• Ded (unregistered)

    He should've installed bittorrent to get a faster download.

  • CodeBeater (unregistered)

    So, they downloaded the files and then uploaded then again, which already defeats the whole purpose, but the whole wtf is the precarious state of on-board equipment, I mean, a VHS? 128 kilobits?, even in the late 90's you could get a 2mb satellite connection for relatively cheap (considering the daily running costs of two ships).

  • Martin (unregistered)

    Only stupid secretaries mail big files around.

    Professionals use DropBox!

  • Herr Otto Flick (unregistered)

    This isn't a recent story, this must date back to 2000 at least.

  • James (unregistered)

    So with a 256Kbps, I assume synchronous link, but if not than its even more irrational, the other boat was able to download the files and then transfer them back to the mail server. We might further speculate that smtp encoding whatever method was selected was probably less efficient then the most likely ftp transfer used to obtain the patches in the first place.

    Any way you slice it they should been able to download the files with the 128Kbps link in at worst the same time it took the other boat to download them mail them with the 256Kbps link.

    Seems like they put more work into trying to be clever than it would have been just to do the download themselves. Also I don't understand why they needed the 128Kbps link 'free' its not as if the VHS player depended on it. Why not simply watch moves while the file transfers and then go to work applying the patches? They are aware its not neccecary to watch the little animation of papers flying between folders the entire time right?

    So many levels of stupid.

  • Paul (unregistered)

    My WTF on it is why the other tech didn't just access his sent mail and get the attachments back?

    All mail accounts and servers record what is sent so it should have been available.

    Or isn't this available on a ship based mail server?

  • Nagesh (cs)

    Who is Gutenberg?

  • Nagesh (cs) in reply to Ded
    Ded:
    He should've installed bittorrent to get a faster download.

    yes. I agree. i also bit torented several linux distros on my 28.8 kbps dial up line.

  • Soviut (cs)

    I'm surprised he accepted the "download, install, send" response since he clearly stated that it would take considerable time to install the patches in sequence. Taking the instructions literally, he'd have to not only wait for the other ship to download the patches, but install them as well before sending.

    Anticipating that, I was getting ready for "the patches broke the ship to ship network connection" punchline.

  • Soviut (cs) in reply to Paul
    Paul:
    My WTF on it is why the other tech didn't just access his sent mail and get the attachments back?

    All mail accounts and servers record what is sent so it should have been available.

    It would make sense for a ship's email servers to be off-ship. Which of the the two would act as the server? What happens if they get too far apart or one sinks, etc?

    So the offsite mail would take just as long to re-download the attachments from the email server as it would from the original source.

  • dpm (unregistered) in reply to Paul
    Paul:
    All mail accounts and servers record what is sent so it should have been available.
    I don't know why you think this is true. The `mail` command on my Linux box certainly doesn't save anything.
  • jkupski (unregistered) in reply to Nagesh
    Comment held for moderation.
  • someone (unregistered)

    Would love to know when this story is supposed to have happened. Satellite uplinks at 128 and 256 kbps but a 2.4 GBps ship-to-ship network? Something smells fishy here.

  • cyborg (unregistered) in reply to jkupski
    Which is really a pity, because the invention of movable type totally lends itself to a goofball, slapstick comedy, right? Right? ...guys?

    Uh guys, someone's replaced the "ass" glyph with the "butt" glyph...

  • Roby McAndrew (cs) in reply to jkupski
    jkupski:

    Which is really a pity, because the invention of movable type totally lends itself to a goofball, slapstick comedy, right? Right? ...guys?

    Not "goofball" or "slapstick" but http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Truth_(novel)

  • Thanatos Complex (unregistered)

    Man, when I first read the word "mailed" I assumed he meant that the guy snail mailed the files to his home address. Then, in retrospect, I realized that didn't make any goddamn sense.

  • Coyne (cs) in reply to someone
    someone:
    Would love to know when this story is supposed to have happened. Satellite uplinks at 128 and 256 kbps but a 2.4 GBps ship-to-ship network? Something smells fishy here.

    According to several things I've read, research groups often have massive internal networks to interconnect the equipment they're using or for research data transfer.

    Such as, for example, the European Research Network, where they demonstrated a 1215 TB/second transfer.

    I can pretty much guarantee their web connection (outside the network) isn't that fast. (In fact, I'm just about certain the web backbone isn't that fast.)

