• ParkinT (cs)

    Don't shut your computer down like that.

    What's THAT all about?

  • EVVTEK (unregistered)

    First! Buah!

  • Maxim (unregistered)

    Okay... that's quite interesting...

    And it's probably at this moment that they though about relational database?

    And since when does MS Access is primarly use for a large scale project?

    I wasn't old enough back then but...wasn't any high performance DB back then that they could had used???

    Anyway.... nice story.

  • quephird (unregistered)

    You sure this isn't the April Fool submission?

  • The Interweb (unregistered)

    I think google started just like this. Seems like these guys were ahead of their time.

  • DS (unregistered)

    Only 2 million?  Since only like 1 percent actually gets used for development, no wonder it was a failure.

  • ferrengi (cs)
    Alex Papadimoulis:
    Boss: We're taking an inventory -- how much RAM does your new workstation have?

    (referring to my workstation, a new Windows 3.1 machine)
    Me: It has 13 megabytes.
    Boss: No, that's not possible.
    Me: Well, that's what it has ...
    (goes and talks to another developer)
    Boss: Jerry says that you can only have 8 or 16. Are you lieing to me?
    Me: Umm ... look ...
    (flick off computer, turn it back on, show the 13MEG from BIOS)
    Boss: Oh.
    Me: ...
    Boss: Don't shut your computer down like that.



    Wait a minute...
    You were using a "new " windows 3.1 machine with 13 MEG of RAM during the dot bomb era?!?!
    What year was this? I thought the dot com era can be traced back to about 1998. This doesn't make any sense.
  • Colin (unregistered)

    I'm sure that perl script ran just fine for a few hundred files though!  At least it was O(n) and not something worse.

    I suppose when they coded in BASIC they numbered their lines sequentially starting with 1 instead of by jumping by 10.  Some people just never learn...

  • gravey (cs)

    -Fine-.. I'll use the mallot over there to shut it off next time.

  • ParkinT (cs) in reply to ferrengi
    ferrengi:
    Alex Papadimoulis:
    Boss: We're taking an inventory -- how much RAM does your new workstation have?

    (referring to my workstation, a new Windows 3.1 machine)
    Me: It has 13 megabytes.
    Boss: No, that's not possible.
    Me: Well, that's what it has ...
    (goes and talks to another developer)
    Boss: Jerry says that you can only have 8 or 16. Are you lieing to me?
    Me: Umm ... look ...
    (flick off computer, turn it back on, show the 13MEG from BIOS)
    Boss: Oh.
    Me: ...
    Boss: Don't shut your computer down like that.



    Wait a minute...
    You were using a "new " windows 3.1 machine with 13 MEG of RAM during the dot bomb era?!?!
    What year was this? I thought the dot com era can be traced back to about 1998. This doesn't make any sense.

    I think in addition to the names being changed, some of the facts were also.  Or we just witnessed an anachronism in real life!  Is that a paradox in and of itself?

    ==Brain Explodes==

  • merreborn (cs) in reply to ferrengi
    ferrengi:
    Alex Papadimoulis:

    my workstation, a new Windows 3.1 machine



    Wait a minute...
    You were using a "new " windows 3.1 machine with 13 MEG of RAM during the dot bomb era?!?!
    What year was this? I thought the dot com era can be traced back to about 1998. This doesn't make any sense.


    I figure it musta been between '96 and '98, given the mention of "the windows 95 PC".
  • Anita Tinkle (unregistered) in reply to ferrengi

    I think he meant more of the ealier (Information Superhighway) era... where there was PLENTY of Win 3.11 and SunOS machines out there.

  • 10 steps to success (unregistered)
    Alex Papadimoulis:

    ... If you wanted your site indexed, you had to fill out a web form that would, in turn, save a file on the web server. It was the job of the one of the data entry clerks to go to the Internet PC and download the files to disk to be printed. From there, the data entry team would put the data into our local system through a Microsot Access database.

    you forget a few steps...

    1. you had to fill out a web form that saves a file on the web server
    2. clerks to go to the Internet PC and download the files to disk
    3. file is printed
    5. print out is faxed to mail room
    6. mail room sends snail mail to data entry building
    7. data entry receiving department faxes to data entry supervisor
    8. data entry supervisor scans into pc and e-mails to data entry team
    9. team member prints e-mail

    10. data entry team puts data in a Microsoft Access database.

