Comment On Trauma Center

Paul's first day at Redacted Commodities and Trading, LLC. started with a coffee and a muffin, and ended with trauma leave. [expand full text]
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Re: Trauma Center

2012-12-05 08:08 • by JimLahey
"See you next Tuesday," Manny said.

http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=See-you-next-Tuesday

Re: Trauma Center

2012-12-05 08:14 • by Simon Peyote Joints (unregistered)
I'm no expert - wouldn't holding the power button for 5 seconds on most machines trigger a hard shutdown?

Re: Trauma Center

2012-12-05 08:16 • by Rhywden
396401 in reply to 396400
Simon Peyote Joints:
I'm no expert - wouldn't holding the power button for 5 seconds on most machines trigger a hard shutdown?

Story covers that one: "No ACPI".

Re: Trauma Center

2012-12-05 08:17 • by Luke (unregistered)
396402 in reply to 396400
Without ACPI it's a simple push and release button.

Re: Trauma Center

2012-12-05 08:18 • by mott555
I think everyone would have been better off if he'd let the system power down. Sure, they'd have lost millions and jobs would have been lost, but it might have convinced management to re-organize into something more sane.

Re: Trauma Center

2012-12-05 08:19 • by Smug Unix User (unregistered)
I was expecting it to be a prank on the new guy.

Re: Trauma Center

2012-12-05 08:25 • by TM (unregistered)
I'd have totally released that button!

Re: Trauma Center

2012-12-05 08:26 • by Remy Porter
396406 in reply to 396404
I can see it now, one of these people reads TDWTF today, and goes, "What? Holy crap, that guy still believes that was a real production server? HAHAHAHAHAHAHA."

Best. Prank. Ever.

Sadly, it probably wasn't.

Re: Trauma Center

2012-12-05 08:27 • by Bongo (unregistered)
"Paul apologised for not shaking hands."

Best sentence of this article.

Re: Trauma Center

2012-12-05 08:29 • by T.R. (unregistered)
Now THAT is a big one...
So the entire business was relying on a single machine never having a disk failure, hard reboot, be hit by a power cut, among a million other things that could cause it to reboot or be shut down.
Such a machine, I would imagine would be at least load-balanced and be kept in a clean, climatized place not directly accessible by the dev team...

Re: Trauma Center

2012-12-05 08:33 • by Severity One
396409 in reply to 396408
T.R.:
Now THAT is a big one...
So the entire business was relying on a single machine never having a disk failure, hard reboot, be hit by a power cut, among a million other things that could cause it to reboot or be shut down.
Such a machine, I would imagine would be at least load-balanced and be kept in a clean, climatized place not directly accessible by the dev team...
Bet you still believe in the Tooth Fairy, too.

Re: Trauma Center

2012-12-05 08:37 • by some pony (unregistered)
396410 in reply to 396408
Are you kidding me? These kind of machines are historically an old desktop system of one of the devs that he doesn't use personally anymore because it is too flaky. They preferably run at the dev's home address, without UPC, in an airtight closet about the size of the machine's casing.

Re: Trauma Center

2012-12-05 08:38 • by Bob (unregistered)
396411 in reply to 396408
Ha. The only difference between the story and reality is that someone usually has the foresight to stick the label _over_ the power button.

I'd have let go of the button as soon as the idiot threatened me. "How are you going to pay your lawyers when all your customers leave - which is exactly what's going to happen as soon as I make this farce public."

Re: Trauma Center

2012-12-05 08:39 • by Sockatume (unregistered)
Of course, MacGuyver would've opened up the machine and hotwired the power switch.

Re: Trauma Center

2012-12-05 08:41 • by Sockatume (unregistered)
"I'd have let go of the button as soon as the idiot threatened me. 'How are you going to pay your lawyers when all your customers leave - which is exactly what's going to happen as soon as I make this farce public.'"

Publicised your sophisticated physical-access hacker attack? Let's face it, the company did the best they could do against your supervillain-esque malevolence.

