Sep. 28th, 2011

Once, when we were working on a hardware proposal, one of my co-workers came to me with a piece of paper with "Onkyo" written on it. He asked me what I thought of that manufacturer. Thinking it was related to our proposal, I offhandedly said "they make consumer-grade stereo gear", with my tone of voice making it clear that I meant this derisively.

Later I found out that he'd just spent a few thousand dollars on an Onkyo stereo system, and he wanted my real opinion on his purchase. Unfortunately for him, he got it.

We were getting ready for a fancy demo to a customer, including showing off our fancy new parallel data link. But, at the last minute, one of the wires came loose, so when we sent "Hello, world!" across it, it arrived at the other end as "Jello, world!"
I've long had a habit of naming computers I administrate after women I know. Once upon a time, the company I worked for decided to put us in our own division, "Telos Information Technologies". Yup, my servers were then named things like,, etc. That didn't last long.
Like many programmers, when I'm developing code, I'll put in amusing error messages for when the code does something I don't expect. However, sometimes this code will get shipped before it's ready. Which leads to querulous calls from the customers. We've had the United States Navy ask us about some of these, which must have caused some consternation out at sea when they popped up. Seriously, folks, ASK me before you ship my software!

One time, I was writing a driver while the hardware engineer (his nickname was "Hoppy") was simultaneously debugging the hardware. I kept getting a particular error condition, only to find out it was because Hoppy had been screwing with something. After a few iterations of this, I simply put a printout at that point in the code that said "Hoppy's playing with the wires!" Sure enough, I forgot to remove it, and that message popped up in the field.

"Shut 'er down, Slim, she's sucking mud!" (a favourite of my friend, Ron Eirtle)

And my personal favourite: "I can't get a buffer to save my ass!"



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