• dkallen (unregistered) in reply to Remy Porter
Remy Porter:
Again, just for clarity: while Bob may have submitted something similar to this story, it was not Bob's submission. The original protagonist did identify as female, although it was submitted anonymously, so the name is entirely invented.

We love submissions from anyone, but it'd be great to have a little more representation from the female readership. We actually try to avoid changing genders in stories, although sometimes we have to make our best guess because it's not clear from the submission.

Wait, so Bob got a gender change?

• (cs)

Leaving the apologetic note to the successor is the real WTF! Let them discover the problem the hard way.

• (cs) in reply to PedanticCurmudgeon
PedanticCurmudgeon:
D-Coder:
Watson:
PedanticCurmudgeon:
the boys are ogling her laptop
Yeah.....her laptop.....right....
If nothing else rammed home the point that it was a work of fiction....
Not necessarily. We're talking teen-age *nerd* guys.
Teen-age nerd guys have the same urges as everyone else. Source: I was a teen-age nerd guy.
Yes, certainly. But they don't *ogle* the same way. Otherwise they'd be non-nerdy.
• Mr.Bob (unregistered)

Let us gaze into the crystal ball and look back 9 months...

The original coax network is to be replaced. The contractor specifies new runs of twisted pair back to a central wiring closet along with a switch.

The beancounter in charge balks at this: "why do we need 3000 feet of new wire? Our existing network only has 600 feet! Switch? I thought this was an upgrade, why do we need to buy a switch?"

After 3 days of whiteboard diagrams and blank stares from the beancounter, the contractor admits defeat and concedes that it would be possible to replicate the network with only 600 feet of twisted pair, daisy-chained between machines.

The beancounter smiles smugly, having caught the wily contractor in his clumsy attempt to pad the estimate and sell unneeded equipment. The contractor pulls the wire while planning his retirement...

• self-appointed grammar nazi (unregistered) in reply to 4chan's appointed grammer nazi

I don't get it. Were "grammer" and the incorrect "your" intentional? Is that 4chan humor?

• Peter (unregistered) in reply to Black Bart
Black Bart:
>Actually, that wasn’t a difficult decision at all.

So she converted it to Token Ring?

The real WTF was that a govt office wasn't Token Ring to begin with!

//used to develop Token Ring hardware -- glad to see the end of it

• Tangurena (unregistered) in reply to Black Bart
Black Bart:
>Actually, that wasn’t a difficult decision at all.

So she converted it to Token Ring?

• William (unregistered)

Hey! I liked WordPerfect! It was a great DOS word processor.

And Hackers is a hilarious movie!

Anyway, thanks for the comments this time. :)

• William (unregistered) in reply to 4chan's appointed grammer nazi
4chan's appointed grammer nazi:
Remy Porter:
Cool Story Bro: When I went to college, the network [etc etc].
Your using "Cool story bro" wrong.

Cool story bro, tell it again.

• (cs) in reply to Mr.Bob
Mr.Bob:
Let us gaze into the crystal ball and look back 9 months...

The original coax network is to be replaced. The contractor specifies new runs of twisted pair back to a central wiring closet along with a switch.

The beancounter in charge balks at this: "why do we need 3000 feet of new wire? Our existing network only has 600 feet! Switch? I thought this was an upgrade, why do we need to buy a switch?"

After 3 days of whiteboard diagrams and blank stares from the beancounter, the contractor admits defeat and concedes that it would be possible to replicate the network with only 600 feet of twisted pair, daisy-chained between machines.

The beancounter smiles smugly, having caught the wily contractor in his clumsy attempt to pad the estimate and sell unneeded equipment. The contractor pulls the wire while planning his retirement...

This is why you get the bean counter hire a consultant for $197,600 to figure out what needs to be done. That way, to reject the consultant's advice, the BC has to admit the consulting money was wasted. The BC just can't admit that...which is why consultant BS is so widely respected. The more an answer costs, the more respect it carries. And that, grasshopper, is why the average Joe's/Jane's cheap-o opinion is rejected out of hand; and then they get shown the door for being idiots. • Mike (unregistered) in reply to Stev Exactly. Plop a hub somewhere in the chain in the place of a computer. Then only half the building goes down at a time for ~$50.

