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OT: Cluser of the Day

 
 
Bill Hileman
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      01-30-2008
There's not a whole lot an end-user can do anymore to stump me.

Today my boss is handling tech support. One of our clients is having
trouble with payroll direct deposit. She says the bank is rejecting her
file. She forwards the file to my boss and he looks at it in notepad. It's
just a flat text file, but with fixed-length records. He notices that
nearly all of the records are for some reason enclosed in quotation marks at
the beginning and ending of each record. That definitely would be a
problem, but how in the hell did they get there?

The clue was to scroll to the end of the file. The standard format requires
that the "block" size be such that any empty records to complete a block at
the end of the file be filled with nines. While the majority of the records
were enclosed in quotes, the final few nines records were shown as "99e+45"

I told my boss "Uh, she opened the file with a spreadsheet, then saved it,
over-writing the existing file."

"No way."

"Way."

Sure enough, after calling her back, that's exactly what she did. No backup
either. In 25 years, users haven't changed much.

Bill "Frisbee" Hileman
MCNGP #13


 
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Neil
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      01-30-2008
did you hear "Bill Hileman" <(E-Mail Removed)> say in
news:(E-Mail Removed):

> There's not a whole lot an end-user can do anymore to stump me.
>
> Today my boss is handling tech support. One of our clients is having
> trouble with payroll direct deposit. She says the bank is rejecting
> her file. She forwards the file to my boss and he looks at it in
> notepad. It's just a flat text file, but with fixed-length records.
> He notices that nearly all of the records are for some reason enclosed
> in quotation marks at the beginning and ending of each record. That
> definitely would be a problem, but how in the hell did they get there?
>
> The clue was to scroll to the end of the file. The standard format
> requires that the "block" size be such that any empty records to
> complete a block at the end of the file be filled with nines. While
> the majority of the records were enclosed in quotes, the final few
> nines records were shown as "99e+45"
>
> I told my boss "Uh, she opened the file with a spreadsheet, then saved
> it, over-writing the existing file."
>
> "No way."
>
> "Way."
>
> Sure enough, after calling her back, that's exactly what she did. No
> backup either. In 25 years, users haven't changed much.
>
> Bill "Frisbee" Hileman
> MCNGP #13
>
>
>


As soon as you said payroll and flat file, I was on it. In our case it's
leading zeros that are removed when opened in Excel.

--
The InterNeil "V2 w/tabbed browsing & decreased verbosity" MCNGP Triple X


- This sentence is false.
 
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catwalker63
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      01-30-2008
Neil <guess!!!@gmail.com> prattled ceaselessly in
news:Xns9A34E7B8762A3neilmcsegmailcom@207.46.248.1 6:

> did you hear "Bill Hileman" <(E-Mail Removed)> say in
> news:(E-Mail Removed):
>
>> There's not a whole lot an end-user can do anymore to stump me.
>>
>> Today my boss is handling tech support. One of our clients is having
>> trouble with payroll direct deposit. She says the bank is rejecting
>> her file. She forwards the file to my boss and he looks at it in
>> notepad. It's just a flat text file, but with fixed-length records.
>> He notices that nearly all of the records are for some reason
>> enclosed in quotation marks at the beginning and ending of each
>> record. That definitely would be a problem, but how in the hell did
>> they get there?
>>
>> The clue was to scroll to the end of the file. The standard format
>> requires that the "block" size be such that any empty records to
>> complete a block at the end of the file be filled with nines. While
>> the majority of the records were enclosed in quotes, the final few
>> nines records were shown as "99e+45"
>>
>> I told my boss "Uh, she opened the file with a spreadsheet, then
>> saved it, over-writing the existing file."
>>
>> "No way."
>>
>> "Way."
>>
>> Sure enough, after calling her back, that's exactly what she did. No
>> backup either. In 25 years, users haven't changed much.
>>

>
> As soon as you said payroll and flat file, I was on it. In our case
> it's leading zeros that are removed when opened in Excel.
>


I got you both beat. One of my stylists/clients bought a virus package
yesterday. Yes, she actually paid for Malware Alarm with her credit
card. I'm in the wrong business.

--
Catwalker
MCNGP #43
www.mcngp.com
"Definitely not wearing any underwear."
 
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kpg*
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      01-31-2008
> I told my boss "Uh, she opened the file with a spreadsheet, then saved
> it, over-writing the existing file."


huh...we actually REQUIRE our clients to open and save our files in Excel.
 
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