Famous operational issues

Henry Yen henry at AegisInfoSys.com
Sat Feb 20 09:07:39 UTC 2021

On Thu, Feb 18, 2021 at 07:34:39AM -0500, Patrick W. Gilmore wrote:
> In 1994, there was a major earthquake near the city of Los Angeles. City hall had to be evacuated and it would take over a year to reinforce the building to make it habitable again. My company moved all the systems in the basement of city hall to a new datacenter a mile or so away. After the install, we spent more than a week coaxing their ancient (even for 1994) machines back online, such as a Prime Computer and an AS400 with tons of DASD. Well, tons of cabinets, certainly less storage than my watch has now.
> I was in the DC going over something with the lady in charge when someone walked in to ask her something. She said “just a second”. That person took one step to the side of the door and leaned against the wall - right on an EPO which had no cover.
> Have you ever heard an entire row of DASD spin down instantly? Or taken 40 minutes to IPL an AS400? In the middle of the business day? For the second most populous city in the country?
> 	Me: Maybe you should get a cover for that?
> 	Her: Good idea.
> Couple weeks later, in the same DC, going over final checklist. A fedex guy walks in. (To this day, no idea how he got in a supposedly locked DC.) She says “just a second”, and I get a very strong deja vu feeling. He takes one step to the side and leans against the wall.
> 	Me: Did you order that EPO cover?
> 	Her: Nope.

some of the ibm 4300 series mini-mainframes came with a console terminal
that had a very large, raised (completely not flush), alternate power
button on the upper panel of the keyboard, facing the operator. in later
versions, the button was inset in a little open box with high sides. in
earlier versions, there was just a pair of raised ribs on either side of the
button. in the earliest version, if that panel needed to be replaced, the
replacement part didn't even have those protective ribs, this huge button
was just sitting there. on our 4341, someone had dropped the keyboard during
installation and the damaged panel was replaced with the
no-protection-whatsoever part.

i had an operator who, working a double shift into the overnight run,
fell asleep and managed to bang his head square on the button.
the overnight jobs running were left in various states of ruin.

third party manufacturers had an easy sell for lucite power/EPO button covers.

Henry Yen                                       Aegis Information Systems, Inc.
Senior Systems Programmer                       Hicksville, New York

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