Shark Tank: Don't resuscitate

This hospital's aging, outdated database server is finally replaced -- but users demand that the old server be kept running too. 'They say they're still using the old server daily,' says pilot fish. But after several months, the IT shop doesn't buy it...

          This hospital's aging, outdated database server is finally replaced -- but users demand that the old server be kept running too. "They say they're still using the old server daily," says pilot fish. But after several months, the IT shop doesn't buy it. "We unhook the network connection from the back, leaving it stuck in enough to look like it's connected," fish says. "That was months ago. Guess who hasn't said anything about it yet?"

          Don't say anything

          For months, IT pilot fish for a school district begs this clerk for the data to file the state-mandated school bus accident report. Her constant reply: "No rush -- the state can wait." Finally, as fish faces a big hardware rollout, he warns, "If we don't do it soon, I don't know when I'll have time to send it." So when district gets in trouble for failing to file the reports, what does clerk tell her boss? "He said he doesn't know when he'll have time to send them."

          Don't help

          Friday afternoon: IT administrator personally frees up some space on a server to install new software. Monday morning: "Company's accounting software is spitting out errors right and left, and all users who have rebooted their computers can no longer access the server," says a support pilot fish. "Turns out he uninstalled all the licensing administration tools and deleted some critical accounting software files, which caused the backup process to fail. The accounting department had to rekey over 2000 transactions."

          Don't touch

          This pilot fish's workstation needs to run continuously for a few weeks. It's on a UPS, but to make sure it remains untouched during a scheduled weekend power outage, he leaves a note: "Please do not turn off under any circumstances unless you speak with us first." On Monday, the machine has been rebooted. "I saw the sign and made sure I did not turn it off," office manager says. Sighs fish: "She crawled under the desk and unplugged it instead."

          Don't slam the door

          Circa 1980, this New York bank's PDP-11/40 minicomputer gets moved across town. "The techs put this pretty large system -- about the size of a VW minibus -- back together in record time, a couple of days," pilot fish says. "They finished their diagnostic, closed one remaining cabinet door -- and sliced through a misrouted cable, which shorted and burned out almost every system in the PDP-11. It took two weeks to repair all the damage."

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