"Remember that one bug that had you tearing your hair out and banging your head against the wall for the longest time? And how it felt when you finally solved it? Here's a chance to share your greatest frustration and triumph with the community.
One that I vividly recall occurred back in the early 90's at a startup that was developing custom PBX hardware and software. There was the current development prototype rack and another rack for us in Quality Assurance (QA). Our shipping deadline for a major client was fast approaching, and the pressure level was high as development released the latest hardware and software for us to test. We soon discovered that our system would not boot up successfully. We were getting all kinds of errors; different errors each time. Development's machine booted just fine, *every* time. We swapped out our hard disks, the power supply, the main processing board, the communications boards, and finally the entire backplane in which all of these were housed. The days passed and the system still failed to boot up successfully and gave us different errors on each reboot.
What could it be? We were all stymied and frustrated as the deadline loomed before us. It was then that I noticed the power strips on each rack into which all the frames and power supplies were plugged. The power strip on the dev server was 12-gauge (i.e. could handle 20 amps) but the one on the QA rack was only 14-gauge (15 amps). The power draw caused by spinning up the drives was just enough to leave the system board under-powered for bootup.
We swapped in a new $10 power strip and it worked perfectly. And we made the deadline, too! So, fellow Soylents, what have you got? Share your favorite tale of woe and success and finally bask in the glory you deserve."
I work for a moderately large mining company in one of our many and varied engineering departments.
I had a co-worker typing out a long and detailed email to the IT department on some requirements we needed for a new server for a monitoring application. Midway through the email she begins to curse quite profanely at her terminal, it seems to have taken a mind of its own. I pop over and yes, the terminal is doing all sorts of bizarre things, miss-typed characters, random ASCII, popping in and out of menus. Just then another colleague pops by and added his two cents worth. We go through some basic trouble shooting and it seemed windows had managed to change the keymap somehow.
Out of curiosity we try and replicate the change and in the process someone tries ALT-S and in a flash, the email that had been open and the recipient of all the keyboard misshaps promptly fires off to all intended recipients.
Now, I don't know if was the email full of gibberish or IT just being soft, but they bent over backwards to get that server online and with the specs we needed pronto.
Whilst we saw the funny side, the keyboard didn't survive the event.