Three engineers are riding in a car…

One is a mechanical engineer, one is an electrical engineer, and one is a computer engineer.

The car breaks down and coasts to the side of the road.

"Hang on," says the mechanical engineer. "The problem is probably the engine, let me have a look at it and I'll have us on the road again in no time."

"Wait," says the electrical engineer. "The way it just stopped like that, I think it's the electrical system. Let me have a look and I'll get us going again in a minute or two."

"Hold on," says the computer engineer. "All we have to do is close all the windows, then open them up again and we'll be on our way."

Sure enough, after the windows were closed and re-opened, the car fired right up, and away they went.

Oh, the magical healing properties of a simple reboot

Half-joking, I'll ask customers how many times they've rebooted their computer in an attempt to solve their own current issue, but I am really just making sure they rebooted to clear any possible problem. As much as techies would love to dazzle clients with our technical knowledge, 9 problems out of 10 are solved by resetting everything back to zero with a simple restart. Indeed, a reboot of the machine does wonders to clear out cached files, potential conflicts that are causing Outlook to crash, print that file, or open that program that, despite 15 clicks, refuses to manifest itself on the screen. Plus, it just feels good to remind the computer who's boss.

Remember that scene in the first Star Wars where Han Solo restarts a sputtering Millennium Falcon with a pound of his fist? I always got a chuckle out of that and I wonder if that's how the engineers at NASA encouraged the Hubble to restart - was it a tough love, pound on the control panel, or a graceful reboot from the Start button?

NASA Fixes Hubble Telescope Like Anyone Else Would — By Turning It Off And On Again