About a decade ago, we ordered a number of high-end scopes from a manufacturer known for its excellence in this area. Since they were going into racks in a bunker of an explosives test facility, we did not get the touchscreen option. In the past, we had lost data from scopes being inadvertently reprogrammed at the last moment by someone's elbow. We could not access a number of the scope's options without a pointing device, but that did not concern us -- we controlled the scopes from a central computer via GPIB (general purpose interface bus). The scopes were basically PCs running a scope app, which used Windows ME.
One day, we came into the bunker to find that the scopes had not fully booted up to the scope app. All the screens were informing us that Windows had adjusted the time for Daylight Savings, and we had to click the “OK” button to continue. Well, the GPIB port access could not help us here. Without a mouse, we were stuck. I went behind the rack and found that I could access a USB port and I plugged in a mouse. But I could only see the mouse position from the front of the rack.
Co-workers tried to help me navigate the mouse without being able to see the screen, but we didn't have much luck, so we contacted the manufacturer. The only response we received was: "Well, we didn't think of that. Sorry."
We eventually hung palm-held track balls from all the scopes' rack mount handles. How we got the mice USB cables to the back of the rack was another story.
Tell us your experiences with Monkey-designed products. Send stories to Rob Spiegel for Made by Monkeys.