A real light bulb moment

Watt’s it all about?

Computerworld  |  Shark Tank
Computerworld / IDG

It’s the mid ’70s this pilot fish is operating on IBM 370s for a financial clearinghouse in London, where Good Friday and Easter Monday are bank holidays. The systems use a CICS system logging to 3420 tape drives, the ones with the twin vacuum chambers, and when one drive on the backup system refuses to load tapes, Fish volunteers to come in with the engineers on Good Friday to work on it.

Fish has it all figured out: He’ll get some good overtime working on an easy fix, and he’ll still get a three-day weekend.

But comes the Monday holiday, and fish and colleagues are still working on that easy fix. They’ve replaced just about every part, some of which had to be flown in especially. Finally, one of the engineers has a bright idea. He replaces the light bulb that powers the fiber-optic sensor to pick up the metallic BoT (beginning of tape) marker. Problem solved.

Seems the bulb was putting out light, but not enough for the sensor to pick up the reflection and load the tape.

Sharky’s seen the light, but I’m still waiting for your true tales of IT life. Send them to me at sharky@computerworld.com. You can also subscribe to the Daily Shark Newsletter.

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