The Most Expensive “Any” Key
Its 1985, MS Dos has replaced CPM and us geeks are arguing about whether PC or MS Dos is more stable. Currently I am writing a database for some indigenous communities to calculate how much federal money is to be sent to Aboriginal run sites such as Yalata.
I get a phone call from a young woman who was currently updating her PC but has encountered a problem. She is stuck as the computer is saying “press any key” to continue but she can’t find the “Any” Key anywhere.
I explained to her that it was asking her to click the space bar or literary any key but she refused to touch any of them stating “if I stuff this up, I will get into too much trouble – I just won’t do it. Can you come here and fix it up?”
Thinking she was local, that is Adelaide based, I said yes and asked for an address. Her Address – Yalata General Store.
This meant taking either a 15-hour drive in those days, or flying in. I was not going to drive for 15 hours, so I took a local plane (2 days later), was picked up by a four-wheel drive and driven to the local Yalata General Store.
When I arrived, I was met by the same lovely women from the phone. She showed me her PC, it was still on the same screen waiting for the “Any” Key to be pressed. I pushed the space bar and the update went along perfectly. After it was updated, I took out my black pen and wrote ANY KEY on the space bar to ensure this issue never occurred again in the future.
Due to the location I had to stay overnight before flying back to the city the next day. That same day I sent them an invoice for the work which due to the time and travel cost came out to $3,500, for the installation of an “Any” Key.
It was likely the most expensive “Any” Key in history.