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July 25, 2008

Thinkin' Like a Programmer

"I can't figure this out. My email client says I can't attach more than 10 M of data, but then it says I have 16501 K of data attached, and it can't send that. What's a 'M'? What's a 'K'? Why is the second number so big? I only attached a few files!"

I explained to my uncle that "M" stood for Megabyte, and "K" stood for Kilobyte. That a simple calculation to convert "K"s to "M"s was to take the last three digits off the "K"s and you had the size in "M"s, give or take one. That he had 16-17 Megabytes of data attached to his email, and he can only have 10.

His response was to wonder (1) why didn't the client just tell him he had "too much data," and (2) why did the program give him Ms AND Ks, instead of picking one?

My reply consisted of (1) it did, that's what the message said, and (2) because the programmer was thinking like a programmer.

See, my uncle is a very, very smart man. He worked in a video arcade as the guy who rewired the arcade machines when they exploded when somebody poured a Coke on them. He knew how the machines worked in and out. And got paid good money. When he moved back to Texas, he took up industrial and residential electric work, and is now a fully licensed foreman who's in high demand all through the area. When he says "I won't take a job that pays less than $20 a hour," it's not because he's picky, it's because he doesn't have to. Sharp as a tack. But he's not a computer pro. Not a problem, people can't be pros at everything. This ain't the 1700s, where you can pick up a test tube and learn everything known about chemistry in a few days.

But why would a programmer write a error message for an email program that would be unreadable to end users? Because it's perfectly readable to him! When my uncle read out the message, my first response was "You have about 7 Megabytes too many attachments. Send a second email."

Therefore, a programmer checking his work would think this was a great error message. Not only does it tell you that the email can't be sent, but it tells you why. The limit is in Megabytes, but email messages are typically sent in Kilobytes, so the data is already there. See how helpful I am! And the unit conversion between Ks and Ms are very easy; programmers do it 10 times a day and wouldn't even notice it.

That's why we have end user testing, to try to catch these things that programmers won't notice. It's just a simple conversion of units! But for an electrician trying to send an email, it was as opaque as to him as if he had told me that I had a single pole dual throw make-break when I need a dual pole single throw break-make. It makes perfect sense, if you're used to it. And if I think about it for a minute, I could figure it out most likely… but the point is, his error message is useless to me as it's formatted. But it makes perfect sense to him.

So, what's the moral of the story? Well, moral 1 is, try to be sure that all users of your product can understand what you say. We have an extensive testing process here at SoftLayer to make sure our data screens are usable without any confusion. Moral 2 is that programmers don't "actively" attempt to "keep people from using their computers" by "making their programs too complex." For us, it's completely transparent and useful, as useful to us as a circuit diagram is to an electrician. Just let us know if we make something a bit to opaque; it wasn't on purpose, and sometimes it's an easy fix. We were just thinking like programmers.

-Zoey

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July 24, 2008

Here's to Bill

Bill Gates' final day as an employee of Microsoft was June 27, 2008. Let's all raise our virtual glasses in a toast! Or maybe a virtual fist-bump is better - here you go: III!

I had intended to type this up in time for Mr. Gates' last day, but just simply didn't have time. This marks a historic change at the software behemoth in Washington. Love him or hate him (and there are many people on each side), few people truly realize the impact he has had on the world as we know it.

I love the fact that in America, you can get a crazy and creative idea and run with it. Gates realized that Intel's 8080 chip released in April 1974 was the first affordable chip that could run BASIC in a computer that could be small enough to be classified as a "personal" computer. Then he read an article in the January '75 issue of Popular Electronics about a microcomputer called the Altair 8800 made by Micro Instrumentation and Telemetry Systems (MITS), which ran on an Intel 8080. Realizing that he had to seize the moment because the timing would never be right again, Gates took a leave of absence as a student at Harvard and contacted MITS about developing a BASIC interpreter for that machine. He collaborated with Paul Allen to prepare demo software and close the deal, then he and Paul Allen formed a company named "Micro-soft." The hyphen was dropped in 1976.

Can we imagine what our world would be like had Gates missed reading that magazine in January ‘75? Or if he had decided to finish school and become a lawyer as his parents had hoped? I can't imagine what technology I'd be using to produce documents like this today if Gates and Allen didn't follow through on their crazy idea in 1975.