     

  • GoatCheez (cs)

    Well, lets see here... I got my Pentium 90 back in like... oh god... what was it.... pre 95 at least... was top of the line with an ATI Mach64 2MB PCI video card and a 800MB hard drive. Came with Windows 3.1. It had 8MB of RAM... This story does not make much sense. To have the machines they had would've meant that they were searching around landfills for their new pc parts.... umm.... yeah... Windows95 was out when this happened, so it must've been at least '96. Databases like we have now were in their infancy back then that's for sure. Oracle might've had something, but not sure, as I really didn't/do much database stuff... hmm.... the 13 megs though is really really odd... All memory back then was done in pairs, so what pops into my mind in that configuration is 4+4,2+2,.5+.5 in an 8 slot motherboard. It's much more likely that 12MB was being misread as 13MB due to the whole powers of two thinggy, although math doesn't back that up.
    Something smells fishy....

  • soshdin (unregistered) in reply to EVVTEK

    good job.

  • Rube Goldberg (unregistered) in reply to soshdin

    My brain started to hurt after reading the third paragraph.

  • bullseye (cs) in reply to ferrengi
    ferrengi:
    Wait a minute...
    You were using a "new " windows 3.1 machine with 13 MEG of RAM during the dot bomb era?!?!
    What year was this? I thought the dot com era can be traced back to about 1998. This doesn't make any sense.

    Actually, when you consider all the other absolutely horrid practices they had, it makes perfect sense...

  • Anonymous (unregistered) in reply to Rube Goldberg

    Way to go Rob, running off with 3 MB as he left the company.

  • reed (cs)

    The idea of regenerating the HTML directory pages makes some sense,  given the asymetric load (lots of users requesting directory webpages, and few additions to the databse compared), especially if they were using an underpowered machine for the server or were maintaining the directory data in their office while outsourcing the hosting.  They probably only had an ISDN or maybe even a modem on their one Windows 95 machine.   Geeze, they couldn't even string up some serial cables and set up a fileserver on the W95 machine?

    The main WTF is this business with saving things to files and then renaming them all.

    (And guys, databases weren't invented in this decade -- even the free ones. Most techniques we use in relational dabasases have been in development since affordable magnetic storage was invented; probably reaching full maturity in the 70s?  They certainly could have used a database.  Even a simple Berkeley DB file.)

  • BiggBru (cs)
    Alex Papadimoulis:

    As part of being the "reliable and trusted" search engine, we wanted to make sure that the sites submitted actually existed. So before uploading the sites, another data entry clerk would visit each and every one of the newly entered sites on the Internet PC. If the site was legit, the user would mark the site as valid and fire off an email to the email address on the submission form. Sites that wouldn't load were rejected and the checker would send an appropriate email.

    <FONT face=Georgia>Interesting... I wonder if the boss ever caught on to the fact that the clerks took 10 times as long to check if an "adult site" entry was valid. Because the only way to make sure that www.bighooters.com is valid is to go through each and every link and look at each and every picture. [6]</FONT>

     

     

  • bullseye (cs) in reply to BiggBru

    BiggBru:
    <FONT face=Georgia>Interesting... I wonder if the boss ever caught on to the fact that the clerks took 10 times as long to check if an "adult site" entry was valid. Because the only way to make sure that www.bighooters.com is valid is to go through each and every link and look at each and every picture. [6]</FONT>

    LMAO...  You are my hero. [:D]

     

     

  • Stan Rogers (cs) in reply to GoatCheez
    GoatCheez:
    Well, lets see here... I got my Pentium 90 back in like... oh god... what was it.... pre 95 at least... was top of the line with an ATI Mach64 2MB PCI video card and a 800MB hard drive. Came with Windows 3.1. It had 8MB of RAM... This story does not make much sense. To have the machines they had would've meant that they were searching around landfills for their new pc parts.... umm.... yeah... Windows95 was out when this happened, so it must've been at least '96. Databases like we have now were in their infancy back then that's for sure. Oracle might've had something, but not sure, as I really didn't/do much database stuff... hmm.... the 13 megs though is really really odd... All memory back then was done in pairs, so what pops into my mind in that configuration is 4+4,2+2,.5+.5 in an 8 slot motherboard. It's much more likely that 12MB was being misread as 13MB due to the whole powers of two thinggy, although math doesn't back that up.
    Something smells fishy....

    If I recall correctly, the BIOS would often report what was left after any shared video memory was claimed by an on-board graphics card (the timing's about right for the PCI/AGP switchover, where the built-in graphics adapter was AGP and the only slots available for a third-party card were still PCI -- given that Win95 was available on at least one machine). So 16MB minus  enough to cover 600x800 at 24-bit and 1024x768 at 16-bit sounds about right.
  • marvin_rabbit (cs) in reply to gravey
    gravey:
    -Fine-.. I'll use the mallot over there to shut it off next time.

