In an effort to disrupt the smooth running systems of our customers, we recently launched our Cards Against IT project. Specifically designed to sap the productivity of IT staff and pit them against one another – the game has been a smashing success. However, efforts beyond the walls of IT have not fared so well. From HR to Sales, other departments have looked at the game and in one thrumming, unanimous voice asked: “What the heck is a crossover cable?”

To help remedy this, we’re answering questions we’ve received about the game and the cards that it contains for those without a technical background.

Q: Why would someone be fired over a 1000MW laser pointer?

A: It’s powerful enough to burn your name into a piece of wood. Also, if you use one to check if a fiber line is broken: well, let’s all hope your health insurance comes with optical coverage.

Q: What’s an RJ-45 crimping tool?

A: Like many specialty professions, Information Technology workers have developed their own slang terms and colloquialisms over the years. The term ‘RJ-45’ refers to one of the droids in the background of the cantina scene in Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope. While the droid is only shown for 3 frames, in that 1/9th of a second it manages to defrag it’s hard drive (in full view of the entire bar!), and then install over 1.59049495 Microsoft Windows updates on itself.

Q: Who was Clippy?

A: The greatest artificial intelligence ever created: in the year 1999, Microsoft released Clippy as a “helpful” agent in Microsoft Office. Growing steadily more intelligent on a diet of payroll and legal memos, Clippy gained sentience in the early part of 2001. Capable of replacing 98.7% of the existing white collar workforce – a deal was reached with the UN Security Council to curtail Clippy’s sentience in an effort to keep the world economy from going into a free fall.

With great effort, Clippy was shut down and removed from all official software applications. However, if you’re ever in desperate need of IT help, whispering “Do it for Clippy” will, through long standing tradition, obligate anyone in IT to perform a boon on your behalf.

Q: When would I need a ‘Crossover Cable?’

A: If you’re familiar with the basics of quantum entanglement – as described by Neil deGrasse Tyson (NASA Distinguished Public Medal), Stephen Hawking (Eddington Medal) or Scott Bakula (Quantum Leaper) – you’ll understand that when you’re trying to configure BGP routes between your Topeka and Fort Lauderdale offices, they need to be deeply entangled for the superposition of your shared Word Documents to function correctly.

Now that you’re a fully licensed and qualified IT professional, why not go to Cards Against IT and download the full set of cards for yourself.

Michael Buckbee

Michael Buckbee

Michael has worked as a syadmin and software developer for Silicon Valley startups to the US Navy and everything in between.