• bacon (unregistered)

    looks like those comments are "backed up" too.

  • (cs)

    Obviously the 70 MB drive was the victim of corporate theft by a guy who, once he discovered how it had screwed up everything, couldn't inconspicuously just "find" it at his house hooked up to his machine and wiped clean of the data they needed.

  • Ian (unregistered)

    How much did these workstations cost!? Back in 1993-ish I had a 386 that only had a 20MB hard drive. I didn't even know they HAD 70MB drives in the 80's!

  • FireJayPa (unregistered)

    I blame the guy that was on vacation; obviously he did it

  • Dave (unregistered) in reply to Ian

    I had a 220MB drive in '93, and a 20MB drive in around '89 that I recall. Neither of them was bleeding edge. Though I wonder if this was more mid then early ninties.

  • (cs)

    How did the backup process magically and suddenly extend its grasp to the user drives? This had apparently not been seen previously.

    I think the user drives were just mounted somewhere under the root. No "softlinks", by which I assume symlinks is meant.

    Yeah, such huge drives were unheard of in the early '80s. Sounds fishy.

  • Dave (unregistered) in reply to Dave

    Opps, that should have been 80's

  • I'm not giving my name to a machine! (unregistered) in reply to gabba
    gabba:
    How did the backup process magically and suddenly extend its grasp to the user drives? This had apparently not been seen previously.
    They changed it to follow softlinks as well, allowing it to access user drives. That was the intention all along, but they hadn't seen the massive design flaw.
  • middle_ager (unregistered) in reply to Ian
    Ian:
    How much did these workstations cost!? Back in 1993-ish I had a 386 that only had a 20MB hard drive. I didn't even know they HAD 70MB drives in the 80's!

    Place I worked in 1988 had an IBM PS/2 Model 80. It had a 386 (don't know the speed), 70MB hard drive, 2MB RAM, 12" VGA monitor, and a tape backup. IIRC, it cost $12,000.

  • maht (unregistered)

    But was the budget application successful ?

    At least it was cheaper than those crazy expensive professionals!

  • deepgrewal (unregistered)

    Not only does it sound fishy to have (2) 70MB hard drives in each machine during the 1980s, there is also a mention about email.

    I purchased a 40MB hard drive in 1989 for about $400. This cost, according to Moore's Law would be unbearable in the early or mid 1980s (and for a larger hard disk drive).

    Email was not entirely common or affordable during that time either. The Internet made a major debut in homes and offices in the very late 1980s and early 1990s.

    The concept of this article is interesting, but I think the chronology is what messed it up: kind of like what happened to Dan Rather when he produced a Word Document that was supposed to be from the days before MS Office.

  • Anon (unregistered)

    Hey, the real WTF!

    People so sad that they sincerely believe "email" didn't exist until the internet was common in homes.

  • Fuji (unregistered) in reply to middle_ager
    middle_ager:
    Ian:
    How much did these workstations cost!? Back in 1993-ish I had a 386 that only had a 20MB hard drive. I didn't even know they HAD 70MB drives in the 80's!

    Place I worked in 1988 had an IBM PS/2 Model 80. It had a 386 (don't know the speed), 70MB hard drive, 2MB RAM, 12" VGA monitor, and a tape backup. IIRC, it cost $12,000.

    We had one of those, too, and that price sounds about right, except that didn't include the monitor, which was another $4,000.

  • (cs) in reply to deepgrewal

    There were different kinds of hard drives back in the 80's. This site backs up the articles claims:

    http://www.disktrend.com/5decades2.htm

    70 MB drives (IBM 3340 Winchester) in 1973

    150 MB drives (Control Data 9715-160 "FSD") in 1982

    Personally, I don't remember anything about computer hardware from 3 years ago, let alone when I was 10.

    As far as the emails go, they were probably email-like messages for within the company.

  • (cs)

    The CEO of my company lost all of his work files from his laptop; they just disappeared for some unknown reason. Frantic, he signed on to the network. The Windows server which managed his network profile said, "Hey, all your files are gone from your laptop! I'll go ahead and delete them from the server, too."

    Good thing is, the IT guy had shadow copying turned on at the server. Bad thing is, he hadn't actually told the server to enable shadow copying on the user profile drive.

  • Aleks (unregistered) in reply to deepgrewal

    Nope ... not fishy.

    I worked with a regular 60 MB hard drive in 1988 on a 286 (AT) computer... I myself had 120 and then 200 MB drives by the end of the decade.

    But... does it really matter what the HDD size was?

  • Choda (unregistered)

    lol.

  • (cs)

    The moral of the story: Never delete something just like that and assume that everything will be alright.

  • Krenn (unregistered)

    Also note that George was on a DOS system as opposed to the other users; that makes more sense if we set it in the early 90s, with the other users on Windows NT.

  • (cs) in reply to Dave

    I had a 400MB HDD in 93 or 94, I believe. I think it only cost a few hundred bucks.

  • Franz Kafka (unregistered) in reply to Aleks
    Aleks:
    Nope ... not fishy.

    I worked with a regular 60 MB hard drive in 1988 on a 286 (AT) computer... I myself had 120 and then 200 MB drives by the end of the decade.

