back to article Lapping the computer room in record time until the inevitable happens

Welcome to an episode of Who, Me? in which a race between office chairs results in an unexpected escalation rather than the lifting of a trophy. Our tale takes place in the 1990s and our hero, whom we shall call "Ben" (for that is not his name) was one of a group tasked with tending to the needs of a VAX 11/785 lurking deep …

  1. b0llchit Silver badge
    Go

    They didn't create a virtual chair race instead?

    Bummer!

    1. KittenHuffer Silver badge

      Super Mario Chair!

      1. Killfalcon

        One place I worked (an HMRC warehouse full of forms - P45s, tax returns, etc) did in fact have a Playstation hidden behind some pallets, but they mostly used it for a FIFA league, and raced pallet trucks down the main aisle.

        1. Snowy Silver badge
          Go

          Pallet trucks are a lot better to race than chairs :)

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            But the coffee table sized Micro VAX was even better ... though its cornering was a bit dodgy

    2. A.P. Veening Silver badge

      With bonus points for virtually hitting the button ;)

    3. ITMA Bronze badge
      Devil

      Quake Deathmatch with the Bombs8 QuakeC patch used to be WAY more fun in the IT office at one former place of work. LOL

      Especially if one or two "colleagues" were not "informed" about the new weapons HEHEHEHE

      The expression on their faces when hit by a homing rocket or the gibgun was pure joy!

  2. Alan J. Wylie

    Obligatory XKCD

    Compiling

    1. jake Silver badge

      Re: Obligatory XKCD

      "New kit initializing" works well. Management types are afraid to ask.

      1. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

        Re: Obligatory XKCD

        "Waiting for the Azure resources to be provisioned"

        1. David 132 Silver badge

          Re: Obligatory XKCD

          "Waiting for my Windows 10/11 PC to install updates that I didn't ask for, interrupting my workflow at a time that is maximally inconvenient for me, and with no way to defer or cancel the updates..."

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Obligatory XKCD

            At work, for a large government department (hence posting as AC), we obviously have all the corporate stuff which means updates are only installed after the IT people have vetted them etc. Then they inflict "I'm installing now whether you like it or not" on users, who come back from a brew break to find a "restart in X hours" dialog. Tough s**t if you planned to work late, or had to leave some processes running (in the past, we've had some stuff that had to be left overnight such was the run time.) Many have complained, but they say "must be installed quickly ... because security".

            I call male bovine manure on that - they have enough advance notice to send up out emails the week before, so why can't they schedule the updates a day earlier and give people the option to defer for a day ? But then, the other day I was talking to someone who's job occasionally involves interacting with these IT people - he said it's like dealing with a load of children !

          2. John 110

            Re: Obligatory XKCD

            Anti-virus running...

      2. Captain Scarlet Silver badge
        Childcatcher

        Re: Obligatory XKCD

        What, I always get the management types who want to have a further look.

        Then they leave with headaches and more questions.

    2. Martin-73 Silver badge

      Re: Obligatory XKCD

      New Reg icon request, 'ob XKCD'. Randall's earned it

  3. that one in the corner Bronze badge

    Always remember

    just why we need Molly Guards

    http://catb.org/jargon/html/M/molly-guard.html

    (imagine the havoc if Molly had been on a wheelie chair!)

    1. jake Silver badge

      Re: Always remember

      And when Molly grows up?

      Many moons ago I took my daughter to SLAC on take your kid to work day. At the ripe old age of 9, she had been there many times before and knew the ropes, but I figured she deserved a day out of school.

      She told me as we were walking in that it'd cost me ten bucks for her to not push any buttons. I gave her the money.

      On the way back out, I told her that it'd cost her ten bucks for me not to tell her mother she was running a protection racket. She made a face and paid up ... and promptly told her mother as soon as we got home. They both still laugh about it :-)

      1. Yes Me Silver badge

        Re: Always remember

        Was that downvote your daughter or your wife?

        1. Chris 239
          Joke

          Re: Always remember

          Maybe a flat earther living in Australia?

  4. elsergiovolador Silver badge

    Green energy

    This is what baffles me. Why the idle time of IT people is not used to generate energy? Imagine human sized hamster wheels in the computer room, where they could dump any excess energy they may have and generate much needed electricity?