• Cogo the Barbarian (unregistered) in reply to self-appointed grammar nazi
self-appointed grammar nazi:
Is that 4chan humor?

It wasn't the least bit funny, so ... yes.

• Chris (unregistered)

Seems like she could have spent the time wisely:

Get a router or switch. - there should have been one somewhere anyway.

Also a set of terminators (the plugs) and a crimping tool. Depending on the number of computers in use it would take a while, but it wouldn't cause any downtime and would certainly be something that the network admin should have been doing.

Maybe set a goal of rewiring 3 desktops a day.

• (cs) in reply to Cogo the Barbarian

Ah, you kids and your 10baseX. In my day, we hooked up dongles to the Centronics port, cut ordinary telephone wire to precise odd multiples of 1/4 of the carrier wavelength, and were thankful for it. (Or, yes, used that IBM firehose stuff with connectors the size of your fist, and ran ASCII/EBCDIC converters on every box.)

• Garrison Fiord (unregistered) in reply to Spudley
Spudley:
Garrison Fiord:
The decision wasn't hard to make at all...so what was it? Do I have to read the stupid HTML source to find out?

Step 1: Open your browser's bookmark organiser. Step 2: Create a new bookmark with the following in the URL:

javascript:(function(){document.getElementsByTagName('body')[0].innerHTML=document.getElementsByTagName('body')[0].innerHTML.replace(/<!--/g,'<span%20style="background:#FF0000;%20color:#FFFFFF;">').replace(/-->/g,'');})();

Step 3: ???? Step 4: Profit!!! Uh, I mean click your bookmark rather than 'view source' when you want to read the comments.

Nice try. A decent firewall and running Linux makes these attempts to hijack my computer pointless.
• (cs)

Not to insult the storyteller here, but is there any chance this was actually an IBM Baseband network, not Ethernet? In the early-mid 90s, this would have been a strong possibility. It was essentially a twisted pair bus, that used terminators on each end. Each computer had two ethernet-looking ports on it, and you basically daisy-chained each computer together. Some cards even took up two slots, giving the appearance of there being two cards.

I'm not saying that the story is wrong, but even googling for Windows 3.1 ethernet bridging isn't making it look like this was a common practice. At the very least, I don't ever remember seeing anyone doing that.

• jay (unregistered) in reply to Bob
Bob:
OP here. I'm not sure why my submission underwent a gender change. ...

With every submission posted on this site, you get one free sex-change operation.

• C-Derb (unregistered) in reply to William
William:
And Hackers is a hilarious movie!
The unintentional comedy in movies like Hackers, The Net, Swordfish, etc. is off the charts hilarious. But kudos to Hollywood for even trying to portray technology to a general audience.

Now if you'll excuse me, I need to re-position a Chinese government satellite for Jack Bauer.

• jay (unregistered) in reply to C-Derb
C-Derb:
William:
And Hackers is a hilarious movie!
The unintentional comedy in movies like Hackers, The Net, Swordfish, etc. is off the charts hilarious. But kudos to Hollywood for even trying to portray technology to a general audience.

Now if you'll excuse me, I need to re-position a Chinese government satellite for Jack Bauer.

My perennial favorite is when the detective gets some computer image, zooms in on a tiny object that's about 2 pixels square in the original image, and then he tells the guy operating the computer "clarify that", he presses a couple of keys, and boom! additional resolution materializes out of nowhere. Now we can read the inscription on the suspect's ring or the serial number on his handgun from a grainy security camera image taken 100 feet away.

I wonder if doctors and lawyers get the same amusement from seeing how their professions are portrayed by Hollywood. Do doctors sit around laughing, "Ha ha, he made a 100% accurate diagnosis based on THAT description of the symptoms?! Then got the insurance company to approve treatment when he didn't even have a CPT code? Hee hee hee."

