Fun_People Archive
10 Jun
Click *here* to lower the fuel rods.

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From: Peter Langston <psl>
Date: Mon, 10 Jun 96 17:54:48 -0700
To: Fun_People
Subject: Click *here* to lower the fuel rods.

Forwarded-by: Keith Bostic <>
From: "Rebholz, Chris" <>

A true war story:

I used to work for the dearly departed Ingres, a relational database
company.  One day, the folks in Tech Support wandered up the stairs to
the floor I worked on.  They looked particularly ashen-faced.  Someone
finally asked them what the problem was.

Apparently, Edison Power and Light (the New Jersey equivalent of PG&E)
had called our East Coast support office in Saddlebrook, NJ, a half-hour
earlier.  They used Ingres to keep track of the rods moving around in the
nuclear cores on a DEC VAX.  Somehow, the database had become corrupted.
If it didn't get fixed in four hours, when the next core rotation began,
a meltdown was likely.

Fortunately, (1) our Saddlebrook office was a half-hour from their site,
and (2) all VAXes had the ability to have remote hardware diagnosis
performed by their world-wide support center in Colorado Springs, CO,
through a piece of firmware built into every VAX.  Not surprisingly, the
folks at DEC gave this problem a rather high priority.  After about an
hour and a half, it was determined that a disk sector was corrupted.  It
was repaired, and life as we continue to know it went on.

Welcome to Product Land, folks!  It's got a different set of problems than
Academia taught us all.

Remind me to tell you about answering questions about how we at Ingres
said we would provide support during nuclear wars at a sales call to the
Strategic Air Command some time...

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