  • Mike (unregistered) in reply to someone

    Well they might have a very good reason to have a fat pipe between ships like communications, engineering data, videoconference etc. A lot of places and machines internet access is considered something rarely needed. Run your machine boys why do you need to be able to check email?

    As an aside: I would have said, download, send to me through network share or whatever, and then patch. Or even better patch myself first and then walk the junior guy through it in case there are any hiccups. Also once he screwed up I'd be tempted to trust him again. He still has the 256kbps connection and could save a half day which on a drilling rig is probably a hundreds of thousands worth of savings/billable time. I'd make it very clear who screwed up to my boss, make it very clear if the screw up happens again it is because that idiot on the other boat didn't follow instructions etc.

  • smilr (unregistered) in reply to someone

    I'm assuming someone misinterpreted what 802.11b/g operating in the 2.4Ghz frequency range would have for actual bandwidth. 11 Mb or 54 Mb would still be a huge improvement over 128/256 Kb transfer rates... though a true 2.4 Gb wireless link would be rather awesome, even today.

  • Coyne (cs) in reply to James
    James:
    Any way you slice it they should been able to download the files with the 128Kbps link in at worst the same time it took the other boat to download them mail them with the 256Kbps link.

    Well, of course, since he emailed it back to land over the 256Kb link, which meant it would have to be uploaded over that link and then it would have to be downloaded over the second ship's 128KB link.

    If Harris had had a brain on the other hand, their time would have been cut hugely. Suppose, for example, the updates were 175 megabytes. That's about 3 hours to download over a 128 KB/sec link. But the plan was to spend half that downloading over the 256 KB/sec link, plus around 0.6 seconds to hand it over to the other ship over the 2.4 GB/sec research link.

    If only Harris had a brain...

    Addendum (2013-05-16 09:23): And actually, now that I think about it...

    If they had multiple files to download (or could have someone break a single download into parts) they could have used both links at the same time and then passed files back and forth. That would have cut the time to about 1/3.

  • Paul M (unregistered) in reply to someone

    Given that they were in antarctica at the time, not really. Antarctica is kinda remote, and doesn't have decent Wi-Fi.

  • someone (unregistered) in reply to smilr
    smilr:
    I'm assuming someone misinterpreted what 802.11b/g operating in the 2.4Ghz frequency range would have for actual bandwidth. 11 Mb or 54 Mb would still be a huge improvement over 128/256 Kb transfer rates... though a true 2.4 Gb wireless link would be rather awesome, even today.

    That would be the other possibility. Wireless gigabit pretty much means 802.11ad and that's not only very recent, but also meant for 10 meters maximum (line of sight too). Now you can probably get away with a lot in international waters, but I seriously doubt you'd be able to build a reliable ship-to-ship connection with that.

  • Coyne (cs) in reply to smilr
    smilr:
    I'm assuming someone misinterpreted what 802.11b/g operating in the 2.4Ghz frequency range would have for actual bandwidth. 11 Mb or 54 Mb would still be a huge improvement over 128/256 Kb transfer rates... though a true 2.4 Gb wireless link would be rather awesome, even today.

    Pah. Wifi is a toy for commercial and home use.

    Take a gander at these (PDF) 6 Gb/second transceivers.

  • ceiswyn (unregistered) in reply to Paul M
    Paul M:
    Given that they were in antarctica at the time, not really. Antarctica is kinda remote, and doesn't have decent Wi-Fi.

    "It was a perfect day off the coast of Brazil in the south Atlantic."

    Been a while since Antarctica's been off the coast of Brazil...

  • dr embargo (unregistered)

    And there I was expecting the punchline to be some guy showing up with 128 drillbits, when what they needed was kilobits.

  • gramie (cs)

    I'm surprised that no one else noticed the problem with the names: "USS" refers only to naval ships, much as HMS is for British (His/Her Majesty's Ship") and HMCS (His/Her Majesty's Canadian Ship).

  • Brendan (unregistered)

    It saddens me that they couldn't have used the separate 128 kilobit and 256 kilobit links as a shared virtual 384 kilobit link back when this story happened.

    Fortunately, doing this "link sharing" today would be really easy - you just have to, um, hmm. Progress!

    • Brendan
  • bene (unregistered)

    The real WTF was Police Acadamy.

  • That Guy (unregistered) in reply to Ded

    [quote user="Ded"]He should've installed bittorrent to get a faster download.[/quote

    *boattorrent

  • Nagesh (cs) in reply to jkupski
    jkupski:
    Nagesh:
    Who is Gutenberg?

