• (cs)

    I love all the comments that can only concieve of email being performed through internet SMTP.

  • Ignatz (unregistered)

    If the story is about a Unix environment, how can anyone say email wasn't common in the 80's when it was a standard part of every Unix system? And 70MB or 150MB drives were available if you had deep pockets, I got three new Apollo workstations in 1988 with 5.25-inch full-height 380MB drives (at $10,000 each, just for the drives).

  • (cs) in reply to Sir Twist
    Sir Twist:
    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?

    There was -- a typewriter with superscript keys -- I used to have an example of one but it's long gone. I cannot remember the brand name. But yes, they did exist.

  • (cs) in reply to Unkn0wn
    Unkn0wn:
    THis is bull shit there was no emails back then plus there is no way you could get 70Mb drive. Such a fucken lie.

    I have a hint to avoid future embarrassment. If you weren't even born yet in the year of the dispute, shut up. In fact, if you weren't at least 10 years old at the time, I seriously doubt your ability to remember anything with sufficient clarity to make any definite statement.

  • Paul (unregistered) in reply to smxlong

    Well said.

  • unpro (unregistered) in reply to middle_ager

    386sx runs at 16Mhz. An old Clie runs at about the same speed too.

  • PAStheLoD (unregistered)

    WTF with that filesize? What kind of application were they using that produced such a huge file? More then 70 MB is rare even today, AFIAK.

  • (cs)

    That made bunny cry.

  • xerez (unregistered) in reply to Paul

    Wow, that's an interesting password, especially if you number the letters starting with a = 0 =)

  • Barc (unregistered) in reply to Unkn0wn
    Unkn0wn:
    THis is bull shit there was no emails back then plus there is no way you could get 70Mb drive. Such a fucken lie.

    Guess you never heard of UNIX then. Email has been around since the late 70s. Microcomputers had email via FIDONet in the early 80s.

    I think the real WTF is that the IT manager and team were still employed. I would have f-f-f-f-f-FIRED their asses in a second after the fuck-up part deux. There are 3 things I expect from any IT department that I run:

    1. MOST IMPORTANT. Backups. Backups that actually back and and are periodically tested to ensure they are actually backing things up correctly.
    2. User requests are dealt with in a reasonable amount of time
    3. Network stays functional and everyone else in the company can do their jobs without technical bottlenecks.

    You cover those three things off, and you can spend the rest of your time playing WoW for all I care.

  • (cs) in reply to Unkn0wn
    Unkn0wn:
    THis is bull shit there was no emails back then plus there is no way you could get 70Mb drive. Such a fucken lie.

    yeah! its a lie! everybody knows eMail was created by microsoft with Windows XP SP1 in 2004!

    and a 70Mb drive? what a lie! the first and smallest drive ever created was the Bigfoot and it had 1Gb!!!

    < Yes. i'm kidding! >

  • Old UNIX dude (unregistered)
    Comment held for moderation.
  • (cs)

    I don't believe this story.

    It's just too stupid a solution to actually be true. NO one would implement such an error prone, trouble inviting system. Unless a complete retard.

    btw, were 386s around in 1988? I remember work had ATs about that time, with 20mb hdds.

    70gb? Crap.

    I remember the first 386 we got (this was @ autodesk) was in 1991 or 2. It was a DX machine, and cost 12000 AUS.

    We did have email, but only one computer in the office received it.

  • Shinobu (unregistered) in reply to smxlong
    smxlong:
    Sir Twist:
    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?
    There was -- a typewriter with superscript keys -- I used to have an example of one but it's long gone. I cannot remember the brand name. But yes, they did exist.
    You know, I don't care. If the margins are the same as word's default, the numeric indents are the same, the superscript elevation the same, the line-height the same, the spacing the same to the point where the word wrapping is nearly identical... Then the chances of this not being done in Word but using a typewriter would be negligible, unless Microsoft has deliberately tweaked Word to make its output exactly match that of a certain old typewriter brand. As for "that's no scanning artifact" and all that... perhaps it is caused by imaging software.
  • Dan Rather (unregistered) in reply to Shinobu

    All someone has to do is reproduce the fake but true document on one of these mythic typewriters from the 70s. If such a beast ever existed, I'm sure there are many motivated debunkers. On the other hand, the virtually identical Word version was produced with minimal effort.

  • Subtilior (unregistered) in reply to Shinobu

    Exactly. For a simple experiment, try copying the same text into a different word processor such as OpenOffice.org, and making its print-out align to the same extent it does with the Word example above. Given the difficulty of doing so, how likely is it that some random historical military typewriter just happens to match up to Word's default?

