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This is Hooovahh


@altenbach wrote:

I would not be surprised if the USB ports blowing up acted like a fuse, protecting the rest of the computer. It might even be designed that way, having an undersized trace acting as a fusible link to prevent the equipment to permanently burst into flames, taking the entire building with it. Smiley Surprised


Not likely. 

 

One of the darnedest things I ever saw was a PC that rebooted every time the USB ports powered up.  A cable had been wire tied too tightly!  Shorting 5V to GND.  Hold it!!!! That's exactly what the " Power" button  does!

 

Took me all day to figure that one out

 

Spoiler
Remind me to start a "Face palm" thread.

Gratuitous example. 
When I was a lad, the television repair man came around to fix our B&W set.  After 30 minutes I asked....."What if you plugged it into the outlet?"
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Message 181 of 195
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@Jeff·Þ·Bohrer wrote:

 

Spoiler
Remind me to start a "Face palm" thread.

Gratuitous example. 
When I was a lad, the television repair man came around to fix our B&W set.  After 30 minutes I asked....."What if you plugged it into the outlet?"

And that guy relayed the solution to their helpdesk, and now it's the first question every helpdesk employee worldwide ask first. Thanks, Jeff Smiley LOL!

Message 182 of 195
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wiebe@CARYA wrote:

@Jeff·Þ·Bohrer wrote:

 

Spoiler
Remind me to start a "Face palm" thread.

Gratuitous example. 
When I was a lad, the television repair man came around to fix our B&W set.  After 30 minutes I asked....."What if you plugged it into the outlet?"

And that guy relayed the solution to their helpdesk, and now it's the first question every helpdesk employee worldwide ask first. Thanks, Jeff Smiley LOL!


"Helpdesk" still had to wait about 15 years to be invented, I suspect.

 

Trying to keep this one short...

 

A large VAX cluster...

 

Spoiler
a computer room full of mainframes that shared a disk farm long before the idea of RAID drives had been invented

Did not come backup after preventive maint. was performed. After replacing every component in everything,  the district hot-dog was called in who chased the source code of the OS to determine the disk controller was at fault. Chasing the code in the disk control (HSC-50 incase anyone cares) and found that a Boolean was in the wrong state. Chased that Boolean to an input that was coming from...

 

The on-line button.

 

That button had been bumped during the maintenance.

 

Ben

 

 

 

 

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Message 183 of 195
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Just after graduating high school I went into college, and got a co-op job working with LabVIEW.  I was still 18 and had barely got a grasp on this whole new world of NI and LabVIEW and understanding one of the systems being made.  I was tasked with going on site to upgrade the test software, and debug any issues in the upgrade process.  It was a pretty easy task involving running some setups, copying configs around, and installing another DAQ card.  Once onsite I started upgrading the systems with the customer's help.  At one point he asked me "How long have you been with [Company]?" likely touching on the fact that I looked pretty young and inexperienced.  I said "Oh less than a year".  Which was true, it had been about 3 weeks.


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Checkout and help contribute to the community driven LabVIEW Wiki.

Message 184 of 195
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@Hooovahh wrote:

...  I said "Oh less than a year".  Which was true, it had been about 3 weeks.


Re: Trying to hide the obvious...

 

Many years ago when working second shift I was invited to fix a computer at a hospital where I had previously never been.

 

When talking to the customer I asked for directions (this was before the internet and MapQuest etc.) and the customer gave me the best direction I had ever been given.

 

Spoiler
Not like the direction that amounted to drive until you get to the house where the dog used to sit on the porch.

 

Plenty of details of what to watch for etc. The customer then told he would meet in the parking garage.

 

Ben: "Just give me direction to the computer room and I will meet you there."

Customer: "No that is too complicated!"

 

So I drove and the direction where wonderful, no problems. I then was surprised when I met the customer who was waiting there with his Guide Dog!

 

The direction he gave me were from a person who never had actually seen the landmarks used to get there.

 

So I end up in the computer room faced with a new-fangled micro-VAX that I had never seen previously. I had trouble trying to get the thing open! I tried to cover up my ignorance by making small talk while I tried to poke and pry to get the thing open. While I thought I was getting away with something, judging by the quizzical look his dog was giving, I don't think I got away with it.

 

Additional insight on a "blind programmer"

While legally blind he could if using a TV monitor to blow up a letter to fill a 20" screen, he could make out what letter he was looking at. Since all programming was done using text (long before LV was invented) he was able to program computers by keeping the program in his head as he worked.

 

Very impressive.

