fred rosenberger wrote:I thought i heard once that Toy Story got deleted from Pixar's servers at one point. Someone happened to have taken a recent copy home to look at(?) and that was the only copy left...If i recall right, it almost ruined the company...I'll see if i can find a link to it later...
Another, "they did it"... First programming job out of college the company had grown and was having a bigger building constructed to house more staff. The team/individual that was assigned the task to get network gear went right down to the wire on the design specification for the purchase. As it turned out, the people he had been talking to didn't understand the delivery schedule or possibly our side didn't understand the reps lingo, but when the cut the PO, it came out that the equipment they wanted was still 3 years out before it would hit the market. Red faced they buried all the original work and PO and hurriedly bought existing technology.
Another instance--back when 486's came out, one of the techs decided he was going to update a unit to a 486-25 for all their machines. he bought 29 motherboards and memory at around $1000 each plus memory costs. The new boards didn't fit the hole patter for the stand-offs in the case, but were made due instead of just getting a drill and making new holes. After about a month the boards drooped due to the heat and lack of support. They started to short out spectacularly--zaps and sparks and whiffs of smoke. The original tech was sent to fix the problems. He found what had happened, and dumped the 19 or so boards that he had not used yet into the dumpster--and quietly hand purchasing just get new computers for the 29 people he was going to upgrade. One of the other techs regularly dumpster dove to see what he could get--19 brand new 486-25 boards--Jackpot! The company found out and wanted the boards back from the 2nd tech that dumpster dove. He refused to give them back, since they had been disposed of in a publicly accessible dumpster (law states anything thrown in to a trash receptacle becomes first come first serve unless the trash is secured, the dumpster was public accessible with no locks or fencing). When they consulted legal, the whole thing was swept under the carpet, but the first tech quickly moved on to another location.
yet more: We bought 1/2 million dollar order of computers from Dell, great machines! Mine had a problem, I was the agency's senior developer and correlated development of all project technology integration. The problem made my machine slow down to an agonizingly slow processing pace--I could literally work math problems faster than my computer could calculate the answers. Dell sent tech's out 9 times to fix the problem. Each time I told them the machine slowed down after about 1/2 hour of use. They replaced everything except the case, memory, and video card (it was a high performance card not integrated graphics). They replaced the mother board multiple times, the power supply multiple times, and had basically hit a dead end. Instead of just giving us a new machine, they took the stance there could't be anything wrong with it, and it was operator error. Well, we had a 1 million dollar order in with them and my boss called our purchasing department and said: "Hold the Dell order." A senor tech was down at my station the next day. He sat down with me as we talked for about a half hour before he even looked at the machine, and he actually listened. He cracked the case open and started running the machine and listened to it for 10 minutes. As it turned out, one of the high performance video card's cooling fans were defective and after about 10 minutes of operation, it heated up and slowed down--didn't stop, but just slowed down. It was enough to change the sync rate on the bus and it put a huge drag on the entire system. Everything appeared to be working, and was, but the overheating on the video card slowed the hardware down to a crawl. The tech replaced the video card and all was well with that machine until we retired it years later. Just goes to show: a million buck has a little bit of clout!
I've literally dozens of these types of "little problems" that I've seen in my career.