SHARK TANK February 15

Tales from the world of ICT

The 2010 Bug Turns out we have an issue with date rollovers from 2009 to 2010. On our Win95 machines, the date rolls back to 2005 when changing from 2009 to 2010. And no, they cannot be jettisoned or upgraded for quite some time. Which leaves the question; what dates did everyone use to force Y2K compliance because management did not allow enough time to do it correctly and surely the code won't be in use 'then'?

The logical conclusion is that whoever wrote that "fix" assumed that nobody would still be using this system now. Never assume!

Braclet baffles tech support

User's brand-new laptop keeps going into standby mode at random, reports a pilot fish on the scene. Local techs try replacing parts, updating the BIOS and everything else they can think of trying -- but nothing improves the situation. Then someone thinks to watch the user as she works -- and observes that every time the user moves her left hand past the corner of the laptop, the laptop drops into standby mode. And the user wears a magnetic bracelet on her left hand. "This observation was escalated to the vendor, who confirmed that there is a magnetic switch on the display cover and the palm-rest area, used to make the system go into standby automatically when the laptop is closed," says fish. "It seems that if any item with a magnetic field is placed close enough to that sensor on the left corner of the palm rest, it will trigger the switch and make the system auto standby. "The only option to resolve it was to request the user not to wear the magnetic bracelet while working on her laptop."

Prediciton pays off Some of the servers in this data center are running applications that have memory leaks — and the only way to avert a major crash is to reboot them regularly, reports a pilot fish on the scene. The only problem: The users don't buy the idea that their servers have to be taken offline on a regular basis. "So I sat down and did the calculations to predict when a machine would next crash if they did not let us do some maintenance work," fish says. "It coincided with me being on holiday, so I gave them my prediction six months in advance, telling them what would happen. "I was lucky. My prediction was September 19th at noon, and it actually crashed at September 20th at 11:45 am — not bad for a rough calculation six months before. "When I came back from my break, the users started giving us the machines when we wanted them."

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