• (cs) in reply to its me
    its me:
    What I find amazing is all the comments here that assume the "GMV" application is either a network or a web site.... Nothing in the story suggests either. In fact, reading the story it seems to me that the "GMV" is a thick-client, database backed application. In which case if the thing is as WTF-ish as it seems there is probably no clean way of specifying operational hours, or denying access during certain times of day. There's your problem....

    To me, the phrase "abnormal termination" suggests a mainframe COBOL application used via dumb terminal emulators.

    But in any case: there most certainly IS a clean way of specifying operational hours! We know the users have to log in with their username, we know the system has a concept of time (otherwise, how would it know when to start the batch jobs?). What could be difficult about letting all logins fail during certain times?

  • Jon (unregistered) in reply to -
    -:
    The real WTF is that the email named the persons responsible. Was that really necessary? I don't subscribe to the "Wall of Shame" theory.
    I agree and it isnt their fault either. The system sucks but now its bsimmons and gcarreys fault! They probably made the mistake of trying to do some work...
  • anon (unregistered) in reply to Marko
    Marko:
    Vombatus:
    A wombat eats roots shoots and leaves.

    Where can I find a restaurant where I can do that?

    You can do most of that on any restaurant but I do not know how to root.
    You really ought to get a private room when rooting in a restaurant. Either that or it's definitely not the sort of restaurant I like to frequent! (Hint: when searching for a relevant definition of "roots", you'll need to turn safe search off...)

    Oh, and don't admit to not knowing how to root.

  • Azd (unregistered) in reply to dubbreak
    dubbreak:
    Ancient_Hacker:
    ..to a $3 Radio Shack timer on the network router.

    Ah yes.. the ever popular solve a WTF with another WTF.

    If you don't agree a $3 timer is a WTF, then you must at least agree it is a WTF in waiting.

    Scenario 1: Power failure. The timer will go out of sync.. and of course by the time that happens no one remembers there being a timer on the router (and it isn't documented). They probably don't even use the batch process by now that needs to be "protected", but the few people who have attempted to log in after 12pm haven't complained to anyone that it doesn't work...

    I just put a Radio Shack timer on our router, but this was the more expensive $10 variety. Will this be OK?

  • (cs)

    This is the ideal response. You're not a real admin until the users are quaking in fear every time they try to log in. All these suggestions he spends 2 minutes making a shell script miss the point. If it wasn't for his belittling users every time something they touch breaks, it would be anarchy! No man could handle the avalanche of work that those floodgates would open. I surmise he deliberately rigged the server to do this, just so he could strike fear into the users hearts every now and again.

  • BPFH (unregistered) in reply to chris
    chris:
    I honestly don't consider this a wtf. I work as a programmer on an "enterprisey" system and we have to prevent users from logging in for maintenance on certain days - not to their computers per se, but into the end user screens. If a user has a record locked in the database, it could prevent us from running certain mission critical nighttime processes. If a user leaves a screen open that we are attempting to update or deploy a new version of, we will run into problems and usually will have to kill their sessions or delay our implementation. Bottom line - I feel it is acceptable to tell users to stay logged out in certain situations.

    That users being logged in can prevent updates isn't the WTF here, though. Neither is the request from the people responsible for the application for users to stay out during the maintenance window.

    You've implied that on your system, you have the capability to prevent new logins ("...we have to prevent users from logging in for maintenance on certain days...") and to kick users out if they're already in ("...usually will have to kill their sessions...") when you go to do maintenance.

    The WTF here is that the system in question apparently does neither of these--they rely solely on the request not to log in to keep people out of the system, despite the rather severe consequences when someone even tries to log in.

    (Hmm, now I'm hungry. CAPTCHA: tacos.)

  • (cs)

    I work with a program that is as fragile as that. My work around is to copy all of the databases and work with the copies.

  • BBT (unregistered) in reply to Yossi
    Comment held for moderation.
  • Loren Pechtel (unregistered) in reply to Redplague
    Redplague:
    This isn't really a WTF. Who works in sales between midnight and 6 AM? Unless an employee is out to vandalize the network, it's a non-issue. Saying this is a WTF is like saying is like observing that most restaurants are closed at 2 AM and declaring it a WTF.

    I work for a small company and I've known a salesman to be working in those hours. He had let slide an order and had to get it ready before the plant's 7am scheduling cutoff--and he was one time zone west of the plant. If it wasn't in by 6am the system wouldn't give him the due date he had already promised the customer.

  • shadow of an elf (unregistered)

    at least bring the back room stuff up to 1989 standards.

  • Worf (unregistered)

    So, this time I don't get the anonymization. Who's "bsimmons" and "gcarrey" supposed to represent?

  • Bill Butthead (unregistered) in reply to Redplague
    Redplague:
    This isn't really a WTF. Who works in sales between midnight and 6 AM? Unless an employee is out to vandalize the network, it's a non-issue. Saying this is a WTF is like saying is like observing that most restaurants are closed at 2 AM and declaring it a WTF.

    Actually, Paula, sales teams for large enterprises are world wide. For you, I will say it again; sales teams are global, all over the planet, everywhere on earth perhaps. So, in that, I'd like you to try to imagine time-zones. Yes, I know it's hard, but bear with me. See, if I have to log on to my companies network from New York City during my local business hours, I might be logging onto Australia's network after midnight in their time zone. New York City has a different time zone, and it must be really hard for people like you, and salesmen, to cipher those things.

