• PeriSoft (cs)

    If the place isn't really named "The Book Bunker" it should be. That's an awesome name.

  • Remy (unregistered)

    At least he figured out what was eating Gilbert.

  • FireJayPa (unregistered)

    On a day like that he should have pulled out a 'I can fix this but it will cost you'

  • gabba (cs)

    I'm afraid I don't quite get this one. Why were the computers off?

  • snoofle (cs) in reply to gabba
    gabba:
    I'm afraid I don't quite get this one. Why were the computers off?
    Power surge generally = shut down = computers off
  • KattMan (cs)

    Computers were off because they lost power the night before. They never turned them back on.

    After this incident, they should realize the value of surge protectors and backups. The cost of losing your entire business to one random incident far exceeds the cost of a few strips and a tape backup drive. At least with backups, they can continue with their Frankenstein servers for a time and still be confident that if (oops this should be 'when') something does go wrong they can recover.

  • snoofle (cs)

    I've never had it quite that bad, but my brother, a CPA, has his own business, and generally only does an upgrade or buys something when a fire extinguisher gets involved.

    He could no longer upgrade the software, and win-98 was getting pretty rank, when something critical finally failed. The replacement was easy enough, but it was incompatible with pretty much everything else in the office.

    After 2 weeks of zero productivity for his staff, he relented and gave me his checkbook (he actually does quite well).

    I bought all brand new pc's with identical innards, 2 brand new servers, all brand new tape drives, raid arrays, upgraded the network to GB ethernet, made a system master disk and blasted it to all the machines, and diagrammed the network. Sadly, the only lesson he got from all that was that the total cost of the complete rebuild was way less than what he would have spent on all of the ongoing upgrades he should have been doing all along. sigh

    Interestingly, the one thing he did right all along was proper backups, including periodic testing...

  • rd (unregistered)

    I read it several time now and still don’t get it.

    Key points:

    (1) All computers killed by power surge says Gilbert (the boss). (2) Chris (the hero) fixes all computers by patching, updating, etc. (3) Chris tells Gilbert to turn the computers back on. (apparently WTF)

    Questions:

    (1) Did the power surge damage the computer hardware? If not, what did it do, just shut them down?

    (2) If the hardware was damaged, how did Chris address the software issues without addressing the damaged hardware first?

    (3) If the hardware was not damaged (or if it was damaged and then repaired even though it wasn’t mentioned in the story) why did Chris have to tell Gilbert to turn the computers back on? Didn’t Chris have them on to address the software issues?

    If I missed something very obvious then you are welcome to flame me - after answering my stupid questions of course.

  • Someone You Know (cs)
    Jake Vinson:
    Servers were of the Frankensteinian variety, comprised of hardware that store employees didn't need anymore.

    "Comprised" != "composed". Using less common words in an attempt to sound more intelligent usually makes one sound less intelligent.

  • Anon (unregistered) in reply to rd
    rd:
    I read it several time now and still don’t get it.

    Key points:

    (1) All computers killed by power surge says Gilbert (the boss). (2) Chris (the hero) fixes all computers by patching, updating, etc. (3) Chris tells Gilbert to turn the computers back on. (apparently WTF)

    Questions:

    (1) Did the power surge damage the computer hardware? If not, what did it do, just shut them down?

    (2) If the hardware was damaged, how did Chris address the software issues without addressing the damaged hardware first?

    (3) If the hardware was not damaged (or if it was damaged and then repaired even though it wasn’t mentioned in the story) why did Chris have to tell Gilbert to turn the computers back on? Didn’t Chris have them on to address the software issues?

    If I missed something very obvious then you are welcome to flame me - after answering my stupid questions of course.

    The software patches and updates were a "flashback" to when Chris starting working there...

  • KattMan (cs) in reply to rd
    rd:
    I read it several time now and still don’t get it.

