Not destroying or encroaching on their natural habitat so that they're no longer forced into contact with humans?
12 posts • joined 1 May 2018
In my first sysadmin job I needed a serial connector to connect an HP server to its green-screen system console. There were none spare but a colleague put one together with a soldering iron, a few bits of wire and some wiring diagrams he found online. We plugged our home-made connector to the server and terminal and it worked. Up came the login prompt.
Within half an hour, the company network ground to a halt. No email. No access to network drives. No telnet access to servers. Nothing. The entire company dead in the water. Within minutes of removing the hand-made connector, everything returned to normal. Network collisions from the connector were believed to be the cause. No recriminations but I wish with hindsight that I'd held on to that connector...for research purposes...for a friend....
My first IT job after graduation involved keeping data in development and production Oracle databases consistent. One fine day I needed to export data from a table in the production database into a CSV file using SQLPlus and import that data into a new table on the dev database. My first attempt imported the data into the dev database table but into the wrong columns. I truncated the dev table and tried again. Again it failed. Thinking "how hard can this be", pining for lunch and getting a little irritable and trigger-happy, I truncated the table again and exported from the production table again. To my surprise it created an empty file. As the awful truth sunk in, I still recall to this day how I felt:
- I stopped breathing;
- My heartbeat skyrocketed;
- Hot and cold flushes coursed through me;
- I thought I might faint;
- I involuntarily looked outside at my car, fighting the impulse to pack my stuff, quietly drive away and never come back.
Fortunately the production table I'd accidentally truncated only contained a handful of records of static data which a colleague had a copy of. A few quick insert statements later and all was well with no impact to the business or users. Now if I'd truncated other production tables containing millions of rows of invoicing data.....
A true story from the Darwin Awards - a group of four men were drinking in a bar on the banks of the Nile. To avoid paying the bill, all four ran out of the bar, jumped into the Nile and began swimming to the opposite shore. Three drowned. The fourth made it across only to find the Egyptian police waiting patiently for him.
A colleague brought some plums into the office to eat as an afternoon snack and left his desk briefly to run them under the tap in the small kitchen not far from his desk. His desk phone rang while he was away and was answered by a female colleague. In response to the caller asking where he was, she replied, with a perfectly straight face and accent, "He's washing his plums in the sink".
I was nine years old in 1975 when my parents took me to Nairobi airport to see Concorde. My first impression was one of disappointment at how small it looked, not helped by it being parked at the farthest end of the airport. There it sat, a gleaming white dart under the vast African sky.
Fast forward to 2016 and a visit to Duxford air museum. I was walking through Concorde 101 on display there and saw a plaque marking its visit to Nairobi in 1975. Suddenly realised with shock and wonder that I was standing inside the same aircraft I'd seen as a boy over 40 years earlier. I don't mind admitting I welled up and promptly made a donation to the upkeep of this wonderful aircraft.
What was Concorde doing in Nairobi you may ask? Icing testing. Strange as it sounds, the air temperature over the equator at 60,000 feet is colder than it is over the Poles at the same altitude.
Wonderful memories of an iconic aircraft.
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