    That's a typo, right.  I'm sure you meant to type "MAILLOT".  If we had one of those around here, all work would definately stop!
  • Steve (unregistered)

    Any fool can see where they went wrong... The right way to do this would be to have a system whereby the webserver prints requests which are then passed to file clerks through pneumatic tubes. The clerks look up the web site in the files and send you a letter with your response.

    Isn't technology wonderful?

  • Slacker (cs) in reply to merreborn
    merreborn:

    I figure it musta been between '96 and '98, given the mention of "the windows 95 PC".


    And let's not forget that when you installed Windows 95 it didn't even install TCP/IP unless you specifically requested it, which gives you some idea of how widespread usage of the internet was back then.

    Well, the internet was rubbish, innit, and it was all going to be 'The Microsoft Network' - remember that? :-)
  • Derek (unregistered) in reply to Stan Rogers

    I had a Packard Bell 386 with 5 MB of memory.  1 MB of that was "standard", and 4 MB of that was on expansion chips (4 chips at 1 MB each).  It was probably a machine with 1 MB onboard and another 12 MB of memory chips installed (4+4 and 2+2).  Maxed out, that computer probably would have been 17 MB of memory.

  • powerlord (cs) in reply to GoatCheez
    GoatCheez:
    Well, lets see here... I got my Pentium 90 back in like... oh god... what was it.... pre 95 at least... was top of the line with an ATI Mach64 2MB PCI video card and a 800MB hard drive. Came with Windows 3.1. It had 8MB of RAM... This story does not make much sense. To have the machines they had would've meant that they were searching around landfills for their new pc parts.... umm.... yeah... Windows95 was out when this happened, so it must've been at least '96. Databases like we have now were in their infancy back then that's for sure. Oracle might've had something, but not sure, as I really didn't/do much database stuff... hmm.... the 13 megs though is really really odd... All memory back then was done in pairs, so what pops into my mind in that configuration is 4+4,2+2,.5+.5 in an 8 slot motherboard. It's much more likely that 12MB was being misread as 13MB due to the whole powers of two thinggy, although math doesn't back that up.
    Something smells fishy....


    As I recall, 486's with 72-pin RAM slots only had one slot to a bank, and thus didn't need matched pairs.  Intel brought back that nasty practice when they rolled out their Pentium board chipsets.  Luckily, it went away again with the introduction of 168-pin RAM.

    Most 486s also only had 2 72-pin slots and 4 30-pin (matched) slots. 8MiB, 4MiB, 256KiB+256KiB+256KiB+256KiB would indeed make 13MiB.
  • ferrengi (cs) in reply to bullseye
    bullseye:
    ferrengi:
    Wait a minute...
    You were using a "new " windows 3.1 machine with 13 MEG of RAM during the dot bomb era?!?!
    What year was this? I thought the dot com era can be traced back to about 1998. This doesn't make any sense.

    Actually, when you consider all the other absolutely horrid practices they had, it makes perfect sense...



    Yeah, I guess so.
  • Kiss me, I'm Polish (unregistered) in reply to marvin_rabbit
    marvin_rabbit:
    gravey:
    -Fine-.. I'll use the mallot over there to shut it off next time.

    That's a typo, right.  I'm sure you meant to type "MAILLOT".  If we had one of those around here, all work would definately stop!

    Speaking of typos, that's "definitely", not "definately".
    The story sounds more like a "Who cares" than "What the fuck?" thing.
  • Enric Naval (cs) in reply to ParkinT
    ParkinT:

    Don't shut your computer down like that.

    What's THAT all about?

    Translated from manager-speak, it means "And don't EVER AGAIN go out of your path only to show me that I'm wrong".

  • Otto (cs)
    Alex Papadimoulis:

    Boss: Oh.
    Me: ...
    Boss: Don't shut your computer down like that.



    I had a conversation like that with my boss once. Only I took it in a different direction.

    Boss: You know you're not supposed to shut down your computer like that?
    Me: Go fuck your mother.
    Boss: ...
    Me: I mean, yeah, I know.

    I moved on to bigger and better things that same day, in fact. The two events are not entirely unrelated.
  • John Smallberries (cs) in reply to marvin_rabbit
    marvin_rabbit:
    gravey:
    -Fine-.. I'll use the mallot over there to shut it off next time.

