And you thought Microsoft invented the BSoD

Flashback to the era when computing means room-size machines, and this pilot fish and his co-workers are trying to get a spooling program running on one of them.

"In those days, a fatal error would trigger a dump of everything in RAM, a whooping 65K that needed to be waded through to find the problem," says fish.

"After days of complaining to the manufacturer that the spooler kept crashing, we received new versions of both the operating system and the spooling program.

"We installed both, did an IPL -- we rebooted the machine -- and it ran for a few seconds. Then all the lights dimmed amid utter silence in the computer room.

"Suddenly, the typewriter console came alive and printed ABORT ABEND. NO ABEND OUTPUT.

"Which, translated, means 'You're on your own, buddy...'"

Help Sharky stay up and running. Send me your true tale of IT life at sharky@computerworld.com. You'll snag a snazzy Shark shirt if I use it. Add your comments below, and read some great old tales in the Sharkives.

Get your daily dose of out-takes from the IT Theater of the Absurd delivered directly to your Inbox. Subscribe now to the Daily Shark Newsletter.

To express your thoughts on Computerworld content, visit Computerworld's Facebook page, LinkedIn page and Twitter stream.
Windows 10 annoyances and solutions
Shop Tech Products at Amazon
Notice to our Readers
We're now using social media to take your comments and feedback. Learn more about this here.