Do You Have an Id-10-T Error?

By Vicki Voisin, ACP

You’ve probably seen this joke:

Sometimes we have trouble with our computers. I had a problem yesterday, so I called Eric, the 11 year old next door, whose bedroom looks like Mission Control and asked him to come over.

Eric clicked a couple of buttons and solved the problem. As he was walking away, I called after him, ‘So, what was wrong? He replied, ‘It was an ID ten T error.’

I didn’t want to appear stupid, but nonetheless inquired, ‘An, ID ten T error? What’s that? In case I need to fix it again.’

Eric grinned…. ‘Haven’t you ever heard of an ID ten T error before? ‘Write it down,’ he said, ‘and I think you’ll figure it out.’

So I wrote it down: ID10T

An ID-10-T error?
 I know it’s happened to me and I’m willing to bet you’ve experienced it, too. The !@&# computer won’t work!

I had an ID-10-T error last weekend. My computer wouldn’t start at all! It took me a while to figure out that it wasn’t plugged in! Now…I’m the only one who uses this computer and I have no idea how it came unplugged…but it did. Instead of considering that possibility, though, I ran around the house checking to see if the electricity was off or if Cable TV was working. Such an ID-10-T!

Then I had another ID-10-T Error. After wasting over an hour trying to set up folders in my Google Reader, I called on Tom Mighell who writes the wonderful Mighell Marker: A Legal Technology Weekly. I’ve never met Tom but he was a guest on The Paralegal Voiceand I can tell from his newsletter that he’s really Tech-Smart.

Before I go on, if you don’t know what a Google Reader is, I’ll explain another time…just suffice it to say that what I wanted to do should have been simple. Instead, I spent a lot of unnecessary time trying to figure it out…nothing worked!…so I threw in the towel and sent Tom an email, begging for help.

Tom was very patient and explained the process in plain English that even I could understand but still I couldn’t set up those folders in Google Reader. Honestly, I’m better than average with all this tech stuff but I’m sure Tom was beginning to doubt that big time!

We even tried a very cool tool, ShowMeWhatsWrong, which allowed him to see what I was doing on my computer. He had to agree I was doing everything right but still no luck. Now I was wasting this busy man’s time on my trivial problem!

He finally suggested I try working with a different browser. B-I-M-G-O! Once I used FireFox, it worked like a charm!

My third ID-10-T Error? Sometimes the computer just plain freezes up. You know…that hour glass symbol just floats on the screen and you wait…and you wait and you wait! It took a while, but I’ve finally learned that, before I call for help, I should just take a deep breath…then shut the computer down and reboot. That solves the problem 90% of the time.

What lessons should we learn from ID-10-T Errors? Stop and explore the features of the technology you own. Most people use a fraction of what their software is capable of. Then remember that sometimes we can outsmart our computers! Before you throw in the towel and ask for help, check for these three things:

1) Is the computer plugged in?
2) Will a different browser solve your problem? Try either Internet Explorer or FireFox.
3) Do you simply need to shut down and reboot?

And I have a fourth suggestion for you: Head on over to and subscribe to The Mighell Marker: A Legal Technology Newsletter. You’ll see…that Tom Mighell is a really tech-smart guy!

If you follow those for steps, you’ll solve many of your ID10T errors. Do you have other solutions for ID10T errors? Send them to!


©2010 Vicki Voisin, Inc.

Do you want to use this article in your newsletter, ezine or Web site? You can so long as you include this entire blurb with it: Vicki Voisin, “The Paralegal Mentor”, delivers simple strategies for paralegals and other professionals to create success and satisfaction by achieving goals and determining the direction they will take their careers. Vicki spotlights resources, organizational tips, ethics issues, and other areas of continuing education to help paralegals and others reach their full potential. She publishes a weekly ezine titled Paralegal Strategies and co-hosts The Paralegal Voice, a monthly podcast produced by Legal Talk Network. More information is available at