    1. Killfalcon

      Re: Green energy

      Those giant wheels aren't terribly efficient, a lot of energy goes in just making them move, friction on all the rollers they need to hold that much weight.

      Do it with exercise bikes and have a high-score chart, IMO.

      1. Trollslayer

        Re: Green energy

        Have you tried it for real then?

        1. Killfalcon

          Re: Green energy

          Only in the highly realistic simulator known as "Timberborn".

    2. jake Silver badge

      Re: Green energy

      "Why the idle time of IT people is not used to generate energy?"

      There is no idle time for IT people. What you see as being idle is usually what we call "processing", or sometimes "testing", which often involves quite a bit of "hurry up and wait".

      Sometimes it is heavy thinking about how to fix your problem, usually long before you even know you have the problem.

      1. stiine Silver badge
        Flame

        Re: Green energy

        Because if you started billing us for idle time, and calculated your budget to include these newly generated funds, WE'D NEVER BE IDLE AGAIN, and not because we didnt' want to stop putting out fires.

    3. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

      Re: Green energy

      If you start trying to monetise my "idle" time, I'll start billing you for the time spent thinking about work outside of work hours. I could probably include that portion of time spent dreaming whilst asleep, as this is the brain's way of sorting out problems stored up from during the day.

      Last time I checked my fitness tracker, that's about 2 hours a night, every night, seven days a week, which works out at about 2 additional days a week.

      Your move, sucker.

      1. Tom 7 Silver badge

        Re: Green energy

        I once spent 7 hours driving to the west country. A night in an expensive hotel, An hour having a fine full english. 7 hours on a dive boat with some very close friends and others. An hour and a half under water during which I had a moment where I worked out a a solution to a long term work problem which would have saved the company about 35 man hours a week for eternity. None of which I could have done without the expense of the weekend away - and following days diving with company etc and the long journey home all on my own time.

        Do I tell you about my idea and ask for payment which, since you have my idea wont be forthcoming or do I keep working for you until I get another job and keep my mouth shut?

        1. swm Silver badge

          Re: Green energy

          I was a research scientist. My best ideas came in the shower - some quite complex requiring advanced mathematics.

          1. Loyal Commenter Silver badge
            Boffin

            Re: Green energy

            I was a research scientist too. My best ideas also came in the shower, the most important one being that I should probably get out of the lab while I still could and pursue a career that pays, and in my case, doesn't involve me accidentally poisoning myself periodically.

      2. Potty Professor Bronze badge
        Holmes

        Re: Green energy

        Most of my best inventions are conceived or refined whilst trying to get to sleep. As Confucius say "Go to bed with problem on mind, wake up with solution in hand".

        1. nintendoeats Silver badge

          Re: Green energy

          Last week, 10:00, just hit the hay. Lying waiting to get to sleep, suddenly understood the problem with my atomic-based lock-free queue which I had known for several weeks could silently drop items.

          11:00, it is fixed.

    4. Anonymous South African Coward Silver badge

      Re: Green energy

      Greta Thunberg's very interested in your proposal.

    5. Kubla Cant Silver badge

      Re: Green energy

      Use the energy they generate to power the computers.

      "It's the month-end invoice run - pedal faster!"

      1. SImon Hobson Silver badge

        Re: Green energy

        I'm not sure, but I think it was the university bods behind the Bang Goes the Theory" series did something along those lines to demonstrate how much energy we use - and waste - in a house. They set up a set house and moved a family of volunteers into it - without telling them exactly what the experiment was.

        Meanwhile, in the warehouse next door, there were something like 100 bikes sat on generator rollers. The generators charged the batteries, and the inverter flattened the batteries to power the house. When they saw on the big screen that someone was going in the shower - "quick, more people, pedal faster". A few times the human power station lost and the house blacked out for a bit !

        1. Martin-73 Silver badge

          Re: Green energy

          Yes i remember that, it was UK based, one day they left the oven on, and the next day someone decided to take an [electric] shower at some usually idle hour, and people had to be woken up. if i recall it was something like 50w per bicycle... so a 7kw shower unit woke a few people up!

          1. midgepad

            Watts per cyclist

            Chris Froome who to be fair is an unusually good cyclist had a threshold not much below 500W

            So 50W from a domestic (rather than domestique) cyclist is not very good.

