Recent Feature Articles

Nov 2023

The White Appliphant

by in Feature Articles on

Circa 2010, Becca's employer, Initech, was growing. "Growing", in this case, meant "acquiring competitors who had niche products that their customers wanted added to Initech's portfolio".

One such product was a content-management/workflow tool, already sold to some big-name, multi-billion dollar companies. The tool fell into that niche between "really useful to the people who need it" and "buggy as an ant hill inside of a termite mound under a wasp nest". Sales were good, but the devs were underwater and the backlog of feature requests and bug fixes were growing. So Initech bought the vendor, fired most of the developers, and handed it to an Initech team.

Cool Power

by in Feature Articles on

Power outages are never good, and they're even worse when your facility needs to run 24/7. Now, Jaroslaw's organization didn't do a great job setting up for round-the-clock, always-on operations. It was the kind of thing where the organization grew, annexed the neighboring building, and kept growing. The result was hundreds of workstations, two separate power lines, two server rooms, three different Internet uplinks, and huge piles of switches responsible for making this network work.

Which added the problem that after a power outage, nothing came back on exactly right, either. It always took some time to find the one switch that opted not to reboot.