May 2005


I am The Cyberwolfe and these are my ramblings. All original content is protected under a Creative Commons license - always ask first.
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Over the past few months, I have been on both sides of technical interviews, and had the (mis)fortune of interviewing a couple of guys with bright and shiny new certifications – who didn’t know a damn thing about fixing computers. Sure, they passe their respective tests, but the tests were written in a theoretical environment, not an actual shop. To solve this problem in the future, I have developed…

The CTAT – The Cyberwolfe’s Techincal Aptitude Test

(Post your answers in the comments, I’ll grade them later.)

1. What two tools must you have to work on a PC?

2. What is the first thing you have to do to network two home computers for file sharing? Why is this stupid?

3. A computer comes to your bench with the “about::blank” problem, tons of pop-ups anytime you access the internet, and at least 5 things you know shouldn’t be in the task list. What two things do you ask the customer?

4. You have installed a new PCI soundcard in a machine, but it won’t work or the computer won’t boot correctly. What do you do?

5. Name three software applications a computer should not be without.

6. When all else fails, what do you do?

7. What is the most dangerous thing in a computing environment?

If you can answer those 7 questions correctly, I can train you on the rest.

3 replies to “The CTAT”

  1. BtFR Says:

    1.) A screwdriver, and patience
    2a.) Connect the two computers through a hub.
    2b.) Because counputers should be more socially aware than those of us who develop the software for them
    3a.)”What is it with you?!?!? Do you download EVERYTHING that pops-up on your screen!!”
    4.) Take Out the PCI sound card, and change the bios settings to “NO SOUND FOR YOU!!!!”
    5a.) Spy-bot
    5b.) SOME Anti Virus (see 3b.)
    5c.) Some program for organizing all your porn by Actor/Actress, Studio, style and your personal rating
    6.) Call Dan so he can show you where the reset button is on your router.
    7.) The Consultants the Sheriff hired to make sure our development was “on-track”.

  2. Kylanath Says:

    *chuckle* What better time to answer questions than when one is sick. Here goes… (mind you I’m not strong in the Geek-Fu Force, but…)

    1. Multipurpose screwdriver and a sledgehammer to beat the thing into submission when all else fails =)
    2. Heh… oh wait, this is the geek part, right? Hook up a router or hub to connect everything… stupid because it’d make more sense to directly connect them… or is it setting up a server, damned if I know really (see, isn’t my half coherent daze entertaining?)
    3.Ask em which porn sites they’ve been to lately and ask them why they think it’s okay to click yes on /any and every/ popup box they see telling them to install something “helpful”.
    4. Beats the living hell out of me. Logical thing is to check settings to see if there’s a conflict first, then if that fails, feel free to use said afore mentioned sledgehammer.
    5. I have to pick 3? Meh. If I had to pick… Spybot/Adaware/spyware removal tool of your choice (because I don’t use just one y’know), antivirus program of choice, and Firefox since I have to pick a third one. I could have said something else too…
    6. Beat the bugger into submission when it does not do what it’s supposed to do. Or threaten to replace it with something newer and better. That usually does the trick.
    7. I just love open ended trick questions =) Most dangerous thing would be a Starfish. Evil things such as dustbunnies and magnets and annoying OSes are on the list, but not as high as a Starfish. Starfish must be avoided at all costs, or at great cost to them.

  3. The Cyberwolfe Says:

    Both are close, but not quite. Keep trying!