    Suffice to say, your post was more of TRWTF than many others in this deluded article.

  • (cs) in reply to bighusker
    bighusker:
    My college had a system (in charge of class schedules, financial statements, final grades, electronic transcripts, etc.) that went down every night for backups and batch processes, similar to whatever this application was...however if you tried to log in you were greeted with a message that said it was down until 6 AM and it almost certainly didn't break whatever processes were going on in the background.

    Are you talking about the Rochester Institute of Technology (rit.edu)?

  • (cs)

    I want to say that this certainly IS a WTF. Reading Tom B's e-mail again, it sounds like the system needs exclusive access to data while making the reports. Hasn't he heard of database transactions? Those would allow other users to keep adding data to the system while the report query sees old data.

  • Porpus (unregistered) in reply to Redplague

    Redplague, you are a dumba$$. Why don't you go back to fantasizing about Mrs. Doubtfire or whatever the he11 else dumba$$es do when they're not posting idiotic comments about topics they don't understand.

    I'm sorry; I usually post constructive criticism at worst, but I just don't have the energy right now.

    If you're not qualified, STEP AWAY FROM THE COMPUTER!!!!

  • ashrael (unregistered) in reply to Redplague
    Redplague:
    This isn't really a WTF. Who works in sales between midnight and 6 AM? Unless an employee is out to vandalize the network, it's a non-issue. Saying this is a WTF is like saying is like observing that most restaurants are closed at 2 AM and declaring it a WTF.

    Note to self: don't hire this guy

  • rycamor (unregistered)

    Bahh... we get this during the day. At least once or twice a day, our ancient steam-powered Perl/DBase-driven CRM system develops lockjaw and needs to be reindexed, purged, expletive-deleted and whatever else. We have gotten used to hearing over the intercom: "All [piece of ...] users please log off until futher notice". Also, we are accustomed to the following piece of mail awaiting us in the morning:

    --

    HELLO ALL

    PLEASE DO NOT LOG ON TO [PIECE OF...] THIS EVENING OR TOMORROW MORNING UNTIL I GIVE THE OK.

    THANK YOU

    --

    And month-end closes are legendary maneuvers at our co.; I'm just glad that I never have to use that software.

    What's really disgusting is that this software costs the company upwards of $70K for installation, $20K/year in maintenance, and something like $500/seat. Incredible the money you can command if you write 'vertical industry' systems.

  • Yossi (unregistered) in reply to BBT
    Comment held for moderation.
  • lord diagram (unregistered)

    One of my jobs was to automate data input. There was some ancient 3270 server that, for government purposes we needed to enter data.

    Most of techies would do their job, but not input data to that 3270 server.

    So there were secretaries hired to do their input job. They were hired for every city within province.

    Techies used intrawebsite to write data down. Secretaries took the data and manually copied it to the 3270 server. It was simple to think 'lets automate'.

    That was my job. I contacted the 3270 folks about dumping data into them, they requested million dollars for the project, because they needed 'extra software', 'certification', 'security', and various levels of 'documentation'.

    So I did the next possible thing : used tcl3270 terminal emulator, and did a simulator of user inputing all the data.

    All worked great, unless some secretary locked some record that I was to update.

    For us it all came out ok, all the secretaries were fired, obviously I didnt get a bonus, we saved money (the 3270 admins charged us per account on their server), and there were no concurrency issues (since the only thing touching the records was my updater).

    ''waffles''

  • bighusker (unregistered) in reply to dmitriy
    dmitriy:
    bighusker:
    My college had a system (in charge of class schedules, financial statements, final grades, electronic transcripts, etc.) that went down every night for backups and batch processes, similar to whatever this application was...however if you tried to log in you were greeted with a message that said it was down until 6 AM and it almost certainly didn't break whatever processes were going on in the background.

    Are you talking about the Rochester Institute of Technology (rit.edu)?

    Nope.

  • Nicco (unregistered)

    Come on, it's child play to prevent ppl from logging in, but how the *?! did they design these apps and backup, it's beyond bad that they are so easy to interrupt!

    It's pure none thinking!

  • Spaghetti-Code Greg (unregistered)

    Now I know where my boss got his start.

  • Hognoxious (unregistered) in reply to AgentConundrum
    AgentConundrum:
    if a user is logged in, they'll lock the db and the job will sucksplode.
    You don't have the ability lock at row level? Or is your database all in one big row?
  • Hunter (unregistered) in reply to Pascal
    Pascal:
    There are many places where one would prefer sending an email like that rather than fixing the problem: where change control is so painful that you really don't even start to think about it...

    Banks are like that

    Pharmaceuticals are like that too. FDA record keeping and data security regs are ridiculous.

  • eagle275 (unregistered)

    Hm honestly, I half expected to read Tom B Simmons as sender of the mail, blaming user bsimmons - that would make for a complete new class of wtf

  • (nodebb) in reply to Marko

    In Australian English, "root" can be equivalent to "fuck" in pretty much all contexts. Like: that thing is rooted (broken); or you could root your girlfriend.

Leave a comment on “Please, Don't Log In!”

Log In or post as a guest

Replying to comment #:

« Return to Article