To get an idea of how deeply Bill Gates has influenced us today, just try either running a business or doing your job without interacting with a computer. If it's not impossible, it's very very difficult at best. Next, try running the computers for your business without ANY Microsoft products. Again, this is difficult but not totally impossible. Then, try interacting with other businesses that use Microsoft products. If you're then successful doing that, think of how many of your daily activities involve a Microsoft product.

I actually worked for a boss in the mid-90's who hated Microsoft. He ran IBM OS/2 operating systems and non-Microsoft applications (Word Perfect, Quattro Pro spreadsheets, etc.). He didn't want to be reminded that Gates originally helped develop OS/2 in partnership with IBM. When IBM dropped support for OS/2, my boss capitulated and migrated to Windows.

At SoftLayer, we use and support a lot of non-Microsoft products. But we couldn't do what we do today without Microsoft products, and many of our customers demand Microsoft products.
In typical American entrepreneurial fashion, SoftLayer started with some semi-crazy ideas to connect the dots between different products in creative ways that had not been previously done. We will do well to have a fraction of the impact that Bill Gates has made.

-Gary

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July 22, 2008

Always Awake, Cool and Dry

As I turn on to the main road after leaving my Kumdo dojang (Korean fencing school), I glance at the rear view mirror down the street, in the direction of SoftLayer's new east coast datacenter. The strangely cool, red light from the setting sun fills the mirror and signals the end of this long, hot day. My mind briefly escapes the fading heat by recalling the cool temperature and humidity regulated environs within the datacenter.

Ever wonder how to keep thousands of servers cool? In a word: CRAC - Computer Room Air Conditioning. These giants sit throughout the datacenter pumping cool air up through ventilated floors. The cool air blows up in front of the server racks, gets sucked in through the front of the servers, over the drives, past the CPU heat sinks and RAM, then out the back of the server. The warm air exits, rises, and returns to the CRACs where the humidity and temperature are adjusted, and the cycle continues. Just like you learned in science class.

So it must be a serene, sterile environment - like those IBM commercials? That would be nice, but the reality is : computers need fans. One or two fans wouldn't bother anyone when they kick in on your gaming pc, but multiply 4 or 5 fans (do you like RAID arrays? You get extra fans!) by one thousand, or more and the decibels add up. Solid state hard drives - when they become available - might help with the noise (and also with power consumption), but it is mostly from the server fans. Liquid cooling works, but I think most people would prefer not to have fluid of any sort circulating over their motherboard. Zane (resident Linux guru) extols the benefits of passive cooling. Whatever cooling solutions arise in the future, you can be sure SoftLayer will be leading in technology implementation.

My attention returns to the road ahead and the pale blue of the evening sky. I hope to get a few hours of shut-eye before returning for my shift. Because SoftLayer doesn't sleep. Always awake, cool and dry.

-Philip

July 20, 2008

SLales Quotas

It's usually unwise to place bets on what the SoftLayer Slales Team can and cannot sell. We will blow the quota out of the water every time.

But still, we like to place harmless wagers from time to time. Sure we have sales quotas every month, but sometimes our Management team likes to make it interesting by seeing how far beyond our goals we can get each month. May was the BEST sales “spiff” to date. George Karidis was unfortunately on the losing end this month, and had to shave the 3-bars logo into the back of his head. He wore it proudly to customer/vendor meetings & dinners until they grew out.

To be fair, the SoftLayer Sales team has a remarkably easy time making our numbers - it's almost effortless to meet or exceed our server quota every month when you're are standing behind the best product on the market, and working among the most knowledgeable and enthusiastic sales team in the industry.

Go Team SoftLayer!

-Mary

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July 18, 2008

Let Them Eat Cake

I've been reducing my calorie intake, as I'm a bit overweight. However, lately I've noticed that my weight, which has been trending downward, has taken a bit of a stall. I've been trying to figure out why. And I think I have.

Movies.

I love movie theater popcorn. And there have been so many good movies lately! I've enjoyed Get Smart, I loved Speed Racer, smiled at Hancock, and have seen Wall-E three times!

And each time I buy a bag of popcorn.

That racks up to a lot of popcorn this summer season.

See, Hollywood complained for years that people just aren't watching movies. Maybe the movie industry is dying? Violent videogames are taking away the marketshare! Or maybe people just don't appreciate ART anymore.

Then a giant alien fleet landed and replaced everyone in Hollywood with doubles. But the doubles weren't perfect, see, because these doubles have done something that no Hollywood executive has thought to do for years.

