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Anyone Besides Zune Owners With New Year's Crashes? 480

Posted by timothy
from the coincidences-abound dept.
aputerguy writes "My Fedora 8 Linux server crashed sometime between 18:59:40 EST (GMT -5:00) and 19:00:00 EST (GMT -5:00) on Dec 31, 2008 which remarkably corresponds to within at most 20 seconds of the New Year in GMT. I have been running this same hardware non-stop for more than six years and other than the occasional reboot for kernel (or distro) upgrades, it has not crashed more than 1 or 2 times in 2237 days of cumulative uptime. Nothing other than background processes were running at the time of the crash. Could this be a coincidence or was there some 2008/2009 rollover issue going on here? Has anyone (other than Zune 30GB owners) noticed similar year-end issues with their computers or electronic devices?"
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Anyone Besides Zune Owners With New Year's Crashes?

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  • Well (Score:4, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 01, 2009 @04:04PM (#26292647)

    Well, you know what they say, this wouldn't have happened with Red Hat.

  • SKY TV set top box (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 01, 2009 @04:05PM (#26292655)

    Here in the UK, our skytv settop box crashed (lost all tv channels but not the menus precisley at 00:00 1/1/2009 needed a cold boot to get the channels back.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 01, 2009 @04:06PM (#26292665)
    I let a bottle fall and it broke. Does it count?
  • nope... (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 01, 2009 @04:07PM (#26292669)

    debian etch, RHEL, centos, all 300 odd servers stayed up. so did irix and solaris boxen from ancient times of the roman empire..

  • No. (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 01, 2009 @04:08PM (#26292675)

    No.

    You are alone. Very, very alone.

  • by oskard (715652) on Thursday January 01, 2009 @04:08PM (#26292679)
    My Microsoft Windows desktop crashed sometime between 18:59:40 EST (GMT -5:00) and 19:00:00 EST (GMT -5:00) on Dec 31, 2008 which remarkably corresponds to within at most 20 seconds of the New Year in GMT. I have been running this same hardware non-stop for more than 5 hours and other than the occasional BSOD and Windows updates, it has not crashed more than 1 or 2 times in 174,237 seconds of cumulative uptime. Nothing other than spyware, malware, and System Idle Process were running at the time of the crash.
  • No problems (Score:5, Funny)

    by sdo1 (213835) on Thursday January 01, 2009 @04:10PM (#26292699) Journal

    Nope. Everything's fine here in New Ampst

    <carrier lost>

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by ColdWetDog (752185)

      You guys still on Dialup? Want an AOL coaster?

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by JadeNB (784349)

      Nope. Everything's fine here in New Ampst

      <carrier lost>

      I guess the real lesson here is that it's spelled New Amst

      <carrier lost>

  • Not really enough data to tell yet, but my Fedora 8 system had no issues at all. I'm also in GMT-5. Dual Xeon 32 bit system. E7520 chipset (Intel).

    What sort of crash, just froze? Kernel OOPS, spontaneous reset?

  • Errrrrrr (Score:5, Insightful)

    by segedunum (883035) on Thursday January 01, 2009 @04:11PM (#26292707)
    Why don't you actually boot it, or failing that, take the hard drive out, perhaps look at some logs and actually find out rather than aligning it with a certain set of mystical circumstances?
  • My phone did it (Score:3, Interesting)

    by cr_nucleus (518205) on Thursday January 01, 2009 @04:12PM (#26292713)

    My phone froze right after midnight and i had to remove the battery to make it work again.
    It's a SE w810i.

  • by Thiez (1281866) on Thursday January 01, 2009 @04:12PM (#26292715)

    > Could this be a coincidence

    Yes. People are wired to see causality everywhere, even where there is none. Had your server crashed a week ago you wouldn't think anything of it (maybe 5% of all servers mysteriously crashed exactly one week ago, but because it was an 'ordinary' day nobody noticed). Anyway, since you noticed your server crashed at new year and reported it on /., and with 6 billion people on this planet we will soon hear stories about other computers that mysteriously crashed around midnight. Not because there has to be anything special, but because computers are crashing all the time and new year (and your post) made it appear special.

    I doubt it has anything to do with leap seconds, if your computer ran for 6 years it survived the leap second of 2005.

    • by DoofusOfDeath (636671) on Thursday January 01, 2009 @04:27PM (#26292899)

      Yes. People are wired to see causality everywhere, even where there is none.

