December 19, 2007 @04:50PM (#21756158) Homepage
    I was at a conference one time where an HP guy gave a lecture, and during the Q&A people asked why HP hasn't moved to 64 bit yet, like DEC had, etc.

    Guy got really mad and started pretty much yelling at people, saying that 64 bit has twice as many bits and is therefore half as fast as 32 bit computing.

    People didn't even bother laughing at him. Everyone just looked at him like he was an idiot.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by wikinerd ( 809585 )

      Everyone just looked at him like he was an idiot.


    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Chirs ( 87576 )
      Actually, there was some merit in his reply.

      On many architectures the jump from 32 to 64 bits simply gives you access to more memory and lets you do 64-bit math somewhat faster. The downside is that all your pointers and variables of type "long" are now twice as long, which means that the app consumes more memory, more cache, more bandwidth, etc. This is why the standard mode of operation on a ppc64 machine is to have a 64-bit kernel with a userspace that is mostly 32-bit.

      On x86, when they added 64-bit su
  • SOA (Score:3, Interesting)

    by makellan ( 550215 ) on Wednesday December 19, 2007 @04:55PM (#21756226)
    I felt bad for the presenter of a two day course on SOA. No one told him that our business model revolves around building totally custom solutions that are rarely, if ever, allowed to talk to the open 'net. I finally explained this to him and he looked crestfallen. He asked the class (of engineers) and everyone agreed that we couldn't use any of it. A waste of time for all involved, costing many thousands of dollars.
  • by apparently ( 756613 ) on Wednesday December 19, 2007 @04:55PM (#21756234)
    Did you do the attendees a favor and correct the lecturer, or did you just let the misinformation run wild?
  • PLC class (Score:5, Funny)

    by hjf ( 703092 ) on Wednesday December 19, 2007 @05:09PM (#21756430) Homepage
    I went to this PLC (Programmable Logic Controller, that's industrial control for you computer geeks). It started OK, with some drone showing off Schneider Electric's new Contactor (the TeSys U, a "smart" contactor with a LCD display, over/under load protection, short-circuit protection,.. whatever). Later on comes this guy, making some really bad jokes and then laughing himself -- the rest of us just laughed at the way he laughed, he was really loud. So, he shows some PLC basics. All was fine...

    Next day he said, well, we're finished with the PLC stuff (actually we were finished with some really really bird's eye view of Ladder diagrams), now we'll see some SCADA. So the guy start showing this REALLY CRAPPY 16-bit app, and he showed ONE BY ONE every single widget (buttons, bar graphs, even some motors that changed colors to show when the output was running). And the library was H U G E. THOUSANDS of widgets. And he showed them "oh, look at how many of them there are! Just see how flexible this program is! See! We even have traffic lights! Buttons! Little trucks, big trucks, cars...".

    I went outside and came back in 1 hour, and the guy was STILL SHOWING the fucking widgets and how to place and connect them. Needless to say, I didn't stay.
  • by joecarst ( 801286 ) on Wednesday December 19, 2007 @05:41PM (#21756922)
    I was in a training session where the 'instructor' was asked what a double was and he explained it was called a double becuase it held two variables. I almost walked out of the class.
  • by ancarett ( 221103 ) on Wednesday December 19, 2007 @06:10PM (#21757338)
    The university for which I worked promised an "advanced" email workshop. Thinking that I might learn something halfway interesting or useful about the filing system or filtering or whatever, I signed up. After all, I act as my department's tech rep and have to keep up on things in order to counsel my colleagues!

    So I waltz into the computer labs one sunny August afternoon, ready for my "advanced" workshop fun. And what awaited me was the most painful IT experience of my life as the instructor walked us through the "advanced" complexities of logging in, clicking on subjects to read messages, clicking on buttons to reply or delete. We didn't even get to Reply All, CC or BCC, let alone folder, filters or the rest of the software options I'd expected them to cover.

    I asked why this was considered to be at an advanced level. The woman running the workshop said that this was as much as anyone needed to know about the system, really. That's when I tuned out and starting making some ASCII art to pass the time.
  • by mkcmkc ( 197982 ) on Wednesday December 19, 2007 @06:31PM (#21757602)
    Once I had a job at a Very Large Telecom Corporation and as a requirement of getting an email account, I was required to attend an e-mail orientation session, which consisted of a PowerPoint talk given by someone in the IT/Email dept. The speaker trumpeted the fact that prior to the procurement of their latest email system, each email had cost the company $1000 to deliver. The new system was much more economical--I don't recall the figure now.

    Needless to say, the talk contained no useful information at all.

  • by syousef ( 465911 ) on Wednesday December 19, 2007 @10:24PM (#21760068) Journal
    The lecturer claimed he'd previous been working in the industry developing embedded C code. After 15 minutes of him explaining that # directives are evaluated at runtime, I couldn't take it. I put my hand up and simply said "you're wrong. That's what the precompiler does". I had a reputation for knowing what I was on about (I was there for a qualification, not because I didn't know C). He went beetroot red. In hindsight I should have talked to him after the class and had him correct his mistake the next week, but hey I was a cocky 18 year old, and he was talking BS. He was a nice guy and was genuinely trying to be helpful. He just wasn't very good.

"This is lemma 1.1. We start a new chapter so the numbers all go back to one." -- Prof. Seager, C&O 351