THEY'RE MAKING MOVIES PEOPLE WANT TO SEE!

It's like suddenly somebody realized; hey, people have to WANT to see Hancock before they go see it! People want well made movies with plot and character development! People want more than just whizbang special effects and cheap jokes! And they started making it! And they started making tons of money again.

Same thing SoftLayer does, you see. We built a network which CUSTOMERS want, even though it's a bit more difficult to make. We buy servers that CUSTOMERS want, instead of cheaper servers that we can buy in bulk. We've bundled the kind of bandwidth providers that CUSTOMERS want, instead of buying cheap bandwidth so we can have big bandwidth numbers. We built a world class control panel, and then added an API for people who want even more control.

And guess what? Customers are buying our stuff.

Huh. Who knew.

I wonder if we have any popcorn in the break room.

-Zoey

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July 2, 2008

Welcome to Starbucks

"Welcome to Starbucks!" "Uh yea I’ll have a half decaf grande half-soy, half-low fat, iced white chocolate mocha, double-shot, gingerbread latte, extra dry, light ice, with 3 Splenda’s, one Sweet-n'-Low, and one NutraSweet please!" "…Coming right up, Next!" "Umm, I want a hot tall skinny upside down with a whip caramel macchiato" "Nice Choice! Next!" "I will have a Grande extra shot fresh skim milk latte, extra foam, 2 splenda’s and a dash of cocoa!" I am sure that makes sense to all of you. You can’t discount (and they certainly don’t) Starbucks for letting you have it like you want it.

It’s like the Burger King slogan, "Have it your way" I want a Whopper with cheese, extra cheese, bacon, extra pickles, no onion, light mayo, extra ketchup, a large fry and a chocolate shake with strawberry syrup mixed in. Well that just made me hungry.

SoftLayer isn’t much different than a Starbucks or a Burger King. With our full line of servers, services, network and locations you too can make your order as easy or as complex as you like. And yes you can have it like you like it, need it, or even have it your way! It could look like this:

"uhh, yea I would like a server in Dallas, TX. A Quad Proc Quad Core Intel 7320 2.13 Ghz Tigerton with 8gb of Ram, 3000 GB of public bandwidth, 8 secondary IP’s, redundant power supplies, Four 300gb 15K RPM Scsi Drives configured in a Raid5 array, Windows Server 2008 Standard, Business continuance Insurance, TCP Service monitoring, Automated reboot from monitoring and an ASA 100Mbps Firewall. I would then like a server in Seattle, WA. Make it a Quad Proc Quad Core Intel 7310 1.60 Ghz Tigerton with 16gb of Ram, 6000 GB of public bandwidth,168 secondary IP’s, redundant power supplies, Two 250gb SATA II drives configured in a Raid1 mirror, Debian, TCP Service monitoring, Automated reboot from monitoring and an APF software firewall for Linux. Then I need a Quad Proc Quad Core Opteron 8346 1.80GHz in Washington DC with 32GB ram, 10000GB of public bandwidth, 128 Secondary IP’s, a single 1TB SATA II hard Drive, 1GB Lockbox, 250GB NAS, 80GB of iSCSI SAN Storage, a 500GB Evault backup, Redhat Ent. Linux 5, Plesk 8, Urchin, 24x7x365 NOC Monitoring, notification, and Response, McAfee Virus Scan and McAfee Free PCI Scans for life oh and I almost forgot I would like a CDNLayer Account as well!" "…Coming right up!"

As you can see an order from SoftLayer can be just as fulfilling and just as hard to say in one breath as a special burger from Burger King or even your favorite drink at Starbucks. Don’t let the crazy amount of options we offer make your ordering experience any harder than it should be. If you have any questions at all, one of our fine upstanding SLales folks will be glad to walk you through it from beginning to end. Happy Ordering!

What is your Favorite Starbucks order?

-Skinman

June 26, 2008

New Kid in Town

Well, I have been here working for Softlayer for a week and it has been GREAT. Not great... UNBELIEVEABLE! I just graduated from ITT just down the street in Chantilly, Va with a degree unrelated to what I am doing right now. To be honest, I was afraid that I may not do too well with Softlayer, because of the material and positions they train for. I have quite a history with trouble understanding basic computer terms and how computers and electroncs work.

