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April 25th, 2002


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02:49 am
CompBio was almost a complete disaster this week. Starting it late because of other things. And then, when I finished it - working on a mac so I could burn my files - the macine crashed.

Cluster Services likes to make sure their machines work by, upon reboot, entire filesystem with a networked image. Purge everything, etc, and it doesn't matter how badly it has been mutilated - if it can reach the network, it can make itself healthy again.

Naturally, this was the potential for a disaster: the machine was rebooting, and destined to purge all the files and restore itself. Several hours of work, gone, and it being unlikely that I would have the emotional strength at 3am to redo it. Due at 10:30, naturally, though as a mac fan the teacher would have gotten a sobstory email and a request for an extension.


Just as it looked most grim... something happened. Like in any great Old Testament story, as the Angel of Death stalked the filesystem, it passed over the two deliverables, reaping Great Vengeance upon the other, not-important files.




To: clusters@andrew.cmu.edu
Subject: macs & revrdist


Hello. I come not to flame, but to praise. Or, at least, express
gratitude and amazement.

I spent the past couple of hours working on an assignment on a mac in
the cyert mac cluster. Completing it, and saving frequently, I began
the submission ritual; as I quit excel... the machine crashed.

The flame I intended to send, as I watched in terror as the machine
rebooted and, after several attempts, ran its sets of scripts and
revrdist. As if to mock me, the icons of my two critical files sat
there in the Finder whenever it came up. Eventually, I grew tired of
trying to skirt around the reformat system, and gave up.

The system finally came to the prompt, and I reluctantly signed on.

With pure deus machina like effect, my two files were there. Over a
dozen other files, downloaded at similar times but superfluous to the
task of homework submission were gone. And yet my files were there.
How? Why? I must know.

Thank you.

dan

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