 

Ben

 

 

 

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Message 185 of 195
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Many "oops" in my long career, but one that comes to mind is when, having worked for a few years in field service for one company I went back to work for one I had helped start some years earlier. I was at a customer to perform preventative maintenance (clean/replace air filters, make sure cooling fans working, etc.) A trick we had at the previous company for checking fans, many of which were in hard to reach/see locations, was to stick a "tie-wrap" in them and listen for the buzz of the blades hitting it. I did this to a few of the fans and then, from the other room I heard a computer operator crying out in dismay, her link to the computer (a Data General MV/8000 "super-mini") had gone down. I wasn't familiar with this, at the time, new machine (the development documented in "Tract Kidder;'s The Soul of a New Machine") but it turned out they had a "feature" that did a panic shutdown if a single fan's RPM dropped below a certain limit. Oops!

Putnam
Certified LabVIEW Developer

Senior Test Engineer North Shore Technology, Inc.
Currently using LV 2012-LabVIEW 2018, RT8.5


LabVIEW Champion



Message 186 of 195
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@LV_Pro wrote:

... stick a "tie-wrap" in them and listen for the buzz...

but it turned out they had a "feature" that did a panic shutdown if a single fan's RPM dropped below a certain limit. Oops!


Nice!

 

My first night doing PM on mainframes did not go well.

 

When checking the voltages on the backplane I slipped shorting 24V to 5V bus... blew out four boards before the dawn broke.

 

But that was lame compared to the time Pitt's computer center had memory error that took down one of the two tri-processors that ran the campus.

 

I showed up and diagnosed the problem and figured out which bank of core memory was bad. I counted out the rows and then cabinets (these were six foot tall 19 inch racks with a grand total of 256K in each cabinet) within rows and powered down the memory cabinet.

 

The entire three acre computer room went silent. I had miscounted rows and had powered down one of the cabinets for the OTHER tri-processor effectively killing all computer service to the Pitt campus.

 

Realizing what I had done I walked right up to the lead-operator and confessed my sin.

 

They looked up at me and said;

 

"That's OK Ben. They will probably all think they hit the wrong key."

 

Ben

Message 187 of 195
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Okay to be fair this one isn't from me but a coworker.  Still I'm putting this in this thread as an interesting anecdote.

 

Document Approval Shenanigans

 

A coworker we will call Jay had a document that needed approval from 6 different people and he knew that at least one of them would complain about anything and everything derailing the conversation and making the meeting go on accomplishing nothing.  A new term I learned for this is bike shedding.  To avoid this he planned a meeting that was short and sent the document with explicit instructions that each person needed to review the document before the meeting and to come in ready to give feedback.  In the invite Jay said that the purpose of the meeting was to gather feedback and comments but not to discuss or review the document.

 

So the meeting starts and he asks the first person in the group:

 

“Do you have any objections or comments on this document.?” - Jay

“Well I haven’t reviewed this document what does it cover?” - Person #1

“This is not the time to review the document, everyone here has a busy schedule and their time is important so we will not be covering the contents of the document we will only record if you have comments or suggestions on changing the document.  Person #1 do you have any thing you would like to comment on or suggest changing in the document?” - Jay

“No I don’t have any comments.” - Person #1  

“Person #2 do you have any comment or suggestion to change in the document?” - Jay

“No.” - Person #2

“Person #3?” - Jay

“No.” - Person #3

“Person #4?” - Jay

“No.” - Person #4

“Person #5?” - Jay

“No.” - Person #5

“Person #6?” - Jay

“No.” - Person #6

“Okay this meeting is over sooner than expected, thanks for everyone’s input I will be sending out a final draft of this document for approval.” - Jay

 

This company had a bad history of not reviewing the documents until the meeting at which point the meeting would drag on for hours.  He held the meeting this way believing no one would come prepared and that he would essentially get approval from these people to move forward by believing they wouldn’t follow instructions.


Unofficial Forum Rules and Guidelines - Hooovahh - LabVIEW Overlord
Interesting in learning all you can about automotive CAN bus communication? Checkout my 12 part CAN Blog series.
Checkout and help contribute to the community driven LabVIEW Wiki.

Message 188 of 195
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Highlighted

Brian's post reminded me about a manager that objected to everything... that was not his idea. Eventually I figured out how to play him...

 

Ben : "Don, I was thinking about that idea you mentioned and I think it is a great idea!"

Don: "Which idea was that?"

Ben: "That idea about X and we should do Y."

Don: "I do not remember that but it does sound good."

 

Of course Don did not remember since it was not his idea but as long as he thought it was...

 

Ben

Message 189 of 195
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"Could you put your objections on paper, please?" often does the trick.

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Message 190 of 195
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