      So you see a pattern in people's behavior? ;)

    • by Snowblindeye (1085701) on Thursday January 01, 2009 @05:03PM (#26293183)

      People are wired to see causality everywhere, even where there is none.

      Very true. There is an interesting book by Leonard Mlodinow called "The Drunkard's Walk: How Randomness Rules Our Lives" which is all about the way humans misinterpret random events to see patterns that are not there.

      http://www.randomhouse.com/pantheon/catalog/display.pperl?isbn=9780375424045 [randomhouse.com]

      http://www.amazon.com/Drunkards-Walk-Randomness-Rules-Lives/dp/0375424040 [amazon.com]

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by the_B0fh (208483)

      Once, at the end of the staff meeting I was holding, I casually mentioned that I noticed that 40% of all sick leave were taken on Fridays and Mondays.

      Immediately, 2 people jumped out and said it was an outrage, and that we should do something about it. That something like this shouldn't be happening.

      *sigh*

  • As of this morning, Google thinks I have a spyware problem and every time I've tried to do a search I get the sorry page with a captcha to complete the search.

    It sure scared me - how does a Linux box and a Macbook get infected while they're both asleep? I've done all the checking I can and I'm pretty sure my network is clean.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by moniker127 (1290002)
      As far as I've been able to tell, this means that there have been a lot of requests from your subnet, enough that it looks like some sort of bot.
    • by 4D6963 (933028)
      It's been doing it to me too today while using the define: query. But it does it quite often with that query or the calculator, which makes it sound like they don't want to let you use these. That's annoying.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Ilgaz (86384)

      I think you were given a very badly infected "zombie" machines IP by your IP provider overnight.

      If you give your IP to sites like http://http//www.completewhois.com [http] or http://www.senderbase.org/ [senderbase.org] they may give very good clue since zombies mostly end up on such lists. Of course if you aren't victim of some sort of monopoly, it is best to find a better managed ISP with zero tolerance to both spammers and zombies on their subnet. Not every IP address/block is equal on web since the early dial up times. At one t

  • We had our proximity card access system completely shit the bed on the 31st. Don't know if it was a leap year issue or if it was just coincidence, but it caused widespread outages and was a major PITA.
  • by melonman (608440) on Thursday January 01, 2009 @04:13PM (#26292733) Journal
    How many servers in total are watched over by people posting on Slashdot? I suspect that the answer is high enough that it would be amazing if at least one of them didn't crash within 20 seconds of the New Year.
  • I Second That (Score:4, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 01, 2009 @04:14PM (#26292741)

    My parents are using a MythTV box on Fedora 8 (Athlon XP1700+) and it also froze up last night at the same time (right in the middle of a recording :-( ). That was my first thought, too, because that would have been midnight UTC. However, after restarting it today, is has frozen again.

    I can't see anything in the logs, but the recording ended at 19:59 AST. It should have kept going for another hour.

    I have a second MythTV/Fedora 8 box (P3, 1GHz) that I use and never had any trouble with it last night.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by aputerguy (692233)
      Interesting, I run mythtv too but wasn't recording at the time of the crash. Has been stable since I rebooted a couple of hours ago.
    • Re:I Second That (Score:4, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 01, 2009 @04:51PM (#26293087)

      I did some comparisons between these 2 boxes and found the following. We were both recording the same program.

      messages - both had entries from the channel change script at about 19:29:50 AST.

      The next message on the good box was "Dec 31 19:59:59 localhost kernel: Clock: inserting leap second 23:59:60 UTC." This message was not on the box that froze.

      When I stat'ed the recording, it was last modified at 19:59:59.431 -0400.

    • Re:I Second That (Score:4, Insightful)

      by athakur999 (44340) on Thursday January 01, 2009 @05:08PM (#26293211) Journal

      My Mythbuntu-based HTPC also froze up last night.

