Jane Bailey

Jane Bailey is a self-published author of urban fantasy novels as well as a part-time blogger; in their day job, they're a renaissance person, dabbling in all sorts of fields in search of interesting puzzles and finding mostly WTFs.

Best of 2020: Web Server Installation

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While this year has felt endless, there are projects which will feel like they take forever. As we wrap up our tour of the best of 2020, let's visit an endless project. Original -- Remy

Connect the dots puzzle

Once upon a time, there lived a man named Eric. Eric was a programmer working for the online development team of a company called The Company. The Company produced Media; their headquarters were located on The Continent where Eric happily resided. Life was simple. Straightforward. Uncomplicated. Until one fateful day, The Company decided to outsource their infrastructure to The Service Provider on Another Continent for a series of complicated reasons that ultimately benefited The Budget.


Mandatory Confusion

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Mighty gnarled tree (Unsplash)

CorpCo was a small company; it consisted of Tymeria, the president, and two programmers, Kylie and Ronnie. Kylie had seniority, having been working there for 6 or 7 years, but Ronnie, our submitter, had been working there a hefty 4 years herself. The company purchased a legacy VB web app from a client company, AClientCompany; AClientCompany had been working on the app for 15 years, with their lead programmer Michelle as the sole programmer. The app had been written in classic ASP using VBScript, though at some point Michelle had begun converting the project to ASP.NET with VB.NET. (Did you know you can mix and match classic ASP with ASP.NET and classic VBScript with VB.NET in the same solution? I didn't!). Of course, the app was riddled with security vulnerabilities, copypasta, and spaghetti code. One main class, called DBFunctions.vb, was over 30,000 lines!


Sweet Release

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READ FASTER READ BETTER

Release Notes: October 31, 2019

  • Added auto-save feature every five minutes. Auto-saves can be found in C:\Users\[username]\Documents\TheApp\autosaves.
  • Added ability to format text with bold, underline, and italics.
  • Removed confusing About page. Terms and conditions can now be found under Help.

Web Server Installation

by in Feature Articles on

Connect the dots puzzle

Once upon a time, there lived a man named Eric. Eric was a programmer working for the online development team of a company called The Company. The Company produced Media; their headquarters were located on The Continent where Eric happily resided. Life was simple. Straightforward. Uncomplicated. Until one fateful day, The Company decided to outsource their infrastructure to The Service Provider on Another Continent for a series of complicated reasons that ultimately benefited The Budget.


Teleconference Horror

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Jcacweb cam

In the spring of 2020, with very little warning, every school in the United States shut down due to the ongoing global pandemic. Classrooms had to move to virtual meeting software like Zoom, which was never intended to be used as the primary means of educating grade schoolers. The teachers did wonderfully with such little notice, and most kids finished out the year with at least a little more knowledge than they started. This story takes place years before then, when online schooling was seen as an optional add-on and not a necessary backup plan in case of plague.


Another Immovable Spreadsheet

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OrderStatistics.gif

Steve had been working as a web developer, but his background was in mathematics. Therefore, when a job opened up for internal transfer to the "Statistics" team, he jumped on it and was given the job without too much contest. Once there, he was able to meet the other "statisticians:" a group of well-meaning businessfolk with very little mathematical background who used The Spreadsheet to get their work done.


A Vintage Printer

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IBM 1130 (16758008839)

Remember Robert, the student who ruined his class curve back in the 1960s? Well, proving the old adage that the guy who graduates last from medical school is still a doctor, he managed to find another part-time job at a small hospital, earning just enough to pay his continued tuition.


Wrecking the Curve

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FORTRAN punch card (public domain)

Most of our WTFs are produced on modern hardware, but today we're taking you back to the dawn of computing, back to the 1960s, when our submitter, Robert, was in college. Rob was taking a class in Numerical Analysis, which allowed people to submit their programs to the university computer (singular, as this was before computers were cheap enough to have a whole lab of 30+ of them just lying around for students). This involved using a keypunch machine to punch cards to run a FORTRAN program that might give you the answers to your homework. It was marginally faster than using a slide rule, until you factored in that students had low priority on the queue to submit their programs to be run, so they'd have to wait hours, if not days, to get access. Most students didn't even bother with the expensive machine, simply doing their maths the old-fashioned way and leaving it at that.


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