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10-year-old Microsoft Ticket Resurfaces? 257

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the still-faster-than-your-mortgage-banker dept.
Ian Lamont writes "Microsoft is apparently taking seriously a blogger's claim that a Microsoft tech support employee called back to check on a 10-year-old BSOD trouble ticket. The anonymous blogger suspects someone at Microsoft typed "1/8/08" into their tracking system for the date of a follow-up call, instead of "1/8/98." Microsoft told Computerworld support cases "are reviewed regularly so that we can ensure we're resolving customer issues in a timely fashion — regardless of the callback commitment set by the agent. Nonetheless, no system can ensure complete accuracy."" To be fair, this is all unverified, so choose to believe at your own risk.
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10-year-old Microsoft Ticket Resurfaces?

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 16, 2008 @12:42PM (#22067904)

    To be fair, this is all unverified, so choose to believe at your own risk.


    This is slashdot. The article is critical of Microsoft. Of course they will believe.
    • by El Pollo Loco (562236) on Wednesday January 16, 2008 @01:05PM (#22068260)
      I believe I can fly
      I believe I can touch the sky
      A blue screen every night and day
      call MS and yell away

      I believe they will call
      I see them calling 10 years down the road
      I believe in MS
      I believe in MS
    • by commodoresloat (172735) * on Wednesday January 16, 2008 @01:56PM (#22068976)

      The anonymous blogger suspects someone at Microsoft typed "1/8/08" into their tracking system for the date of a follow-up call, instead of "1/8/98."
      Look, folks, if Microsoft had been spying on their employees back then, this never would have happened.
    • by SpaceLifeForm (228190) on Wednesday January 16, 2008 @02:29PM (#22069418)
      Even if it's not true, the real question is:

      After ten years, has Microsoft fixed the bug yet?
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by idontgno (624372)

      The article is critical of Microsoft. Of course they will believe.

      Well, I think you're missing an important point that may swing the credibility of this story the other way.

      The crux of the story is that Microsoft followed up on a problem ticket. And that strains the belief of almost any intelligent observer.

    • by ConceptJunkie (24823) * on Wednesday January 16, 2008 @03:00PM (#22069850) Homepage Journal
      Actually, I don't find this outrageous or obnoxious or anything. These things happen. It's like the U.S. Mail delivering a letter decades after it was posted. They handle billions of pieces a year. It's bound to happen eventually.

      What I want to know is whether the BSOD problem was ever fixed in those 10 years?

  • I don't believe it (Score:5, Insightful)

    by oni (41625) on Wednesday January 16, 2008 @12:43PM (#22067912) Homepage
    Let's think about all the things that would have to happen for this story to be true:

    1. Microsoft must have no mechanism for tracking work order/help requests. Come on. Every manager has daily/weekly/monthly reports that show the number of requests opened/closed/carried over and it flags old requests, and it sorts by age, so the oldest issue shows up at the top of the list. A manager would have seen this.

    2. When the help desk guy was assigned to make the followup call, he didn't notice and find it odd that the original call came in 10 years ago? He didn't call his supervisor over and say, "hey I think somebody made a mistake here! Maybe we should just close this out."

    3. Somebody has the same phone number of 10 years.

    Or we could go with theory B: a blogger made up a funny story.
    • by ByOhTek (1181381) on Wednesday January 16, 2008 @12:45PM (#22067954) Journal
      (2) is reasonable. Depending on the workload and setup, it is very reasonable the support agent didn't even look at the date field before making the call.

      (3) I know some people that have had the same number for 10 years. Some for a lot longer than that.
      • by Belial6 (794905)
        "(3) I know some people that have had the same number for 10 years. Some for a lot longer than that."

        I got my current phone number in 1990. So that makes 18 years for me. It is actually the second number that I ever had with the phone company. Luckily, Vonage arrived on the scene before I moved out of the area, so I was able to preserve it as my home phone number for the 2 years that I was out of it's local area.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by LMacG (118321)
      > 3. Somebody has the same phone number of 10 years.