          2. Martin an gof Silver badge

            Re: Green energy

            It was only for one day. This is the episode. Unfortunately the thing isn't on iPlayer at the moment, though I did once find a low-quality version on YT. Some clips from the episode are available, however. One at the link above. I thought there were two or three more on this page but I can't see them now.

            Might also be interested in 80,000 kettles and pedal power.

            M.

    6. Gene Cash Silver badge

      Re: Green energy

      At the last Maker Faire, there was 2 human-sized hamster wheels side-by-side.

      They had a laptop inside where the game was to run into the other person by steering with 2 buttons and running.

      They had a 3rd wheel where you ran and it made you a slushie drink with your effort. There was a huge line for it.

    7. Tom 7 Silver badge

      Re: Green energy

      I have a dog who seems to be able to convert food into energy with 15000% efficiency. I did consider the idea that I could make a giant hamster wheel for him to run inside and then realised it would just turn into the fan his shit hit.

    8. Snowy Silver badge
      Holmes

      Re: Green energy

      That sounds like work and chair and Pallet trucks racing is fun that is why :)

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Many, many moons ago, in a now-defunct games developer, we once received a large and unexpected delivery which had been bought for us by a large corporation that we were developing for. On opening the large crate, described on the packing sheet as 'toys', we found a large SGI Crimson deskside, with Reality Engine graphics. (It also had a US power supply, which ended up costing an arm and a leg to get officially swapped out for a UK one, and caused all manner of hiliarity when the engineer turned it on and within seconds filled the room with acrid smoke which turned out to be due to his accidentally leaving one of the polystyrene packing chips stuck in the coil inside the new transformer.

    Anyway, it was large and it had wheels... the warehouse where it had been delivered was raised, and there was a sloping corridor from there that led to the IT office, so of course I wheeled it to the top of the ramp and jumped on, and rode it down the corridor, straight past the IT office and carried on until reaching a dogleg in the corridor further down where it thumped into the wall.

    Afterwards, it then sat, forming part of my desk for quite a while - the gesture was nice from the company who gave it to us, but since they didn't also give us the very expensive license for Alias Wavefront, which the graphics lot used for doing the kinematics on their existing machines, we didn't actually have anything to do with it, and they didn't have room at any of their desks to replace the existing Indigo2s that they were using.

  6. jake Silver badge

    Of course the inevitable happened ...

    ... being engineers, we motorized them. Naturally. We had a stock of 12V Gel cells (used to keep the sonalerts beeping in the event of power failure, and long since disconnected as bloody useless). We also had quite the collection of scrapped 1960s & '70s computers with perfectly good motors and pulleys and etc, Steering was rudimentary, mostly friction of one sort or another. Driven wheels came from old, unused carts that used to be for pushing bunches of punch cards and attendant printouts from place to place. You get the idea ...

    Also naturally, "Who needs brakes‽‽‽" ...

    One of my comrades managed to spin out in the sweeper (fastest part of the "track"), and put his foot out to stop his progress with the main door to the room. He missed, hitting the drywall next to the door. And put his foot through it. And then through the sheet on the outside. Just as a corporate director was leading a group of VIPs through.

    The VIPs bust out laughing, and the director just shrugged & decided to see the funny side. Fortunately,

    Nobody got fired, but we were strongly advised to keep our extracurricular activities off campus.

    We also discovered the contractor had skimped ... the sheet-rock was 1/4", not fire-rated 5/8".

  7. Howard Sway Silver badge

    "And the defcon light pole clicked up a level."

    Thank goodness they didn't notice this and decide to hack it to act as a Formula 1 style start light. It might have triggered world war 3.

    1. Rich 11 Silver badge

      Re: "And the defcon light pole clicked up a level."

      I was expecting the subsequent sentence to read, "I can fully recall the physical feeling of turning deathly pale."

  8. Data Mangler

    Not just IT

    Swivel chair racing was not confined to IT. A long time ago, in the analytical lab of a chemical company long gone*, the sport of swivel chair jousting was developed. The blindfolded sitters were equipped with wash bottles of demineralised water (not the alcohol or acetone ones!) and tried to squirt each other as they passed, pushed by the human 'horses'. This was, of course, in the days before Health and Safety were invented.

    *The chemical factory shut down not long after the solvent stores caught fire and nearly took out the local pub.

    1. JT_3K

      Re: Not just IT

      Nor just to "business". Running a student radio station in Birmingham around 20yrs ago we could only afford to license once a year for a month and spent our year building towards it.

