Is there anything tape can’t fix? This techie used it to defeat the Sun

In cloudy Yorkshire, a ray of light can become the enemy

On call With Friday upon us once more, the weather forecast assumes outsized importance as we all hope for bright days that let readers make the most of their time off.

So this week in On-Call, The Register's reader-contributed tales of tech support that appear on the last working day before the weekend, we bring you a tale of the Sun intersecting with the weekday worries of making computers behave.

This story comes from a reader we'll Regomize as "Elias" who once upon a time tended half a dozen PCs for a construction company that put them to work in a temporary building on a site in Yorkshire.

"Initially all was well until the mouse cursor on one of the machines became intermittently 'frisky' and jumped uncontrollably around the screen," Elias told On-Call.

"So our service engineer swapped the mouse with one from another machine, which didn't cure it." The engineer then tried the full gamut of support strategies: "stripped the machine, reinstalled the drivers, replaced it with a complete machine from another position, exhausted his vocabulary of invective, but still the mouse refused to behave."

At this point, readers may well be wondering about the electromagnetic landscape in the temporary building. That's what Elias and his colleagues concluded must be the cause, so they hunted for hidden wiring that might have influenced the mouse.

Without luck.

"This went on for some days and our service engineer was tearing his hair out," Elias lamented. Then, "all of a sudden he noticed that it only happened when the Sun was shining."

A little extra investigation showed that a ray of lovey light shone through the temporary building's window, onto the mouse, and even reached inside – to the sensors that read the rodent's movement.

A spot of insulating tape was placed inside the mouse to prevent the distant mass of burning gases – whose awesome power is responsible for all life on Earth – interfering with the sensors. At which point all was well and mighty Sol itself repelled!

Do you have a story of how tape saved the day? If so, click here to email On-Call and we may share your story on a future Friday. ®

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