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Where there is smoke …

This is an urban legend that has been kicking around for years. I have the awful suspicion that it really happened. Users are like that.

A guy calls tech support to report that his computer is faulty.

Tech:What’s the problem?
User:There is smoke coming out of the power supply.
Tech:You’ll need a new power supply.
User:No, I don’t! I just need to change the startup files.
Tech:Sir, the power supply is faulty. You’ll need to replace it.
User:No way! Someone told me that I just needed to change the startup files and it will fix the problem! All I need is for you to tell me the command.

Ten minutes later, the User is still adamant that he is right. The tech is frustrated and fed up.

Tech: Sorry, Sir. We don’t normally tell our customers this, but there is an undocumented DOS command that will fix the problem.
User: I knew it!
Tech: Just add the line LOAD NOSMOKE.COM at the end of the CONFIG.SYS. Let me know how it goes.

Ten minutes later.

User: It didn’t work. The power supply is still smoking.
Tech: Well, what version of DOS are you using?
User: MS-DOS 6.22.
Tech: That’s your problem there. That version of DOS didn’t come with NOSMOKE. Contact Microsoft and ask them for a patch that will give you the file. Let me know how it goes.

One hour later.

User: I need a new power supply.
Tech: How did you come to that conclusion?
User: Well, I called Microsoft and told him about what you said, and he started asking questions about the make of power supply.
Tech: Then what did he say?
User: He told me that my power supply isn’t compatible with NOSMOKE.

This page was last updated April 16, 1998.