      Notably, we chose to start each broadcast with a 24hr marathon (rather than flicking to "playlist" after our standard 10pm-11pm slot and taking manual control at 8am) in which one person would hold the fort and other senior members would float in and out.

      Being the resident tech, I held down one year in particular and, having started at 5am on the morning in question in which our license allowed, playing out our "coming soon" loop and driving around Birmingham to check/tweak transmission I returned to "hold the fort" for the big noon launch.

      Things didn't go perfectly, despite having checked and serviced the living hell out of the desk and other kit prior, rapidly losing one of the main microphone channels late afternoon. Having soldered, mostly my fingers from memory, upside down through a tiny hole in dim light and got the microphone channel going again, we decided that chair races would be fun around the now-closed Student Union building and I set out to find sufficient cabling to make this worthwhile.

      Having found nothing in spares (we were a very poor station), I ventured out with others managing the broadcast and quickly discovered around 50 metres of heavily used ring-main cable that had been pulled from the walls of another university building being refurbished. Returning with my prize I was able to fashion a 50m XLR lead which, given some judicious EQing to pull out the buzz (eat that Dolby) allowed us not only to commentate the ensuing chair race tournament, but also: the moment at which an overenthusiastic finalist ploughed in to the roller shutter for the student hairdresser next to the studio and permanently rendered it useless; the moment a fellow board member forgot to run his mic slider down before proclaiming loudly "JFC guys, that was f****** ace!"; and later, to go "live" down two flights of stairs and report from Friday night at the student union bar.

      Thankfully OFCOM never came about the swearing incident, the students in the bar managed to avoid further incidents and we were able to feign ignorance over the loss of the roller shutter.

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: Not just IT

        "we were able to feign ignorance over the loss of the roller shutter."

        Until now.

      2. Tom 7 Silver badge

        Re: Not just IT

        3 or 4 years ago I returned to my Alma Mater (my mother never fed me that kind of shit!) with a few of my fellow students and we found where the current student radio was based along with a few bits of equipment we had fought tooth and nail for. Of course all of it was redundant and run from on a Raspberry Pi 3 or similar.

        I went to a little music festival in someone's field recently where the whole stage was powered by two 3kw generators! I'm not sure if its the legal sound limits* or the LED lighting but you get a lot more bang for your buck these days!

        * I miss reggae sound systems where the you can camp on top of the mid range units.

      3. Martin-73 Silver badge

        Re: Not just IT

        Some OFCOM/RA/GPO types had a bit of a sense of humour, some did not, see Ringway Manchester's latest videos on youtube

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    forget swivel chair racing

    With the appropriate data center staff, you can graduate to swivel chair dancing -- Catherine, I miss you.

  10. MiguelC Silver badge

    Office chairs need more cornering grip

    In a project that fell into my lap, very overdue, I had to work long nights to get it back on track. That also meant most nights my team was alone in the office, a large square open plan designed around a central area where were located the lifts, WCs and a small kitchen, with a corridor going all around, desks on each side of it and partitioned sections in each corner for the various managers' offices.

    Each full compile (excellent XKCD) meant some 30 minutes of leisure time. So we did what was expected and raced chairs, right until the one time someone failed to negotiate one of the 90º turns and slammed head-on onto one of those manager's offices. An half-broken screen went flying, as did the desk behind it, with everything on top of it scattered around (no clean desk policies at the time).

    So we took an extra hour that night trying to put everything back in its original place, including paperwork and personal stuff and, after figuring we couldn't, concocting an explanation to give in the morning... In the end we just blamed some clumsiness on the part of the team member in charge of bringing our nightly pizzas, he'd tripped on a misplaced chair - the manager even praised us for working as hard as we did :)

  11. Jaxx
    Unhappy

    The inevitable

    Big Australian bank. Senior executive takes his family to see the IBM mainframes and serried ranks of 3380s completely against the rules. Small child says what's this red button?

    Exit one senior executive.

    1. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

      Re: The inevitable

      Many years ago I saw a wonderful cartoon:

      Enthusiastic father: "I got this amazing new camera! It does everything!"

      Young daughter: "It doesn't bounce."

  12. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge
    Coffee/keyboard

    a race between office chairs results in an unexpected escalation

    "Stop button" - called it on line two . Well , confirmed it , the thumbnail pic gave it away really . An entertaining story nonetheless!

