You can see this coming. Why couldn't they?

Flashback to 1972, when this pilot fish and his cohorts are working many late nights in the computer room as they prepare a new version of their 16K operating system for a government project.

"The main means of storing the operating system was magnetic tapes, which came equipped with a write-protect ring," says fish. "There always seemed to be a plethora of these around the computer room. It was great fun to fling them across the room at other programmers.

"I should point out that when one of these behemoth machines in the computer room would power off, it usually required a call to an engineer to get them back on. Oh, did I mention the power-off switch on the front of the console did not have a cover?

"One night, as write-protect rings were flying, one hit the power off button and shut down the computer. Engineers were called. The computer was restarted.

"And the next day all the computers had a cover over the power-off switch..."

SPECIAL NOTE FROM SHARKY: Tomorrow's the big day! Sharky's blog is moving to Computerworld's new website on Tuesday, complete with Sharkives full of thousands of stories and, um, not all of your comments. (That virtual U-Haul wasn't quite as big as we thought it would be.)

Don't panic -- all those comments will be back in the Sharkives eventually. It just isn't going to happen all at once.

But join us bright and early (at the crack of noon, EDT) to explore the new Computerworld site when it launches on Tuesday, Aug. 26. And in the meantime...

Fling your story in Sharky's direction. Send me your true tale of IT life at You'll get a stylish 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.

Copyright © 2014 IDG Communications, Inc.

It’s time to break the ChatGPT habit
Shop Tech Products at Amazon