    Key points:

    (1) All computers killed by power surge says Gilbert (the boss). (2) Chris (the hero) fixes all computers by patching, updating, etc. (3) Chris tells Gilbert to turn the computers back on. (apparently WTF)

    Questions:

    (1) Did the power surge damage the computer hardware? If not, what did it do, just shut them down?

    (2) If the hardware was damaged, how did Chris address the software issues without addressing the damaged hardware first?

    (3) If the hardware was not damaged (or if it was damaged and then repaired even though it wasn’t mentioned in the story) why did Chris have to tell Gilbert to turn the computers back on? Didn’t Chris have them on to address the software issues?

    If I missed something very obvious then you are welcome to flame me - after answering my stupid questions of course.

    Reading comprehension...

    This was talking about past problems: "Chris was able to address all the software issues by installing patches, antispyware software, and up-to-date virus protection. And while those issues were severe, Chris was now faced with the most dire situation he'd ever had to deal with."

    This was about the current problem, notice only a few seconds of work: "Chris approached the checkout area and inspected all of the computers. Seconds later, he leaned into his manager's office and said 'hey Gilbert, turn the computers back on.'"

  • Anon (unregistered) in reply to Someone You Know
    Someone You Know:
    Jake Vinson:
    Servers were of the Frankensteinian variety, comprised of hardware that store employees didn't need anymore.

    "Comprised" != "composed". Using less common words in an attempt to sound more intelligent usually makes one sound less intelligent.

    com·prise /kəmˈpraɪz/ Pronunciation Key - Show Spelled Pronunciation[kuhm-prahyz] Pronunciation Key - Show IPA Pronunciation –verb (used with object), -prised, -pris·ing. 1. to include or contain: The Soviet Union comprised several socialist republics.
    2. to consist of; be composed of: The advisory board comprises six members.
    3. to form or constitute: Seminars and lectures comprised the day's activities.
    —Idiom4. be comprised of, to consist of; be composed of: The sales network is comprised of independent outlets and chain stores.

    dumbass

  • David (unregistered)

    So the surge protectors would... turn the computers back on when the power blinked? I don't get it. Sure I could see the computers staying up if you put UPSes on them, but not surge protectors.

  • Doug (unregistered) in reply to Anon
    Comment held for moderation.
  • KattMan (cs) in reply to David
    David:
    So the surge protectors would... turn the computers back on when the power blinked? I don't get it. Sure I could see the computers staying up if you put UPSes on them, but not surge protectors.

    No but they would at least protect them from damage during a power spike. And they are cheaper than UPS systems.

  • Doug (unregistered)

    So he should drop the 'of' or go to composed.

  • Cuttie McPasty (unregistered) in reply to Anon
    Anon:
    Someone You Know:
    Jake Vinson:
    Servers were of the Frankensteinian variety, comprised of hardware that store employees didn't need anymore.

    "Comprised" != "composed". Using less common words in an attempt to sound more intelligent usually makes one sound less intelligent.

    com·prise /kəmˈpraɪz/ Pronunciation Key - Show Spelled Pronunciation[kuhm-prahyz] Pronunciation Key - Show IPA Pronunciation –verb (used with object), -prised, -pris·ing. 1. to include or contain: The Soviet Union comprised several socialist republics.
    2. to consist of; be composed of: The advisory board comprises six members.
    3. to form or constitute: Seminars and lectures comprised the day's activities.
    —Idiom4. be comprised of, to consist of; be composed of: The sales network is comprised of independent outlets and chain stores.

    dumbass

    Although “comprise” is used primarily to mean “to include,” it is also often stretched to mean “is made up of”—a meaning that some critics object to. The most cautious route is to avoid using “of” after any form of “comprise” and substitute “is composed of” in sentences like this: “Jimmy’s paper on Marxism was composed entirely of sentences copied off the Marx Brothers Home Page.”

  • Caleb (unregistered)

    About the 'low IT budget' aspect of this story, I think companies often don't realize what resources they have available past cash flow. A couple interesting solutions I've seen for cash-strapped companies getting IT work done:

    Trade. There's bound to be someone out there who wants your goods/services but doesn't want to pay for it.