My brother is like a GOD in my family with electronics. He picked out our family PC, set up our wireless system, and fixed my laptops multiple times (I have had 4 in the past 3 years...) and he was a full-time CSA for a conference center while he was in high school. He tried to teach me and help me understand what he's doing when he works on computers and I just couldnt process it in my mind. It just doesn't click.

My very first class in ITT was Intro to Personal Computers. I got an A in classwork and homework by writing the papers and turning them in, but I couldnt even understand what I write. I did not do too well in tests and final exams and ended up with a B. No matter how hard I tried, I just couldnt make sense of what I'm reading in the books. We never did lab work, it was all just books and papers and black and white pictures.

My first day at Softlayer, I was very nervous. I thought the day would not end very well. Robert Guerra was my trainer for the first half of the week. He did an AMAZING job explaining EVERYTHING about the company, what my job is and parts of the server and everything in between. He did 500 times better than my teacher in college. Everything clicked almost right away. Of course, I did not remember every single thing the first time, it just had to be repeated to make everything perfect. I remember driving home with a HUGE smile on my face and saying "I LOVE this job!"

I never expected to be doing IT work, and I just think this is AWESOME! The facility looks amazing and everything is in tip-top shape and everything is very well organized. I have not worked in a cleaner environment until I got to Softlayer. There are not very many people in the WDC facility yet, but I have gotten to know many of them here and I feel very comfortable.

My other issue here is communication. Spark is a GREAT communication tool for the whole company of SoftLayer and it is helping me out a TON. I love the fact that we use instant messaging to communicate with Dallas and Seattle divisions and sort out problems and I love how everyone is friendly to one another. I cannot use a phone because of my hearing impairment and that is one reason why it is really hard to find jobs for me. A lot of job positions require someone to use a phone or radio and that cancels a LOT of opportunities for me. When I had to deal with that situation with one of my previous jobs, I had to pull someone aside and ask them a favor and help me out with phone use. Not a lot of people like to be pulled aside REPEATEDLY. Spark will help me rely on myself to talk to people myself and get all of the job done!

Thank you Robert Guerra and Eric Antonio for training and putting up with me for the past week! I have one more week of training to do with Eric and I am going to stop at nothing to make Softlayer proud.

-Clayton

June 24, 2008

A Little Philosophical Thought: The SoftLayer Family Tree

Somewhat picking up on the theme of the blog, “Here’s to you, that nerdy Sysadmin”, this is a sort of, “Here’s to you, our family tree of customers.”

I find it very interesting how everyone in the world has customers. Our customer’s, customer’s, customer’s, customer’s…and so on…depend on us here at SoftLayer. It is a sort of bottomless pit. Does it begin anywhere…or end anywhere. Does anyone NOT have customers?

For example:

Our customers have customers, who have customers, who have customer, who have customers, etc. We are the customer of INTEL, AMD, Seagate, etc. They are the customers of those that provide the material to make the hardware that they manufacture. The natural resources used to make the hardware are purchased from someone. That someone purchased the rights to those resources from someone, who purchased the rights from someone, who purchased the rights from someone, etc. I suppose somewhere upstream someone’s country went to war and took the rights to those resources from someone else. And, I suppose if you go far enough back, no one had “rights” to those resources before the land was “claimed”. As recent as 2005, the race was on to claim the land of the Arctic Circle. I suppose you could say that all customers began with a gift of land containing resources from God. And, SoftLayer gives free stuff to customers all the time…so…I guess God gave the land containing the resources to people…His customers!

Anyway, this necessity of life that we have termed “customers”, has been, and will always be, I suppose, the most important aspect of life in terms of survival. Without customers, basic necessities like food cannot be purchased. In other words, without customers, you cannot be a customer. And, if you are not a customer, you must, therefore, be dead. So, in terms on everyone being dependent on being a customer and having customers, we all depend on each other like a family of customers. And, we must take care of our family.

We know that our survival, here at SoftLayer, depends on our customers (our family) and that their survival depends on us. We take this responsibility very seriously and work very hard to provide for our family the way that we would like to be provided for.

In conclusion, I feel that we, here at SoftLayer, do a pretty good job of taking care of our “family”, and in turn, our family of customers do a great job of taking care of us. As we continue to grow together, our success will benefit each other for years and years to come.

*If you do not understand any of this, just write it off to the insane ramblings of a tired CSA at the end of a long, challenging, and yet satisfying day at Softlayer working for his family.

