• Jay (unregistered)

    I am surprised that they replaced the motherboard... you think that the incident would have set off alarm bells.

  • Al (unregistered)

    worsethanfailure seems to be becomming the place of urban legends rather than true wtfs. First we have the guy switching off the air conditioning to save power and now we have the guy unplugging a server to do the hoovering. It's only a matter of time before we have the 'true' tale of the boss complaining to the supplier that they have installed faulty equipment because the keyboards are all missing the 'any' key ...

  • soon2depart (unregistered)

    I've been telling my boss "I told you so" for about 3 years now. It hasn't helped. Some people don't listen to the voices outside their heads. I'm hoping to get a better job by the end of the year :)

  • Jimbo (unregistered)

    I've run into these people before. It never pays to hang around for very long.

    They'll always be too cheep to do things the right way till it bites them in the ass. And they will never ever learn.

  • Master (unregistered)
    Comment held for moderation.
  • stillhere (unregistered) in reply to soon2depart
    soon2depart:
    I've been telling my boss "I told you so" for about 3 years now. It hasn't helped. Some people don't listen to the voices outside their heads. I'm hoping to get a better job by the end of the year :)

    Are the voices in my head bothering you?

  • Al (unregistered) in reply to Master
    Master:
    Al, Any key available separately

    Whaat? We paid $3000 for these servers and they couldn't be bothered to throw in a $10 key that would make installing most software possible? I'm going straight to the CEO with my complaint ...

  • GrandmasterB (unregistered)

    Interesting story. I believe because I've seen it.

    The only thing that makes me go 'hmm' is why Jeff didnt just set the guy up on a $20/mo shared account.

  • Ares (unregistered) in reply to Al
    Al:
    It's only a matter of time before we have the 'true' tale of the boss complaining to the supplier that they have installed faulty equipment because the keyboards are all missing the 'any' key ...

    Actually that happened to one of my friend's roommate from college's sister's boyrfriends...

  • YeaYuh (unregistered) in reply to Al

    Our company has had trouble before with people doing work in the server room with getting too cold and shutting off the cooling fans.

    The worse is a contractor was testing our sprinkler system. Forgot to place a shunt and flooded our server room. That was not a very fun mess to clean up since the server room was on the second floor.

  • Franz Kafka (unregistered) in reply to YeaYuh
    YeaYuh:
    Our company has had trouble before with people doing work in the server room with getting too cold and shutting off the cooling fans.

    why are those people allowed in the server room?

  • keezer (unregistered)

    It's not so far-fetched for a non-administrator type to expect to have a "simple web server" for cheap.

    Internet start-ups were full of "idea men" owners who didn't know the first thing about the technology they wanted to have implemented, except for the fact that it should be much cheaper.

  • zip (cs)

    This story warmed my $125/hour heart.

  • Rod (unregistered)

    shared hosting.

  • TheRubyWarlock (cs)

    So by "Frugal fellow" it means "Worthless fucking cheapskate who doesn't want to spend a dime on anything more than he has to, so he can pocket the rest of the money", right? Met far too many of those type of people. It's a wonder how slime like that can be successful and get to be filthy rich.

  • akatherder (cs)

    Sometimes when I go to the store I buy the house-brand peanut butter. One time I bought Hydrox instead of Oreos and my dog died. It USUALLY works out pretty well though.

  • Anon (unregistered)

    They get rich off all the money that they "pocket". Duh. Why do you think they "pocket" the money?

  • webrunner (cs)

    I have a $150 refurbished ibm e-machine server in my apartment (incidentally, it's heavy as sin) that I use for personal server-y stuff, like an oekaki and some drawings and whatever. But I wouldn't run a business site off of it.

    I don't have a UPS in front of it, but I don't really care for huge uptimes. As long as it doesn't die entirely I'm fine.

  • Pony Gumbo (unregistered)

    Wait... "Jeff" and "...spilled beer on the server"?

    Are we talking Jeff from Fark?

  • AdT (unregistered) in reply to akatherder
    Comment held for moderation.
  • Mankynd (unregistered)

    I have had (unfortunately) more than a few customers ask me where the 'any' key was.

    There may be urban legends out there, but I believe that almost all of them in IT lore are based on things that have actually happened. More than once. Many times, in fact. ;)

    • Mankynd

    Captcha - dubya, ex, why, zee.

