Thursday, March 22, 2007

Just tell yourself, Duckie, You're Really Quite Lucky!

When I was quite young and quite small for my size, I had a favourite book by Dr Seuss called "Did I Ever Tell You How Lucky You Are?".

I begins: "When I was quite young and quite small for my size, I met an old man in the Desert of Drize." This man tells the narrator (a small boy) and the reader to "[s]uppose, just suppose, you were poor Herbie Hart, who has taken his Throm-dim-bu-lator apart!" and other strange ways you could be worse off, in the hope that it cheers you up.

It always did for me.

The modern, Information Security version of this I found in my mail box today. It comes from the Melbourne newspaper The Age. It is an article with the amusing title - How to ctrl, alt, delete $48 billion.

Briefly- Someone at the Alaska Department of Revenue formatted a disk with information on it on how $38 Billion (US Dollars) should be divided. The format was perfect - the information could not be retrieved. The backup tapes failed. The only other backup was paperwork in 300 cardboard boxes. To make matters worse there was a deadline on the payment.

None of the actual money was lost but the department had to hire 12 new full time staff and pay 70 staff overtime to recapture all the information again.

So, in the words of Dr Seuss, and the old man in the Desert of Drize:
Some people are much more
Oh, ever so much more
Oh, muchly much-much more
Unlucky than you!"
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