Rollerblading? Pah. We used to mountaineer around the server room of DEC/Systime VAXes, bigger old Suns, Goulds, IBMs, ICLs etc. Never killed one. Well apart from maybe a Gould which crashed every ten minutes anyway.
94 posts • joined 23 Mar 2012
I member in our server room at a university I worked as an operator, we had a few little Mac SEs (I think they were) which functioned as file servers for an AppleTalk network. These were located close to our seating area. I remember chatting to my boss once and noticing suddenly they were all aflame just behind him. Not the first fiery incident with early Macs & SEs either.
My first job was as an operator at a university. As well as the old mainframe gear in the server room I sat in, we also had some shiny new Sun workstations in the labs. Bored in a late shift, and with a view of all the labs from where I sat, it was fun to discover I could logon remotely to a student's workstation and run the "falling snowflake" utility on their screen, or occasional static, or ants running around, or turn their display upside down. Simpler times.
I've not yet seen subtitles on programmes played at their scheduled time. They seem to be added on catch-up though. No idea why and it makes viewing "live" pretty hopeless for someone deaf like me.
More annoying with BBC4 as they changed the multiplexes around for S London (and elsewhere?) a couple of years ago and many people with fairly standard-type TV aerials can't get BBC4 terrestrially, so the only option is via iPlayer. The claim is that it's temporary so I don't want to change aerial for something temporary. Plus it looks like they're dumping BBC4 at the end of the year anyway.
Same happened to me, probably more than once, but the one I remember is in the early days of a certain large e-commerce retailer using, then Dec Alpha servers Went to reboot an app server, pressed button on NFS server. Spotted mistake while finger was still pressing button. Stuck there while colleagues came in and laughed at me.
My very first full time job was tech support in the Comp Sci dept at a well known London university. One day a senior lecturer came down with a sorry looking (probably Sun) keyboard. She said she'd puked on it, and then in her infinite wisdom decided to soak it in cooking oil to see if that helped. Needless to say it was knackered, and I wasn't super keen on investigating further.
First job working in the comp sci department at a well-known technology-focused university in London. Annually we'd show prospective students around the facilities including the server rooms. There were big red emergency power-off buttons in various places. A particularly tall budding student decides to lean back against the wall and... These were the days of IBM 4331s, various DEC servers, a big ICL mainframe and others. Generally things didn't tend to work well after a sudden power-off.
Ha, I once worked for Data General supporting those Clariion arrays used by hospitals. I remember one big hospital in particular, who provided a computer room for the new equipment. An onsite tech told me the story of the computer room. Initially they realised they'd forgotten something - mains power. Rip all the machines out, fit power, put machines back in. Once fitted, the realised they'd forgotten something else - network cables. Move all the machines out again, fit networking, put machines back in. Turn everything on - yay! Bugger - it's all getting rather hot. Oh no, we forgot cooling. Move machines out, fit aircon, put machines back in. Aircon not fitted properly, floods the computer room...
Password handling is one of the most borked aspects of websites. The amount of sites that don't specify a max number of chars but will let you enter (say) a 20 or 30 char password, and then mysteriously you're unable to login afterwards because presumably they've trimmed the password to some invisible maximum and you haven't got a clue what it is.
I've not fallen for the old unset/empty variable problem with rm, but back in the nineties on an early Solaris or possibly SunOS 4.x box I wanted to remove some hidden directories so executed something like 'rm -rf \.*' . Whether due to a bug or my misunderstanding it also started removing everything in '..' and continued going upwards to the root directory and traversing into other subdirectories. I wasn't popular. And it was my job to put it right - which I did!
Here's a couple.
First - the mail server is running out of disk space. We decide to implement the obvious policy of emptying everyone's trash, removing emails more than a month old. I immediately get calls from at least 5 users saying 'where have all my old emails gone?'. 'What do you mean' I say, 'you got the warnings that we're emptying the trash with emails older than a month?'. Every one of them then tells me that the trash folder is where they store _all_ their emails. The reasoning is that it's quicker to hit 'delete' than put them in a folder. They've got a point I suppose ...
Second - my first job at a top science and engineering university in the early 90s. Female professor of computing comes in one morning with a sorry-looking Sun 3/60 keyboard. 'It's not working', she says. I took a look at this rather greasy keyboard. After asking how it got this way, she told me... She'd puked on the keyboard. Thinking the acid in puke probably wasn't very good for it she decided to wash the keyboard. Not in water though as most people would do (and probably wreck the keyboard too but that's not important right now). No, she decided cooking oil would be a suitable cleaning solvent so she drenched the keyboard in it.
I'm ex-Amazon, but from a long time ago (left 2005). They do rely on open source but only generally as a building block (e.g languages). Most of the big stuff is bespoke and perhaps is not so useful outside of the context of Amazon where they really do like to re-invent the wheel, and rather scarily often do it better.
I spent some time working in Wokingham for different s/w houses back in the late 80s and mid 90s. You're right, getting pissed at lunch/morning/afternoon was a necessary feature. The necessity of doing this seemed to disappear about ten years ago. Maybe we all just got older.
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