-David

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June 23, 2008

Writing a Blog is Hard

A blog is a strong commitment. I mean, if you just set up a web page, it's obvious that you're going to update occasionally, maybe once or twice a month, add a new page or two. I've seen viable websites that haven't been updated since before Y2K. But it's OK, because it's a website. Not so with a blog! If you set up a blog engine*, you're not allowed to make just one or two updates a month. You have to keep the pump primed with awesome content.

Most of this just has to do with the design of a blog engine. For one, each post is stamped with a date. The assumption seems to be that if you have a date on something, the date is important. The date on a carton of milk tells you when to drink it by, so maybe the date on a blog post is also some kind of content expiration date? The assumption seems to be that dates on text mean that you want people to notice the date and act upon it. Not to mention that most blog engines have some kind of calendar that points to listings of posts by date. If you have a calendar widget that only has one or two days highlighted, the assumption is you don't care about your blog or something.

Again, it's not any kind of failure, it's just what's expected. Blogs all look similar: they have a home page of posts, which link to full post pages. Pages are tagged for quick taxonomy identification and grouping. Blogs also generally allow comments, upping the conversational angle. So you have to keep your blog pumping content. I've discovered three different schemes of blog content generation:

The Panic Morning News: The Panic Morning News is a strategy where a blogger panics, struggling to create content every day. What you end up with is some content which is well written, and some content that seems to be filler, designed to put something up to fill this day's update.

The Anything Goes Times: These are the blogs where you find incredibly boring posts about accounting suddenly appearing in between exciting posts. I'm not saying that accounting is boring, per se, more that suddenly discovering a post about accounting sandwiched between a post about video games and exploding cars sticks out. Of course, these blogs generally are a kind of string of consciousness blogs, where the blogs are more of a “What am I thinking now” type blog.

The Who Cares Star-Telegram: These are the trailblazers who don't care that you think they're lame for having only one or two posts a month. Their posts are well written, and it becomes obvious that, to them, a blog is more a Content Management Engine* than a two-way communication medium.

But this isn't just a blogging phenomenon… it happens with anything that updates daily. Comic strips and books, websites, news feeds. And filler content usually follows some kind of pattern. For comics, a comic/cartoon character is usually put into a silly situation for a day. Batman has a birthday party thrown by Joker and the Penguin, or Naruto goes on a tangent about ramen noodles for a whole episode. Blogs and Webcomics tend to have their own special type of ‘filler,' usually they have a whole update talking about how difficult it is to write blogs and/or webcomics.

-Zoey

* NOTE: If you want the convenience of a blog without the expectations of daily updates, look at making a wiki or use a Content Management System like Drupal.

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June 20, 2008

I Always Have a Backup Plan

It was the day of the big secret meeting. All my vice presidents were there except for the unix system administrator. He was a strange man, always wearing that robe, with the long beard and long hair. He considered himself some sort of wizard, and after the conflict last month when we decided to switch all our servers over to SoftLayer, I really didn’t want him involved in the meeting I called today. You see, I called it so I could announce my plan to switch our servers over to Windows. My goal was really to get rid of him; he’s the only one who ever managed to thwart my plans.

Just as I finished that thought, he burst through the door, trailing a long ribbon of old-fashioned printer paper behind him. “How dare you have a systems meeting without me!” he intoned, dropping his stack of papers on the conference table in front of me. A quick glance at the stack tells me that he has printed out operating statistics for every version of Unix and every version of Windows going back to 1985. I didn’t have time for this. Luckily, I always have a back up plan.

Turning away slightly, I quickly activated a program on my Blackberry. You see, yesterday I had written a few custom programs that utilize the SoftLayer API to control a variety of our services. Within moments, a confirmation had appeared on my screen. All of our web traffic had been redirected from our load balanced main servers to our tertiary backup server. In the middle of the work day, that means it was only a matter of minutes before our bandwidth would be exceeded on that server. I allowed the sysadmin to begin his presentation, confident that he would barely get past the 8086 before disaster stuck.

I was right! Within minutes, an email arrived notifying us that we were nearing the bandwidth cap on the hostname last_resort. Panicked, the sysadmin left the meeting. Quickly I summarized my plans to the other VPs, we all voted unanimously for Windows, and I retreated to my office. Shortly after sitting behind my desk, my door burst open. Framed in the light from the hallway, his long shadow washing over me, stood the sysadmin, slowly twirling his staff. “Do you think you can stop me with a simple change to our load balancer? I was configuring load balancers when you were still on dial-up! Now, you will listen, AOL user, and you will see why Unix is your only choice!” Of course, I had a backup plan for just such a situation.