      This comes up on /. fairly often. I can think of dozens of people who have had the same number for at least that long. Heck, my aunt in Pennsylvania has had her number so long, I remember when we used a named exchange (OSborne 5) for it. I don't get the collective perception that keeping a phone number is unusual.
      • by Splab (574204)
        I've had my mobile phone number for 10 years, its not that uncommon, especially in places where you can take the number with you when you move (Denmark for instance).
        • by peragrin (659227)
          I know several people with 15 year old cell phone numbers and one stubborn guy who even still has the same phone plan from 10 years ago, much to the annoyance of Verizon. Every few years he buys a new phone and just has the phone changed.

          My cell phone number though is only 9 years old. Got in 1999.

          Home phone numbers though my grandmother has had the same number since her kids where growing up. so ~60 years?
          • by EricWright (16803) on Wednesday January 16, 2008 @02:15PM (#22069222) Journal
            My father, who worked in two-way communication systems (think CB radios/base stations, 911 comms systems, etc) before retirement, has had the same mobile phone number since the late 1980s when it was attached to an $1100 in car system, the old kind with a base station mounted under the driver's seat and a handset cradle bolted onto the floorboard. He actually kept the same number with the same system (through NUMEROUS buyouts/takeovers) until cell number portability was finally mandated in the US.

            Makes my 9 years with the same mobile number seem paltry in comparison.
            • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

              by Splab (574204)
              Oh the joys of those good old times. My dad had one of those cell phones installed when it was very new in Denmark (this was early 90'ties), it was very impressive back then - even had hands free installed which pretty much required most of the car to be taken apart.
      • by mortonda (5175)
        I've had the same land line number for 10 years now. I still get phone calls for roommates I had back then, whom I kicked out when I got married.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by bhsurfer (539137)
        i wonder if the perception of phone numbers as something that frequently changes has any correlation with job-hopping. it would seem to me that the type of person who jumps jobs every 2 years would probably also be the type of person who moves frequently and thus doesn't always get to keep their phone number, and i'm going to take a wild guess that at least some people here fit neatly in that category.

        of course, i've only been in my current job for about 7 months and my landline number is 6 years old, so o

      • by egomaniac (105476)
        I don't get the collective perception that keeping a phone number is unusual.

        Slashdot's primary demographic is high school and college students. Ten years seems like forever to kids, and the college-age ones often do switch phone numbers frequently as they move from dorm to dorm and apartment to apartment over their college career.

        Go to a site with a retiree-age demographic, and you'll find a bunch of people who are surprised at not having the same phone number for decades.
      • Why WOULDN'T you want to keep the same phone number? I've always had the same cell number and hopefully always will. I've moved, but the area code is less and less relevant as more people have cell phones anyway.

        I see no reason to change phone numbers or email addresses as long as they still work. Old friends can always reach me if they want to.

    • Whatever happened, I think it's dumb to condemn Microsoft over this. With how many tickets they've dealt with since Windows and DOS came out, having this happen once isn't a bad record.

      That being said, you should add: 4. Their system for tracking tickets would have to not have changed in the past 10 years.
      • by croddy (659025) * on Wednesday January 16, 2008 @01:16PM (#22068446)
        It's inevitable that a ticket will fall through the cracks once in a while. My first reaction was "Wow, impressive. They retain trouble ticket data for 10+ years."
      • by sYkSh0n3 (722238)
        Why would the system not have been able to change?

        Even with the system changing, they wouldn't have done anything that wouldn't have allowed them to use the same dataset. They can't just wipe all their tickets one day and start anew. Every thing would have to be brought over during the transition.
    • by I8TheWorm (645702) *
      Yeah, I'm sure PHB dashboard metrics and auto-status tickets would prevent something like this from happening. Even small companies like Chorus [gochorus.com] use them.

      Just another blogger looking for page hits or his weekend buddy conversation "dude, I totally pwned the internet this week."
      • by diskis (221264)
        List of open cases in the company I work for dates back to 4 years, with about 5000 cases open that are over a year old.
        Build a big and nasty enough ticketing system, and auto-closing tickets do fail.
        And the list comes in one massive database, from which managers select only their own team to supervise. Only the curious and bored geeks look for interesting oddies like this.

        The most common reason for cases staying indefinitely open is an agent quitting/getting fired, and him being removed from the list befor
    • I'm only 24. I bought a cell phone at 15. I've had the same number for 9 years. It's not uncommon.
    • by EvilIdler (21087)
      My grandparents have the same phone number they did 20 years ago.
      Where I live, we usually bring our phone numbers with us when moving
      inside the same city.
      • My parents have the same number they got in November of 1970.