      This is what my /var/log/messages file looks like:
      Dec 31 16:03:45 puppet -- MARK --
      Dec 31 16:23:45 puppet -- MARK --
      Dec 31 16:43:45 puppet -- MARK --
      Dec 31 17:03:45 puppet -- MARK --
      Dec 31 17:23:45 puppet -- MARK --
      Dec 31 17:43:45 puppet -- MARK --
      (... below is when I noticed the box was hung and restarted it ...)
      Jan 1 14:02:31 puppet syslogd 1.5.0#2ubuntu6: restart.
      Jan 1 14:02:31 puppet kernel: Inspecting /boot/System.map-2.6.27-9-generic

      Every 20 minutes, I get those "-- MARK --" messages and the last one is at 5:43PM local time which would be 11:43PM UTC (also my system clock is set to UTC, not local time). The next "-- MARK --" should have been at 12:03AM UTC, so there's a good chance the leap second messed something up.

  • test (Score:5, Insightful)

    by wizardforce (1005805) on Thursday January 01, 2009 @04:16PM (#26292765) Journal

    Could this be a coincidence or was there some 2008/2009 rollover issue going on here?

    set the system time back a few mins before the crash occured and see if your server crashes again... otherwise it's idle speculation

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 01, 2009 @04:22PM (#26292833)

    I was watching the new years London celebrations on my Ubuntu 8.10 MythTV box. With 10 seconds to go to midnight, it crashed. Missed the start of the fireworks.

    I think it may have happened around midnight before, so not necessarily an New Year problem.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 01, 2009 @04:26PM (#26292879)

    On 12/30/08, I submitted a request with my pharmacy to refill a prescription to pick up on 12/31/08, and received the following email, verbatim:
     

    Your Rite Aid prescription confirmation
    Greetings from the riteaidonlinestore.com pharmacy,

    Thank you for choosing to refill your Rite Aid prescription(s) online at the riteaidonlinestore.com pharmacy.
    The following refills have been sent to the Rite Aid store that you selected, along with your preferred pick-up date and time:

    Patient Name: ********
        Rx ******** ********
        Rx ******** ********

    Rite Aid Store Location:
        ********
        ********, ********
        ********
        ********

    Pick-up Date and Time:
        Thursday December 31, 2009 at 3:00 pm

    If you have any questions regarding your prescription, please contact your local Rite Aid directly at ********. Please note that you will need to pay for this prescription when you pick it up. If you have selected to self-pay for this medication, you will pay Rite Aid's price.

    Thank you for visiting the riteaidonlinestore.com pharmacy. We invite you to visit us for your other prescription needs and great deals on nonprescription items. We look forward to assisting you!

    Some things to note: I've got to wait until next christmas to pick up my drugs, and they were so concerned about patient privacy, they obscured all my contact information, prescription numbers and the pharmacy's phone numbers with asterisks. (I didn't do that myself!)

    So, I wonder if their log files are full of java.lang.Exception logs today...

    --ob

  • by vorlich (972710) on Thursday January 01, 2009 @04:27PM (#26292891) Homepage Journal
    my cat hid under the bed at almost 25 seconds into the New Year. Right after he heard the first of the fireworks. However he did restart normally about 22 minutes later after a soothing saucer of milk. I wonder if ...
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by dkf (304284)

      my cat hid under the bed at almost 25 seconds into the New Year. Right after he heard the first of the fireworks. However he did restart normally about 22 minutes later after a soothing saucer of milk. I wonder if ...

      FYI, servers don't restart if you give them a saucer of milk, no matter how soothing it is.

    • by tengu1sd (797240) on Friday January 02, 2009 @06:16AM (#26298183)
      my cat hid under the bed

      Is that a cat-5 or cat-6? Is re-installing M.I.L.K. a normal procedure? I understand some models have patches available after a fix, is your model fixed?

  • ...to at least tell us why it crashed. Hard drive failure? Your fan gave out? Some sort of kernel panic or MCE? Was there a black cat in the server room? Maybe there's more Zune in it than you think.

  • A billing program I maintain failed to run today, I won't figure out why until tomorrow when I go back to work. Its no big deal but probably not a coinky-dink that it failed on new years day.

  • one of the larger UK ISPs Nildram.net [nildram.net] had a massive problem with its Radius authentication servers at 2356Hrs GMT on Hogmany. Total pain in the arse because we were about to VOIP friends etc. We tried to switch to our backup 3G net connection but the phone networks were totally flooded with all those "happy new year" txt messages, vidcalls and so on.

    anyone know if it was Z2K-like?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 01, 2009 @04:37PM (#26292973)

    I had purchased a Sandisk Sansa e260 4GB Media Player for my father-in-law for x-mas and it worked on thru the 30th, but it wouldn't turn-on on the 31st all day. We finally managed to turn it on today. Interesting...