    But... does it really matter what the HDD size was?

    No, but it's fun.

  • (cs)
    In the end, the IT manager was able to keep his job

    I can't believe that nobody has pointed yet that this is The Real WTF(tm). After presiding over two different catastrophes, the IT manager was still gainfully employed at this place. (But real Unix admins were "too expensive". Ah, the folly of false economy!)

  • (cs) in reply to gabba
    gabba:
    How did the backup process magically and suddenly extend its grasp to the user drives?

    That probably happened at the same time as this paragraph:

    Meanwhile, the backup administrators took action to correct their embarrassing and costly mistake. They updated the configuration of the backup plan to follow softlinks. (emphasis added)
  • Steve (unregistered) in reply to deepgrewal
    Comment held for moderation.
  • Dan Krüsi (unregistered)

    Three cheers for shitty tech support, shitty management, shitty executives and a shitty project.

  • broken (unregistered)

    Early 80's? I don't think so, I don't think very many people were using email and storing their inboxes on a network share so that "only a few emails" could be lost. Especially a company that is too cheap to hire real sys admins and instead hires college students. In the early 80s I don't think too many college students would have been capable of doing this due to lack of experience. Equipment cost too much back then for anyone to just be foolin around on. Then the company that buys tens of thousands of dollars worth of equipment so their employees can have email and dedicated storage then they hire college students to set it up. This is obviously complete B.S.

  • broken (unregistered)
    Comment held for moderation.
  • 1982 (unregistered) in reply to deepgrewal
    Comment held for moderation.
  • Paul (unregistered) in reply to Anon
    Anon:
    Hey, the real WTF!

    People so sad that they sincerely believe "email" didn't exist until the internet was common in homes.

    Hmm, yes, I was at university from '83-'91 (no, I didn't fail any classes, I did my PhD '87-'91) and I had email. I didn't have anyone outside my class that I could contact, but I still had it. I even remember my password - ehgd4763.

  • Stewart (unregistered) in reply to broken

    I had email (Arpanet, BITNET, and UUCP-based mail) in college from about 1980, and my first post-college job in 1985 certainly had email. UNIX machines were mail servers, but there were DOS clients that downloaded mailboxes as well.

    Network shares were generally from UNIX, Banyan, or Novell servers until OS/2 shipped, though there was a multi-tasking MS-DOS server version from Microsoft that shipped in 1986 called MS-NET 2.0.

  • (cs)

    Can anybody spell the word "testing"?

    Naturally, testing whether a simple and stupid backup procedure works is completely moronic. Testing a synchronization procedure that is intended to delete data would be even more idiotic, since things like these always work right out of the box...

  • (cs) in reply to kmactane
    kmactane:
    gabba:
    How did the backup process magically and suddenly extend its grasp to the user drives?

    That probably happened at the same time as this paragraph:

    Meanwhile, the backup administrators took action to correct their embarrassing and costly mistake. They updated the configuration of the backup plan to follow softlinks. (emphasis added)

    OK, OK, you expect me to read and comprehend the whole article before posting? Sheesh.

  • Literate (unregistered) in reply to Krenn
    Krenn:
    Also note that George was on a DOS system as opposed to the other users; that makes more sense if we set it in the early 90s, with the other users on Windows NT.

    Or you could read the article and realize the others were on Unix machines.

    The real WTF is that using DOS had a (albeit unintended) positive effect.

  • Robert Hanson (unregistered)

    I was waiting for the punch line -- the "backup" removed files from the system drive. The word processing document stored its swap file on the system drive. Along comes the backup and wipes it out....

    What happened is even funnier. Of course, you could have just moved those extraneous system files to a folder somewhere, rather than delete them. Safer in all respects.

    Now let's have a backup scheme where we NEVER check to see if it works? And the guy kept his job? The OWNER should be fired, in that case.

  • Nutmeg Programmer (unregistered)

    My first PC was a 80286 (IIRC) at 6MHz. Actually, it had two speeds. Hard drive was 20M. Approx $2500. 1986. I thought I was going to do Windows, but never did. IMHO, Windows wasn't usable until the 486.

    About that time I worked with clients who had email via TelNet.

    PC networks were pretty rare in the mid-80s. The "Year of the Network" was 1987, 1988, 1989, and 1990.

  • qoou ʇsǝıqoou ǝɥʇ (unregistered)

    As I have nothing interesting to say:

    OMG LOLZ.

    Captcha: scooter (Weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeecrash)

  • (cs)

    Good grief. Let me in the chorus of people who used email all through the 1980's. They weren't internet email, but there were corporate, university, BBS and probably other email systems out there. Disks of that size were just expensive, they did exist.

  • Anonymous Lizard (unregistered) in reply to Steve
    Comment held for moderation.
  • Steve Bush (unregistered)
    Comment held for moderation.
  • (cs) in reply to Anonymous Lizard
    Anonymous Lizard:
    Now there's a WTF for you. The "memo" matches, pixel for pixel, the same text typed using Word's default settings--it's not just the font, it's the margins, the indents, the list formatting, the superscript "th".

