[clug] Stories of Microsoft technical meltdown: T-Mobile Sidekick/Danger 'Hiphop', all data lost

Alex Satrapa alexsatrapa at mac.com
Tue Oct 13 00:20:41 MDT 2009

On 13/10/2009, at 16:21 , steve jenkin wrote:

> This saga ended up with a 7+ day service outage (for T-Mobile Sidekick
> and possibly a Telstra service) and loss of all customer data.

I can't believe that someone has turned "eating your own dogfood" into  
a pejorative.

Samba is a project built on the "eat your own dogfood" paradigm - it  
started off with one guy trying to share files with his wife's  
computer, and since then has been maintained by people who use it on a  
day to day basis for doing Real Work™.

As for the allegations of sabotage, I suggest it's unwise to attribute  
to malice what can be adequately explained through incompetence.  No  
backups, a botched up SAN upgrade - this is easily explained through  
incompetence.  Somewhere in Redmond, I expect a work experience kid is  
having an unexpected return to school ;)

> There are dangers for commercial services run 'in the Cloud' by a
> third-party. Sure there's an SLA, but what's it worth when you  
> business
> is gone?

Where do you keep your "off site" backups when you don't have a site?   
I would suggest that businesses intent on running "in the cloud"  
ensure that they have an "off cloud" backup (eg: backup to disk on a  
PC in the office).

> "Exclusive: Pink Danger leaks from Microsoft's Windows Phone"

One of the stories I've heard about Pink was that Microsoft designed  
the appearance of the phones, then sent the designs off to their  
technology partner to build a phone into the shell. This of course  
doesn't work when you're dealing with products that require antennas.   
I'm sure Jonathon Ives and co would advise Microsoft's industrial  
designers to start with the minimal hardware and build a product  
around it:

Fictional dialogue between engineering and design said:
> "hey design people, here is a chipset, here is an antenna.  There  
> are many antennae like it but this one is yours.  You must allow the  
> antenna to be on the side furthest away from the human's head.  The  
> gap between human and antenna must be at least 8mm.  The chipset  
> requires 20m by 40mm by 5mm.  The battery pack can be shaped to fit.  
> Go for it."

I have to wonder what's going on in Microsoft land.  I hope most of  
the stories I've heard about the Sidekick data loss and the Pink  
project's fail-by-design, are simply fiction conjured up by anti- 
Microsoft zealots.


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