A long, long, long, long time ago, when we were just beginning to get PC based Linux and Windows NT based servers, we still had some hefty old iron based on ancient DEC platforms. Sure, plenty of Vaxen (because everyone did), but also old PDPs. As a noob manager, I had responsibility for a rack of mixed kit in the Development Data Centre. The rack had a PDP-11 in it running - oh bloody hell. The mists of time obscure what it was running - I can’t remember. Suffice it to say, that I was one of the few developers there who understood the software, and who could boot the bloody thing up (although there was a better that 50/50 chance that any attempt at booting would result in failure - so it was a bit of a shenanigan and a bit of a pain in the arse).
One of the developers who reported to me was a real bright spark (genuinely), but also freshly minted from University. He was developing a genuinely cutting edge platform on a Linux foundation, and it was in its earliest earliest days with some gnarly bugs in it. One gnarly bug required the system to be powered off and rebooted. I mean. No problem there, surely? A PC and a PDP don’t even look alike.
I was upstairs, in the offices, happily beavering away on my VT when… loss of connection. The PDP had disappeared off the face of the earth, taking the code I was writing with it (not too much though - I saved regularly). I ran downstairs to discover noob-report looking sheepish. For some reason which I still can’t fathom, but might have something to do with it being very late and well past beer o’clock (his choice to stay and finish some work, not an instruction from me), he’d decided to power off the entire rack rather than just the server that we was working on. His server was up and running again, but he didn’t know how to boot the PDP.
He watched with increasing concern as I toggled in the bootstrap on the switch panel on the front, the PDP began to boot… and then failed. Again, and again, and again. Capricous bloody computer. With each failure, I got more and more angry to the point that, noob-report admitted to me over a beer in the pub after the PDP eventually started, he thought he was in danger of being subject to a walloping administered by myself. Which would have been a remarkable turn of events since I’ve never hit anyone in my life.