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Unisys Smoking Hot Demo at Linux World Boston

ScuttleMonkey posted about 8 years ago | from the boston-chernobyl dept.


This year's LinuxWorld Boston started off with a bang...and a fair amount of smoke. Unisys apparently had a few problems launching their first demo, as our own Robin "Roblimo" Miller reports over at Newsforge (also owned by VA Software). From the article: "Less than an hour after the show floor opened at the 2006 edition of the Boston LinuxWorld Expo today, fire alarms went off and a plume of smoke arose from the server cabinet in the Unisys display. "I knew we had a magician scheduled," said one rattled Unisys employee,"but this isn't what I expected." Indeed, this was an unexpected event. It was a real fire -- or at least a considerable smolder, complete with firemen, evacuation orders (soon rescinded), and other hoopla. Photos and a video clip included."

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Included link? (4, Funny)

Necroman (61604) | about 8 years ago | (#15059568)

Those are some sweet details and video...
Someone fall asleep at work again?

Re:Included link? (1)

Acid-Duck (228035) | about 8 years ago | (#15059594)

Better then getting a "file not found" which is what happened to me the first two or three times I clicked on the link to read further in the article. Then all of a sudden your comment appeared and I could Read comments again.

Unisys switched to intel? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15059582)

Was that the announcement they were going to make?

Where's the link? (1)

john82 (68332) | about 8 years ago | (#15059583)

Photos and video clips included

Somewhere? Or did we already burn down the server with the media, too?

not yet (1)

Catskul (323619) | about 8 years ago | (#15059632)

As soon as someone posts the link we will : )

You sickos (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15060205)

It was in the article link in the middle of the Fine submission.
Sheesh, how long have you been using the internet? An hour?

Re:Where's the link? (1)

Serapth (643581) | about 8 years ago | (#15059645)

Nope, the smoke inhalation affected the posters short term brain activity. Atleast, I hope only the short term...

Re:Where's the link? (1)

FragHARD (640825) | about 8 years ago | (#15059952)

Another reason not to use certain plant-life in the production of microchips ;-)

<< Nope, the smoke inhalation affected the posters short term brain activity. Atleast, I hope only the short term...>>

A Link would be nice (1)

Andy_R (114137) | about 8 years ago | (#15059586)

So much for "Photos and a video clip included.", the article has no links!

Re:A Link would be nice (1)

Tackhead (54550) | about 8 years ago | (#15059734)

> So much for "Photos and a video clip included.", the article has no links!

The photos were originally in .GIF format, and the poster didn't fear the Slashdot effect so much as he feared the wrath of Unisys' patent lawyers modding him (+1, Flamebait)?

ROFL (5, Informative)

TubeSteak (669689) | about 8 years ago | (#15059588)

Someone forgot to include a link to TFA.

Luckily Google News came to the rescue

http://os.newsforge.com/os/06/04/04/169215.shtml?t id=2&tid=18&tid=3 [newsforge.com]

Link to video:
http://www.newsforge.com/blob.pl?id=02083954d3d50e 63f9af2eaad7d2090c [newsforge.com]

Creepy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15060066)

From the article: few show attendees panicked

Have you ever seen the video of the nightclub in RI that burned down with lots of people inside a few years ago? Nobody was panicking there either. Lots of laughing and milling about. I'm not saying that panic is an appropriate response - just that fire is no joke. I'm glad everyone is o.k.

Casue of Fire (2, Funny)

lbmouse (473316) | about 8 years ago | (#15059598)

The Preemptive Slashdot Effect.

Mod parent up please (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15060040)

It had better be at the full +5 Funny within an hour or I'll be pissed.

New Unisys motto. (3, Funny)

Spy der Mann (805235) | about 8 years ago | (#15059604)

Get it while it's hot!!

Re:New Unisys motto. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15059666)

+1, Flamebait... make crappy jokes and you get burned!

Parent == Funny, Parent != Flaimbait (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15059681)

In the subject line -- mods: recognize.

Re:New Unisys motto. (1)

Serapth (643581) | about 8 years ago | (#15059751)

Wow, can't believe you got hit as Flamebait for that posting. I mean, the joke was a little predictable, but it wasnt that bad! I at least giggled... not school girl giggled. Normally it would need to solicite a groan to get moded flamebait by me.

Guess I wont make my joke that the Blue Screen of Death is actually just Microsofts clever built in fire prevention scheme... I would get moded into oblivion today...

Photos and a video clip included (1)

wjcofkc (964165) | about 8 years ago | (#15059616)

"Photos and a video clip included."

That's all fine and dandy. One thing though: May I please have the URL?