        Heck, I think they still have the same "princess" phone they got when touch-tone was introduced in the late 70s.

    • by ILongForDarkness (1134931) on Wednesday January 16, 2008 @01:06PM (#22068288)

      2. When the help desk guy was assigned to make the followup call, he didn't notice and find it odd that the original call came in 10 years ago? He didn't call his supervisor over and say, "hey I think somebody made a mistake here! Maybe we should just close this out."
      They probably have an autodialer, the agent didn't even see the ticket before the system called the guy. I worked for a Capital One call center for a while. I was real nice when the systems were slow: "Hi ... is ... Steve Johnson there" I must have sounded retarded but it was actually that I was waiting for the account to come up so I knew who "I" just called.
      • Yeah, its a dead give away. I hang up instantly if the caller id is unknown, and nobody says anything when I pick up. If you are a telemarketer that wants my business rule #1 : Tell me who the F**k you are and why you want to speak to me before asking me to verify my identity. I'm not the one to hand out my social to every idiot that calls me and asks for it. Heck, even if you do tell me who you are, you still aren't getting it, but I'll be more polite.
        • In my case I couldn't even tell them why I was calling because it was collections, I can't tell them who I am until they confirm they are the customer (not anyone elses business that they have debt with Cap One). What is even worse and I hate more, is the systems that call you without there being a person, it is a message and if you want more info press a button and we'll connect you with someone. Man they can't even pay someone to call you now (outbound calls typically were in the 20sec range per for colle
    • by Lumpy (12016) on Wednesday January 16, 2008 @01:10PM (#22068342) Homepage
      1 - Most trouble ticket software I have been exposed to can easily let this happen, enter in the wrong date like that and it will not show up on some reports.

      2 - you are giving way too much credit in abilities to help desk people. it's so bad nowdays that most are incredibly uncaring and skilled due to falling wages.

      3 - I not only have the same phone # from 10 years ago, but it's a cellphone number! I also plan on keeping my voIP number for at least 25 years or until my provider dies or turns evil.

      I know many people that have been bugged by incredibly old followup calls from tech service at a company. One friend was called on gear that we had removed and threw away for at least a year and a half... It was on a spontaneous reboot issue we reported 5 years ago.
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by antibryce (124264)
        until my provider dies or turns evil

        Better keep a wooden stake nearby, in case it does both.

    • by z0idberg (888892)
      As for 3.

      They called his parents. It's fairly realistic for someones parents to have the same number for over 10 years (mine have had theres for almost 30).

      Though I do agree that for this to be written on an anonymous blog that has 3 entries the bullshit-o-meter reading is fairly high.
    • by elrous0 (869638) *

      3. Somebody has the same phone number of 10 years.

      Believe it or not, I've had the same email address for the last 12 years.

    • by omeomi (675045)
      2. When the help desk guy was assigned to make the followup call, he didn't notice and find it odd that the original call came in 10 years ago? He didn't call his supervisor over and say, "hey I think somebody made a mistake here! Maybe we should just close this out."

      You haven't talked to Microsoft tech support have you? If it's not on the script, it doesn't happen.
    • I've seen six year old tickets in a production trouble ticket system, but it's much more likely the TT system would be upgraded and cleaned of cruft during that time.
    • by xtracto (837672)
      3. Somebody has the same phone number of 10 years.

      My mom's house (the house were I lived for about 14 years) still has the same phone number 68972 after almost 20 years. I do not thing it is that amazing to have the same telephone number for all that time (or maybe it is in the USA...)
    • by Otto (17870)

      Let's think about all the things that would have to happen for this story to be true:

      1. Microsoft must have no mechanism for tracking work order/help requests. Come on. Every manager has daily/weekly/monthly reports that show the number of requests opened/closed/carried over and it flags old requests, and it sorts by age, so the oldest issue shows up at the top of the list. A manager would have seen this.

      Assuming that the date was put in wrong to begin with, it's possible that the system did not count the problem as it was in "the future".

      2. When the help desk guy was assigned to make the followup call, he didn't notice and find it odd that the original call came in 10 years ago? He didn't call his supervisor over and say, "hey I think somebody made a mistake here! Maybe we should just close this out."

