• Smitty (cs)

    This is what happens when you let management get involved in anything.

  • Anonymous (unregistered)

    I remember this one. It seems pretty amazing that this "godsend" of a batch file was forgotten about a month after the author left. Surely this was helping them on a day-to-day basis? Surely all the support staff loved how much time this thing saved them? So how come one day, all of a sudden, everyone completely forgets what the batch file does and what it is for and that they've been using it for the last month. Next thing you know we've got security consultants being hired and all sorts of trouble brewing. WTF happened in that month to cause company-wide amnesia?

  • highphilosopher (unregistered)

    Unfortunately end users are self replicating like a virus as well.

    captcha: wisi -- The latest version of wifi. Now supports Super bandwidth (hence the S).

  • seconddevil (cs)

    This is the reason you should never document anything. Ever.

  • Jaime (cs)

    This is totally believable. Similar to how our airport security system is designed, we put people in positions where the only correct answer is to panic. See, one of these "security experts" are hired to make sure things like viruses don't destroy the network. However, they aren't hired to balance risk vs. productivity. Since they have no responsibility for productivity or budget, the only correct answer for them is to get rid of the suspicious entity by any means available. Any other response leaves them open to being fired for not doing their job.

    In theory, there should be other people that balance the security expert out, but it never works that way. No one wants to override the security guy or they would be left holding the bag if the situation turns dire.

  • Nibh (unregistered)

    He should have said "Self-replicating, kind of like cute little bunny rabbits"

    Would have saved the company millions.

  • Lee K-T (unregistered) in reply to highphilosopher
    highphilosopher:
    Unfortunately end users are self replicating like a virus as well.

    captcha: wisi -- The latest version of wifi. Now supports Super bandwidth (hence the S).

    I'm not really good when it comes to the biology things but are you sure that a user can actually replicate when he's on his own???

  • Ed (unregistered) in reply to Lee K-T
    Lee K-T:
    highphilosopher:
    Unfortunately end users are self replicating like a virus as well.

    captcha: wisi -- The latest version of wifi. Now supports Super bandwidth (hence the S).

    I'm not really good when it comes to the biology things but are you sure that a user can actually replicate when he's on his own???

    Who knows? I've heard simulated self replication is pretty popular though ;)

  • highphilosopher (unregistered) in reply to Lee K-T
    Lee K-T:
    highphilosopher:
    Unfortunately end users are self replicating like a virus as well.

    captcha: wisi -- The latest version of wifi. Now supports Super bandwidth (hence the S).

    I'm not really good when it comes to the biology things but are you sure that a user can actually replicate when he's on his own???

    Sorry, you're right, it's a two-stage virus. It requires to separate pieces of code to reproduce :)

  • Grégory Karékinian (unregistered) in reply to Lee K-T
    Lee K-T:

    I'm not really good when it comes to the biology things but are you sure that a user can actually replicate when he's on his own???

    Users can do that through mitosis

  • grammer nasty (unregistered) in reply to highphilosopher
    highphilosopher:
    Lee K-T:
    highphilosopher:
    Unfortunately end users are self replicating like a virus as well.

    captcha: wisi -- The latest version of wifi. Now supports Super bandwidth (hence the S).

    I'm not really good when it comes to the biology things but are you sure that a user can actually replicate when he's on his own???

    Sorry, you're right, it's a two-stage virus. It requires to separate pieces of code to reproduce :)

    Problem is that other piece of code is very buggy and often non-deterministic.

  • Steve the Cynic (unregistered) in reply to Lee K-T
    Lee K-T:
    highphilosopher:
    Unfortunately end users are self replicating like a virus as well.

    captcha: wisi -- The latest version of wifi. Now supports Super bandwidth (hence the S).

    I'm not really good when it comes to the biology things but are you sure that a user can actually replicate when he's on his own???

    You've heard of hermaphrodites, right? And you know that worms are hermaphrodites, right?

    So, are you going to be the one to tell me that users != worms ?

  • DOA (cs)

    There is simply too much fail in this one to be real. Either someone omitted something or the whole thing is bollocks.

  • iSucker (unregistered)

    For some reason I expected todays WTF to be about the iPad

  • St Mary's Expert on Abiogenesis (unregistered) in reply to Grégory Karékinian
    Grégory Karékinian:
    Lee K-T:

    I'm not really good when it comes to the biology things but are you sure that a user can actually replicate when he's on his own???

    Users can do that through mitosis

    No. Not that easy.

