experiencing difficulties with his computer, a poor, incognizant
user called the system maker's technical support line for assistance:
"Hello. How can I help you today?"
"There's smoke coming from the power supply on my computer."
"Sounds like you need a new power supply."
"No, I don't! I just need to change the startup files."
"Sir, what you described is a faulty power supply. You need
to replace it."
"No way! Someone told me that I just had to change the system
startup files to fix the problem! All I need is for you to tell
me the right command."
the next ten minutes, in spite of the technician's efforts to explain
the problem and its solution, the customer adamantly insisted he
was right. So, in frustration, the technician responded...
"I'm sorry. We don't normally tell our customers this, but
there's an undocumented DOS command that will fix the problem."
"I knew it!"
"Just add the line "LOAD NOSMOKE.COM at the end of the
CONFIG.SYS file and everything should work fine. Let me know how
ten minutes later, the technician received a call back from the
"It didn't work. The power supply is still smoking!"
"Well, what version of DOS are you using?"
"Well, that's your problem. That version of DOS doesn't include
NOSMOKE. You'll need to contact Microsoft and ask them for a patch.
Let me know how it all works out."
nearly an hour had passed, the phone rang again...
"I need a new power supply."
"Really? How did you come to that conclusion?"
"Well, I called Microsoft and told the technician what you
had said, and he started asking me questions about the make of the
"What did he tell you?"
"He said my power supply isn't compatible with NOSMOKE."