    The one that springs immediately to mind is http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Johannes_Gutenberg

    But given that he was long dead before the police academy movies were written, I think they're more likely to be referring to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steve_Gutenberg

    Which is really a pity, because the invention of movable type totally lends itself to a goofball, slapstick comedy, right? Right? ...guys?

    is Gutenberg the guy who printed the bible first, before jesus christ?

  • Nagesh (cs) in reply to bene
    bene:
    The real WTF was Police Acadamy.

    have you seen the moscow movie? i almost get killed while laughing.

  • Paul Neumann (unregistered) in reply to Paul M
    Comment held for moderation.
  • fa2k (unregistered) in reply to Coyne
    Comment held for moderation.
  • Kang (unregistered) in reply to That Guy

    [quote user="That Guy"][quote user="Ded"]He should've installed bittorrent to get a faster download.[/quote

    *boattorrent[/quote]

    LMAo. Ftw.

  • KingBeardo (unregistered)

    Yaharr harr! IT on the high seas, I love it!
    Seriously though, TRWTF is that this story, beginning with ships and oil drilling and abyssal explorers, somehow ended as just another networking WTF. Personally, I find a way to make every day an adventure, and I work in a tiny cube with no view of sunlight-- somehow these fellows managed to resist adventure that was throwing itself at them and transformed an awesome voyage into a floating dilbert strip.

    High-tech drills IT on the high seas Somehow boring

    captcha distineo := Distineo would have been a good name for the pirate king that should have been in this story somewhere

  • chris (unregistered) in reply to Nagesh
    Nagesh:
    bene:
    The real WTF was Police Acadamy.

    have you seen the moscow movie? i almost get killed while laughing.

    With your skill-set surely you could move to a country where having fun isn't a capital offence? :-)

  • sino (unregistered)

    What the fuck?! What the fuck!? What the fucking fuck is this!?!?

  • Nagesh (cs) in reply to chris
    chris:
    Nagesh:
    bene:
    The real WTF was Police Acadamy.

    have you seen the moscow movie? i almost get killed while laughing.

    With your skill-set surely you could move to a country where having fun isn't a capital offence? :-)

    all trouble start when guys try to have fun.

  • Zylon (cs) in reply to chris
    chris:
    Nagesh:
    bene:
    The real WTF was Police Acadamy.

    have you seen the moscow movie? i almost get killed while laughing.

    With your skill-set surely you could move to a country where having fun isn't a capital offence? :-)
    The only thing worse than obvious trolls are the idiots such as yourself who persist in feeding them.

  • ¯\(°_o)/¯ I DUNNO LOL (unregistered)
    “Say again, download patch files, install locally, and send them to you?”
    I was expecting the "install locally" step to somehow hose the other ship's computer system such that they would be unable to send the files, possibly followed by a little trip in a motorboat.

    TRWTF is... that they used centralized mail routing instead of the ship-to-ship link.

  • hikari (cs) in reply to CodeBeater
    CodeBeater:
    So, they downloaded the files and then uploaded then again, which already defeats the whole purpose, but the whole wtf is the precarious state of on-board equipment, I mean, a VHS? 128 kilobits?, even in the late 90's you could get a 2mb satellite connection for relatively cheap (considering the daily running costs of two ships).

    Would said satellite connection have world-wide at-sea coverage? When you need that your choices are somewhat more limited; a lot of constellations don't have that kind of coverage (the ones in polar orbits are also pains in the arse).

    Inmarsat's 500kbps FleetBroadbad service (it's actually 400-and-something kbps) will set you back over £10,000 for the equipment and then about £10 per MB to actually download anything.

    Shipping companies keep an eye on the amount of data their ships are downloading quite closely. The only vessels I deal with at work who don't give a stuff about cost are the super yachts.

  • xaade (cs) in reply to fa2k
    fa2k:
    Coyne:
    Pah. Wifi is a toy for commercial and home use.

    Take a gander at these (PDF) 6 Gb/second transceivers.

    That's an optical interface. Quite ridiculous marketing, which seems to be intentionally confusing. There exist microwave links with gigabit speeds though.

    Wait.... 40km? How did they even test that? Wouldn't you start to hit earth curvature at that point?

    I mean, you could put it between two towers on opposite sides of downtown, but if like a blimp passes between you, you lose connection?

    _<

    Oh, I know, just make it redundant. Have one on every floor where you have a clear LOS.