  • Mennos (unregistered)

    I heard feeding chocolate to dogs was like giving them cocaine; a pretty good treat I thought.

  • Stingray (cs) in reply to Franz Kafka
    Franz Kafka:
    YeaYuh:
    Our company has had trouble before with people doing work in the server room with getting too cold and shutting off the cooling fans.

    why are those people allowed in the server room?

    Better yet.. why are so many of these so-called "data centers" equipped with cooling systems that can be turned off by a layperson and no alarms go off?

    Any respectable data center will have monitoring in place, and if the temperature rises above norm for any reason (chiller failure, fire, janitor trips over the power cord, whatever) it starts paging the operations staff automatically.

  • Grobbendonk (unregistered) in reply to stillhere
    stillhere:
    soon2depart:
    I've been telling my boss "I told you so" for about 3 years now. It hasn't helped. Some people don't listen to the voices outside their heads. I'm hoping to get a better job by the end of the year :)

    Are the voices in my head bothering you?

    No, but the voices in my girlfriends head are complaining about your voices to my voices...

    Think I'll go back to work, it's quieter there.

    We've got a major project going in this weekend, and I need to practice my "I told you so" smug expression for when they realise that "de-scoping" is not the best way to resolve defects found by testing

  • ptomblin (cs)

    When Frank says "and don't tell me 'I told you so'", you say "remember that price I quoted you before? Well, it's just tripled."

  • nwbrown (cs) in reply to AdT
    AdT:
    akatherder:
    Sometimes when I go to the store I buy the house-brand peanut butter. One time I bought Hydrox instead of Oreos and my dog died. It USUALLY works out pretty well though.

    People who feed their dogs cocoa should be barred from owning one. Let me break it down to you: Cocoa contains a xanthine (a substance related to caffeine) called theobromine. This is toxic to cats, dogs, horses and all sorts of other mammals.

    And don't even think of feeding your pet with avocado.

    Captcha: tastey (but only once)

    I think cleaning up the vomit and diarrhea from the initial symptoms is enough to teach most people to not do it a second time.

  • nwbrown (cs) in reply to Al
    Al:
    worsethanfailure seems to be becomming the place of urban legends rather than true wtfs. First we have the guy switching off the air conditioning to save power and now we have the guy unplugging a server to do the hoovering. It's only a matter of time before we have the 'true' tale of the boss complaining to the supplier that they have installed faulty equipment because the keyboards are all missing the 'any' key ...

    Don't forget someone calling to complain their cup holder is broken!

    That being said, just because we call them urban legends doesn't mean they don't happen. I've personally had people unplug my things without first checking what they were.

  • Carnildo (cs) in reply to Mennos
    Mennos:
    I heard feeding chocolate to dogs was like giving them cocaine; a pretty good treat I thought.

    It's more like giving them arsenic or cyanide.

  • Alun (unregistered)

    Hmm... well I think the WTF is that the guy said: "you can't just go to Wal*Mart and pick up a $300 computer for this sort of thing. You need a reliable piece of equipment set up properly."

    "you can't" = "I challenge you to"

    What was wrong with "We could do that, but it's very high risk. I think we should play it safe, spend a bit more money and get something more reliable."?

  • complich8 (unregistered)

    You know what's an even better feeling than that?

    Having the winning combination of competence and an employer who actually listens to you when you tell them things.

    It's really pretty great. I mean, yeah, schadenfreude's good times and all, but it's not as good as consistent satisfaction :p.

  • Nathan (unregistered)
    I heard feeding chocolate to dogs was like giving them cocaine; a pretty good treat I thought.

    My wife's a vet - each animal will have different resistance to the toxic substance, but it can quite easily kill.

  • Gitsnik (unregistered) in reply to Al
    Al:
    worsethanfailure seems to be becomming the place of urban legends rather than true wtfs. First we have the guy switching off the air conditioning to save power and now we have the guy unplugging a server to do the hoovering. It's only a matter of time before we have the 'true' tale of the boss complaining to the supplier that they have installed faulty equipment because the keyboards are all missing the 'any' key ...

    Oh I don't know... we've had a cleaner disable certain critical systems which weren't in the secure location... and I can recall my parents turning off my UPS because it was beeping during a power outage many years ago.

    Actually... I wonder if I can get my boss to do that... I have CCTV footage of one of my users licking her screen to discharge the static buildup... that would go nicely next to it.