  • by Yath (6378) on Thursday January 01, 2009 @04:38PM (#26292975) Journal

    it has not crashed more than 1 or 2 times in 2237 days of cumulative uptime

    Apparently, you have pre-existing stability problems with this box. The fact that it crashed yet again yesterday should come as no great surprise.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 01, 2009 @04:38PM (#26292981)

    You didn't specify your kernel version, but if it was 2.6.21, you may have hit this:

    http://git.kernel.org/?p=linux/kernel/git/torvalds/linux2.6.gita=commitdiffh=746976a301ac9c9aa10d7d42454f8d6cdad8ff2b

    Thankfully this was a short-lived bug which only affected 2.6.21.

  • by AZPolarBear (661815) on Thursday January 01, 2009 @04:46PM (#26293037)
    My Fedora 8 system locked up after the leap second update was logged at 00:00 UT. I was my DHCP server, so the network went down.
  • by david_craig (892495) on Thursday January 01, 2009 @04:47PM (#26293045) Homepage
    My toast got burnt sometime between 9:59:40 EST (Eastern Standard Time in New South Wales, GMT +10:00) and 10:00:00 EST (GMT +10:00) on Jan 1, 2008 which remarkably corresponds to within at most 20 seconds of the New Year in GMT. I have been making toast with this same wetware non-stop for more than twenty six years and other than the occasional lapse in concentration while speaking on the phone, I have not burnt toast more than 1 or 2 times in 2237 days of cumulative toasting. Nothing other than background processes were running through my mind at the time of the burning. Could this be a coincidence or was there some 2008/2009 rollover issue going on here? Has anyone (other than Zune 30GB owners) noticed similar year-end issues while operating toasters or electronic devices?
  • by macemoneta (154740) on Thursday January 01, 2009 @04:48PM (#26293059) Homepage

    My Fedora 8 and Fedora 10 machines did not experience any problems. Maybe you had a power glitch, if there's nothing in the logs.

  • The only special thing about 2008 I know of is that it is a leap year. That was the cause of the Zune problem. Could be the cause of other problems also.

    Speaking of coincidences, many people said of the Z2K9 problem that it was a merely a coincidence that it happened on New Years and on a leap year--but they were wrong. One of an item (Zune, server, etc.) crashing at New Years is probably coincidence. Several probably is systemic.

  • Madplayer hicked three times at about 0100 CET. I thought it might have been my RAID system I had just repaired. (There was a bad sas/sata controller.) This happened over about 20 seconds. I only use Unix/Unix-like systems and to the best of my knowledge there are no embedded MS devices in this house.

    Unix/Linux, etc. handles things like this well. All time sync services like NTP, DCF-77, MSF, WWVB, GPS and the rest give fair warning. I personally are in favour of ditching 'leap seconds'. Time corrections would best be made day to day, the length of today being based on yesterday. That's better, but surely someone can think up the real solution?

    BillSF

    PS: Frequent updates to Java caused by US daylight saving time are pathetic.

         

  • Didn't yet get a call from a panic stricken rep wondering why they can't access their webapp. So I'm assuming that either the voip system is also dead or everything's going grea [...Connection Reset by Peer]

  • I had one RHEL 4 server (out of a half dozen identically configured systems) crash at exactly the moment the leap second should have been inserted. The logs run up to 18:59:59 CST (UTC-06:00) and the system froze, when all my other Linux systems logged they were inserting a leap second. I have read reports of some Debian systems having a similar problem. The leap second code is probably one of the least tested areas of the Linux kernel (there have only been 8 leap seconds since Linux was started); there

  • My box crashed also. I've never had a kernel crash before. I asked at http://lists.debian.org/debian-user/2009/01/msg00006.html [debian.org] . One other person reported a similar problem. Someone mentioned it is a known problem with pre 2.6.21.6 kernels though I was running a more recent version.
  • Amazing (Score:3, Interesting)

    by nukeade (583009) <serpent11@@@hotmail...com> on Friday January 02, 2009 @12:58AM (#26296939) Homepage

    I thought there was no way that Y2K9 would affect me, then the girlfriend asked me to check on a flight for her--and I found that United Airlines' website returns 2008 flight data if you search for flight information for Jan. 1 or Jan. 2 2009! How amateur is that?

    ~Ben

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