The next door neighbour bought the my landlords old computer for £60. I'd spent a bit of time upgrading it with new/better bits and pieces and sorting out the crap that other residents had done to it.
The blokes a bit of d*****ad. He's shelled out for the Readers Digest 'Teach Yourself XP' book (it's got 98 on it), so I let it go.
It's not as if the stuff was worth much in terms of resale value. I ripped most of it out of my clunky 120MHz pentium and I'd had a lot of use out of it. I did save the recently bought USB adapter card though.
So, he buys a new printer and can't get it to work. He comes around and asks for some help so I go for a look.
It's a USB printer and..... he's gone and plugged it into the network adapter card.
OK, so it's not as bad as plugging the telephone line cord into the network adapter. I have seen someone plug something into a hole in the box with nothing behind it........ Yes.. they have got mobile phones with funky ringtones.
Fair enough, I'm not Gods gift to my own asshole. Well, I might be. If I wasn't here it would lie on the floor and dry out. But.....
I explain things and sell him my USB adapter, at cost. Lids off, plug in card, swear a lot, have serious arguments with what Windows thinks it's trying to do and finally succeed. Perhaps I should have read the manual(s).
Anyway..... Hooray!! Working printer.
He insists on bunging me some extra money for my services. I decline, he insists, I decline..... this goes on for a while.... I am forced.
Six months later the printer stops working. Today, eight months later, he manages to drag me around to have a look at it. OK so I'm drunk and feeling affable.
Sure enough the computer bitches about not being able to communicate with the printer and suggests some remedial action. There are also some other software bits and wongles going on so I kill/fix them first.
In the meantime he's in my ear blithering about whose fault it might have been and what the thing does. Yadda yadda yadda.
The suggested remedial action does not work. Sigh, I am not surprised so, not being an expert but thinking I know a bit I go and uninstall the printer software and then try to get rid of the USB card, via System, so I can reinstall the whole lot again.
Hey, short of a complete rebuild, it's the natural reaction.
Bugger, good old Windows, every time I kill the USB it sticks it back in there again. Aha, thinks I, I'll unplug it, kill it, and then plug it back in again. Lids off time again.....
Retrospectively this would not work. The bugger already has the drivers and will just do the same stuff.
I ask for a philips screwdriver and get a flat bladed one. Ahem, I ask for a crossheaded screwdriver.... perhaps I should have said pozidrive, bingo. Take out the screw and ease the USB card out.
Now, I'm thinking I'll just dangle it out the side of the box with the cable still plugged in.
There is no cable plugged into it!!!!! Hmmmm?
So, I look around the back and... There it is.
The USB cable from the printer is plugged into the network adapter card.
Well, I ask him what happened and listen to some stuff about someone playing cards on the computer (again). I don't push it, he's insistant.... wasn't him. Fair enough, what's the point?
Stick it all back together again. Plug the cable in the proper hole. Reinstall the software.
Hooray!! Working Printer.
He insists on bunging me some money for my services. I decline, he insists, I decline, he insists, I suggest a bottle of Cider, this goes on for a while.... I end up with the monetary equivalent of three bottles of Cider with 15p change.
I am trying to give this shit up (or I'm not, it's other people messing with my head) so I buy a bottle of Cider some nice crackers some nice cheese and a couple of Korma sauces with £2 change, oops.
And I'm sitting here tonight typing this shit and I've just put 2 and 2 together to get 'the' answer.
When Mr Neighbour first got the computer he sort of set it up on a table, as you do.
This time, when I went around, he had a fully fledged (MFI type) computer/office desk thing with slidey out keyboard shelf and cubby holes for bits and pieces.
Forgive me for thinking that he might have had to unplug the bits and pieces to get them into the new desk and plug them back in again.... with the USB cable in the network card.
Oh no, someone was playing solitaire and that broke the printer.