Re: Trauma Center

2012-12-05 08:44 • by Lorne Kates
396414 in reply to 396412
Sockatume:
Of course, MacGuyver would've opened up the machine and hotwired the power switch.


MacGuyver was fired the other week for using equipment from an non-approved vendor. Sure, the paperclips we get from the no-bid contract with the boss' nephew's office supply hut costs $50 each, but they're SOX and PCI compliant paperclips!

Re: Trauma Center

2012-12-05 08:45 • by Steve The Cynic
Somebody should edit the comments in the HTML to not include double-dashes, as that confuses at least some browsers.

lk: Done. What the heck browser are you using?

Re: Trauma Center

2012-12-05 08:54 • by Ironside (unregistered)
I want $500,000 in cash and a helicopter outside or I release the button.

Re: Trauma Center

2012-12-05 08:56 • by TGV
The part I didn't get: why does someone press the power button on a computer without any need? Especially on the first day being toured around? I call BS.

Re: Trauma Center

2012-12-05 08:58 • by Jens (unregistered)
I'd have jammed the switch down with a toothpick. BTDT.

Re: Trauma Center

2012-12-05 08:58 • by TGV
396419 in reply to 396417
TGV:
The part I didn't get: why does someone press the power button on a computer without any need? Especially on the first day being toured around? I call BS.

Ah, the comment above me explains it: someone fucked up with the html comments, and that makes the story particularly weird.

DON'T TOUCH THE <!--!! WE DON'T READ COMMENTS! WE'RE PROGRAMMERS!

Re: Trauma Center

2012-12-05 09:01 • by TheSHEEEP (unregistered)
Why he did not immediatly quit after that incident (or, well, after the paid off-time) is beyond me.

Re: Trauma Center

2012-12-05 09:08 • by Unknown (unregistered)
4 needles and a couple more guys and it becomes very easy to safely switch with someone.

Re: Trauma Center

2012-12-05 09:09 • by Shoreline
Is it normal not to have a computer assigned to you?

I'm certain it's normal to have a server room which is separate and away from any kind of common traffic.

Millions of dollars lost due to a reboot? Nothing about that makes any sense.

I'm guessing the legal team's case would consist of "We're bigger than you".

I'm sure this has all been covered by now.

Re: Trauma Center

2012-12-05 09:10 • by ¯\(°_o)/¯ I DUNNO LOL (unregistered)
396424 in reply to 396415
Steve The Cynic:
Somebody should edit the comments in the HTML to not include double-dashes, as that confuses at least some browsers.

lk: Done. What the heck browser are you using?

Oh yeah, Firefox 3.6 or so does that. That's what finally got me to switch to Seamonkey on this computer a few months ago. I think the TDWTF article in question is even still in the tab set when I start up FF.

Seems the HTML/SGML standard for comments has a WTF in how the "--" of "<!--" and "-->" of comments are interpreted. Hint: not how you'd expect. Newer versions of Gecko do what you would expect, spec be dammed. (Now if we could only get rid of that crazy Javascript semicolon rule, then we could solve all of the problems in the Mid-East.)

Re: Trauma Center

2012-12-05 09:14 • by Ironside (unregistered)
Serious question: If he let go and they sued him but lost would he make money from it? Ie compensation? or is it a (lose money or lose nothing) situation?

Re: Trauma Center

2012-12-05 09:15 • by ¯\(°_o)/¯ I DUNNO LOL (unregistered)
396426 in reply to 396422
Unknown:
4 needles and a couple more guys and it becomes very easy to safely switch with someone.
Toothpicks and Bic pens.

Also, FWIW, I read Janice's voice as Linda from Bob's Burgers. That nice Jewish Mother accent, dripping with sarcasm, is just perfect for her lines.

Re: Trauma Center

2012-12-05 09:17 • by hobbes (unregistered)
Why not trace the pins to the jumper on the motherboard, wiggle it off slightly and bridge them manually with a pair of clips and some wire?