    That's a typo, right.  I'm sure you meant to type "MAILLOT".  If we had one of those around here, all work would definately stop!

    I thought he meant "malloc".  Pretty easy to at least bork a 3.1 machine with that.

  • Enric Naval (cs) in reply to GoatCheez
    GoatCheez:
    Well, lets see here... I got my Pentium 90 back in like... oh god... what was it.... pre 95 at least... was top of the line with an ATI Mach64 2MB PCI video card and a 800MB hard drive. Came with Windows 3.1. It had 8MB of RAM... This story does not make much sense. To have the machines they had would've meant that they were searching around landfills for their new pc parts.... umm.... yeah... Windows95 was out when this happened, so it must've been at least '96. Databases like we have now were in their infancy back then that's for sure. Oracle might've had something, but not sure, as I really didn't/do much database stuff... hmm.... the 13 megs though is really really odd... All memory back then was done in pairs, so what pops into my mind in that configuration is 4+4,2+2,.5+.5 in an 8 slot motherboard. It's much more likely that 12MB was being misread as 13MB due to the whole powers of two thinggy, although math doesn't back that up.
    Something smells fishy....

    The more experienced I am in computer maintenance and end user tech support of any kind, the less I'm surprised by any configuration, software problem or anything, never mind how incredibly weird or unpausable they may be. Eventually, all of them have a explanation once you look at them hard enough.

    Most, but no all word documents on your folder have misteriously gone read-only? Sure, why not? It even has a perfectly plausible explanation: the backup I recovered the other day using tar --preserve probably screwed permissions. Discovering on what criteria were some files fucked up and other weren't is a different question, thought.

    Your new computer was set up by the shop with two slave drives on different channels and no master anywhere? And the CD-ROM on the primary channel and the HD on the secondary one? And I can't set up the HD as master because it is a bulky old thingie that looks as if manufactured in the Sovietic Union and it has no jumper at all and then it defaults to slave? Sure, and of course it has a totally plausible explanation: he got the box for just 300 euros..... top of the line, sure. He is now thinking in buying a Dell laptop......

    13 megas? Sure, whatever. However, be warned that madness lies on the path to searching plausible explanations for every posible odity that computers will present to you :)

  • Chris (unregistered)

    This sounds like a bogus entry.

  • toxik (unregistered) in reply to 10 steps to success

    fist!

    and by "clerk" I hope you mean a child process or something, it doesn't make sense to my brain any other way.

  • Anony Moose (unregistered) in reply to Chris

    They all sound bogus. Or perhaps that's just wishful thinking.   ;)

  • Yeah, what the fag (unregistered)

    Ok. Now whom do you expect to believe your shit, huh?

    Fuck. Why does every formerly acceptable site have to go below digg level.

  • Enric Naval (cs) in reply to Yeah, what the fag
    Anonymous:
    Ok. Now whom do you expect to believe your shit, huh?

    Fuck. Why does every formerly acceptable site have to go below digg level.

    Oh, well, I actually find nothing wrong with this story, and I haven't noticed much of a loss of quality on this site, so I call bullshit and I tell you to stop acting as you were 15 years old and that you go "fag" yourself, mister "Yeah, what the fag"

    Can I mod myself as "troll"? :)

  • ferrengi (cs) in reply to Enric Naval
    Enric Naval:
    Anonymous:
    Ok. Now whom do you expect to believe your shit, huh?

    Fuck. Why does every formerly acceptable site have to go below digg level.

    Oh, well, I actually find nothing wrong with this story, and I haven't noticed much of a loss of quality on this site, so I call bullshit and I tell you to stop acting as you were 15 years old and that you go "fag" yourself, mister "Yeah, what the fag"

    Can I mod myself as "troll"? :)



    Yeah, WTF is your problem Mr. what the fag? The site has actually gotten better and more entertaining in the past few months and the April fools joke was pretty darn good.
  • B (unregistered) in reply to GoatCheez
    GoatCheez:
    Databases like we have now were in their infancy back then that's for sure.


    oh bollocks.

    I was using postgres back then. The original version of PostgreSQL was Postgres95. And I'd been using the Quel version for eyars before that.

    I'm fairly sure some of the first lightweight msql databases were about, Microsoft had SQL Server, Oracle and Sybase and Ingres and Digital RDB and .....  lots and lots of databases engines were about.


  • gwenhwyfaer (cs) in reply to ParkinT
    ParkinT:

    Don't shut your computer down like that.

    What's THAT all about?