    First, the code branches must be merged.

    Compile the DNA.

    And please licence your offspring under the GNU GPL.

  • Lucky One (unregistered)

    Women – the best freaking firewall ever:

    1. One human cell contains 75MB genetic information.
    2. One sperm contains a half of that; that is 37.5MB.
    3. One ml of semen contains 100 million sperms.
    4. In average, ejaculation lasts for 5 sec and contains 2.25 ml semen.
    5. This means that the throughput of a man’s member is equal to (37.5MB x 100,000,000 x 2.25)/5 = 1 687 500 000 000 000 byte/second = 1,6875 Тerabyte/sec

    This means that the female eggcell withstands this DDoS attack at 1,5 terabyte per second, and only lets through one(!) data package, thereby being the best freaking hardware firewall in the world!

    The downside of it is that this only small data package that it lets through, hangs the system for the whole of 9 months!

  • Steve H (unregistered) in reply to iSucker

    The iPad is The Real WTF for sure.

  • A. Cube (unregistered) in reply to Anonymous
    It seems pretty amazing that this "godsend" of a batch file was forgotten about a month after the author left.

    It does. But this kind of amnesia doesn't seem to be all that uncommon. It is the grunts who use it, so management doesn't see it, doesn't hear about it. They just forget it exists. For the grunts, it's just one thing on the check list to do. After a while, the original reason for even using it gets hazy. They pass it on to the next person, who never does know why they are doing it. Slowly, it just fades into the background and no one misses anything until it's gone.

  • jmucchiello (cs)

    I have to admit. That was the last thing I thought would go wrong when the story described him adding a self-replicating piece of code to the system.

  • Fawkes (unregistered) in reply to Anonymous

    I think the answer is pretty simple. The author slightly overstated how popular the program was. I’m going to guess that the only people that really knew about it were himself, and the 2-3 other people doing technical support. The screw up happened when he gave it to his boss, who showed the code around to other people. These people read the code, but since they’re computer illiterate the only thing they understand is the comments. They freaked out and raised the “issue” with a dozen other people in the company. Nobody who knew anything about the program was consulted before they had a full scale emergency on their hands.

  • NameNotFoundException (unregistered)

    Hm. So a misunderstanding, incompetence and corporate miscommunication cost a business a couple thousand bucks.

    WT, er, F. Wouldn't believe that these things happen these days.

  • Wolfan (unregistered)

    I dunno, I'm calling shenanigans on this one. I think the manager would've fought to keep this huge production boosting utility. Most managers I know would've tried to get the "security expert" to remove the virus from the program instead of just losing the Utility, but then again those were simpler times.

    gravis: My first game pad, way back in the day with a serial connection. Ahhh those were the days.

  • rad131304 (cs) in reply to iSucker
    iSucker:
    For some reason I expected todays WTF to be about the iTampon
    FTFY
  • Smitty (cs) in reply to rad131304

    I'll probably get flamed for this, but what does FTFY stand for?

  • SR (unregistered) in reply to Smitty
    Smitty:
    I'll probably get flamed for this, but what does FTFY stand for?

    Fixed That For You

  • SR (unregistered) in reply to Steve H
    Steve H:
    The iPad is The Real WTF for sure.

    iMeh

  • Smitty (cs) in reply to SR

    Thanks.

  • Anonymous (unregistered) in reply to Smitty
    Comment held for moderation.
  • Nexzus (cs)

    Reminds me of my last place. We used an AS/400 system, and each morning I would manually move around print reports around our various printers, send files off to the ether, email reports, etc. Tedious stuff. So I developed a windows script that did all this for me. It eventually grew to some 2500 lines as I added more functionality. Basically went from 45-60 minutes of manual crap to 30 seconds of script time. I even created a rule in Outlook that would start the script if I left a message on my voicemail (Unified messaging). Before I left, I commented the hell out of it, explained to my replacements how it worked and left it at that. As far as I know, a couple weeks after I left, they did something to the script, didn't have a backup for whatever reason, and broke it.

  • SkaveRat (cs)

    This is normal on an embedded system where y-- meh.. screw this...

  • Ocson (unregistered) in reply to Nibh
    Nibh:
    He should have said "Self-replicating, kind of like cute little bunny rabbits"

    Would have saved the company millions.

    Sadly, this is probably true.

  • Steve A (unregistered)

    Replace 'self-replicates' with 'smart-deploy' and 'a virus' with 'best practices in the field of excellence'.