Re: Trauma Center

2012-12-05 09:18 • by Lorne Kates
396428 in reply to 396425
Ironside:
Serious question: If he let go and they sued him but lost would he make money from it? Ie compensation? or is it a (lose money or lose nothing) situation?


I'm sure it would come down to where in the world he was, and how good both legal teams were. Maybe Redacted Inc could argue malice, or willful negligence. It's unlikely they'd get $10M from an individual, but they might get something.

If they lost, he might be entitled to lawyers fees. Since it was his first day, he'd almost certainly be in some sort of probation period, where they could fire him for any reason. It's unlikely he could sue them for wrongful dismissal. He might have a good trauma/emotional hardship case on his hands, though. Especially if he could prove neglect on their part

Re: Trauma Center

2012-12-05 09:19 • by ObiWayneKenobi
The threat would have been enough to release the button. "Good luck in court, asshole" followed by releasing the button and walking out.

Any company that stupid DESERVES to lose millions of dollars.

Re: Trauma Center

2012-12-05 09:19 • by Lorne Kates
396430 in reply to 396426
¯\(°_o)/¯ I DUNNO LOL:
Unknown:
4 needles and a couple more guys and it becomes very easy to safely switch with someone.
Toothpicks and Bic pens.

Also, FWIW, I read Janice's voice as Linda from Bob's Burgers. That nice Jewish Mother accent, dripping with sarcasm, is just perfect for her lines.


I will now re-read Manny's lines as Louise.

Re: Trauma Center

2012-12-05 09:23 • by Richard (unregistered)
Most of those old beige boxes with the mechanical power switches, you could release the button and push it again quickly enough to prevent a power-down.

You might want to practice a few times before doing it on a production server, though.

Re: Trauma Center

2012-12-05 09:32 • by Steve The Cynic
396432 in reply to 396415
Steve The Cynic:
Somebody should edit the comments in the HTML to not include double-dashes, as that confuses at least some browsers.

lk: Done. What the heck browser are you using?

For various complex and not necessarily valid reasons, I'm on Firefox 3.6.23.

Re: Trauma Center

2012-12-05 09:32 • by Anon. (unregistered)
396433 in reply to 396420
TheSHEEEP:
Why he did not immediatly quit after that incident (or, well, after the paid off-time) is beyond me.


That, at least is obvious. If you were going to quit after, you wouldn't spend the time hanging around holding the button down.

That said, I call BS on the whole story. Any one of the WTFs would be acceptable on its own, but all of them in a single story? nope.

Re: Trauma Center

2012-12-05 09:36 • by Sarah (unregistered)
Anyone else who would like watch the movie Speed with me?

Re: Trauma Center

2012-12-05 09:37 • by dgvid
Am I the only one who giggled at "he had creamed and sugared his 'I's and 'T's"?

Re: Trauma Center

2012-12-05 09:39 • by DES (unregistered)
RAM still has to be installed in identical pairs. At least on server hardware.

Re: Trauma Center

2012-12-05 09:42 • by ¯\(°_o)/¯ I DUNNO LOL (unregistered)
396437 in reply to 396430
Lorne Kates:
I will now re-read Manny's lines as Louise.
Damn. And Paul as Bob works really well, too. Gene can be Daryl. But there's nobody left to be Tina.

Kristen Schall's voice is awesome. She's one of the main reasons I watch 30 Rock.

Re: Trauma Center

2012-12-05 09:45 • by Lorne Kates
396438 in reply to 396437
¯\(°_o)/¯ I DUNNO LOL:
Lorne Kates:
I will now re-read Manny's lines as Louise.
But there's nobody left to be Tina.


She's the server off in the corner with the CPU fan with worn-out ball bearings.

Re: Trauma Center

2012-12-05 09:46 • by dgvid
396439 in reply to 396400
Simon Peyote Joints:
I'm no expert - wouldn't holding the power button for 5 seconds on most machines trigger a hard shutdown?