I dove out the window next to my desk, landing nimbly next to my secretary’s bright pink LeBaron. I had made copies of all her keys months ago in order to utilize her unique vehicle for any necessary escapes. I quickly tapped out a text message to Michael in SoftLayer sales. We have a standing agreement that when he receives a message from me containing only the word DAWT, he is to send the best sale at his disposal to my sysadmin. As I drove past the front door of the building I saw him running toward the car. He pulled out his Blackberry in mid-stride and suddenly stopped dead. “Free double RAM AND double hard drives!? IMPOSSIBLE!” he screamed, and I managed to swerve around him and escape. As I drove away, I thought about my secretary. When she first started here, I had convinced her that if her car were ever stolen, the best plan of action would be to change the building security policies so that only my badge could open the doors. I hoped I didn’t need to make use of that plan, but the sysadmin has proved a worthy adversary.

Unbelievable! Even with my masterful backup plan, he was still following me. I saw his battered VW Bus merge into traffic behind me, his vulture-like shadow looming behind the wheel. I sped up until we were both racing down the road, weaving in and out of the other vehicles. Finally we passed a police car, and my next plan sprang into action. I knew that standard procedure was to radio in the vehicles you were pursuing, and I knew my friend Joe was on duty today. Joe knew that if he ever received a radio call about a business man in a pink LeBaron being chased down the highway by a wizard in a VW Bus, he was to call off the police and park a fire truck at a certain intersection. You see, I had hired an actor to pretend to be a corporate Psychiatrist, and learned that the Sysadmin had an irrational fear of fire trucks. Why? Because it always pays to have a backup plan.

I angled toward the intersection and managed to squeeze past the truck just as it pulled up to block the street. I heard the squeal of tires as the sysadmin slammed on his breaks and reversed wildly behind me. Now that I was free, however, I couldn’t return to the office. Luckily I was prepared for just such an eventuality. As I drove to my next location, I quickly used my Blackberry to shut down one of our production web servers. I knew that it would be 20 minutes before the monitoring system would officially declare the server “down,” so I had time.

I made it to my secret office above the video arcade not long after. Before leaving the car I collected the grappling hook and rope from a secret compartment in the door, then went inside. I walked in to the darkened room and immediately noticed something was wrong. My security system wasn’t beeping! The door slammed behind me and the sysadmin boomed out “NO PLAN CAN DEFEAT ME, MORTAL!”

“I’m ALWAYS prepared!” I shot back, and quickly glanced at my watch. It had been 19 minutes and 45 seconds since I shut down my server, the timing was perfect! The sysadmin walked toward me, twirling that staff. Just as he was about to reach me, his blackberry beeped. Pausing to check, he let out a stream of curses and then lunged at me, but I had already rappelled down the side of the building and made my escape.

As soon as I reached the car, my Blackberry alerted me that the server I shut down was back up. How!? The sysadmin must have his own API programs! I cringed as I activated my final backup plan: a program that constantly shut down all our servers. Let’s see him handle that! I took the direct route back to the office, past the still-idling fire truck. I threw Joe a wave, knowing that I’d owe him a big favor for this, and rocketed back to the office. I knew that he would be right behind me, but hopefully with all our servers offline he won’t beat me to my destination. Also, once I made it into the building, the security system wouldn’t allow anyone in behind me. I would be safe!

I raced into the building, looking frantically around for the sysadmin, but he was nowhere to be seen. Finally! I had defeated him! I walked calmly to my office and opened the door, only to see HIM, climbing in through my window. I had forgotten to close it when I escaped this morning! I quickly opened the secret panel in the wall next to the door and put my finger on the red button.

“WAIT!” cried the sysadmin. “We need to put our differences behind us. Our plans have almost destroyed our servers!”

“What do you mean?” I demanded. “They’re fine!”

“No, they’re not,” he said in a sad voice. “You see, I always have a backup plan, and I knew that eventually someone would attempt to power off our machines, so I wrote a script to constantly turn the machines on!”

“B-but…” I stammered, “but I wrote a script to constantly turn them OFF”

“I know” he said, “and the constant power cycling has corrupted our data base. We need to set aside this silly feud and fix it.”

“Don’t worry, dear end user” I proudly proclaimed, “I always have a backup-“

It was right then I realized that in all my planning, I had never actually created any backups.

-Daniel

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