      I'm assuming that the problem date was actually wrong for some reason, instead of the follow-up date.

      3. Somebody has the same phone number of 10 years.

      If you'd read the article, the reason he thinks it's 10 years old is because they called his parent's number and left a message there.

      As for somebody having the same number for 10 years, my grandparents have had the same phone number for at least my entire life (I'm 31),

    • timestamps? (Score:3, Insightful)

      Microsoft built a system without timestamps, where you have to manually enter a date? I dunno whether calling that believable or not believable is more flamebait, but it's sure a wild story.
    • Microsoft must have no mechanism for tracking work order/help requests. Come on. Every manager has daily/weekly/monthly reports that show the number of requests opened/closed/carried over and it flags old requests, and it sorts by age, so the oldest issue shows up at the top of the list. A manager would have seen this.

      I have some familiarity with software for call center reporting. The managerial reports tended to show aggregate data, absolute numbers and percentages or contacts, closed issues, open iss
    • by plopez (54068)
      1. Microsoft must have no mechanism for tracking work order/help requests. Come on. Every manager has daily/weekly/monthly reports that show the number of requests opened/closed/carried over and it flags old requests, and it sorts by age, so the oldest issue shows up at the top of the list. A manager would have seen this.

      Assuming the manager gave a damn. Seriously, the turn over at hell desk is huge, managers come and go. Also assuming that the system has any data integrity at all, it could be spreadsheet b
    • by CrazyTalk (662055)
      My parents have had the same phone number since 1973. Until she died, my grandmother had the same phone number since the 1930s when they referred to the first two digits by letters instead of numbers.

      However, I call fake for other reasons.

    • by Belial6 (794905)
      "2. When the help desk guy was assigned to make the followup call, he didn't notice and find it odd that the original call came in 10 years ago? He didn't call his supervisor over and say, "hey I think somebody made a mistake here! Maybe we should just close this out.""

      I have to suspect you are right about this. When I spent the hour jumping through hoops to get a trouble ticket opened for a Microsoft Money bug that caused MS Money to fail at showing correct values in accounts, a ticket was opened. The
  • by Thanshin (1188877) on Wednesday January 16, 2008 @12:44PM (#22067920)
    Microsoft actually answered in time and slashdot reported the news ten years late.
  • I call BS. (Score:5, Funny)

    by RandoX (828285) on Wednesday January 16, 2008 @12:44PM (#22067934)
    Nobody EVER calls back.
  • This seems fishy (Score:4, Insightful)

    by The Wing Lover (106357) <awh@awh.org> on Wednesday January 16, 2008 @12:45PM (#22067946) Homepage
    I can't exactly put my finger on it, but there is something about the blogger's story that does not ring true. Maybe it is the lack of any personal information, or the implausibility of the ticketing system just cheerfully accepting a 10-year-distant callback date, or the implausibility of the tech who called his parents failing to notice that he was responding to a 10-year-old ticket.

    In any case, I would hope that Microsoft actually verifies the claims before making a big deal of them.
    • ... the implausibility of the ticketing system just cheerfully accepting a 10-year-distant callback date ...

      There are always exceptions. You open a retirement account at age 25, the bank/broker's system schedules call backs every ten years to rebalance as your risk tolerance changes as you get closer to retirement age.

      As a software developer I would consider the more common short term nature of tech support and the less likely long term nature of some other business relationships. The result would be
  • No way (Score:3, Insightful)

    by dtolman (688781) <dtolman@yahoo.com> on Wednesday January 16, 2008 @12:46PM (#22067980) Homepage
    I have worked in tech support at other companies, and we used to get regular reports about the oldest outstanding issues. And that was 10 YEARS ago - the same time this issue was opened. I can understand fat fingering the callback date - but no way an issue that old would get by for that long without being flagged by someone...
  • Microsoft told Computerworld support cases "are reviewed regularly so that we can ensure we're resolving customer issues in a timely fashion

    I guess everything is relative. Every time I had a support issue that required contact with a Microsoft developer it took days to even speak with one. And this was "enterprise" paid support, so I can only imagine what others must go through.

