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Ask Slashdot: Where's the Most Unusual Place You've Written a Program From? 310

theodp writes: "Michael Raithel was polling the SAS crowd, but it'd be interesting to hear the answers to the programming questions he posed from a broader audience: 1. What is the most unusual location you have written a program from? 2. What is the most unusual circumstance under which you have written a program? 3. What is the most unusual computing platform that you wrote a program from? 4. What is the most unusual application program that you wrote?"
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Ask Slashdot: Where's the Most Unusual Place You've Written a Program From?

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  • by gbjbaanb ( 229885 ) on Wednesday June 04, 2014 @06:23AM (#47162903)

    I wrote the basics of a command and control interface for an Ambulance service. I did this sitting on a server (big tower case) with my laptop on another server tower, precariously balanced because the data was coming in from a serial cable that snaked through a hole in the wall and had a splitter on it, nicely held together with a few cable ties and some blutack. The serial cable was delivering telephony from live 999 calls to the call centre whilst I was trying to "reverse engineer" the data being delivered.

    And all this because the telephony switch company wouldn't give us the necessary information (without paying a very extortionate amount of money for a full SDK) so I could write the code in my cosy office chair. F****rs. No wonder they went bankrupt in the end (around 2008/2009)

  • Re:My Job (Score:4, Informative)

    by hughbar ( 579555 ) on Wednesday June 04, 2014 @07:04AM (#47163013) Homepage
    Yes. That's exactly what's wrong with most of agile, lots of project momentum and minimal thought about 'what is this for', 'who wants this', 'will this damage the architecture' etc. Result object-oriented spaghetti and lots of unreadable post-its on a board somewhere in the first circle of development hell.
  • Re:Caravan (Score:4, Informative)

    by AmiMoJo ( 196126 ) * <mojo@world3.nBLUEet minus berry> on Wednesday June 04, 2014 @08:29AM (#47163347) Homepage Journal

    I went on-site at the London Olympic Athlete's Village while it was being built to debug the fire alarm system. The place was a building site, people using power tools and making lots of noise/dust all over the place. There were no mains sockets so we cut the plug off the laptop power supply and twisted the bare wires into the fire alarm panel's supply. Obviously I had to wear a very uncomfortable hard hat and steel capped boots.

    There were two of us there, the other guy being the one installing the actual hardware (smoke detectors, motorized vents, extract fans etc.). We communicated by walkie-talkie. I could change something in the code an he could check that the physical device actually reacted properly.

Disks travel in packs.