    Advertise at local college. Get a college kid studying IT (make sure you screen candidates of course) and offer your willingness to be a good reference on their resume.

    Of course, you won't find as many candidates with these solutions as you would simply offering to pay someone, but with a little persistence, you'd be surprised well old fashioned bartering can work.

  • gabba (cs) in reply to KattMan
    KattMan:
    rd:
    I read it several time now and still don’t get it.

    Key points:

    (1) All computers killed by power surge says Gilbert (the boss). (2) Chris (the hero) fixes all computers by patching, updating, etc. (3) Chris tells Gilbert to turn the computers back on. (apparently WTF)

    Questions:

    (1) Did the power surge damage the computer hardware? If not, what did it do, just shut them down?

    (2) If the hardware was damaged, how did Chris address the software issues without addressing the damaged hardware first?

    (3) If the hardware was not damaged (or if it was damaged and then repaired even though it wasn’t mentioned in the story) why did Chris have to tell Gilbert to turn the computers back on? Didn’t Chris have them on to address the software issues?

    If I missed something very obvious then you are welcome to flame me - after answering my stupid questions of course.

    Reading comprehension...

    This was talking about past problems: "Chris was able to address all the software issues by installing patches, antispyware software, and up-to-date virus protection. And while those issues were severe, Chris was now faced with the most dire situation he'd ever had to deal with."

    This was about the current problem, notice only a few seconds of work: "Chris approached the checkout area and inspected all of the computers. Seconds later, he leaned into his manager's office and said 'hey Gilbert, turn the computers back on.'"

    So ... we are to believe that despite the absence of surge protectors, the surge failed to damage the computers; instead it just turned them off? Interesting.

  • BeanBagGirl (unregistered)

    Who's the sexy stud in the picture?

  • rank this (unregistered) in reply to KattMan
    KattMan:
    rd:
    I read it several time now and still don’t get it.

    Key points:

    (1) All computers killed by power surge says Gilbert (the boss). (2) Chris (the hero) fixes all computers by patching, updating, etc. (3) Chris tells Gilbert to turn the computers back on. (apparently WTF)

    Questions:

    (1) Did the power surge damage the computer hardware? If not, what did it do, just shut them down?

    (2) If the hardware was damaged, how did Chris address the software issues without addressing the damaged hardware first?

    (3) If the hardware was not damaged (or if it was damaged and then repaired even though it wasn’t mentioned in the story) why did Chris have to tell Gilbert to turn the computers back on? Didn’t Chris have them on to address the software issues?

    If I missed something very obvious then you are welcome to flame me - after answering my stupid questions of course.

    Reading comprehension...

    This was talking about past problems: "Chris was able to address all the software issues by installing patches, antispyware software, and up-to-date virus protection. And while those issues were severe, Chris was now faced with the most dire situation he'd ever had to deal with."

    This was about the current problem, notice only a few seconds of work: "Chris approached the checkout area and inspected all of the computers. Seconds later, he leaned into his manager's office and said 'hey Gilbert, turn the computers back on.'"

    KattMan, you also need some Reading comprehension... The Power Surge that killed the computers happened in the Present Tense.

    How did the boss know there was a power surge?

    Were the computers on earlier?

    Is the stories plot a Worse Than Failure?

  • joe (unregistered) in reply to Anon

    You beat me to it. Picking apart other people's grammar usually makes one sound like a total jerk. Telling someone that they're using the 'wrong' word when they're not definitely DOES make one sound less intelligent.

  • Bobble (unregistered)

    Sounds more like a brown out than power surge.

    More to the point, you get what you pay for. If you are going to skimp on infrastructure, it is your fault when that infrastructure fails.

    I've had bosses like this. They scream 'I want it, I want it' like a 5 year old, then when they see the cost to implement it, they still scream 'I want it', but ignore anything in the system that they deem unimportant. Usually core, hidden aspects that keep the system running.