  • A Nonny Mouse (cs) in reply to rad131304
    rad131304:
    iSucker:
    For some reason I expected todays WTF to be about the iTampon
    FTFY
    yep, iPad is already taken
  • frits (cs) in reply to Nibh

    He also could have used management-speak to baffle them:

    This software maximizes empowerment by leveraging a viral utilization scheme. Essentially, this streamlines customer service analytics and fufillment issues. Definitely a best-in-class, win-win solution.

  • Anonymous Cowherd (unregistered) in reply to St Mary's Expert on Abiogenesis
    St Mary's Expert on Abiogenesis:
    Grégory Karékinian:
    Lee K-T:

    I'm not really good when it comes to the biology things but are you sure that a user can actually replicate when he's on his own???

    Users can do that through mitosis

    No. Not that easy.

    First, the code branches must be merged.

    Compile the DNA.

    And please licence your offspring under the GNU GPL.

    Wouldn't the recreative commons license be more appropriate?

  • Joe B (unregistered)

    5 characters:

    RTFM!

  • sirlewk (unregistered) in reply to rad131304
    rad131304:
    iSucker:
    For some reason I expected todays WTF to be about the iTampon
    FTFY

    But the iPad would make a terrible tampo.... ooooh, I see what you did there. :)

    Actually, now that I think of it, I can't really think of anything it might be better suited for anyways...

  • Rob (unregistered)

    Speaking from experience....

    If you develop a script like that and start showing it/sending it around; you get more work dumped on you since your script freed up so much of your time - and you have to deal with all the headaches associated with being the lead developers/lead tester/lead customer support/etc... of your software product.

    In the end, you bust your ass a bunch and maybe get that 5% raise instead of a 4% raise.

    What you should do is NEVER mention the script. If it takes most people 8 hours to do X and your script does it in 8 minutes - you waste another 5-6 hours doing whatever. You are still working faster and better than everyone around, consistently, and that will earn you far more respect than being 'the guy with that script'. And, you won't have to deal with other people screwing up your script.

  • Anonymous (unregistered) in reply to Rob
    Rob:
    Speaking from experience....

    If you develop a script like that and start showing it/sending it around; you get more work dumped on you since your script freed up so much of your time - and you have to deal with all the headaches associated with being the lead developers/lead tester/lead customer support/etc... of your software product.

    In the end, you bust your ass a bunch and maybe get that 5% raise instead of a 4% raise.

    What you should do is NEVER mention the script. If it takes most people 8 hours to do X and your script does it in 8 minutes - you waste another 5-6 hours doing whatever. You are still working faster and better than everyone around, consistently, and that will earn you far more respect than being 'the guy with that script'. And, you won't have to deal with other people screwing up your script.

    I entirely agree with this work ethic. As the old Chinese proverb goes, "the standing nail gets the hammer". However, I like to think that there are coders out there who aren't like us, coders who haven't had all the will beaten out of then yet. Let's not discourage those fine folks from shooting for the moon.

  • Harrow (unregistered)

    I would have written, "this self-replicates, similar to how the T-cells of your immune system work."

    Whenever you reference the real world in your code comments, stay away from the truth. Decision makers cannot handle the truth.

    -Harrow.

  • gus (unregistered) in reply to Nexzus

    Yeah, same here, before I left this one place, I spent a whole week setting up a backup script that would do everything.

    Next guy, did not even look at the script, he manually drags files from drive to drive, takes him hours a week.

  • Anon (unregistered) in reply to Smitty
    Comment held for moderation.
  • Jay (unregistered) in reply to Steve A
    Steve A:
    Replace 'self-replicates' with 'smart-deploy' and 'a virus' with 'best practices in the field of excellence'.

    If you really want to impress management, you should include the words "paradigm" and "object oriented" in there somewhere.

  • Jay (unregistered) in reply to highphilosopher
    highphilosopher:
    Lee K-T:
    highphilosopher:
    Unfortunately end users are self replicating like a virus as well.

    captcha: wisi -- The latest version of wifi. Now supports Super bandwidth (hence the S).

    I'm not really good when it comes to the biology things but are you sure that a user can actually replicate when he's on his own???

    Sorry, you're right, it's a two-stage virus. It requires to separate pieces of code to reproduce :)

    Reminds me of a lecture on cloning that I once attended. The speaker went through all sorts of technical details about cloning. Then he concluded by saying that it was unclear exactly why we would want to use cloning in practice. After all, he said, we already have a system for replicating human beings that requires no expensive equipment, no technical training for the users, and which many people are willing to do without pay. So why do we need another method?

