Tape storage and that weird smell.

I was processing some outgoing backup tapes this morning for our external storage facility. They all go out in boxes that look like this:

So you can guess who we have a contract with

Ours have little inserts, but you get the idea.

Anyway, while I’m doing this, I ask my coworker to come give the box a sniff. I know that sounds really weird, but for some reason, these boxes always smell like Skittles or some kind of very sugary fruit candy to me. I wanted to know if it was just me. She agreed that they have that smell.

But this reminded me of last year when we had a huge order of these tapes come back and there were some boxes that didn’t have that smell. And this is an interesting thing about tape storage.

When the tapes are really old, they start to break down. I’m not sure if it’s the magnetic tape itself or just the plastic case, but it gives off a very strong acetone smell. As the plastic starts to outgass–in a sealed container–it only accelerates that process and so you get tapes that are no good. They will break and gum up whatever machine you’re trying to use to read them. When you open the box, the stench of nail-polish remover is unmistakable.

So, yes, you can smell when a box of tapes has gone bad. This makes me wonder if the sweet smell is by design: a means of knowing if your tapes are still good or if that breakdown process has started.

Anyone else experienced this tape good/bad smell?
  • jecook

Heh, one from the moderation queue...

The text of the entry was:

"Facebook Support Number For iPhone Users
Do you want to solve issues related to your Facebook account? Come to us & dial Facebook customer service number [redacted] for the instant solution. iGurus Facebook support team always available for your help. You feel free to ask any question related to your Facebook account & get the answer instantly. You can contact iGurus Facebook support team anytime from anywhere. "

Which I rejected, flagged as spam, and added these notes:

Please read the profile information for this community, specifically this portion:

[insert copypasta from profile regarding advertising]

Your post has been rejected, flagged as spam after examining your twitter account, and YOU HAVE BEEN BANNED. GOOD DAY, SIR OR MADAM.

Alas, the admin console won't let me baninate external users.

"Well, that was fun. Who's for Chinese?" - from the very end of Joker's Eulogy from The Man Who Killed Batman
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  • jecook


Posts before this one are being migrated to the techrecovery community over on Dreamwidth. Due to the TOS changes here, most folks are jumping ship and landing there.

I have the same user name, and the same ownership of communities. Swing on over and say hello!
  • jecook

*sighs heavily*...

So, a couple shiny new 'features' that were added into livejournal allowed for both semi-automated whitelisting and automatically granting access.

However, said whitelist was pretty open. I've gone and throttled it a bit. (It just means that anything not on the whitelist gets thrown into the moderation queue for a human (or sentient mutant hopefully) to give it the ol hairy eyeball. Like most things, it'll take a bit of tuning to reach a happy medium.

And just to re-iterate the profile notice:

REQUEST: If your post is particularly verbose or Not Safe For Work (NSFW), Please put an LJ-Cut on it. This is not a hard n fast rule, merely a suggestion.

Policy statement added as of 5/17/2007, On Advertising: "Advertising services (especially computer support services!) in this community is generally prohibited, unless otherwise approved by the moderation team. Most of us do support as a day job, and frankly don't want to hear about it during our off hours. If you post advertising in this community, your post will be mocked mercilessly before it is deleted and you WILL BE BANNED."
  • jecook

Crowning moment of WTF...

In a shameless attempt to revive this old, dusty place, I want to know what your crowning moment of WTFery at the workplace you've experienced. I'll start.

I've been at $company for nearly ten years. This is somewhat strange for this particular industry (Tribal Gaming) as usually people get fed up with management, fed up with the pay(1), or just want a change of scenery.

I think the worst WTFery I've seen was last summer. We had seen a couple incidents of Cryptolocker poking around, and I had taken initiative to lock things down via a group policy so that I didn't have to spend several hours every couple days restoring department shares because some turkey borked their machine.

The CIO commended me for doing this. My direct boss forced me to undo those changes a few days later because I 'didn't perform a full risk assessment of the effects of locking down the machine's ability to install harmful software.'(2)

The fecal matter hit the fan shortly thereafter which ended with the CIO ordering me to re-implement my changes after a final infection damaged one of the front of line applications and took it offline for several hours before a weekend.(3)

Haven't seen a single instance of cryptolocker affecting the systems since.

Your turn!

1. The company has a *lot* of cash for buying pretty shiny hardware; not so much for retaining the talent to drive it.
2. Boss's way of saying "You didn't say 'mother may I' before taking steps to maintain system integrity", the buttplug.(4)
3. I don't *think* that final incident cost us any revenue, but it gave the boss a nice black eye.
4. And that's being insulting to all buttplugs. At least those don't drive people to mental breakdowns in front of their co-workers.
I like nachos., Fred Fredburger


I just dropped in to see what happened with the n00b who asked for help with their old and busted computer. I wanted to see if anyone other than me responded, etc, etc....

It would appear that they deleted their post.


Things I Am Not Allowed To Do At Work, Part 10

(Previously. Recap: University sysadmin.)
  • Change my job-title to, "Knight Errant, Keeper of the Bits, Guardian of the Unwary, and Defender against the Internet Hordes".
  • ... "Claims of accuracy are not a compelling argument. You're not allowed a better job title than I have."
  • Update the GECOS field for my user account to a value other than that held by HR.
  • To not circumvent this restriction by updating testing accounts instead.
  • To also not update the GECOS field for other users contrary to User Administration policy. Take the suffix "(Killjoy)" off my account at once.
  • ... "No, you not allowed ask the head of User Administration for special permission. She'll say yes."
  • The University's Graduation ceremonies should not be referred to as the "Semi-Annual Batman Cosplay Convention."
  • ... "moreover, you will only be admitted if wearing the traditional formal robes. Your sloppy clown make-up and purple jacket is completely inappropriate."
  • You are not to invent your own hazard glyph that asserts "THIS OBJECT IS COMPLETELY HARMLESS".
  • ... particularly if it has a post-it added that adds, "... unless provoked."
  • No, the Vice-Chancellor is not a Cylon.
  • You are not empowered to set condition one throughout the department.
  • The departmental fire coordinator is responsible for managing the building's fire wardens, not for calling in airstrikes on targets of interest. Send that radio equipment back.

Wow 2 years since last post

I keep forgetting LiveJournal exists.  Then I get an email stating that some one that's not a member tried to post spam.   On a medical leave of absence from tech support right now, though when I was last doing it it was more of techsupporting the customer instead of the equipment (complaint management where I'd have to tell people "Yes, you are going to have to talk to some one from India, no I am not able to help you fix your registry".
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