    I write code which renders, displays, converts, and prints documents of many formats. I have looked at more documents of varying types than you could ever imagine. I have traced down single-pixel errors which occur only on the 1378'th instance of the letter 'i' in a document. I have seen many, many similar documents.

    The two reproductions you show here are NOT SIMILAR TO EACH OTHER. I would never assert in a million years that Word definitively produced that text.

    For one thing, look at the upper serif on the lowercase letter 'l'. Look at the '8' in '18 August'. It is clearly offset vertically compared to the Word version. Look at the stoutness of the uppercase 'F' in 'Memo to File.' These are not merely scanning artifacts -- I've seen billions of scanning artifacts. These documents were, in fact, produced by very different sources.

    The scanned original was probably produced on a variable-carriage-advance typewriter.

  • (cs) in reply to gabba
    gabba:
    kmactane:
    gabba:
    How did the backup process magically and suddenly extend its grasp to the user drives?

    That probably happened at the same time as this paragraph:

    Meanwhile, the backup administrators took action to correct their embarrassing and costly mistake. They updated the configuration of the backup plan to follow softlinks. (emphasis added)

    OK, OK, you expect me to read and comprehend the whole article before posting? Sheesh.

    Yes. This isn't Slashdot, you know.

  • (cs) in reply to bacon

    Maybe I'm missing something, but here's what I'd have done when finding the computer copy was deleted, but we had a paper copy.

    *Sent someone to the nearest office supplies store to buy a carload of copier papier. And another toner cartridge for good measure. *Started photocopying the document, one for everyone who is working on it. *Everyone has a photocopy. When they need to edit a section of the Document, they type the relevant bit in themselves. *Work continues almost as normal. Maybe people get slightly slowed down from time to time. No craziness. *Any part that doesn't get altered again thus doesn't need to be typed in. Page numbers might prove problematic though.

  • Anonymously Yours (unregistered) in reply to deepgrewal
    deepgrewal:
    Not only does it sound fishy to have (2) 70MB hard drives in each machine during the 1980s...
    I believe that is a misprint in this article. I'd gotten the impression that all of the workstations had access to a server with (2) 70MB drives, not that each workstation did. Semantically, there's almost no way you could expect to back up 80 workstations, each with a 70 MB user drive, to a central computer that only had 70 MB itself. No college student is so inept as to believe you can pour 80 classes of water into the same size glass of water.

    However, the key thing that makes me believe the article has a misprint is as follows. After the initial paragraph, the 70 MB user drive and 70 MB system drive are constantly referred to in the singular.

    For example:

    The original poster:
    The user drive, in order to be seamlessly integrated into what appeared to be a uniform file system, was a "softlink" from the root partition.

    ...

    But wait, you're probably thinking, they still had the 70MB drive that the file was on, right? I'll let you guess again. (Hint: no.) No one knew where the drive was. Including, strangely, the guy who pulled the drive in the first place. They had just lost their only computer-readable copy of the document they'd been working on for months.

  • Anonymously Yours (unregistered) in reply to Anonymously Yours

    Wow, I fail at BBCode today.

  • Sir Twist (unregistered) in reply to smxlong

    We're off-topic now, but....

    I am aware that variable-width typewrites existed. My father had one for his business, and it was old 25 years ago.

    It didn't have superscript. Was there a model that had automatic typeface changing, or are we expected to believe the typist changed the ball/wheel/bar just for the "th" in 187th? Or was there a typewriter that had a "th" and "st" key?

  • deepgrewal (unregistered) in reply to Anon

    I never said email didn't exist. I simply said it wasn't common. Reading skills can be helpul to all at any age.

    "Hey the real WTF!" - uhh...yeah

  • (cs) in reply to Carnildo
    Carnildo:
    gabba:
    kmactane:
    gabba:
    How did the backup process magically and suddenly extend its grasp to the user drives?

    That probably happened at the same time as this paragraph:

    Meanwhile, the backup administrators took action to correct their embarrassing and costly mistake. They updated the configuration of the backup plan to follow softlinks. (emphasis added)

    OK, OK, you expect me to read and comprehend the whole article before posting? Sheesh.

    Yes. This isn't Slashdot, you know.

    +1 Funny

  • stupid old me (unregistered) in reply to TheRider
    TheRider:
    Can anybody spell the word "testing"?

    I think you just did. :-)

  • fffffffffffffffffffffffff (unregistered) in reply to Grimoire
    Grimoire:
    Carnildo:
    gabba:
    kmactane:
    gabba:
    How did the backup process magically and suddenly extend its grasp to the user drives?

    That probably happened at the same time as this paragraph:

    Meanwhile, the backup administrators took action to correct their embarrassing and costly mistake. They updated the configuration of the backup plan to follow softlinks. (emphasis added)

    OK, OK, you expect me to read and comprehend the whole article before posting? Sheesh.

    Yes. This isn't Slashdot, you know.

    +1 Funny

    +3 Insightful

  • Unkn0wn (unregistered)

    THis is bull shit there was no emails back then plus there is no way you could get 70Mb drive. Such a fucken lie.

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