Bringing awareness to AITO Syndrome.


If you work in IT I can guarantee you have run into AITO Syndrome, as it seems to effect an alarming number of people. AITO (Assumed IT Omnipotence Syndrome) is a very serious (and in some extreme cases life threatening) affliction which causes those afflicted with it to assume that anyone that works in IT knows everything about every computer related thing ever made, often including anything with a power cord.

Together, I believe we can stop AITO Syndrome, there are many warning signs, including:

  • Conversations starting with “Do you know that one program that does…. I was wondering how I can change setting XYZ to make it do ABC better, you know, like on that one movie.”
  • Calls from employees that go something like “Hey I installed program XYZ, how do I configure it?”
  • Being asked to load up “that program we got a while back to do XYZ, on the new servers” which turns out to be stored on some 5″ floppy disks in the company fire safe.
  • Conversations that start out with or contain any of the following phrases occur regularly, and these terms are used incorrectly: hackers, virus, Trojan, the Internet is down, email is broken, the network is down, crack (as in “can’t you just crack this password”, or “well I forgot the license code, so just crack it”)
  • Or maybe (and this one is tricky, because you will have to hear it more than once to realize that it is an indicator of AITO Syndrome) “So I have this music DVD, and I want to transfer just the audio to my iPod because…”

If you know someone who suffers from AITO (or are a victim of this terrible affliction yourself), please have them read this carefully:

I am not God. I cannot make things happen that are physically impossible. I am not “The One”, I do not see the world in Matrix code. I cannot load a program written in 1985 on to a server with an OS made in 2000-anything, as the hardware interface for that program likely does not exist anymore.

Yes I can do some things with technology that may to the uninitiated appear to be magic, but they are not in fact magic. Please do not mistake this for Omnipotence. I have worked very hard to attain the technology skills I have, but I cannot know everything.

I do not use every kind of computer known to man (nor have I), so the chances of me being able to pull an answer to your obscure Apple IIe question off the top of my head are slim to none. I cannot possibly have used (or in most cases have even heard of) all of the available software packages that were released this month, let alone 5 years ago.

The software packages I do know enough about to answer those kinds of questions intelligently are all packages that relate to doing my job, so you will most likely have absolutely no use for them, let alone have heard of them.

My ability to understand computers, and servers, and the software that runs on them is the direct result of many years of hard work and diligent study on my part, which I cannot impart to you in a 5 minute conversation.

The truth of it is that “computers” and everything relating to them is a job for me. When I get home at night if I sit down in front of a computer, I am either working (IT professionals work quite a lot more hours than you would think, or is healthy quite frankly), or I may send a couple people email, or even play a game for a bit.

Most likely though (assuming I do not have work that must be done), I do not even want to look at a computer, as my brain is totally fried from all the mental gymnastics I’ve had to do at work all day (while sitting at a computer all day might seem like a kick back job, I can assure you that it is incredibly tough, and highly stressful).

AITO Syndrome is not incurable! If you keep the above in mind, the symptoms will begin to disappear, and you may eventually even be symptom free! Please, do you part to end the needless suffering caused by AITO Syndrome. If for nothing else, do it for the children.

Treatment options for AITO syndrome include:

  • Frequent and hearty use of (this is considered by many IT professionals the best course of treatment).
  • Possible use of books or help files for the program or OS you have questions about (usually abbreviated as “RTFM” when prescribed by an IT professional).
  • Understanding that software has a usable life of approximately 1-2 years before it must be upgraded to a current version.
  • Hardware has a useful life of between 3 and 5 years before it must be replaced.
  • Operating Systems should be upgraded to the latest version at every hardware replacement, or at the very least when the OS manufacturer stops providing free support for them.

If these methods are not effective, more aggressive treatment options include:


  • Revocation of network access.
  • Filtering of Internet access.
  • Liberal application of a L.A.R.T. by a qualified IT Professional.
  • Migration from a standard desktop OS to DOS.
  • Questions being answered with a link to
  • Random stapling of written instructions to various parts of your anatomy by an IT professional.

Together we can beat this horrible affliction, do your part today!



One Response to Bringing awareness to AITO Syndrome.

  1. Jeff says:

    Awesome. I am sending this to all of my users. Thanks for taking time to write it.

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