Warehouse inventory manager calls sysadmin saying, "You need to look at this machine down here. It's got a bad cable." Admin walks down only to discover that the PC won't even boot up. And no wonder: the power, mouse, keyboard and network cables have all been completely severed. What happened? Manager: "Well, a forklift hit the table and kept on going about six metres. I figured we should at least try to restart the computer, but it didn't work."


It's end-of-year crunch time, and this order system's database is full. "We have to purge it and shrink it, like, yesterday," says IT, "or our system is going to run like a snail until we do. Problem is, we find out our backups have been failing". The DBA doesn't have space for the backup and is having a technical issue backing up to a mount point. After everyone is apprised of the situation, the technical VP sends the following e-mail: "What's the downside of purging without a good database backup?"

Database admin is installing software on users' PCs, but on the HR director's laptop there's not enough free disk space. "We looked around for files to remove," reports admin. "He had a lot of files in his temp directory that we promptly deleted before continuing the install. Next day, helpdesk guy came by to tell me we had just wiped out most of the HR director's files. E-mail went out the same day stating not to put any important files in the temp directory."


Two decades ago, Brain, the first boot sector virus that infected personal computers via the floppy disk, was detected. While Brain itself was relatively harmless, it marked the genesis of the world of computer viruses. This year marks the 20th year of the existence of viruses after Brain was detected in 1986. Since then users have seen the development of macro viruses and e-mail worms. Pundits predict laptop WLANs will be the next target.

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