Maybe they finally realized there IS a problem?


Engineer pilot fish working for a state agency gets a notification one September morning from IT by way of his boss: Something is using up all the space on his local hard disk.

"My supervisor's note said, yes indeed, my C: drive was full, and he suggested a few programs that could likely be deleted," says fish.

"It took IT weeks to make some space -- and then that space disappeared over the weekend."

The official word from IT is that fish needs a new, bigger hard drive to fix the problem.

So while fish is waiting for that to be approved, he begins a new procedure: Every morning he moves several gigabytes' worth of work-related images off his C: drive to free up local space. Then, at the end of each day, he copies the images back onto his local drive.

But it isn't helping much -- and after three months, things are reaching crisis stage again.

"By December, my Windows folder had ballooned to over 94GB and my image-holding space was just getting chewed up while I worked," fish says. "It's pretty hard to be an engineer on a dual-processor PC with only 550KB of available C: drive."

Fish's boss pushes IT for a solution. IT removes 6GB of applications that fish seldom uses.

Then comes the long Christmas holiday weekend. Fish doesn't touch his computer, physically or remotely, for days.

But when he returns to his desk, he finds that all the space IT cleared has been devoured -- and he's pretty sure it wasn't eaten up by Santa.

Fish and his boss tell IT that something is seriously broken and needs to be fixed. IT responds that nothing is broken -- fish just needs the bigger hard drive installed.

"IT removed the computer from my desk in early January," grumbles fish. "As of the first week in February, my monitor is still blank, except for the joke screen image I taped to it.

"As I recall, swapping out a hard drive just requires removing four screws and a ribbon cable. Pretty scary that this IT group is running all the state agencies..."

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The march toward exascale computers
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