Some time in the mid-1990s a co-worker of mine was doing a multi-disk software install from floppies. This was in the days just before CD-ROM drives became common and installing something like the Visual Studio 2.0 or a TCP/IP stack meant going through a dozen or more 3.5" floppies.

After the second or third disk he reached out and mistakenly stabbed the power button instead of the eject. He was afraid that rebooting mid-install would corrupt his machine, so he kept the power switch pressed down for the remaining 10 or 15 minutes required to finish the install.

Re: Trauma Center

2012-12-05 09:48 • by F (unregistered)
396440 in reply to 396408
T.R.:
Now THAT is a big one...
So the entire business was relying on a single machine never having a disk failure, hard reboot, be hit by a power cut, among a million other things that could cause it to reboot or be shut down.


Of course not. This was only "001". Clearly the business is reliant on a whole raft of additional machines that can also never be allowed to fail, reboot, etc.

Re: Trauma Center

2012-12-05 09:49 • by F (unregistered)
396441 in reply to 396415
Steve The Cynic:
Somebody should edit the comments in the HTML to not include double-dashes, as that confuses at least some browsers.

lk: Done. What the heck browser are you using?


Must be one of these damn standards-compliant ones.

Re: Trauma Center

2012-12-05 09:57 • by Grant (unregistered)
Rewiring to bypass the switch would have been dangerous.

On newer systems, it's a simple little switch connected to the motherboard, with 5v signalling. On old systems like that the power switch was part of the power supply, switching the hot side of your 110/220v power.

Of course, you could have just wedged a few toothpicks around the sides of the button to hold it all day...

Re: Trauma Center

2012-12-05 09:59 • by rackandboneman (unregistered)
396443 in reply to 396427
If these are pre-ATX computers the power switch is usually an actual power switch, and very dangerous to hotwire live.

Re: Trauma Center

2012-12-05 10:03 • by biziclop
The real WTF is that nobody thought about blue-tac or plasticine.

Re: Trauma Center

2012-12-05 10:08 • by Andrew (unregistered)
396445 in reply to 396435
dgvid:
Am I the only one who giggled at "he had creamed and sugared his 'I's and 'T's"?


Yes. You are the only person in the world who finds humor to be funny.

Re: Trauma Center

2012-12-05 10:09 • by sukru (unregistered)
396446 in reply to 396431
I used to do this all the time! As long as you can re-press the buttons before the capacitors discharge, nothing happened.

Re: Trauma Center

2012-12-05 10:29 • by Rootbeer

I like how until the mention of an iPad in the 46th paragraph, there's nothing in the story that indicates when it takes place, and thus how old the hardware is, and thus how much of a WTF it is.

Re: Trauma Center

2012-12-05 10:38 • by realmerlyn
396448 in reply to 396415
Steve The Cynic:
Somebody should edit the comments in the HTML to not include double-dashes, as that confuses at least some browsers.

lk: Done. What the heck browser are you using?


In real browsers, "--" is a toggle between comment and non-comment. So an odd number of them will confuse any standards-compliant browser.

Re: Trauma Center

2012-12-05 10:44 • by iMortalitySX (unregistered)
396449 in reply to 396423
Shoreline:
Is it normal not to have a computer assigned to you?

I'm certain it's normal to have a server room which is separate and away from any kind of common traffic.

Millions of dollars lost due to a reboot? Nothing about that makes any sense.

I'm guessing the legal team's case would consist of "We're bigger than you".

I'm sure this has all been covered by now.


The answer to those...

Depends on who you work for and what they can afford. I used to work for an MSP where we serviced many small companies. The most frustrating thing was when we would go in, develop/update an application, directly on their server, which is also the customer kiosk machine. No kidding.

Millions of dollars is possible. One company that we performed services for kept their server/CEO work stations in the CEO's office which was in a metal building. After it got struck by lightning, they lost all their data, and poof. It cost the company something like 1.2 mil in contracts that dropped them quickly afterwords.


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