  • jgayhart (cs)

    If machine is not working, I ask the following questions:

    1. Is the machine on?
    2. Are you sure?
    3. If I check on the machine and it is on, do I get do smack you?
    4. Are you sure now?
  • Javelin (cs) in reply to KattMan
    KattMan:
    After this incident, they should realize the value of surge protectors and backups. The cost of losing your entire business to one random incident far exceeds the cost of a few strips and a tape backup drive.
    Hell, just the cost of experiencing a scare like that, even if everything came right back up with no data loss or any other actual damage, probably "far exceeds" the cost of a few surge protectors (though I dunno... depending how many computers we're talking about, that could run into the high two figures :o).

    After this, maybe Chris could even talk to them about an actual UPS (consumer-grade, from Fry's, naturally). Maybe even some sort of minimal backup procedure, like manually taking a dump of the database and copying it to a network share once in a while. Far as that is from what most of us would consider a "real" (or even a "minimal") setup, for an operation like this, it would still be a vast, VAST improvement.

    Actually, it took me a couple readings to be sure I was parsing it right -- at first, I wanted it to be a staged thing. You know: "Frustrated by the owners' refusal to invest in protective hardware, but knowing better and having their best interests at heart, the BOFH and his trusty PFY conspire to stage a fire drill, to put the fear of hardware-failure in them..."

  • Sgt. Preston (unregistered) in reply to Someone You Know
    Comment held for moderation.
  • Doug (unregistered) in reply to Cuttie McPasty
    Cuttie McPasty:
    Although “comprise” is used primarily to mean “to include,” it is also often stretched to mean “is made up of”—a meaning that some critics object to. The most cautious route is to avoid using “of” after any form of “comprise” and substitute “is composed of” in sentences like this: “Jimmy’s paper on Marxism was composed entirely of sentences copied off the Marx Brothers Home Page.”

    You forgot to site your source.

  • KattMan (cs) in reply to rank this
    rank this:
    KattMan, you also need some Reading comprehension... The Power Surge that killed the computers happened in the Present Tense.

    How did the boss know there was a power surge?

    Were the computers on earlier?

    Is the stories plot a Worse Than Failure?

    No, sorry. You assume I didn't get that but I did. This was a statement of the manager's perception of the problem, not the actual fact.

  • Me (unregistered) in reply to Someone You Know
    Someone You Know:
    Jake Vinson:
    Servers were of the Frankensteinian variety, comprised of hardware that store employees didn't need anymore.

    "Comprised" != "composed". Using less common words in an attempt to sound more intelligent usually makes one sound less intelligent.

    But if it were Frankensteinian shouldn't it have been de-composed?

  • Linux... (unregistered)

    If getting someone to run anti-virus software and patches was an issue, if they had no money to buy new equipment, if keeping up with the latest anti-spyware was a problem, if security roles were all messed up... why didn't they just run Linux and fix 90% of their problems at once?

  • Erock (unregistered)

    The real WTF is how quickly the comments on this site evolve into a flame war on just about every post...

    CAPTCHA: darwin - see what I mean?

  • Stupidumb (unregistered)

    The forums on this site are comprised of assholes

  • operagost (cs)

    Servers comprised the Frankensteinian variety, composed of hardware that store employees didn't need anymore.

  • cynic (unregistered) in reply to Doug

    The funny thing about language is that usage defines the language. Given sufficient improper usage, that usage can eventually become proper.

  • akatherder (cs) in reply to Linux...
    Linux...:
    If getting someone to run anti-virus software and patches was an issue, if they had no money to buy new equipment, if keeping up with the latest anti-spyware was a problem, if security roles were all messed up... why didn't they just run Linux and fix 90% of their problems at once?

    Judging by the computer knowledge of everyone involved, I suspect the user error would increase as the system errors decreased.