  • Jay (unregistered) in reply to DOA
    DOA:
    There is simply too much fail in this one to be real. Either someone omitted something or the whole thing is bollocks.

    Never underestimate people's ability to go berserk over stupid stuff. I once had a similar experience myself.

    We had a program whose behavior was controlled by a "rules file" with a complex format that took a lot of skill to create and maintain, and -- to skip the details -- we had to create many different rules files for different categories of input. So one day I put together a prototype of an alternative program that could do the job without a rules file. The program was just a little more clever about examining the input and figuring it all out for itself. So I called the program "Anarchy" -- because it had no rules, get it? -- and I found a picture of a bomb in some clipart that I used for an icon. I wrote a memo to management on my idea that included a screenshot of my protoype, that showed the name "Anarchy" and the picture of the bomb along with the real output that I was trying to demonstrate. I sent this to print a couple of copies on a network printer.

    You can probably guess where this is going. Someone saw the printout come out of the printer, saw the word "anarchy" and a picture of a bomb, and apparently never bothered to read the memo to see what it was about before running to security to report that there was some terrorist plot going on.

    Fortunately someone with a little more brains actually read the memo before reporting me to the FBI. But rather than the nut who paniced over a whimsical program name being reprimanded for his obvious stupidity, I got a stern letter from the boss telling me to be more careful in the future about the names I gave to programs! That also pretty well killed my proposal, so the organization continued to use the clumsy rules files for years to come, no doubt wasting millions of dollars worth of peoples' time.

  • Anon (unregistered) in reply to Jay
    Jay:
    DOA:
    There is simply too much fail in this one to be real. Either someone omitted something or the whole thing is bollocks.

    Never underestimate people's ability to go berserk over stupid stuff. I once had a similar experience myself.

    We had a program whose behavior was controlled by a "rules file" with a complex format that took a lot of skill to create and maintain, and -- to skip the details -- we had to create many different rules files for different categories of input. So one day I put together a prototype of an alternative program that could do the job without a rules file. The program was just a little more clever about examining the input and figuring it all out for itself. So I called the program "Anarchy" -- because it had no rules, get it? -- and I found a picture of a bomb in some clipart that I used for an icon. I wrote a memo to management on my idea that included a screenshot of my protoype, that showed the name "Anarchy" and the picture of the bomb along with the real output that I was trying to demonstrate. I sent this to print a couple of copies on a network printer.

    You can probably guess where this is going. Someone saw the printout come out of the printer, saw the word "anarchy" and a picture of a bomb, and apparently never bothered to read the memo to see what it was about before running to security to report that there was some terrorist plot going on.

    Fortunately someone with a little more brains actually read the memo before reporting me to the FBI. But rather than the nut who paniced over a whimsical program name being reprimanded for his obvious stupidity, I got a stern letter from the boss telling me to be more careful in the future about the names I gave to programs! That also pretty well killed my proposal, so the organization continued to use the clumsy rules files for years to come, no doubt wasting millions of dollars worth of peoples' time.

    I got as far as "anarchy" and "bomb" then I reported this website to the FBI.

  • WhiskeyJack (cs) in reply to Harrow
    Harrow:
    I would have written, "this self-replicates, similar to how the T-cells of your immune system work."

    Then a month later after the CDC are finished their investigation and the company insists on hand sanitizer stations at every entrance...

  • Smitty (cs) in reply to Jay
    Jay:
    But rather than the nut who panicked over a whimsical program name being reprimanded for his obvious stupidity, I got a stern letter from the boss telling me to be more careful in the future about the names I gave to programs!

    Is this my fate? Are all corporate worker bees doomed to eventually become humorless, beaten-down, politically-correct husks afraid of their own shadow? Many of the people I work with fit this stereotype, and most of them are at least fifty years old.

  • caper (unregistered)

    That's why we should only buy software from the Apple Store.

  • Steve A (unregistered) in reply to Jay
    Jay:
    Steve A:
    Replace 'self-replicates' with 'smart-deploy' and 'a virus' with 'best practices in the field of excellence'.

    If you really want to impress management, you should include the words "paradigm" and "object oriented" in there somewhere.

    Replace 'self-replicates' with 'smart-deploy' and 'a virus' with 'best practices in the field of excellence facilitating object-oriented paradigm synergy'.

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