• jay (unregistered) in reply to WC

I've been in positions like this plenty of times. Karen is a temporary employee, which probably means she is well down the list of people whose opinions matter. You see something badly done, you tell the boss, and ... the usual reaction is a smug, "Well, we paid a consultant $200,000 for this solution. I'm sure he knows more about it than you do." Sometimes they're just smug and condescending. Sometimes they tell you how they'll consider your suggestions and get back to you, but you both know that once you leave the room your ideas will go in the trash can. Every company I've ever worked for talks about how much they want employee suggestions. And almost every company I've ever worked for either, (a) ignores all employee suggestions completely, (b) carefully explains why each suggestion is being rejected, (c) announces they are accepting such-and-such suggestion with much fanfare, but never actually implements it. Or my absolute favorite, (d) actively punishes employees who make suggestions. I worked for one department where at every staff meeting the big boss would say, quote, if I'm doing something stupid, tell me, I won't hold it against you, unquote, and she would generally solicit suggestions from employees. And as the department failed over and over again to deliver working products, I knew many employees who offerred suggestions on how they might do things differently. And every one of them was fired. Sometimes it's better to just keep your mouth shut and do the best you can with the hand you're dealt. Or look for another job. • David C. (unregistered) in reply to ¯\(°_o)/¯ I DUNNO LOL Comment held for moderation. • n_slash_a (unregistered) in reply to Spudley Spudley: Garrison Fiord: The decision wasn't hard to make at all...so what was it? Do I have to read the stupid HTML source to find out? Step 1: Open your browser's bookmark organiser. Step 2: Create a new bookmark with the following in the URL: javascript:(function(){document.getElementsByTagName('body')[0].innerHTML=document.getElementsByTagName('body')[0].innerHTML.replace(/<!--/g,'<span%20style="background:#FF0000;%20color:#FFFFFF;">').replace(/-->/g,'');})(); Step 3: ???? Step 4: Profit!!! Uh, I mean click your bookmark rather than 'view source' when you want to read the comments. +1 • C-Derb (unregistered) in reply to jay jay: C-Derb: William: And Hackers is a hilarious movie! The unintentional comedy in movies like Hackers, The Net, Swordfish, etc. is off the charts hilarious. But kudos to Hollywood for even trying to portray technology to a general audience. Now if you'll excuse me, I need to re-position a Chinese government satellite for Jack Bauer. My perennial favorite is when the detective gets some computer image, zooms in on a tiny object that's about 2 pixels square in the original image, and then he tells the guy operating the computer "clarify that", he presses a couple of keys, and boom! additional resolution materializes out of nowhere. Now we can read the inscription on the suspect's ring or the serial number on his handgun from a grainy security camera image taken 100 feet away. I wonder if doctors and lawyers get the same amusement from seeing how their professions are portrayed by Hollywood. Do doctors sit around laughing, "Ha ha, he made a 100% accurate diagnosis based on THAT description of the symptoms?! Then got the insurance company to approve treatment when he didn't even have a CPT code? Hee hee hee." Great point. I love how lawyer shows always reveal the case changing evidence at the peak of the trial, sometimes even surprising members of their own prosecution/defense team. That always happens in real court cases. • Fake Remy Porter (unregistered) in reply to Garrison Fiord I guess you're as dumb as everyone here gives you credit for...or maybe even more? • Garrison Fiord (unregistered) in reply to Fake Remy Porter Fake Remy Porter: I guess you're as dumb as everyone here gives you credit for...or maybe even more? Let me guess...an Apple™ zombie? Let me give you an update: iOS is about as virus-prone as any system out there. Go ahead and try to feel superior, and I'll start wishing that you get wrongly-convicted of hosting an animal-porn website with content from Mexico. • noland (unregistered) in reply to Garrison Fiord Garrison Fiord: Spudley: Garrison Fiord: The decision wasn't hard to make at all...so what was it? Do I have to read the stupid HTML source to find out? Step 1: Open your browser's bookmark organiser. Step 2: Create a new bookmark with the following in the URL: javascript:(function(){document.getElementsByTagName('body')[0].innerHTML=document.getElementsByTagName('body')[0].innerHTML.replace(/<!--/g,'<span%20style="background:#FF0000;%20color:#FFFFFF;">').replace(/-->/g,'');})(); Step 3: ???? Step 4: Profit!!! Uh, I mean click your bookmark rather than 'view source' when you want to read the comments. Nice try. A decent firewall and running Linux makes these attempts to hijack my computer pointless. No, it won't do any harm to your computer! It will only void the root domain ... We from Windows may call you soon, since we found out that hackers have set the root domain in your network to an empty string. We can fix that for some$100 ...
In my younger days, I spent the better part of an entire day running down intermittent network problems in a thinwire network. The problem turned out to be a 50-ohm BNC terminator that went open-circuit for no good reason in the middle of the night. I kept it as a trophy, and am looking at it as I type.

