[Wolves] Shooting yourself in the foot

trog trog at trog-oz.demon.co.uk
Tue Mar 6 20:23:29 GMT 2007

Back in the days when I work on SCO systems, the company sold a builders 
merchants system.  One of the clients was running out of disk space, so I 
dialled in and found lots of copies of their huge product file, which had 
been left on their system, by us while troubleshooting problems.  I was 
merrily deleting them, which were scattered in many directories, and yes I 
managed to delete the live file.  They knew immediately; the package didn't 
crash, but reported every product as being invalid.  On the plus side, I did 
it at 16:30 and they closed at 17:15, so they only had to handwrite sales for 
45 mins.  Had I done it at 09:00, it would have been a different story.  It 
took about 3 hours to get the file back from the backup tape.

At the same company, we received a call from a client that their machine had 
crashed and it wouldn't come back.  After much hair tearing, we managed to 
get it up into single user mode and the client was able to restore the main 
system directories, and all was happy.  I asked the user what was going on 
when it crashed.  He said that he had found this file called "unix" and he 
decided to investigate it with vi.  Not understanding what was displayed, he 
carefuly made sure to exit, without writing the file back, but apparently, 
even looking at the unix kernel was enough to upset the machine.  This was 
back in the 386/486 days, so we were always running close to the edge.

My top support call was when the client reported said "We've got a bit of a 
problem, and it's start of trading so we need urgent help."  "OK", I says, 
"what is wrong?".  The client says "The computers are covered in cement, we 
think that you had better come and have a look."  So I did and they were.  
The builders next door were pumping concrete for the slab and the pump 
exploded, taking out all of the windows in my clients office.  Luckily they 
weren't there, otherwise someone would most likely have been killed.  
Arriving 15 minutes after the event, the client decided we had better get 
there so we could talk to the insurance company.
Trog Woolley  |  trog at trog hyphen oz dot demon dot co dot uk
(A Croweater back residing in Pommie Land with Linux)
Isis Astarte Diana Hecate Demeter Kali Inanna

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