    Having the last word at any cost, I should imagine.

    I should think if the poster said anything in reply, it would have been something like "Don't worry - it's not going to be a problem any more." As he reached for his coat, of course. If he bothered, of course. Usually if someone's that determined to have the last word, it's better to let them.

  • gwenhwyfaer (cs) in reply to BiggBru
    BiggBru:
    <font face="Georgia">Because the only way to make sure that www.bighooters.com is valid is to go through each and every link and look at each and every picture.</font>


    Damn it, I was expecting a website full of Barry Manilow lookalikes!

    I feel cheated now.

  • marvin_rabbit (cs) in reply to 10 steps to success
    Anonymous:
    Alex Papadimoulis:

    ... If you wanted your site indexed, you had to fill out a web form that would, in turn, save a file on the web server. It was the job of the one of the data entry clerks to go to the Internet PC and download the files to disk to be printed. From there, the data entry team would put the data into our local system through a Microsot Access database.

    you forget a few steps...

    1. you had to fill out a web form that saves a file on the web server
    2. clerks to go to the Internet PC and download the files to disk
    3. file is printed
    5. print out is faxed to mail room
    6. mail room sends snail mail to data entry building
    7. data entry receiving department faxes to data entry supervisor
    8. data entry supervisor scans into pc and e-mails to data entry team
    9. team member prints e-mail

    10. data entry team puts data in a Microsoft Access database.

     

    Yes, those steps seem right.  However, you forgot to mention that due to 'right sizing', the clerk's jobs are now done by members of data entry.  (However, no steps are eliminated.)

  • marvin_rabbit (cs) in reply to Kiss me, I'm Polish
    Anonymous:
    marvin_rabbit:
    gravey:
    -Fine-.. I'll use the mallot over there to shut it off next time.

    That's a typo, right.  I'm sure you meant to type "MAILLOT".  If we had one of those around here, all work would definately stop!

    Speaking of typos, that's "definitely", not "definately".

    My people are Swedish.  That's how we spell it.

    (Yeah, right.)
  • LionsPhil (unregistered) in reply to Enric Naval
    Enric Naval:
    ...I call bullshit and I tell you to stop acting as you were 15 years old...

    Quite. While I realise that I can't prove it over the 'net, Rob's a real-life friend of mine, and this is only part of the story. As partial as he may be to a good rant, I don't have reason to suspect that he's embellishing it.

  • LionsPhil (unregistered) in reply to LionsPhil

    LionsPhil wrote: Big lump of escaped HTML, apparently.

    Sigh. Quality bit of forumage there---perhaps this site's own code needs to be submitted? ;P

  • marvin_rabbit (cs) in reply to ferrengi
    ferrengi:

    Wait a minute...
    You were using a "new " windows 3.1 machine with 13 MEG of RAM during the dot bomb era?!?!
    What year was this? I thought the dot com era can be traced back to about 1998. This doesn't make any sense.

    A friend of mine went to DC and accepted a job as a programmer at a 'quasi-governmental' organization.  (Home loans... one of the '-Mae's.)  This was around early 1999 or so.  He was given a brand new Dell desktop computer to use... installed with [wait for it!] Windows 3.11.

    Plus, they had a policy that he couldn't get Windows '95 until he had a training course on it.  And the next course wasn't going to be for about 4 months.  His response was, "Well you better give me a course on 3.11, because I haven't used it in 3 years!"

    One of the most distressing things, is that I reckon that they couldn't buy machines with Windows 3.11 installed on them anymore.  This HAD to have been delivered with Win 98 or at least 95!  So somebody had the job of uninstalling it and doing an install of 3.11.
  • luke727 (cs)

    That is like the modern-day equivalent of carrier pigeons.  But the real WTF is that apparently there was no XML involved.  XML is the salt of sofware development: it makes everything taste better!

  • LionsPhil (unregistered) in reply to luke727
    luke727:
    XML is the salt of sofware development: it makes everything taste better!
    I, for one, welcome our new generic troll overlords.

    And once again the CAPTCHA fails it hard. Seriously, people, this forum of yours is a likely candidate for front-paging. ;P

  • John Hensley (unregistered) in reply to marvin_rabbit
    marvin_rabbit:
    One of the most distressing things, is that I reckon that they couldn't buy machines with Windows 3.11 installed on them anymore.

    From what I hear, government customers are sufficiently large and stubborn that they can obtain such things.

Leave a comment on “Search-dot-Bomb”

Log In or post as a guest

Replying to comment #:

« Return to Article