    To their credit, once we were in contact with a developer they were usually helpful and always fast. But getting to the right pe

    • by dtolman (688781)
      From my experience at other tech companies, I think you're misinterpreting the corporate double speak that really just means that they regularly review issues to make sure they don't have months old cases cluttering up the system.
  • 1. Why is this considered "news"?
    2. Who cares?
    • by RandoX (828285)
      I care. Unfortunately, I'm slightly outside the criteria to be considered a nerd, so your comment still stands.
    • 1. It's a recent event of interest to some.
      2. Taco, which is why it's on his blog that you are currently reading.
  • So? (Score:4, Informative)

    by ashridah (72567) on Wednesday January 16, 2008 @12:50PM (#22068056)
    I filed a bug against FreeBSD back in 1998. I didn't get a reply on that ticket until late 2002, if memory serves. Turned out to be a known issue with supporting EIDE, turning that off in the BIOS did the trick, as I discovered, and followed up the ticket myself the next day.

    Over 2-3 years later, someone finally closed the ticket.

    These things happen.
  • data entry is fun (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 16, 2008 @12:59PM (#22068190)
    yes, its true. some people have to work for a living and do things like type in bunches of numbers between incompatible systems. sometimes after 10 or 11 hours on a friday when you are late to pick up your kids and your weird supervisor said your shoes are not 'professional looking' enough, and you skipped lunch break to meet deadlines and the coffee machine was broken, and the printer jammed for the 8th time and someone told you that you should have filled out a problem report, and it was your responsibility, even though you have already filled out 5 problem reports all of which were completely ignored....

    sometimes you might make a typo.
  • by Xest (935314) on Wednesday January 16, 2008 @01:11PM (#22068366)
    Perhaps the guy was setting up his machine ready to play Duke Nukem Forever expecting its imminent release and the guy at Microsoft knew better and put in what he thought was a suitable follow up date for checking if it worked out okay for him?

  • by basic0 (182925)

    Moreover, the blog is hosted at the BlogSpot network owned by Microsoft's enemy, Google Inc.
    I'm not sure what they're implying here. Are they saying that because Google is a major competitor with Microsoft, then they encourage anti-Microsoft content on Blogger? Or that only anti-Microsoft people would use Blogger? AFAIK, Google doesn't review and approve every single post, so what does this have to do with anything?
  • Only human (Score:3, Funny)

    by ProteusQ (665382) <dontbother@nowhe ... Nom minus author> on Wednesday January 16, 2008 @01:13PM (#22068394) Journal
    I know of a prof who will remain as nameless as her university and department who, in 1992, called up a student to ask if he was still interested in a graduate assistant teaching position. He declined; he had sent his letter of inquiry back in 1978 and was no longer interested.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by trongey (21550)

      I know of a prof who will remain as nameless...

      That's amazing. I'm always astounded by the things people without names have been able to accomplish.
      On the other hand, what's up with parents? If you're gonna have kids you've got to at least take responsibility for giving them names.
  • by Jugalator (259273) on Wednesday January 16, 2008 @01:14PM (#22068408) Journal

    To be fair, this is all unverified, so choose to believe at your own risk.
    From the article:

    but that must have been when I was living at home with my parents
    He's making the claim that he's not living at home anymore, under the condition that he's a geek.
    From Geek Corollary #63, it follows that he's lying.

    QED
  • by gEvil (beta) (945888) on Wednesday January 16, 2008 @01:15PM (#22068436)
    "Sir, if you'd just wait until next year when we release Windows ME, I'm sure you'll find that all of your problems will have been resolved."
  • This means that I should be getting a callback on my ticket in in about 1 year, 3 months! Now I'll finally get that printer to work with Windows 98, yey!
  • Scroll down in the comments, to where someone named "Bran" (Peter Brando, according to the link" says "I work with MS Professional Support" and comments, apparently with a straight face:

    "10 years is definitely a long time to have a case open."
  • Techsupport has gone down the hill recently. All you get today is a call center in bombay with scripted answers - or worse, a free for all support 'forum' filled with millions of garbage queries.

    The usual formula that they expect from you doesn't suite me since by the time I contact tech support on something I've done at least two days of troubleshooting and I'm not interested in rebooting my machine - again.

