Wednesday, 4 March 2009

Funny Story

A few years ago I was working a contract for the Ministry of Health.

For the first week or so, I used someone else's computer (they were on vacation) as my laptop wasn't ready yet.

Once I received my laptop, I started working away. Happily humming away and typing, I noticed something odd. Even after I stopped typing, words would appear on the screen...words I did not type.

I pondered aloud how odd that was and more words appeared on my screen...real words, not just gobbly gook, but the sentences didn't make any sense.

The IT guy was only a couple cubes away so I went over and asked him if my laptop had virus protection installed and had it been run lately as the laptop was now typing by itself.

As we walked back to my cube, chatting about the weirdness of it all, we both saw more words magically appearing on the screen. "Look!" I said excitedly, feeling validated that I wasn't crazy.

He didn't have a clue, he hadn't seen anything like this before either (he was relatively new to the job). He checked a few things and as he told me what he was doing, more words would display.

He finally had to call his boss, to see if he knew what was wrong. While on the phone (and words still being typed) he says "Oh!", clicks a small icon in the task bar, selects disable and hangs up the phone.

It turns out that the voice recognition software was turned on. The previous user of this laptop had been handicapped and used the software and had also been male. So the software didn't recognize the words I was saying and just typed what it thought I was saying.

We all had a good laugh, but a while there I thought my new laptop was possessed.

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