  13. Rufus McDufus

    Another fun activity

    ...in the university computer room I worked in was climbing up onto the furthest computer and trying to traverse several rooms as fast as possible without your feet touching the ground. You had to be a bit careful not to shake the "washing machine" disk drives too much.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Another fun activity

      I was a student user of a similar facility that had two mainframes and multiple peripherals in one large room. You had to go from the 1403 printer in one corner to the ancient tape drives for the semi-retired 7040 in the other. There were some challenging gaps.

  14. TiredNConfused80

    (for that is not is not his name)

    ... So his name *is* Ben then?!

    1. 2+2=5 Silver badge
      Joke

      Re: (for that is not is not his name)

      Ben Hur-tling along in a chair chariot.

  15. Jedit Silver badge
    Headmaster

    "some surreptitious scooting when presented with a chair on wheels"

    In my day this was called execugliding.

  16. GrahamRJ

    Better than office chairs

    Roller skates. I spent some time on the Ford campus in Detroit, a number of years back. The campus has "tornado tunnels" connecting all the buildings, so that whatever the weather conditions outside, you can walk from building to building in air-conditioned comfort. Nice wide tunnels, with a nice smooth concrete floor, obstructed only by fire doors every so often.

    And unusually for offices, the doors everywhere have "no roller skates or skateboards" signs on them. Apparently the suitability of the surface for competitive roller-skating after hours hadn't gone unnoticed. Which might have been officially ignored, except that those fire doors didn't have windows, and there were a few unfortunate incidents of speeding engineers hitting fire doors with unwary victims on the other side.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Better than office chairs

      Barely related, but your post might connect the dots.

      I once had to run away from Carrefour supermarket security in the 90s because we found a big pile of big foot inline roller skates on sale and decided to try a pair, only to have my friends running away from me with my regular shoes. I started chasing them on the skates, and this eventually led to 5-6 security guards chasing me down the corridors. Since they couldn't catch me, they callen in their "cavalry": the ladies moving money to/from the cash registers' line to/from the treasury/accountants' office, which performed their duties on roller skates. I guess the guys in charge of the security cameras must have laughed their asses off, because the whole hunting was worth featuring in a Benny Hill sketch. All that was missing was the Jackety Sax tune.

      I managed to escape them for 10-15 minutes (thankfully it was a big ass Carrefour!) and finally found my friends, told them to meet me at the gardening area, hid between some plants, ditched the roller skates, borrowed a hoodie from one of my friends and we all went through the main door looking completely non guilty.

      1. Ignazio

        Re: Better than office chairs

        Meantime a group of other ladies on skates robbed the tills.

      2. Tom 7 Silver badge

        Re: Better than office chairs

        Choose better friends! When at uni a friend of mine managed to steal an unopened 9 gallon barrel of beer and managed to outrun the security guards while making away with it one night!

    2. Holobob

      Re: Better than office chairs - BMX bikes

      I was working for a government department (in the Antipodes) doing some weekend work with my team, one of whom brought his BMX bike in, and we did time trials at lunchtimes around the office.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Pushing past the limit

    As a PFY, I had a summer job in a warehouse complex that used small road trains for moving bulk parts around, a bit like the luggage movers at the airport. The drive motors were brushed but the controller had a rudimentary speed limiter in the form of a series of magnets spaced around a mount on the drive shaft. After one of the more imaginative staff realised that the magnets could be removed and the batteries reconnected to take the voltage from 24 to 36V the tractor units could reach a speed that was terrifying for solid rubber wheels on smooth concrete.

    Eventually, *it* happened and the brakes proved unable to cope with the new top speed. This ended with a tractor unit crushing a comms cabinet to half its original thickness (the thinner tractor passing between the bollards meant to stop errant forklifts) and taking out the phones for half the site. Some quick thinking with old sticky grease in the accelerator and the mangled remains of the magnets dropped into the wreck led to a verdict of defective machinery; helped out by a service contract being cancelled a few years prior.

  18. Gene Cash Silver badge

    "now relatively elderly and in need of round-the-clock pampering"

    I forget... are we talking about VAX 11/780s or me?