  • AdT (unregistered) in reply to Mennos
    Comment held for moderation.
  • AdT (unregistered) in reply to Gitsnik
    Gitsnik:
    Actually... I wonder if I can get my boss to do that... I have CCTV footage of one of my users licking her screen to discharge the static buildup...

    If I were you, I'd be wearing polyester shorts.

  • CastrTroy (unregistered) in reply to GrandmasterB
    GrandmasterB:
    Interesting story. I believe because I've seen it.

    The only thing that makes me go 'hmm' is why Jeff didnt just set the guy up on a $20/mo shared account.

    $20 a month? You can get a shared hosting account for $4 that would probably run circles around having some guy host it in his apartment. For $7.99 you can get all kinds of stuff, and for $30 you can get Virtual Dedicated servers.
  • Draculita (unregistered) in reply to Mennos

    Oh no, not at all! It is quite deadly to cats and dogs. Just ask a Vet. Same goes for onions.... bad for them.

  • Sergio (unregistered)

    The real WTF is that Frank has a friend.

  • Falcon (unregistered) in reply to akatherder
    akatherder:
    Sometimes when I go to the store I buy the house-brand peanut butter. One time I bought Hydrox instead of Oreos and my dog died. It USUALLY works out pretty well though.

    Actually, there was an issue down south here recently in which some pet food (actually, not the cheap brand, but the reasonably good stuff) which contained poison that killed several pets.

    Not to mention the whole "Peanut Butter" snafu that occurred beforehand. (Need I mention the brand name?)

    I am one of the cheapskates that buy's the store brand of many things; including pet food. I usually find it is no less different than the overpriced alternatives; with the exception that neither I nor my pets have been poisoned.

  • Franz Kafka (unregistered) in reply to keezer
    keezer:
    It's not so far-fetched for a non-administrator type to expect to have a "simple web server" for cheap.

    Internet start-ups were full of "idea men" owners who didn't know the first thing about the technology they wanted to have implemented, except for the fact that it should be much cheaper.

    That's why they fail - ideas are 10 to a penny. Execution is what gets you rich. Maybe those Idea Men should've hired someone competent?

    Anyway, I second the VPS option - for something demoable, it should be enough.

  • Tias (unregistered)

    Caffeine and cocoa are toxic to humans as well, we are probably just a bit more sturdy to that diet - not to mention our larger body mass. Everything is toxic, really.

  • going unplugged (unregistered) in reply to Al

    Well, oh why I didn't take the blue pill, but the sad truth is that going unplugged many places do happen. One client I was working for in a major network project in 1997, they unplugged the router in one of the sites to make a room for coffee machine and then called in just to wonder why their network is down..

  • death (cs)

    Well, a web server can be even an old runt for some people and serve perfectly in its purposes. Its the purpose that dictates the hardware.

    When I stared with with my current company my first task was to parse/make searchable some log files and make stats. I opted to parse them into a database and provide rest from there. Soon I needed a "server" to put the production system on. ´What I got was a 600MHz 128 ram Coppermine with a replacement 20G harddrive. For two years it served these early services to the local intranet an was only just recently retired because the new server(still a PC but p4 and lots o ram) had obsoleted some applications and taken over others.

    Moral of the story, the WTF can go the other way as well. No point shooting flies with a cannon...

    As to "home datacenter", didn't that guy have a pantry or something!? Even my home routing PC has a better life than this.

  • dreadedgeek (unregistered)

    This sounds like a small "no-profit" (as opposed to "non-profit") office I once worked for, where the boss had everyone on Macs, and the oldest slowest Mac functioned as the office mail server. Boss finally ponied up the money for some newer iMacs, with lots more memory, only to hand them out to Managers who mostly wrote email and memos. Digging through a closet of unused hardware for spare parts, I found machines with their 5-1/4 inch disk drives intact...I ended up buying parts off of Craigslist. It took a few days of people losing more and more email messages (and business) before I could convince the boss to switch machines...after which, PHB wandered off to Spain for a vacation. Same boss refused to pony up money for anti-virus software updates, because "we'd bought the software, already."

  • prophet6 (unregistered)

    Maybe I have a somewhat Frank-like inclination myself, but you don't always have to buy a PowerEdge cluster to host a website. Depending on the scale of their site, a $300 Wal*Mart eMachine might have been the perfect solution...simple websites require astonishingly little on the backend.