    But then, some foreign company plops their international building between your two access points and....

    What the crap?

  • Mason Wheeler (cs)

    TRWTF is the patches themselves.

    Some quick back-of-a-napkin math puts the size of this patch somewhere on the order of half a gigabyte. More, if there's compression involved.

    THAT IS NOT A PATCH!

    I don't care how big or complex the program they're patching is; it doesn't take 500 MB to create a patch for it, or even a series of patches. That sounds to me like some idiot doesn't know how to create a patch, and so he just distributed a full installer filled with hundreds of MB of stuff the user already has, completely unchanged.

  • Svensson (unregistered) in reply to hikari
    hikari:
    Inmarsat's 500kbps FleetBroadbad service (it's actually 400-and-something kbps) will set you back over £10,000 for the equipment and then about £10 per MB to actually download anything.

    Shipping companies keep an eye on the amount of data their ships are downloading quite closely. The only vessels I deal with at work who don't give a stuff about cost are the super yachts.

    I was involved with a super yacht with internet service for a while. The boss/yacht-owner was very unhappy that the Inmarsat network bills were so high, so he decreed that the crew had to send all their personal email over HF. That means shortwave radio (so called because a wavelength of 80 meters was once considered "short") and stunningly fast speeds like 300 bps before protocol overhead and repeated packets due to noise.

    Nobody was willing to tell him that usage was insignificant, except on days when the boss was on-board. :)

    This boat had 128 kbps service and it came out about $32 per megabyte at the time. TRWTF is downloading Windows patches over the satellite net.

  • Golden Dragon (unregistered) in reply to Mason Wheeler
    Mason Wheeler:
    TRWTF is the patches themselves.

    Some quick back-of-a-napkin math puts the size of this patch somewhere on the order of half a gigabyte. More, if there's compression involved.

    THAT IS NOT A PATCH!

    I don't care how big or complex the program they're patching is; it doesn't take 500 MB to create a patch for it, or even a series of patches. That sounds to me like some idiot doesn't know how to create a patch, and so he just distributed a full installer filled with hundreds of MB of stuff the user already has, completely unchanged.

    uh oh. Someone better tell Blizzard to stop making 500 MB patches for WoW

  • ThatSlyQuarian (unregistered)

    Needs more Cthulu

  • herby (cs)

    Of course there might be another solution: Remote desktop over the local link to the other ship and fetch the data, doing it all yourself.

    Oh, sorry, that might involve some "work" instead of watching silly (almost obscene) Police Academy movies.

    Yes, Antarctica has terrible internet service. Even at McMurdo, the satellites go below the horizon at times. For places like that, you do two things: hope it is summer, and wait for the mail to come with your data. CDs and DVDs take up little space and a bunch of them can be transported easily. While the latency is high (duh!) the bandwidth can be quite high at times.

  • Bananas (unregistered) in reply to someone
    someone:
    Would love to know when this story is supposed to have happened. Satellite uplinks at 128 and 256 kbps but a 2.4 GBps ship-to-ship network? Something smells fishy here.
    Okay, I got it.

    Bananas slaps someone around a bit with a large trout.

  • Nagesh (cs) in reply to Mason Wheeler
    Mason Wheeler:
    TRWTF is the patches themselves.

    Some quick back-of-a-napkin math puts the size of this patch somewhere on the order of half a gigabyte. More, if there's compression involved.

    THAT IS NOT A PATCH!

    I don't care how big or complex the program they're patching is; it doesn't take 500 MB to create a patch for it, or even a series of patches. That sounds to me like some idiot doesn't know how to create a patch, and so he just distributed a full installer filled with hundreds of MB of stuff the user already has, completely unchanged.

    One well known fact is a patch is just some terminology used. the real thing happening is you replace all java classes or dll or exe and then you have new application.

  • chubertdev (cs) in reply to herby
    herby:
    Of course there might be another solution: Remote desktop over the local link to the other ship and fetch the data, doing it all yourself.

    Oh, sorry, that might involve some "work" instead of watching silly (almost obscene) Police Academy movies.

    Yes, Antarctica has terrible internet service. Even at McMurdo, the satellites go below the horizon at times. For places like that, you do two things: hope it is summer, and wait for the mail to come with your data. CDs and DVDs take up little space and a bunch of them can be transported easily. While the latency is high (duh!) the bandwidth can be quite high at times.

    Snowshoenet?

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