Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Emailing Yourself

A couple of years ago, a developer where I work wrote a program. It wasn't a very exciting program... it got some information from a database, wrote it to a file, and put the file out where our web site could use it.

The thrill of apparent victoryThe thing is, that particular project was cancelled about halfway through. The program still faithfully made its files, but the web site never used them. The program was not disabled, but forgotten.

Fast forward to modern times. I found the program. It was on a schedule, running automatically once every half-hour. I opened it up to see what it was doing. I'll leave out the really techie details, and just say that for the past year and a half, the program had been failing.

You'd think that a program failing every half-hour for a year and a half would be noticed. Not this one! The developer set it up so that on failure, it would send an email notification. The email was labeled as being FROM the developer's email address, TO his email address.

HAH! You thought I was being useful! Dork! Hah!Unfortunately, the developer in question had left the company several months before the program starting failing. His email address with the company had been removed.

This program was running every half-hour for a year and a half, failing every time, and sending a notification email FROM a ghost, TO that same ghost.

Tee-hee!The elegant uselessness of it all made me weep with laughter.


I guess you kinda had to be there.


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