    Incidentally if anyone has an idea of how to further troubleshoot a GPIB-bus problem where a *OPC? q
    • See Appendix C, page 4 of the NI 488.2 User Guide. In addition to cause and cure listed there, the following may apply, from my personal experiences:
      1. Bad GPIB cable allowing for intermittent ATN signal
      2. If slot based, reseat the NI GPIB card - especially if you have an older VME cage, clean your card contacts and clean your case to ensure no extra circuit paths from dust.
      3. If NI-GPIB-USB based, ensure correct contact with the cable in to the USB port - it has no strain relief. Further, check to ensure
  • by jhRisk (1055806) on Wednesday January 16, 2008 @01:40PM (#22068786)
    Although I can understand how crazy things do indeed sometimes happen, but I don't know of a single "decent" trouble ticket system that by default doesn't mitigate such occurrences. Although the call back date could be set for any time whatsoever, there's always a date for resolution. Normally it's entered automatically based on the type of ticket, severity label as per the tech's discretion or any number of criteria and often not able to be changed by the tech him/herself. This prevents techs from trying to escape being listed on the "overdue" or "open tickets" reports managers pull up. If the tech can modify it then normally the managers pull reports on "time to resolve issue" or other such reports that would have eventually shown a ticket open for a long period of time.

    What this reminds me of is a disturbing trend in bloggers that any traffic is good traffic and since they have little to loose they'll do just about anything. Gamecocks, Gizmodo and if we dig perhaps others recently, too. After all, when MS closes tickets they like to send an email (in fact one time I couldn't tell them I simply wanted to close a ticket, put no resolution and not receive an email but they were not allowed to just "drop it.) So why wouldn't the blogger get it as definitive proof of the event?

    At the end of the day maybe it did happen... maybe it was data corruption... who knows but it smells fishy.
  • by serutan (259622) <snoopdoug@g e e k a zon.com> on Wednesday January 16, 2008 @01:40PM (#22068798) Homepage
    The solution is still the same: Reinstall Windows.
  • The oddest part of the story is that any sentient being thought they could (or should even try) to get tech support from Microsoft. I mean how green could this user be to report a BSOD 10 years ago when they were almost an hourly occurrence?

    To be fair, I have to admit that my Vista ultimate has crashed exactly once in the 4 months I've been saddled with it. Once more, and I'm picking up the call to schedule my tech support call - which will arrive after my retirement.
  • To be fair, this is all unverified, so choose to believe at your own risk.
    Ironically, this disclaimer about Slashdot's Microsoft stories came 10 years too late!
  • This somehow reminds me of what happened recently with Dreamhost. It's not the same thing but it's about a confusion of dates and the unability for the system to effectively check for ridiculous errors. It's pretty funny, too (except for the customers)

    Basically someone put future dates in the billing system, making it believe we were in a future date, and resulting in ridiculous bills being sent out to every customer for a total of $7,500,000 in the short period of time the program run.

    More info on the

  • by MahariBalzitch (902744) on Wednesday January 16, 2008 @02:04PM (#22069094) Homepage
    The tech finally found the solution for the BSOD:

    Microsoft Tech: "Hello, I found a solution to your BSOD problem".

    Customer: "What is the solution that it took you 10 years to find?".

    Microsoft Tech: "Upgrade to Windows Vista. Have a nice day!".

    Customer: "Fucker...".
  • Doubtful (Score:4, Interesting)

    by foetusinc (766466) on Wednesday January 16, 2008 @02:21PM (#22069314)
    I call BS. I worked Windows 95 support around that time ('98), and while we did often call people back to check on problems, it didn't work the way this guy imagines. Calls logged in workbench that we wanted to follow up on were just left open. Each morning you checked your open tickets, and called the ones that needed calling. No automated dialer either, as some have suggested. If something was left open to long your supervisor would check on it with you, and it would get closed or escalated posthaste.

    If this guy really did get a call, my guess is he got a wrong number when a tech was following up on somebody else's problem. Maybe his customer record got mistakenly linked to somebody else's ticket. Maybe he's making the whole story up.
  • A little extreme, but sometimes things just get forgotten. I'm a little surprised a trouble ticket festered for 10 years but who knows? I got an e-mail once that took 5 years to be delivered, it turned out the e-mail server was decommissioned whilst mine was still in the mail spool and, 5 years later, the server was turned on again and did its job.

    Just recently I got a reply to a Freshmeat post I made in 1998. Old data can stick around for a long time!

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