Off topic - Slow batch processing

Daniel Maher daniel.maher at
Fri Apr 27 13:19:49 IST 2007

> This reminds me of a story that is way off topic but some of you might
> need
> a laff today.
> Many years ago I worked for a large NY firm that had a overseas office.
> The
> overseas office started having a problems with Sybase servers running
> slowly. The Sybase experts? were called in and could not resolve the
> problem. After a little over 30 days! someone noticed that there was very
> little memory in the systems.
> A check the data center access records, system reboots and data center
> cameras showed that a contractor had been systematically removing memory
> from many systems for LONG time. A check of the contractor's apartment
> found
> a lot of memory and other kibbles and bits :(
> Sometimes it not always a configuration or application problem :)
> Best regards,

Early on in my system administration career, I was brought into an office to determine why their primary fileserver would become intensely slow /at night/.  During the day, when "everybody was using it", it ran at a good pace - but at night, when only a handful of satellite offices accessed the data, it operated at a snails pace.

Many diagnostics were run and metrics were gathered.  For some reason, the CPU would spike about 30 minutes after everybody left for the day, and wouldn't drop again until the first people came back the next morning.  Oddly enough, it seemed to exhibit this behaviour ALL day on Sunday as well!

Has anybody guessed what it is yet?  :)  That's right - it was the Windows "pipes" screensaver.  Somebody had turned on the maximum number of joints, colours, and pipes; and it ate all of the CPU power just to render the graphics when nobody was around.

 °v°  Daniel Maher
/(_)\ Administrateur Système Unix
 ^ ^  Unix System Administrator
"How can a man choose between Fresh and Fly?  And believe me, there IS a difference." - Crack Stuntman, 2007.

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