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April Fools – NOT! It Really Happened Today…

April 1, 2007

Today is April Fools day so you’ll be reading about a lot of fake things today.  Here’s one that isn’t made up..

I was working in the hotel in Panama late last night and half-watching TV when I decide to make some minor tweaks to some of our video player code. Not in the test environment that our programmers use but directly to the production code…I’m on the road and it’s just a minor tweak after all, right? I make the changes but get an error i one change which causes the page that actually shws the videos to not display at all…fortunately, after a few seconds, I know exactly where the error is.  Since the HTML on our pages is generated by our web component, I just need to recompile the small change in a new component and send it to the server and I’m less than a minute from bed and bliss…

…or so I think.  Just as I’m making the change, the cable TV in the hotel goes out.  It takes a few seconds to fully appreciate that integrated services these days means that the internet and long distance service have gone out in the hotel as well.  I don’t panic at first thinking that the great series of tubes known as The Internets will return any second. 

After about a half hour, the following set of facts dawn on me: It’s “o-dark-thirty” on a sunday morning…I’m in a hotel in a different country….there’s no cable TV or internet….I cant call anyone to repost the original code…..and through pure serendipity, I’ve managed to insert a tiny code error in a single line of code in our production pages that precludes video from being watched on any our real estate video sites. You can’t make up stuff like this.

Long after the sun came up, the Cable TV, internet, and telephone decided to return just as suddenly as they had departed. So, the site works fine now but there was a window of about 6 hours on April Fools day where no videos could be watched…so the joke seems like it was ultimately on me. 

It’s much funnier now than it was at 3am.   🙂 .  Enjoy your day…

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