• operagost (cs)

    I hear it's now known as ITCUPHOLDERROBOT

  • yet another Matt (cs)

    I loved that story. I feel sorry for the poor machine in the corner tirelessly doing it's job. I want to give it a nice home.

  • Domo Arigato (unregistered)

    Wouldn't a UPS controlled by the 2nd machine have beeen easier? Just cycle it when the machine stopped responding.

  • Kismet (unregistered)

    ASIMO, is that you?

  • MacGyver (unregistered)

    Awww, come-on guys, this is not a WTF! This is classic seat of the pants make the best of a bad situation with some techie innovation.

    Sure there's some WTF'ery going on in a business that forces one into this type of situation but the "robot" itself is genious.

  • M (unregistered)

    Isn't this the plot to Ai?

  • Trishan (unregistered)

    Somehow, I feel sorry for the poor little admin-robot...

  • manicsquirrel (unregistered)

    I couldn't help but laugh out loud. I've often thought of doing the exact same thing.

  • Malveux (unregistered) in reply to Domo Arigato

    You're assuming there was a UPS, let alone one that had some sort of management(be it IP or Serial).

  • Martin (unregistered) in reply to MacGyver
    MacGyver:
    Awww, come-on guys, this is not a WTF! This is classic seat of the pants make the best of a bad situation with some techie innovation.

    Sure there's some WTF'ery going on in a business that forces one into this type of situation but the "robot" itself is genious.

    I agree. All I could think after reading the article was "this guy is a genious!". I mean, who woulkd have thought of a better solution, considering the budget freeze and all that stuff?

    Genious, I tell you!!

  • dom (unregistered) in reply to Domo Arigato

    two words: budget freeze.

  • MAV (unregistered)

    haha, hilarious.

  • Zylon (cs) in reply to Martin
    Martin:
    Genious, I tell you!!
    All things considered, I'd rather you tell us that without the consistent misspelling.
  • Aaron (unregistered)

    It's really fortunate that the server managed to survive being continually rebooted.

    Erik might have had his head handed to him if his solution had accelerated the death of the original machine.

  • Morty (unregistered) in reply to MacGyver
    MacGyver:
    Awww, come-on guys, this is not a WTF! This is classic seat of the pants make the best of a bad situation with some techie innovation.

    Amen. The situation is a WTF, but the solution is a brilliant hack, and not in the Paula Bean sense. He reused old hardware to create a workaround. It was better than what they had before. No budget was spent. Brilliant!

  • Me (unregistered)

    Actually, I did the same thing back in 2001ish using one Linux server to keep another up. The positioning was the hardest thing.

  • Kinglink (unregistered)

    Budget freeze, and IT don't mix. Ever.

  • Pope (unregistered) in reply to Zylon
    Zylon:
    Martin:
    Genious, I tell you!!
    All things considered, I'd rather you tell us that without the consistent misspelling.

    I think there is irony involved... which is genus!

  • gabba (cs)

    The story stops before we find out who got credit for this "genious" solution. Probably Laura.

  • Erik (unregistered) in reply to Aaron
    Aaron:
    It's really fortunate that the server managed to survive being continually rebooted.

    Erik might have had his head handed to him if his solution had accelerated the death of the original machine.

    Why? The only solution was (apparently) to reboot the machine. The only amount of time that machine death was shortened by was the amount of time it takes to drive to the datacenter and reboot the machine manually when it dies in the middle of the night.

  • Pink Duck (unregistered)

    So the replacement server was also faulty, causing the bot to eject its CD drawer for its last two weeks?

  • Dave (unregistered)
    Comment held for moderation.
  • Tim B (unregistered)

    I haven't felt this bad for a robot since I saw A.I.!

  • Jimboooo! (unregistered)

    Did that last bit make anyone else feel a bit sad?

  • Genie Us (unregistered)

    What an ingenius idea.

  • mallard (cs) in reply to Pink Duck
    Pink Duck:
    So the replacement server was also faulty, causing the bot to eject its CD drawer for its last two weeks?

    It probably got a new DNS and/or IP address, so the ping no longer worked.

  • Thief^ (cs) in reply to Pink Duck
    Pink Duck:
    So the replacement server was also faulty, causing the bot to eject its CD drawer for its last two weeks?

    It had a different IP to the old one, so any pings the robot sent to the old machine failed, so it tried to reboot it...

  • Erik (unregistered) in reply to mallard
    mallard:
    Pink Duck:
    So the replacement server was also faulty, causing the bot to eject its CD drawer for its last two weeks?

    It probably got a new DNS and/or IP address, so the ping no longer worked.

    Or more likely, it wasn't connected to the network anymore.

  • Josh (unregistered)

    Did anyone else read the title as IT Tampon Robot? I thought this story was going to take a HUGE twist.

    Damn dyslexia.

  • Walter (unregistered)

    I don't see what's so unusual about this really... I've revived plenty of crashed servers with a remote reboot. It's a cute hack though.