    It may be that Jeff was wanting to set up something truly enterprise grade, and he really did underestimate his requirements, but I've seen just as many WTFs from people who think they need to build a new datacenter for every pet project when a recycled workstation and a $40 UPS would do the trick.

  • rsynnott (cs) in reply to nwbrown
    nwbrown:
    I think cleaning up the vomit and diarrhea from the initial symptoms is enough to teach most people to not do it a second time.

    You'd think so. And you'd be wrong. Lots of people seem to continually give their dogs chocolate. (Incidentally, I assume that slowly poisoning your pets is an offence; unlicensed LD50 testing, for instance, is illegal here, and licenses are only granted for medical experimentation.)

  • rsynnott (cs) in reply to Falcon
    Falcon:
    I am one of the cheapskates that buy's the store brand of many things; including pet food. I usually find it is no less different than the overpriced alternatives; with the exception that neither I nor my pets have been poisoned.

    Actually, it's quite often exactly the same thing with a different label.

    prophet6:
    Maybe I have a somewhat Frank-like inclination myself, but you don't always have to buy a PowerEdge cluster to host a website. Depending on the scale of their site, a $300 Wal*Mart eMachine might have been the perfect solution...simple websites require astonishingly little on the backend.

    Right up until it dies due to being left on all the time accessing its disks, yes. I've worked in a few student startups, with desktops used as (development) servers; they tend to have a very short life expectancy, and towards the end suffer from nasty disk and sometimes memory corruption which damages data.

  • ender (cs) in reply to rsynnott
    rsynnott:
    Right up until it dies due to being left on all the time accessing its disks, yes. I've worked in a few student startups, with desktops used as (development) servers; they tend to have a very short life expectancy, and towards the end suffer from nasty disk and sometimes memory corruption which damages data.
    That really depends - the web/mail server at my company runs on a HP minitower, and we've never had any problems with it (I just added a second hard drive for RAID1). Been running for 2 years and a half now, and the only short downtimes were for kernel upgrades.
  • Kitgerrits (unregistered) in reply to Al

    I am a rather seasoned admin -have- actually switched off the A/C for the server room over the weekend once. I wanted to prove, that the airco was responsible for the connection loss every 30 minutes.

    (Don't worry, the room was still hooked into the building-wide A/C, it didn't get over 30 Centigrade)

  • daz. (unregistered) in reply to Al
    Al:
    ..we have the guy unplugging a server to do the hoovering...

    Despite everyone thinking this is an urban legand, i've seen this happen loads. I saw it at my last place of work where the servers were in an office (which 2 staff also used) and at least once a month the cleaner would unplug the server, catch the power cables with the vacuum and pull them out, or bang the UPS which caused the lead to the Unix server to fall out (and yes, the company was too cheap to get the UPS replaced/fixed despite my repeated requests, they'd rather spend that cash on trips to Europe for the MD and his mates).

    In my current job we've got approx 200 locations across the city that are on our LAN. And at least once a day we get a call that a site or department can't connect. It usually turns out that someone's unplugged a switch.

    If there's one thing I've learnt from years of support is that people generally don't think about the consequences of their actions.

  • AdT (unregistered) in reply to Tias
    Tias:
    Caffeine and cocoa are toxic to humans as well, we are probably just a bit more sturdy to that diet - not to mention our larger body mass. Everything is toxic, really.

    While that is true, in principle (people can even die from water intoxication), it is almost impossible for a human to eat enough cocoa (even in the form of dark chocolate) to cause severe poisoning. Highly-concentrated caffeine pills are, however, frequently used in suicide attempts. It takes about 50 pills with 200mg each (corresponds to about 100 cups of coffee), consumed within a few hours, to kill an otherwise healthy man.

    Most of these attempts fail, however, since in most people, consuming that much caffeine quickly causes vomiting.

    prophet6:
    Maybe I have a somewhat Frank-like inclination myself, but you don't always have to buy a PowerEdge cluster to host a website. Depending on the scale of their site, a $300 Wal*Mart eMachine might have been the perfect solution...simple websites require astonishingly little on the backend.

    The real WTF is that they did not even consider renting a virtual server. It's cheap, fairly reliable (certainly more reliable than Jeff's homebrew server) and powerful enough for most small company websites.

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