  • (cs) in reply to Subtilior
    Subtilior:
    Exactly. For a simple experiment, try copying the same text into a different word processor such as OpenOffice.org, and making its print-out align to the same extent it does with the Word example above. Given the difficulty of doing so, how likely is it that some random historical military typewriter just happens to match up to Word's default?

    I never said the document was not created with Word. What I said is that, given my experience, I would NEVER definitively say that it WAS created with Word. There are enough differences there to make me doubt that it's a simple scan of a printout of a Word document.

    Or, if I were called as an expert in a court of law (may it never be the case), I would never claim to be positive that the sources were identical.

    Okay?

    Also, bear in mind that typefaces are often COPYRIGHTED and the heritage of these copyrights is complex. Microsoft owns (i.e. "has purchased") rights to several well-known typefaces. OpenOffice.org, not having access to these proprietary typefaces is obviously never going to be able to precisely match the output of Word.

    WAAAY off topic.

  • Back to the past (unregistered) in reply to Steve
    Steve:
    Whether the document was legitimate or not is the subject for another forum but proportional spacing existed on IBM Selectric typewriters in the early 1970s when the documents were alleged to have been written. I know, since I used one back in that era myself.
    I used Selectrics too. Some of them were attached to computers that had 120MB disk drives (in 1972). But they didn't have proportional spacing. I think you're thinking of IBM Executives.
    Steve:
    The world didn't begin in 1990.
    Yes it did. You and I are both liars, as proven by a BIOSed observer. (Other BIOSes might vary.)
  • (cs) in reply to smxlong
    smxlong:
    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.

    Thanks, Mary Mapes, but that's clear distortion due to photographic processes. These two documents are the definition of "similar", albeit not "identical".
  • Just some 35 year old (unregistered) in reply to Unkn0wn
    Unkn0wn:
    THis is bull shit there was no emails back then plus there is no way you could get 70Mb drive. Such a fucken lie.

    Gee Batman... If only we had some piece of technology that let us instantly lookup information from millions of resources world wide. Like a web of information. Then maybe we could learn when e-mail was actually created. Then we could learn from something called Wikipedia that forms of email existed in the early 1960's! How is that possible though? They didn't even have electricity back then. I mean they had to shovel coal on the Apollo spacecrafts to keep the engines running. But I digress Batman.

    Maybe if we had this vast web, or an inter-working net, we could find globs, err I mean googles, of information on "email history" that would teach us about Timesharing computers, SNDMSG & READMAIL, MAIL & MLFL, RFC 385 and more.

    But if we did that, we couldn't be some smart-a** kid that thinks people used telegraphs to communicate in 1980.

    CAPTCHA: onomatopoeia - are you frikin kidding me batman. I need to type all that in!!

  • (cs) in reply to smxlong
    smxlong:
    Unkn0wn:
    THis is bull shit there was no emails back then plus there is no way you could get 70Mb drive. Such a fucken lie.

    I have a hint to avoid future embarrassment. If you weren't even born yet in the year of the dispute, shut up. In fact, if you weren't at least 10 years old at the time, I seriously doubt your ability to remember anything with sufficient clarity to make any definite statement.

    I was born in the early 80s. You don't need to have been alive during that era to know beyond doubt that it's possible. You just need to read some of the comments in this thread before posting, that prove irrefutably that it is possible.

    You should extend your statement to "if you weren't alive during that era, at least try and find out what was and wasn't around, or shut up".

  • llull (unregistered) in reply to maht

    nice one!

  • llull (unregistered) in reply to maht
    maht:
    But was the budget application successful ?

    At least it was cheaper than those crazy expensive professionals!

    ok, try that again - "nice one"

  • (cs) in reply to milmin
    milmin:
    I don't believe this story. I remember the first 386 we got (this was @ autodesk) was in 1991 or 2. It was a DX machine, and cost 12000 AUS.

    We did have email, but only one computer in the office received it.

    You probably don't remember well. My friend, where I spent practically every single afternoon between 1993-1994 (maybe even 1992) had two 386 at home. His dad used one in his office (a DX) and he had the other one in his room (SX). Mind you, this was a third world country. They could not have afforded such luxuries and I doubt the price dropped significantly in one or two years (bear in mind that hardware is always more expensive in thirld world countries, especially back then).