The depressing thing is that the terminator had exactly one part (a 51 ohm resistor) inside. And that part went bad...

Even resistors will stop resisting.
• Botime (unregistered) in reply to Jack
Jack:
Can't find anyone who understands networking? But why would you? Any computer guy with pride would learn it himself, right?

Let's see... no Internet, so forget google and wikipedia.

Nobody's called out this claim yet? This story said it took place in 1995, so the Internet had been around for quite a long time, and you even had the web at this point. I'm sure there were networking Usenet groups or mailing lists that could have helped out.

But as far as the bigger picture goes, yes, it's amazing how easy it is to learn everything these days.

• emaNrouY-Here (unregistered) in reply to Botime
Botime:
Jack:
Can't find anyone who understands networking? But why would you? Any computer guy with pride would learn it himself, right?

Let's see... no Internet, so forget google and wikipedia.

Nobody's called out this claim yet? This story said it took place in 1995, so the Internet had been around for quite a long time, and you even had the web at this point. I'm sure there were networking Usenet groups or mailing lists that could have helped out.

But as far as the bigger picture goes, yes, it's amazing how easy it is to learn everything these days.

You're setting up the network. In 1995. You don't have Internet access if you don't have a running network.

The one exception is if you brought in a laptop with a modem and have an AOL account. Then you could use one of the phone jacks, dial in, and make us of the Internet through AOL (Compuserve, Earthlink, Netcom, MindSpring, local BBS, or whomever had a modem bank setup and gave you Internet access).

• Born Texas Proud (unregistered) in reply to Garrison Fiord
Garrison Fiord:
Fake Remy Porter:
I guess you're as dumb as everyone here gives you credit for...or maybe even more?
Let me guess...an Apple™ zombie? Let me give you an update: iOS is about as virus-prone as any system out there. Go ahead and try to feel superior, and I'll start wishing that you get wrongly-convicted of hosting an animal-porn website with content from Mexico.
Hey, dude. You gotta wait until Mexico gets the Internet.
• Pete (unregistered) in reply to Chris
Chris:
Seems like she could have spent the time wisely:

Get a router or switch. - there should have been one somewhere anyway.

(...)

