Rick DeNatale wrote:
> On 6/25/07, Alex LeDonne <aledonne.listmail / gmail.com> wrote:
> 
>> I worked at an institution that was forced to rewrite a bunch of
>> name-related code for a legacy system because of a "sanity" check that
>> was just plain wrong... and nobody realized it until Dr. O came to
>> work. Now they had to allow one-letter surnames, too (they'd already
>> allowed one-letter given or middle names, thanks to President Truman's
>> middle name, S).
> 
> Reminds me of an old SF story "The Man Whose Name Wouldn't Fit."  IIRC
> it started with a guy getting fired because his company put in a new
> computer personnel data system which had one too many characters in
> the field for last name to accomodate him (and it was too expensive to
> fix).
> 
I assume you meant that his name was one character too long, not that 
the field for the name was too long.

> I think it ended with a neo-luddite movement with a secret weapon
> which dissolved the bond between the the magnetic material and the
> substrate on magnetic tapes and disks.
> 
> Don't know how many here are old enough to remember when most
> computers used magnetic tape. <G>
> 
I remember carrying boxes of punched cards.  One of my previous bosses 
told me a humorous horror story about a company he worked for.  The 
company magazine was doing an article on the Data Processing department 
and wanted a picture of the computers at work.  The department decided 
that the best time would be during the payroll run when all of the tape 
drives would be in use.  They set up the shot and when the flash went 
off all of the tape drives went off line.  Everyone had forgotten about 
the optical EOT sensors.