    Oh, and I was 10 at the time, so I remember PERFECTLY <grin> (but seriously, I really spent every after noon at his place, and the years are correct because it was during the last two years of elementary school).

  • EPE (unregistered) in reply to smxlong
    smxlong:
    Subtilior:
    Exactly. For a simple experiment, try copying the same text into a different word processor such as OpenOffice.org, and making its print-out align to the same extent it does with the Word example above. Given the difficulty of doing so, how likely is it that some random historical military typewriter just happens to match up to Word's default?

    I never said the document was not created with Word. What I said is that, given my experience, I would NEVER definitively say that it WAS created with Word. There are enough differences there to make me doubt that it's a simple scan of a printout of a Word document.

    Or, if I were called as an expert in a court of law (may it never be the case), I would never claim to be positive that the sources were identical.

    Okay? [...]

    Let's try the opposite argument: do you really think those files where created using two different programs? Just think about the effort and expertise that such task would require, if done on purpose; now, the probability of such think happening by accident...
  • (cs)

    The Real WTF is the huge backlog of stories... look at this, We're only just seeing the ones sent in from 20-30 years ago!

    (Sent by carrier pigeon ofcourse)

  • AI (unregistered) 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.

    When did the dailyWTF become slashdot?

  • Cocotoni (unregistered)

    But they didn't lose any data in the last step - remember the order of the things - 1st backup, then replace old files, then delete everything on the user disk.

    All they had to do now is restore from the backup in point 1.

    Am I missing something?

  • foppy (unregistered)

    What's the big deal anyway. Who honestly reads any of those 1000 page documents that companies pay to have written? They should of just copied one page 700 times and stuck it in the middle with some airplane schematics to look all techy.

  • (cs) in reply to foppy
    foppy:
    What's the big deal anyway. Who honestly reads any of those 1000 page documents that companies pay to have written?

    You insensitive beast! Many people might have lost up to 70 MB worth of porn and chain mail from the 80's!

    If you ask me, though, I would have first attempted to undelete the deleted files. By hand, if necessary. I once wiped my partition table thanks to a bug in Windows' FDisk. I had to rewrite it by hand from a Linux rescue disk. Only that I didn't know its format and only had a slight idea of where to find it on disk. 8 hours later (overnight) I came out victorious. It sucks not to have backups, but it rules to be a teenager and have a whole night to spend reverse engineering table formats from disk sectors with no documentation whatsoever...

  • (cs)

    The opposite of Backup... Frontdown?

  • (cs) 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.

    Didn't AOL "invent" email? (with help from Dan Quayle) </sarcasm>
  • Look at me! I'm on the Internets! (unregistered) in reply to Steve
    Steve:
    It wasn't necessarily a Word document. ...

    Of course it was a Word document. They ran out of disk space didn't they?

  • Ed (unregistered) in reply to AI
    AI:
    gabba:
    OK, OK, you expect me to read and comprehend the whole article before posting? Sheesh.
    When did the dailyWTF become slashdot?
    -1 Redundant
  • evilghost (unregistered) in reply to Ed
    Ed:
    AI:
    gabba:
    OK, OK, you expect me to read and comprehend the whole article before posting? Sheesh.
    When did the dailyWTF become slashdot?
    -1 Redundant

    Mod parent up!

  • (cs) in reply to milmin
    milmin:
    I don't believe this story.

    It's just too stupid a solution to actually be true. NO one would implement such an error prone, trouble inviting system. Unless a complete retard.

    btw, were 386s around in 1988? I remember work had ATs about that time, with 20mb hdds.

    70gb? Crap.

    I remember the first 386 we got (this was @ autodesk) was in 1991 or 2. It was a DX machine, and cost 12000 AUS.

    We did have email, but only one computer in the office received it.

    It is better to read and learn than to post your lack of knowledge and remove all doubt that you're uneducated and unable to read and research. Several people have already pointed out (with personal anecdotes and easily looked up information online) that the timelines and technology are quite reasonable.

    Learn well young grasshoppa and maybe you won't look so dumb next time you leave a comment.

    -- Seejay

  • wondering (unregistered)

    The VAX780 had email included in VMS. The 780 model was released in 1980.

    Most Unix systems included email, you could get email on mainframes, etc. Mostly local because networks were uncommon and expensive and certainly before SMTP and the Internet were invented.