  • iToad (unregistered) in reply to jgayhart
    jgayhart:
    If machine is not working, I ask the following questions:
    1. Is the machine on?
    2. Are you sure?
    3. If I check on the machine and it is on, do I get do smack you?
    4. Are you sure now?

    Absolutely correct. The first two rules of hardware troubleshooting are:

    1. Is it plugged in?
    2. Is it turned on?
  • Jon B (unregistered) in reply to Stupidumb
    Stupidumb:
    The forums on this site are comprised of assholes

    Let's try again:

    The WTF forum comprises snobs both literary and technical.

  • akatherder (cs) in reply to Erock
    Erock:
    The real WTF is how quickly the comments on this site evolve into a flame war on just about every post...

    Some people just can't keep their comprisure when it comes to nitpicking grammar.

  • Bailey (unregistered) in reply to Someone You Know
    Comment held for moderation.
  • SteveG (unregistered)

    Every freaking meeting this week has been like this.

    I show up wanting some clarification on the reasons for the downtime, and wind up trapped with a half dozen people who are staging an in-depth debate about composed vs. comprised.

    WTF? Is there some astrological phenomenon going on worldwide, of which I was not notified, that keeps people from being on point?

  • Just Sayin' (unregistered)
    Comment held for moderation.
  • Jon B (unregistered) in reply to Bailey
    Comment held for moderation.
  • Sgt. Preston (unregistered) in reply to Bailey
    Comment held for moderation.
  • N (unregistered)

    Clearly, the only solution to the problem is to define a language whose words are the sentences of the english language using a formal grammar accepted by a pushdown automaton, then emulationg this automaton and test the sentences in question.

  • Anon Fred (unregistered)

    I read the store name as "The Book Burner." Now I want to start a store with that name...

  • Sgt. Preston (unregistered) in reply to Anon Fred
    Anon Fred:
    I read the store name as "The Book Burner." Now I want to start a store with that name...
    I gather you're a Republican.
  • halber_mensch (unregistered) in reply to SteveG
    SteveG:
    Every freaking meeting this week has been like this.

    I show up wanting some clarification on the reasons for the downtime, and wind up trapped with a half dozen people who are staging an in-depth debate about composed vs. comprised.

    WTF? Is there some astrological phenomenon going on worldwide, of which I was not notified, that keeps people from being on point?

    The world comprises a composition of distractions?

    captcha: riaa I prove I am not a robot by pointing in the direction of other robots

  • I know what I'm talking about and you don't (unregistered) in reply to cynic

    Most dictionaries say that "infer" can mean "imply". But try getting that past a half-sober copy editor.

  • PerdidoPunk (cs) in reply to Someone You Know
    Someone You Know:
    Jake Vinson:
    Servers were of the Frankensteinian variety, comprised of hardware that store employees didn't need anymore.

    "Comprised" != "composed". Using less common words in an attempt to sound more intelligent usually makes one sound less intelligent.

    The American Heritage Dictionary says,

    Usage Note: The traditional rule states that the whole comprises the parts and the parts compose the whole. In strict usage: The Union comprises 50 states. Fifty states compose (or constitute or make up) the Union. Even though careful writers often maintain this distinction, comprise is increasingly used in place of compose, especially in the passive: The Union is comprised of 50 states. Our surveys show that opposition to this usage is abating. In the 1960s, 53 percent of the Usage Panel found this usage unacceptable; in 1996, only 35 percent objected.

    I guess that the aforementioned 35 percent comprises you and several others in the minority regarding acceptable usage of this word. The usage of idioms or colloquialisms does not imply an attempt to sound more intelligent, nor does it suggest low intelligence. If anything, it suggests knowledge of the particular vernacular that comprises such word usages and phrases.

  • Sgt. Preston (unregistered) in reply to I know what I'm talking about and you don't
    I know what I'm talking about and you don't:
    Most dictionaries say that "infer" can mean "imply". But try getting that past a half-sober copy editor.
    "Most dictionaries"?!! I've never seen that in a dictionary.

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