Mike:
Exactly. Plop a hub somewhere in the chain in the place of a computer. Then only half the building goes down at a time for ~$50. I'm quite sure that there aren't random routers or switches lying around - back in the early-mid 1990'ies, if I recall correctly, the cheap units cost around$1000, and a decent router could be $10000+. The hubs required to rebuild the network would likely cost more than her wages. They wasted a lot of money for the duplicate NIC's (these also weren't cheap back then), but they can't get it back anyway. • ¯\(°_o)/¯ I DUNNO LOL (unregistered) in reply to David C. David C.: When PC-LAN migrated to Coax, it used 75-ohm cables. I wonder if your bad batch of terminators (and cables?) might've been IBM PC-LAN hardware, mislabeled (or fraudulently sold) as Ethernet. Why are you doubting what I said? They were labeled as 50 ohm terminators in individual locally heat-sealed plastic bags with locally printed part labels, in a bin on a shelf in an aisle that you walk down and pick one up out of. TRWTF is people who can't accept that humans make mistakes, and instead insist it must be some complicated conspiracy. Geez, folks, ever heard of Occam's Razor? • (cs) in reply to C-Derb C-Derb: Great point. I love how lawyer shows always reveal the case changing evidence at the peak of the trial, sometimes even surprising members of their own prosecution/defense team. That always happens in real court cases. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Discovery_(law) • JJ (unregistered) in reply to Chris Chris: Get a router or switch. - there should have been one somewhere anyway. "I'm sure that in 1985, plutonium is available in every corner drugstore, but in 1955, it's a little hard to come by." Yeah, same principle. • Someone You Know (unregistered) in reply to Garrison Fiord Garrison Fiord: Fake Remy Porter: I guess you're as dumb as everyone here gives you credit for...or maybe even more? Let me guess...an Apple™ zombie? Let me give you an update: iOS is about as virus-prone as any system out there. Go ahead and try to feel superior, and I'll start wishing that you get wrongly-convicted of hosting an animal-porn website with content from Mexico. Great. Another fanboy. In B4 someone claiming the superiority of OS/2. • JJ (unregistered) in reply to Hatshepsut Hatshepsut: I'm the submitter and so's my wife. Welease Woger! • Someone You Might or Might Not Know (unregistered) in reply to Someone You Know Someone You Know: Garrison Fiord: Fake Remy Porter: I guess you're as dumb as everyone here gives you credit for...or maybe even more? Let me guess...an Apple™ zombie? Let me give you an update: iOS is about as virus-prone as any system out there. Go ahead and try to feel superior, and I'll start wishing that you get wrongly-convicted of hosting an animal-porn website with content from Mexico. Great. Another fanboy. NB4 someone claiming the superiority of OS/2. FTFY • BeanCounter (unregistered) in reply to Coyne Hey, that's a bit unfair to the bean counter species. We're not all hopelessly ignorant. It's when bean counter reports to bean controller boss that things can get really hairy... • AGray (unregistered) in reply to Someone You Know Someone You Know: Garrison Fiord: Fake Remy Porter: I guess you're as dumb as everyone here gives you credit for...or maybe even more? Let me guess...an Apple™ zombie? Let me give you an update: iOS is about as virus-prone as any system out there. Go ahead and try to feel superior, and I'll start wishing that you get wrongly-convicted of hosting an animal-porn website with content from Mexico. Great. Another fanboy. In B4 someone claiming the superiority of OS/2. Forget OS/2. Everyone knows BSD > all... • The same guy (unregistered) in reply to Cogo the Barbarian Cogo the Barbarian: self-appointed grammar nazi: Is that 4chan humor? It wasn't the least bit funny, so ... yes. LOL U MAD? I THINK U MAD. JIMMIES STATUS: [ ] Not rustled [x] Rustled [x] Batman: Arkham Rustler [x] The Good, The Bad, and The Rustled [x] Super Rustled 64 [x] Legend of Zelda: Rustlerina of Time [x] Rustledstone creamery [x] Mario Golf: Rustool Tour [x] Super Rustle Boy [x] Left 4 Rustled [x] Battlefield: Bad Rustling 2 • (cs) in reply to William William: Hey! I liked WordPerfect! It was a great DOS word processor. And Hackers is a hilarious movie! Anyway, thanks for the comments this time. :) Huh. I was in Hackers. Yep. In the crowd scene at the nightclub, moshing up front. • Gary Olson (unregistered) This is why the Bourbon protocol, with cranberry specification, in a tumbler chassis with ice integrators was created. • Kuba (unregistered) in reply to iToad iToad: In my younger days, I spent the better part of an entire day running down intermittent network problems in a thinwire network. The problem turned out to be a 50-ohm BNC terminator that went open-circuit for no good reason in the middle of the night. I kept it as a trophy, and am looking at it as I type. The depressing thing is that the terminator had exactly one part (a 51 ohm resistor) inside. And that part went bad... I fix and troubleshoot 20+ year old test equipment in my spare time, and resistors going open is nothing new. Sometimes those resistors take down$5000 worth of unobtainium as war trophy or something.
• (cs) in reply to jay
jay:

My perennial favorite is when the detective gets some computer image, zooms in on a tiny object that's about 2 pixels square in the original image, and then he tells the guy operating the computer "clarify that", he presses a couple of keys, and boom! additional resolution materializes out of nowhere. Now we can read the inscription on the suspect's ring or the serial number on his handgun from a grainy security camera image taken 100 feet away.

You mean something like this:

http://yuzhikov.com/articles/BlurredImagesRestoration1.htm

• (cs) in reply to Coyne

Actually I am going to defend Karen in the following way.