  • craaazy (unregistered) in reply to DoofusOfDeath
    DoofusOfDeath:
    I had a 400MB HDD in 93 or 94, I believe. I think it only cost a few hundred bucks.
    Lies. A 40MB HDD in '93 or '94 may have cost a few hundred dollars, but a 400MB HDD would have been in the thousands.
  • (cs) in reply to Claxon
    Claxon:
    The Real WTF is the huge backlog of stories... look at this, We're only just seeing the ones sent in from 20-30 years ago!

    (Sent by carrier pigeon ofcourse)

    RFC 1149 perhaps?

  • s. (unregistered) in reply to Sir Twist
    Sir Twist:
    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?

    I don't think there was superscript as such. Much more likely it had some extra types: 'st', 'nd', 'th' in superscript, "copyright mark", "trademark", superscripted '1','2','3', '1/2', '1/3', promile and a few other special characters that appear from time to time and aren't found on normal typewriters.

  • s. (unregistered)

    A photocopier permanently set to "-1 copies" is called shredder.

  • (cs) in reply to Anonymously Yours
    Anonymously Yours:
    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.
    From what I understand, the data was only on a single disk. The other disk used symlinks. So they needed to find the disk with the actual data on it.
  • (cs) in reply to craaazy
    craaazy:
    DoofusOfDeath:
    I had a 400MB HDD in 93 or 94, I believe. I think it only cost a few hundred bucks.
    Lies. A 40MB HDD in '93 or '94 may have cost a few hundred dollars, but a 400MB HDD would have been in the thousands.
    I only did a quick search on Google Groups, but I found a post from 1992 where I found this:

    http://groups.google.com/group/comp.sys.sun.admin/msg/1564a74261e7df8c

    Fujitsu 420MB M2623SA $989

    And if you add a couple of years, the price should have fallen quite a bit more. They might even have bought a second hand drive...

  • ViciousPsicle (unregistered)

    To the people who keep saying that the hardware existed: Yes, hard drives with over 100MB were available in the early '80s. But the prices were extremely high, and they were basically only used for large, multi-user systems. Individual workstations would almost never be sold with so much storage space at that time. So this sentence:

    "There were roughly 80 workstations that were being installed, each with two 70MB drives."

    Pretty much forces me to believe that the story actually took place in the early '90s, when such a setup would still be expensive, but much more plausible. In the early '80s, such an environment would have been astronomically expensive. The cost of hiring a properly experienced admin at the time would have been a drop in the bucket, by comparison.

  • Anonymous Lizard (unregistered) in reply to smxlong
    smxlong:
    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.

    I believe the consensus was that it's a fax artifact. I've certainly seen worse happen on analog fax machines. ISTR allegations that the docs were deliberately faxed multiple times to make them look "older" by accumulating artifacts. (Also something about being wadded up and flattened, with the creases visible in the PDF if you adjusted the contrast? That may have been something else though.)

  • (cs) in reply to broken
    broken:
    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.

    Of course, if you'd gone through a CS or engineering curriculum, you'd realize that large universities often have similar setups. I worked on a variety of workstation clusters in college, using a lot of really expensive software (including some VLSI stuff that cost something like $50,000 per license). Just because they're not for-profit corporations doesn't mean universities don't provide students with real-world experience.

  • (cs) in reply to craaazy

    I distinctly remember buying a 300MB SCSI hard drive in 1993 (Seagate) for $300 USD, because I kept commenting about how "hard drives had finally broken the $1/MB barrier".

  • (cs) in reply to m0ffx
    m0ffx:
    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. *Place the photocopies on a large, wooden table. *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.

    Fixed for you.

  • Steve H. (unregistered) in reply to Unkn0wn
    Unkn0wn:
    THis is bull shit there was no emails back then plus there is no way you could get 70Mb drive. Such a fucken lie.
    I can't believe such an obvious troll has snuck onto WTF.
  • Random DC guy (unregistered) in reply to craaazy
    craaazy:
    DoofusOfDeath:
    I had a 400MB HDD in 93 or 94, I believe. I think it only cost a few hundred bucks.
    Lies. A 40MB HDD in '93 or '94 may have cost a few hundred dollars, but a 400MB HDD would have been in the thousands.
    In '93 I put together a 386 computer (incidentally the 2nd computer that was really mine) primarily with left-over parts after my parents upgrade to a 486.

    It had a 320mb harddisk, which was on sale at Microcenter for ~$200. A huge step up from the 10mb hard disk in my previous computer, an 8088.

    So "a few hundred dollars" for a 400mb harddisk in that time period is about the right ballpark. Its not like its a gigantic $1K 1gb disk (circa late '94).

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