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User Journal

Journal Journal: Dell Power Edge 2950 Plays April Fools on ThinkGeek

Setting: Jacob finally gets to sleep at 5:15 this morning after 22 hours of uptime leading up to April Fools' Day at ThinkGeek HQ. Two hours later, his company phone starts making its "alert" sound.


PHONE: Bleem!

SUPEREGO: Uh-oh! Somewhere, a server's in trouble!

JACOB opens eyes, looks at phone

PHONE: Bleem!

ID: I don't hear anything.

ID sings tonelessly: lalalala

PHONE: Bleem!

JACOB picks up phone, reads SMS messages

ID: Dude, Jennifer's on call. And she probably had one more hour of sleep than you. Let her deal with it. Anyway, it's just db4. I'm sure the site's fine.

PHONE: Bleem!

SUPEREGO: Yeah, but it's my responsibility too, and she might not wake up.

EGO: Well, why don't we check the site and see?

JACOB opens ThinkGeek in the phone's browser.

SUPEREGO: It seems really slow.

ID: No way, man. It's just the phone. The phone's slow!

SUPEREGO: That's true. Well, to be specific, the wi-fi reception tends to be a bit spotty. Not as spotty as my PowerBook talking to the Time Capsule at work, but...

PHONE interrupts, closes browser, opens SMS app emphatically: Bleem!

EGO: Okay, well, since this fscking thing isn't going to stop "bleeeem"ing anyway, let's just get up and deal with it.

PHONE [relieved]: Bleem!

JACOB logs on

JENNIFER [via IM]: Please tell me you are doing maintenance and forgot to shut off Nagios again.

JACOB: I wish.

JACOB wakes up a very understanding sysadmin in California, where it's three hours earlier


CHRIS notes the cause of the OOPS and reboots the box.

JACOB restores database replication.

Moral of the story

Always reboot your servers before a big day: uptime shmuptime. All it takes is one flaky kernel module to desynchronize your databases and ruin your morning.

User Journal

Journal Journal: The ThinkGeek Code Monkey Bible, Chapter I

Like all true believers, we ThinkGeek code monkeys have our own holy scripture: Perl Best Practices. But if we had a bible, its first chapter might go something like this...

1n 7eh 6391nn1n9, Jen-Willie-Scott (PBUT) were alone among the blinkenlights. And then the Jon came, the first of the codemonkeys, and configured the Server and coded the Perl and sent Apache daemons to enliven it, and it was good. And JWS brought forth t-shirts and bumper stickers and Linux stuff and called it "ThinkGeek," and it was good. And they all went out to see The Matrix, and it was pretty good, too.

And lo, for forty days the Server ran. It ran on a Pentium II 450 with 128 megs of RAM, and Jon saw that uptime was good. And JWS went among the people, and told them about the t-shirts and the Linux stuff, and the people came, the fat and the skinny and the pocket-protected and pimply-faced and the pocket-unprotected and the smooth of skin alike. And JWS told the sysadmins and the codemonkeys and the technicians and the designers and the fabricators. And the telling brought forth smart masses, and they came. Then came the Slashdot, and washed over ThinkGeek, and the RAM did fill up, and the pII trembled and grew hot.

And Jon saw that it suffered, and brought forth a companion for the pII to share its burdens, and laid RAM at their feet to comfort them. But Jon's daemons were yet weak; each Apache Jon sent forth was cut down by the forces of the Slashdot. And Jon cried out, "O JWS, why hast thou sent this Destroyer to destroy my daemons with its destructive ways?"

And JWS spake unto Jon, saying, "Codemonkey, thou art clever but not yet wise. See how thy 'Destroyer' works upon your daemons! It is not to weaken but to strengthen them!" And Jon was enlightened, and brought forth MySQL to accompany for the Perl and the Apache, and the daemons prospered, and ThinkGeek's uptime grew long as the KVM cables and long as the great pipe through the ceiling to the ISP on the third floor. And the Jon did attend them, from his Desk and from his Couch, in the day and the night.

And it was good.

User Journal

Journal Journal: ThinkGeek Shows Solidarity with IBM Relocatees

To show solidarity with IBMers who are being given a choice between a layoff and moving to India, ThinkGeek has announced that its coders will be required to eat Indian food today.

ThinkGeek went on to mention that this really wasn't such an imposition, as its coders were likely to be at Saravana Palace or Indian City Grill on any given lunch break anyway.

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