  19. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge
    IT Angle

    I used

    to 'work' for the government... if we had any 'spare' time it was straight down the compressor house and into the little soundproof cabin built inside it... where the poker game took place.... we were government employees and hardly lightly to do anything as energetic as office chair racing ....

    Although because we were young and owned 125 two stroke motorcycles... we did clear a racetrack among the machines one saturday.....

    "And Boris is approaching the office bend now.. he got the racing line and on the brakes to snatch the lea and who opened the door..."

    We only got caught because the smell of burned 2 stroke oil lingered until monday morning.......

    1. Great White North
      Happy

      Re: I used

      20 lb bottles of CO2, that's all I am saying.

    2. Zarno
      Pint

      Re: I used

      And people wonder why I put a whole bottle of cherry fuel perfume in my cars tank when I do autocross events...

      It hides the raw fuel smell that a catless track car has quite nicely, but makes me want a fruit pie every time I open the boot.

      Have a pint!

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    KDF8 used large magnetic tapes whose containers had a large thick rubber band as part of the locking mechanism. On night shifts running a slow long job the operators would use some of the rubber bands for fights across the computer room. Stretch - then let go. The KDF8 console (RCA501) had an impressive array of differently coloured buttons to control program execution. For visitors it epitomised what a computer should look like. Inevitably one night a rubber band managed to hit and activate the reset button. Fortunately computers in those days were prone to unexplained malfunctions - so the cause was never made official.

    It was said that one of the programmers ostensibly monitored her evening program run - from behind the bank of large tape decks with the shift leader.

    1. Yes Me Silver badge

      It says here that only 13 KDF8s were manufactured. The delivery list is a bit incomplete (https://www.ourcomputerheritage.org/Maincomp/Eel/ccs-n3x1.pdf) but maybe we can tie down the location anyway.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        The linked article seems to possibly have a typo in saying that KDP10 were converted to KDN8. I think that should read KDF8. There was a KDN2/KDF7 model for industrial control.

        As to the story's location - like many such tales - both probably happened at several unrelated locations. Most sites did not allow women operators except on the day shift. However - there were a large number of young women programmers - and they often had to be present when their development jobs were being run.

        Caveat! The past is another country.

        This was the 1960s when women's office fashion had differentiated mini-skirts into ever decreasing lengths. In general fashion the shortest were called "pelmets" - but were also known as micro-skirts. The IT industry was a mix of old office formality and new youth freedoms. That lead to the IT industry joke:

        Q. What is the difference between a mini-skirt and a micro-skirt.

        A. Access time.

        The woman in question wore skating skirts. It made teenage me rather embarrassed - when she would regularly stretch up in front of my desk to put a card tray on top of the cupboard opposite. That was nothing like the verbal harassment that young male operators would receive if they had to visit the punch room staffed by young women. The latter would bring any new punch recruit to the computer room viewing window. They would list the attributes of the young male operators and make assignments as requested. Young male computer operators were glamour objects.

    2. Potty Professor Bronze badge
      Boffin

      No computers here

      I once worked in an office where the engineers had their desks arranged facing each other across the width of the room, with the Boss sat at the end so he could see what we were doing. He made a huge ball of newspaper and attached it to the ceiling with a long rubber band, so that it just about reached the floor. He called it his "Boomertwang". If he noticed that you were slacking, he would unhitch it from the side of his desk and hurl it in your direction. Of course, after hitting you on the noggin, it would rebound back to his desk, and he would reattach it to its parking position. After a while, we got wise to this, and one of our number managed to catch it on the first throw, and return it with unerring accuracy to hit the Boss himself. Much hilarity ensued.

  21. dave 76

    I was an operator on a site with Wang minicomputers in the 90's. The Wang computers had exchangeable disk packs which needed to be swapped occasionally and we got in the habit of sliding across the floor in our socks and hitting the unload button on the way past.

    This wasn't a problem until the time I accidently hit the poweroff button (no Molly guards in those days) instead of the unload button.

    Good thing there was two set of doors between us and the users so they had no idea what had happened just that we were working to fix it.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      And that's why you shouldn't play with your Wang on company time!

      1. jake Silver badge

        Dr. Wang told a roomful of Silly Con Valley luminaries and hangers-on that he got over the locker-room derived humo(u)r of his name during his first year at Harvard, but we should feel free to snicker at it if we liked. In his opinion, it said more about the person doing the snickering than the owner of the name. He further said this applied to any name.

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