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Mendy Smith

Software Bug

August 4, 2008 at 1:07 PM

Every software project has one - a bug. Ours was a literal one, and about 3 inches long.


This particular bug fell out of the "woodworks" (the air conditioning vents from above) and onto someone's laptop in a conference room full of people (about 40 or so) in the middle of a conference call. The owner of said laptop froze in terror, let out a little squeal, and backed away very quickly. This got every one's attention. The project manager, doing his duty to keep things under control, took it upon himself to chase down this critter and isolate it. By that time, all the camera's were out to document the "EVENT" for our "Lessons Learned". However, the "documentation" allowed for the bug to escape and run rapid across the conference room table until he was isolated once again.

The bug was later returned to the wild from whence it came. No cockroaches were harmed during this blog.

What does this have to do with music? Absolutely nothing! But it makes a good story.

PS - There is a music related theme afterall. Some team favorites while working on this project have been “Bolero”, “Rubber Ducky”, “Squirrels”, and “Jackie Chan” from INSIDEOUT A Cappella.

Not quite classical, but definitely entertaining!

From Jim W. Miller
Posted on August 4, 2008 at 9:36 PM
To get to my office I had to go across a catwalk along the wall above a factory floor. I would walk everywhere fast, to look busy. One time I was going across there and froze in my tracks about 2-3 feet from a big black spider dangling down, about neck level. My thought was what kind of spider is that black and that big...naw, it can't be... Then I walked around to its other side so I could see its belly and sure enough there was a big red hourglass. I started yelling and running around looking for something to put it in, but somebody came out and knocked it down and stomped it before I could capture it live. It was near a conference room where they'd just changed all the chairs, so it might have come in in a box.
From Pauline Lerner
Posted on August 4, 2008 at 10:36 PM
Your story is a good example of debugging computer-related apparatus.

I had many similar experiences when I worked in the lab in graduate school. The cockroaches came out of the walls at night and indulged their craving fir sweets by getting into sucrose solutions. The more concentrated the sucrose solution was, the more cockroaches it attracted. At least they died happy. We also occasionally found a bat clinging to one of the walls in the highway, apparently sleeping peaceful during the day.

I won't go into this in detail because some of you might be squeamish. Occasionally a mouse escaped from its cage and ran down the hall, or a rat tried to escape when he knew he was going to be killed.

Such is the path of experimental science.

On a more somber note, I used to work in an old, rundown, government office building which was really unfit for human habitation in many ways. One morning, one of my colleagues came into her office and found a ceiling tile on her desk chair. She was very happy that she hadn't been at her desk when the tile fell.

From Anne Horvath
Posted on August 4, 2008 at 11:24 PM
Here in the South, these critters are common. They are politely referred to as "waterbugs". They are really gross. They FLY too! Ew.

For a long time my two felines were enthusiastic with their buggy hunting duties, but during the last year or so, their interest in chasing around disgusting over sized roaches has lost any allure it once had.

I don't "catch and release". I squish.

Thanks for sharing! (Insert smiley face here).

From John Allison
Posted on August 5, 2008 at 6:45 PM
We call them Palmetto Bugs here in South Carolina. They tend to scare New Yorkers when they visit, as they look like monster roaches from a bad 50's monster movie! The do get big, I'll give them that.

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