• (cs) in reply to PerdidoPunk
    PerdidoPunk:
    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.
    What, like PHBs, incompetent sysadmins, surly customers, insane processes, mandatory use of inadequate platforms, impossible deadlines, pointless meetings, and being denied a pay-rise for no good reason?

    Oh wait, I'm beginning to remember it all now ... except that, thankfully, the PHBs were only evident in the Registrar's offices. And the pointless meetings would be the lab work, which I just skipped (much like meetings today). And there were no customers. (Hooray!)

    On the other hand, if your definition of "real-world experience" is having a $5,000 per-seat license waved under your nose, then that's the sort of real world I want to live in.

  • Anonymous (unregistered) in reply to Old UNIX dude
    Comment held for moderation.
  • (cs) 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!
    286 my father bought in 1989 had a 5,25" 40MB drive (that had to be split to 2 partitions, because DOS didn't support partitions larger than 32MB).
  • ChiefCrazyTalk (unregistered) in reply to Anonymous Lizard
    Comment held for moderation.
  • Kuba (unregistered) in reply to kmactane
    kmactane:
    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!)

    Some people learn from their mistakes. The whole "fire due to a snafu" without-thinking-it-through corporate mentality costs corporations, it doesn't save money. New person will always need to get on top of things, learn the job, even if the job description matches experience.

    It's not necessarily a valid assumption that the IT manager in question kept screwing things.

    Cheers!

  • Kuba (unregistered) in reply to ChiefCrazyTalk
    Comment held for moderation.
  • Kuba (unregistered) in reply to smxlong
    smxlong:
    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.

    Yeah, because when you install OO.org on Windows, it won't use any M$-provided fonts. Also, OO.org doesn't strive to match Word's output, like, at all.

    Have you ever tried, on a Windows machine, to type up a simple document in Word, print it out, then open it in OOo and print it again? Chances are, they'll look exactly the same. That's my experience.

    Cheers!

  • Griglars (unregistered)

    This story reminds me of a set of systems we used to manage at a former job that were a sort of primitive cluster for searching documents. There was one master box and 3-4 slave boxes. The slaves were behind a reverse proxy connected to a database. Code was pushed by the master via rsync, and the data was collected via the slaves, which were supposed to be clones. Due to various hardware issues, one was usually down for some kind of maintenance or non-pushable upgrade.

    One day, one of these boxes was being re-engineered for a new structure. This meant re-coding a lot of stuff by hand, and the master server was used as a template of sorts. Well, sadly, one of the scripts had the rsync set up like the master (that is, went upstream instead of downstream). He then forgot about the cron job and left it running. As root. With DSA keys and no password required.

    The test slave then did an rsync --delete --update move which copied over an empty data directory into the master, wiping out all the data, including the initial codebase. The altered master server then pushed out this empty data to all the slaves. Suddenly, all the slaves were empty and crashed because they had static linked libraries that had been erased. As root.

    When we got the pages, we thought since all the slaves were reporting empty, that there was a database connection problem. It took us 6 hours to find out none of the code was working. Then we found out the master server was also missing what we needed (but somehow did not crash like the others until a reboot was accidentally done).

    LUCKILY, one of the slaves was turned off due to scheduled maintenance because the SCSI hard drives were tossing out errors. We gingerly booted it back up, and copied all the data and codebase we could before the SCSI drives died or corrupted the data we needed (they stayed up). The source code for the master was also saved due to a recent tape backup.

    It took a week to deconstruct what had happened.

  • (cs) in reply to Kuba
    Kuba:
    kmactane:
    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!)

    Some people learn from their mistakes. The whole "fire due to a snafu" without-thinking-it-through corporate mentality costs corporations, it doesn't save money. New person will always need to get on top of things, learn the job, even if the job description matches experience.

    It's not necessarily a valid assumption that the IT manager in question kept screwing things.

    Cheers!

    You're obviously not a fan of the "Hire and Fire" concept, are you?

    It might be cruel in the short term, but in the long term it's the only way to go. Works both ways, too: decent companies end up with high-quality employees, and crap companies end up getting rid of the only people who know what they're doing ...

  • AdT (unregistered) in reply to Anonymous Lizard
    Comment held for moderation.
  • kyevan (unregistered) in reply to Paul
    Paul:
    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.
    You've had email that long, and still haven't learned to not share your password. How sad.
  • billswift (unregistered) in reply to craaazy

    My first computer was a Packard Bell in 1995 with a 850 MB hdd for about $2000 withot monitor.

  • (cs)

    Fantastic.

  • lineman (unregistered) in reply to Ian

    too right - 10Mb would have been massive back then!

  • Dax5 (unregistered) in reply to Literate
    Literate:
    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.

    Funny, after the umpteenth post someone found out it was Unix, even with the giveaways.

    1 - It mentioned workstations. Not PC's. Anyone working in corporate or university environments knows the difference, and knows that real workstations run UNIX.

    2 - Because of being workstations, it also means they usually have more resources than household PC's. Overspecced HD's for workstations were not uncommon.

    3 - Geeze, didn't "softlinks" give the obvious hint? I don't know any other OS that uses that concept. (No, "shortcuts" in Windows aren't the same.)

  • (cs)

    Ah ... the Children of the 90's have arisen. Sheesh, I didn't use BITNET or FidoNet back then, though I did use some BBS's in the mid-90's and still I know that email spans a hell of a lot earlier than the Internet boom!!!

    I also remember that part of the Iran-Contra scandal (remember that?) was uncovered by deleted e-mails on the government network. That's 1987.

    Its kind of like people bragging about IM not existing before 1999 because MS hadn't built MSN Messenger yet. (Hint: ICQ @ 1996, eXpress Messages in BBS systems in the 80's.) Or chat systems, forgetting about IRC. Or multiplayer games (MUD's since the late 70's) ... oh well...

    I'm going now. Gonna play Ms. Pacman on my C-64 ... ;)

    PD: I'm a children of the 80's. ;)

  • 3NV7 (unregistered) in reply to Paul
    Paul:
    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.

    Haha... I'm thieving your identity now, sucka!

  • rune (unregistered) in reply to deepgrewal

    Word existed before Office and indeed before Windoze.

  • neozeed (unregistered)
    Comment held for moderation.
  • Alex Gergoriev (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.

    I bought WD 200 MB for $250 in 1993, Quantum 350 MB in 1994 for $350, and this was in Russia. Bought WD 1GB in 1995 for $400, at Fry's.

  • eric bloedow (unregistered)

    reminds me of an old story: an employee misunderstood the message on the floppy disk that said "this disk must be formatted before use"...so EVERY SINGLE TIME he put a disk a floppy drive, the VERY FIRST thing he ALWAYS did was Format it...and his job was to do the company-wide backups! and nobody noticed till they tried to use a backup.

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