Almost everything we touch is heavily reliant on computers doing the tasks they were programmed to do.
Past events, however, have shown us what can go wrong when the smallest things are overlooked or ignored.
While computers are always blamed, there is no doubt that a touch of human carelessness is at fault too.
Microsoft wrongly accuses customers
King of home office software, Microsoft programmers accidently inserted a glitch into their anti-piracy checkers.
This all happened back in 2007 and resulted in thousands of customers being wrongly accused of pirating their software.
A program was uploaded into the company’s servers on a Friday afternoon which was laden with bugs. It was removed, but no one checked to see if it had gone away.
Thousands of customers were wrongly threatened with impending legal action about 24 hours later.
Another bow added to Microsoft’s already poor PR record.
AT&T massive call failure
AT&T have also had their fair share of IT mishaps.
In January 1990 computers reported that the entire company’s telephone system was breaking down.
It all started when the company’s electrical switches reset themselves. They were linked to a cascading network and a parallel signaling network.
While the system reset itself, a defect in the software sent a second signal less than ten milliseconds after the first and before it had righted.
AT&T was unable to process around 50% of its calls which cost the company an estimated $60m in lost earnings.
So, next time your computer shuts itself down or your company’s servers crash spare a thought for those at the top of the IT food chain.
They get it wrong sometimes too!
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