Last week’s computer failure in the courts service was a reminder that we should be wary of making technology our master. It also brought plenty of recollections about IT problems of years gone by.

One reader tells Obiter of a time when he arrived for work at 8am, tried to log on and found Outlook was not working (other email service providers are available).

He takes on the story: ‘I called IT to log the issue, and they said they’d had some other people report the same issue, gave me a reference and said they’d update me. I walked around and spoke to the other 60-odd people in the office to let them know emails were down. 

‘About two hours later, and following a meeting, a colleague asked if there had been any update. I didn’t have any missed calls and no Post-It notes (other sticky paper providers are available) on my desk so I gave IT a call again. They said the issue had been fixed about 08:30, an hour and a half earlier, and people just needed to restart their systems to re-establish connection. I asked why they didn’t tell anyone and they said “We did, we emailed you”!’