Old guys reminiscing about their hardware 😆


Ip0 on fire :fire:

Had a room full of impact printers back in the day printing out inventory reports for a music retail chain. Every store got the report every week in their shipment from the DC. Printed on that giant green bar paper. Sounded like a helicopter landing pad in there when they were all running… Okidata.

Never saw anything burning but seeing that message on the console a few times I’ll never forget it.

(Andrew P) #83

I was recently reminded of two experiences that I had 20 years ago.

Both were when I worked for a large financial services firm.

The first was one of our VPs (everyone at a bank is a VP) was giving a bunch of bigger VPs a tour and took them through part of our datacenter. He was standing next to a refrigerator-sized Sun server explaining what we used it for and said, “blah, blah, blah… and I always thought it was funny that this thing has a key. It’s just like a car!” Then he turned the key which powered off the server.

The second was when a engineer from a different location was in our datacenter and upon exiting pushed what he thought was the exit button next to the mag locked door. I’ve never heard so many pagers go off simultaneously. Problem was that our facility was newer and our doors were unlocked with a motion sensor, in his building you had to press a button. He hit the EPO (emergency power off) at 4:30PM on a Friday.

Good times…

(Ged) #84

The unexpected error by dickhead is a familiar feeling.

We had a sales knob demonstrate RAID by pulling a disk from the array. That particular array was rebuilding and was client data, oops!

Client did a fairly rigorous failover test each month including kicking over to the roof mounted shipping container sized diesel generator. Step 34 should have been - check diesel level in generator. Oops!


1, What was EPO control doing near a mag door that in many other instances would be controlled by a similiar looking switch?
2. Why didn’t switch have a cover and a proper label?

Probably designed by some Porsche engineer.:wink:

(Ged) #86

One of the early nuclear power plants, the control room design was to look nice rather than be functional. There were two levers so they made them identical and put them next to one another.
One lever opened the control room doors and the engineers put a can of coke on the other so as not to scram the core by mistake!

(Andrew P) #87

I often find that people who do this type of design rarely think about how spaces are actually used. Besides, the EPO looked nothing like the exit buttons that were used in other facilities. Color, shape, size, and location were all different.

One thing is for certain, per code the EPOs had to be located a specific distance from the door. The reasoning being that one would smell smoke, see fire, run for the exit, and hit the BIG RED BUTTON on the way out.

The offending party admitted that he was thinking about something else at the time and operating from muscle memory. He knew he made a mistake the minute that his finger touched the button, but didn’t stop himself before it was too late.

It was labeled, but I can’t remember exactly how. There definitely wasn’t a sign next to it that said, “do not press unless something is on fire.” We installed a cover the following week, but the fire marshal made us remove it on a subsequent inspection citing a code violation.

(Ged) #88

Server rooms rather than huge data centres often had door and halon buttons right next to one another in the 90s I remember. Various DIY warning signs were then added.

(Alan McMillan) #89

In 1983 I was a trainee at the BBC’s engineering training department at Wood Norton. It was a very hot summer (93 deg F was the peak). One of the classrooms had a PDP11/40 in it and we all took turns standing in front of the ventilation grilles so we could cool ourselves with the cold air that was blown through the computer to keep it from overheating. Happy days!

(Ged) #90

One of the threads about which Linux variants to use reminds me.
15+ years ago we were asked to look at running a niche programme to see if we could take advantage of multiprocessors ( mobile signal software) so a few of us are gathered around a console - most of those gathered were bored by their own tasks so came “to help”. It was a unix prog so we were LS’ing and piping into grep as you do when one of the younger team looked at us and said “ you know this has a graphical UI, right?”
Shuffling of older feet…

(Reader of the Internets) #91

That gives you a chance to explain that a GUI can hide critical information, and why more experienced types prefer the command line.

(Ged) #92

Not when your just looking for a list of files :flushed: