Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Bad day at the office, honey?

Back in the days after college, I was a sysadmin for a multi-machine Unix shop.  I remember my first week, when I was trying to free some space on the main machine.  SOP is to clear /tmp, right?  So off I go, logged in as root, and do ls -alF /tmp - filled to the gills.  So then I enter rm * to clear it - no worries right?

Of course, I had forgotten one small command - cd /tmp.  The good news was that only eight files were deleted.  The bad news was that pwd was /.  I had blown away the kernel, kernel backup, and a few other critical system files, and I got to pull them off the weekly backup before I got to go home that night.  What saved me was using rm * instead of rm -r *.  I wasn't fired, but I was chagrined.

On a bright note, at least the only thing I lost was a few hours - it could have been $38 billion dollars...

Link to Oops! Techie wipes out $38 billion fund - Tech News & Reviews - MSNBC.com

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