On the other hand, it survived Y2k just fine

This big retail chain wants to make sure it doesn't feed duplicate orders into a mainframe system, so it tasks a Cobol programmer with making sure that doesn't happen, reports a pilot fish in the know.

"This was 1992," fish says. "The program would check for a duplicate order based on the order numbers stored in a table. There was a subscript just after the table that was used to step through the table to compare all the values.

"Unfortunately, he forgot to put a check in place to abort the process if the table got full.

"I had always heard that the worst bugs are found within six months after a program is put into production, and have lived with this notion secure in my mind.

"In 2014, my buddy who still works there told me that the program ordinarily took a few minutes to run, but one day it ran for two hours. They canceled it and quickly found this bug.

"So much for the six month rule."

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