One extra zero = a whole lotta nothing

Pilot fish is assigned to visit a company to learn about the manufacturing software package it's using -- and to teach the IT staff how to get the most out of the midrange computer that's been installed.

"I had a few years and a few install/upgrades worth of experience on the midrange system, including operations, programming and, of particular interest to the boss, performance tuning," says fish.

"During an attempt to get everything to run better, I determined that I needed to assign 900 MB of memory to the operating system to allow it the optimum level of performance.

"After entering the command to make the assignment, I started hearing about how everyone's access to the system had stopped dead -- and now I only had limited access, too.

"After a few minutes of looking for the problem, I noticed that I had assigned 9,000 MB to the operating system, which left nothing for the users.

"After the painful explanation to the boss and a system restart, all was well with the system -- including the performance metrics using 900 MB of memory.

"For my part, I have never again hit Enter on a command of this sort without re-reading it twice."

Sharky can't get by with nothing. So send me your true tale of IT life at You'll snag a snazzy Shark shirt if I use it. Add your comments below, and read some great old tales in the Sharkives.

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