"Hey, don't take another step!" Chris H. froze in his tracks. The voice cried out "we're dead in the water here!"

Tensions had been running high at The Book Bunker (as I'll call it) for weeks. The Book Bunker's point of sale system had been up and down and up and down more times than anyone could count. Sometimes it was a database connection issue, other times it was an overheating issue, and other times no one knew what it was.

Chris turned to see his boss, Gilbert, yelling across the bookstore. "This is bad this is bad thisisbad thisisbadthisisbadthisisbad," he said. Chris sat him down and calmly asked him to explain the problem.

"Our whole system is down! We had a power surge that killed all of the computers since we don't have surge protectors! The POS system won't come up at all anymore! This is affecting the whole Book Bunker chain! We're ruined!"

Gilbert was right about the surge protectors — those were a luxury that the business couldn't afford. As a ten-store family-owned chain, the IT budget was generally three or four figures. In rough years, that included the decimal. As such, extravagances like RAIDs, backups, and surge protectors were generally out of the question. Servers were of the Frankensteinian variety, comprised of hardware that store employees didn't need anymore.

Chris reflected on some of the recent issues he'd had to deal with. Chris hadn't been in The Book Bunker's employ for long, though he had inferred that the company's infrastructure was probably assembled by one of the manager's kids. The price paid was that free, no-name software was installed in place of proven technologies. POS systems had users logged in as administrators and had no meaningful protection against spyware or viruses. Now, there technically was virus protection in place, but the software had never received virus definition updates since its release. The patch to protect against the W32.Slammer worm was never installed, and their database server was under constant attack.

Chris was able to address all the software issues by installing patches, antispyware software, and up-to-date virus protection. And while those issues were severe, Chris was now faced with the most dire situation he'd ever had to deal with.

Chris approached the checkout area and inspected all of the computers. Seconds later, he leaned into his manager's office and said "hey Gilbert, turn the computers back on."