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Hell desk to user: 'I know you're wrong. I wrote the software. And the protocol it runs on'


Oooh yeah you bet!

Back in the early 90s when I was about 20 I wanted to get a job a radio presenter, because frankly being a developer/engineer bored the crap out of me and radio jocks seemed to get all the women. Remember this is way before the dot.bomb and the cash for coding while OK was nothing compared with being on air presenter in broadcast media.

Anyway, as part of one of my first gigs in a regional market, we'd been selected to be the bunnies to test a new digital automation system. It was DOS based and very beta at that stage, so there were massive problems getting it stable, and consequently we had many "AirGaps" - rather long embarrassing silences while the system rebooted and rebuilt a cache of every single audio file on the drives!!

So to help the techs who were young and cool there, I wrote a suite of audio monitoring tools, and some vastly better database reconciliation code to log issues and help with DB reconciliation. I just did it for free and released it to whoever wanted to use it, and made it didn't have my name on screen anywhere so I wasn't associated with it. Not 'cool' in the eyes of the young ladies for a 21 year old DJ to be connected to any dorky computer code.

A couple of years later I'd risen through the ranks to become a prime-time presenter on one of Australia's biggest media networks. They were in the process of installing the same system. I was told NOT TO TOUCH the system - "Don't treat it like a computer - it's not. It's an audio storage device", and anyone who does will be fired immediately. So I immediately checked out the system and yes, somehow my code had magically been incorporated into the install. Unlike the regional guys, the big city engineers were rather precious about computers because they were all "analogue" guys.

Of course I was immediately in trouble for logging into the backend. And blamed for the system screwing up so many times according to their logger. When I pointed out that the logging system that logged me was also written by me all of a sudden I was the worst enemy. I had to use a hex dump utility to show them the ASCII string of my own name I'd buried in there before they accepted it. BTW I had to teach them what a hex editor was before doing so.

Shortly after they spent many tens of thousands with the vendor getting all my code rewritten. Of course I didn't care less from then on. They more or less left me alone and while they were spending long nights trying to get the system stable, I was out clubbing with two incredibly hot chicks! hahahah

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