  • Marc (unregistered)

    CAPTCHA Test (Required For Anonymous Users) Prove that you're not a robot. Type in the word you see in the image.

    God damn it, I almost finished making my TDWTFROBOT to hit the submit button. So long, friend.

    /recommissions robot to footrest //it's better this way

  • Zygo (unregistered) in reply to Domo Arigato
    Domo Arigato:
    Wouldn't a UPS controlled by the 2nd machine have beeen easier? Just cycle it when the machine stopped responding.

    It's also a good diagnostic tool--the weakest component will fail first, and much more quickly, if you're power-cycling the machine 10 times a day.

    Mind you all my critical servers are set up this way (a ring o' UPSes, where machine N's USB port controls machine ((N+1) mod M)'s UPS)--although the monitor script will refuse to power-cycle a given machine more than once every 12 hours. If it doesn't come back up the first try, I want someone to check out the hardware just in case magic smoke is leaking out of something.

    I used to build a circuit with a 555 timer, a 74LS00 and a couple of 74LS191's which would count very slowly to 16 (it took about 4 minutes) but would reset the counter to zero every time the hard disk light blinked. The "overflow" output pin on the 4-bit counters was connected to the RESET signal on the motherboard. No disk activity for 4 minutes and the machine gets reset. With an appropriate interface chip the serial port could be monitored too (I used to need this when I ran a BBS).

  • John (unregistered) in reply to Domo Arigato
    Wouldn't a UPS controlled by the 2nd machine have beeen easier? Just cycle it when the machine stopped responding.
    You're assuming they had a UPS.
  • John (unregistered) in reply to John
    John:
    Wouldn't a UPS controlled by the 2nd machine have beeen easier? Just cycle it when the machine stopped responding.
    You're assuming they had a UPS.

    Someone already said this. Apologies, my mistake.

  • Adam (unregistered)

    That is so sad... It reminds me of when Dewey was left to take care of the forest on his own at the end of Silent running.

    With a buckled watering can.

    Sob...

  • ITAPPMONROBOT (unregistered) in reply to Morty

    I agree this was brilliant. UPC costs money and unless the BIOS is a relatively new one, the server will still require manual intervention after the UPC kicks in.

  • Marc (unregistered) in reply to Josh

    Bloody hell!

  • Gilgamesh (unregistered)

    man, that ending was poetic! loved it! a bit sad, but great... :)

  • Guesser (unregistered) in reply to Domo Arigato

    a much less crude solution would just be a relay or a transistor switch across the reset button leads, stuck on the other machine's serial port...

    it's not that WTFey though... everything related to my webserver and things works in similar bodged ways to this. why buy something hi tech and purpose built, when an old machine bodged together can limp along just fine (most of the time)? ;)

  • Bombe (cs) in reply to Jimboooo!

    It sure did make me shed a tear.

  • AW (unregistered)

    Best. WTF. Ever.

  • belzebuth (cs)

    I didn't know you could do that !

  • brazzy (cs) in reply to Adam
  • David (unregistered) in reply to Morty

    Either way, WTF or brilliant hack, it is a curious perversion in information technology.

  • D. T. North (unregistered) in reply to Domo Arigato
    Domo Arigato:
    Wouldn't a UPS controlled by the 2nd machine have beeen easier? Just cycle it when the machine stopped responding.

    Wouldn't that cause havoc on the filesystem? I'm assuming this is a unix-like system and the reset button triggers a 'shutdown -r now' command, which at least unmounts the hard drives before rebooting. Power cycling the PC wouldn't unmount them, and I imagine it would eventually corrupt the system.

  • Richard Sargent (unregistered)

    I am surprised no one commented on the WTF of an undocumented server. If Erik had documented its purpose, there is a chance someone might have read the documentation when they went to move the monitoring server and realized it was no longer needed. Note: I said "a chance"! :-)

  • brazzy (cs) in reply to D. T. North
    D. T. North:
    Domo Arigato:
    Wouldn't a UPS controlled by the 2nd machine have beeen easier? Just cycle it when the machine stopped responding.

    Wouldn't that cause havoc on the filesystem? I'm assuming this is a unix-like system and the reset button triggers a 'shutdown -r now' command, which at least unmounts the hard drives before rebooting. Power cycling the PC wouldn't unmount them, and I imagine it would eventually corrupt the system.

    I'd assume the server's OS was completely frozen. Otherwise, the best solution would be to run the watchdog script on the server itselt.

  • Demaestro (unregistered)

    That is just good innovation.

    I mean really... if it worked even for a month or two.. or even if it saved him from coming in at 2:00am once or twice it would be worth it.

  • BobPaul (unregistered) in reply to Domo Arigato

    Most UPSs don't give you that kind of control. Generally a UPS only tells you its status so that you're computer can say, "Shit! I only have 5 minutes of battery left? Better shut down saftely!" You can't normally say, "You know what? Kill the power to call connected devices" because manufacturers assume one of the connected devices is the one issuing the command.

  • Daniel (unregistered)
    Comment held for moderation.

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