C'mon, we've all done it.

When a printer chews up every sheet of paper, and you can't for the life of you figure out why...
When a modem takes its coffee break in the middle of a download...
When your monitor flickers and then shows everything tinted purple...
This is when you can't help but give the offending machine a good thump, just in case it helps.

It almost never does.

The CPU fan in my computer seems to have a loose bearing or something. Every time I switch on, the fan runs slowly and noisily.

Until, of course, I apply my boot to the computer's case.

This gets it back in working order nicely.

A common Microsoft interview question (known for the brainteasers) is this (it's on the Internet all over the place, so I'm not giving away anything):

You are in a situation where you have three light switches, each corresponding to a lightbulb in another room. You need to figure out a way to figure out which lightswitch corresponds to each lightbulb, without guessing. You only get to go in the other room once, and you start in the room with the switches.

The correct solution is to "think outside the box". Turn one on until it is warm, then shut that off, and turn another one on, and immediately enter the room. The warm one is the frst switch, the on one is the second one, the third one is the lightbulb that is off and cold.

Coming back from my time at MS, I was loaded with these questions (it's a neat little hobby over there), so I ask my brother this one. He thinks for a minute, and then get's it. "Jam a screwdriver in one, turn on one, walk in the room. The one with the lightbulb blown or the one that's exploded is the first switch..." etc. The rest he got dead on.

I guess that's thinking a little more violently "outside the box" than people were looking for. If only people had more creative impulses than destructive ones....
This is a true story:

My grandmother, Ruth, owned an Oldsmobile for a short time. This was not a new car, infact it was both bought and sold before I was born. Anyway, this particualar (American) car was rather picky about when it would start. The solution was to get out of the car, walk around to the right side and deliver a good hard kick to the front right tire. You could then get back in the car and start it up.
I shit you not

In high school, the auto shop teacher had, what he called, tools of persuasion. The tools were as follows:


There was little that could not be solved with the precision application of these two tools.

If it jams, force it. If it breaks it probably needed replacing anyway.

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