In her report she should say:

"The correct way we should do this is to get ourselves a proper switch and a lot more cable and network everything via the switch. However at this point in time, doing so is too expensive and beyond our budget. However we expect that in the not-too-distant future the price of these things will drop exceedingly, and in the meantime we want to make the best of the resources we have now and prepare for the future and be ready for when we make this switch-over. We also realise that in 2-3 years time, we will probably also be more equipped with experience of the best way to create such a network, and hope also that our computing operating systems will have been ugpraded to Windows NT workstations.

I also recommend we start using Microsoft Office rather than WordPerfect, as I foresee this will be a more standard documentation format".

• thehap (unregistered) in reply to Coyne
Coyne:
The more an answer costs, the more respect it carries. And that, grasshopper, is why the average Joe's/Jane's cheap-o opinion is rejected out of hand; and then they get shown the door for being idiots.
The most important men in town would come to fawn on me! They would ask me to advise them, Like a Solomon the Wise. "If you please, Reb Tevye..." "Pardon me, Reb Tevye..." Posing problems that would cross a rabbi's eyes!

And it won't make one bit of difference if i answer right or wrong. When you're rich, they think you really know!

If I were a rich man, Yubby dibby dibby dibby dibby dibby dibby dum. All day long I'd biddy biddy bum. If I were a wealthy man....

I'll be singing such a happy tune all day. Thanks!

• someone (unregistered) in reply to Jack

hey, the story was set in 1995 not 1985 (ok in 1985 they would have sent you a floppy disk, but the bookshelf situation had improved a lot from what you describe in 1995)

with similar amazement i met with a large client somewhere in the 90s timeframe, must have been around 97. they had >1000 computers spread across an entire complex of buildings. they even had a fiber backbone to connect the cabinets, which also seemed well organized at first sight.

it was just that the bandwidth left room for improvement. everything was slow. they had file servers, but they didn't use them much because getting something there (or from there) was almost as slow as copying the files to a floppy disk.

parts of the network had even been upgraded to 100 mbit already, but they didn't see much of an improvement from that either.

and how could they have? the fiber backbone (or at least part of it, don't remember exactly) was still running at 10. which was even worse than it sounds, because the network was also organized as a single broadcast domain. the expensive 100 mbit switches with the fiber uplink ports were effectively acting as hubs, and being limited by the backbone, they were just very expensive 10 mbit hubs. oh, and lots of unencrypted data from all across the complex was there for anyone to sniff.

did i mention the class a network they were using didn't even belong to them?

• jay (unregistered) in reply to chubertdev
Comment held for moderation.
• Meep (unregistered) in reply to dkf
dkf:
WC:
The real WTF is that Karen didn't have the pride in her job to do it right.
No, TRWTF is WordPerfect (of course) which in those days required that you have a special keyboard template to use so you could remember what Ctrl+Shift+F9 did. WP training consisted of teaching people remember to look at the keyboard template to find the operation they were looking for.

\begin{bullshit} Thank god for LaTeX! \end{bullshit}

\ftfy{}

• Daveytay (unregistered) in reply to ¯\(°_o)/¯ I DUNNO LOL
¯\(°_o)/¯ I DUNNO LOL:
Simon:
Reminds me of one of the first networks I worked on. We used the coax version of 10Mbit ethernet, and it worked fine, despite that we used 75R cable (video company) rather than 50R. It only went wrong when the MD took the computer on a trolley away to test something in the lab, and disconnected the coax from the T-Piece, leaving the terminator on the PC. He had been told multiple times that he should disconnect the T-piece from the PC, leaving the terminator at the end of the cable, but he was the MD, so why should he listen?
Oh man, terminators.

Back in the early '90s, the small development group I was in (contractors for an Air Force human factors project) upgraded from sneaker-net to Ethernet. So we got some NICs and coax and went to the local computer parts shop for a couple of terminators. It. Didn't Work. We eventually got exactly two cards to work at the same time.

Turns out that the terminators were mislabeled. Using a multimeter showed that they had 75 ohm resistors in them. So we went back to the parts shop... where we found that the whole bin was 75 ohms. Apparently the little old lady who printed up labels and stuck them onto the packages had a senior moment. Those two NICs were just the only ones that could work with the mismatched impedance.

Had to be Novell Hardware. I have used their NICs and they were made well. I will chuck in a Banyan Vines just because it is from the same era.