NO NEED TO WATCH VIDEO (5, Informative)

_pruegel_ (581143) | about 8 years ago | (#15059635)

Really. Just shows some light smoke coming from behind a wall. And there is a loud beeping in the background which likely comes from a fire detector. Neither flames nor servers visible and although the video is 3MB large it is only 18 seconds long.


dr_dank (472072) | about 8 years ago | (#15059835)

C'mon, you could have at least put **SPOILER WARNING** before that post. Have we forgotten the lessons of the Lone Gunmen?


Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15059877)

Really. It shows some light smoke coming from behind a wall! Then there is a loud beeping in the background which likely comes from a fire detector! While neither flames nor servers visible, the video is only 3MB large, and it is a full 18 seconds long! :)


Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15059898)

You didn't mention the tits?

somebody let out the magic smoke (1)

peragrin (659227) | about 8 years ago | (#15059642)

Okay from the video's and pictures on my really low res(800x600) lcd I would say that a powersupply to just one of the servers burned out.

Inside the case there didn't appear to be a lot of damage(a deck of cards was untouched).

I would love to know what happpened but hey it's on the spot news.

Re:somebody let out the magic smoke (1)

rubycodez (864176) | about 8 years ago | (#15059815)

a deck of cards was untouched

whew, they could have lost the whole batch COBOL and JCL job. well, unless they also had punched tape or 9-track to back up the cards.

In soviet russia... (4, Funny)

LodCrappo (705968) | about 8 years ago | (#15059644)

server fires cause slashdot stories sorry.. someone had to do it

Re:In soviet russia... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15060239)

Offtopic? What? Did the mod read the comment?

If I had mod points I'd have given you a "+2, Memebuster."

What's with the raft of "offtopic" stuff lately? Why waste a mod point on something marginally offtopic but mostly harmless when you can draw attention to something good?

Of course, this will get hit offtopic, too.

oops (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15059657)

someone's bound to get fired over this one. ... sorry.

Food server? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15059658)

Just maybe they were trying out some new server based on this [freepatentsonline.com] concept.

Great Video Clip! (1)

Dark Coder (66759) | about 8 years ago | (#15059659)

George N. Capalbo, VP of backbone networks corp really got lucky with a shot of the flaming Moe.. um I mean, flaming Unisys.

Who would have thought that Unisys would go out with a bang, smoke, and wimper?

Hey, wasn't that Unisys, the evil patent holder of GIF...

Keep it up, Unisys.

Name for next system (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15059660)

Seems like calling their next iteration of this system the "Phoenix" would be obvious.

Go Slashdot! (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15059672)

The links will be in the dupe, eh?

Or is this a new trick to get me to subscribe for your "journalism"?

"we have the way out" indeed! (2, Insightful)

gentimjs (930934) | about 8 years ago | (#15059696)

The way out of the building that is ... Seriously, am I the only one who finds it ironic that the company that geared up with microsoft to dethrone unix/linux from the server centers now has one of the largest booths at linuxworld and is trumpeting the superiority of open source? Bah!

Re:"we have the way out" indeed! (1)

Jason Earl (1894) | about 8 years ago | (#15060250)

Unisys got tricked by Microsoft. Microsoft liked the Unisys machine as an advertisement for the capabilities of Windows. It was good press for Microsoft to be able to talk about "mainframe" Windows, but that's not the Microsoft folks wanted to sell. They wanted to sell clusters of commodity hardware. So Unisys had the unenviable job of trying to sell mainframe Windows to customers that invariably wanted to talk about the deal to Microsoft. Microsoft would then do its best to steer the customers towards a cluster.

Running Linux these same boxes appeal to the same sorts of customers that have traditionally purchased big iron, porting the software to Linux is easier, and you don't have to partner with Microsoft.

In case of slashdotting: (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15059706)

In case of slashdotting, here is a picture:

\|/  <-----Smoke
|  | <-----Server
|  |

Oh, how times change. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15059711)

Just a year ago I had a Unisys employee rant and rave about how linux is the sux0rs and how Windows Cluster Whatever is where it's at...

NOT a server cabinet (5, Insightful)

dpaton.net (199423) | about 8 years ago | (#15059741)

That was a cabinet holding, what look to this ex-stagehand, like a rack of dimmers, not servers. My guess is one channel of dimming or perhaps audio (though no one uses socopex for audio do they?) went up in smoke. It happens sometimes. Ask about the waterfall over the Christie Digital booth at NSCA 2005...


Re:NOT a server cabinet (1)

Red Flayer (890720) | about 8 years ago | (#15059814)

"Ask about the waterfall over the Christie Digital booth at NSCA 2005..."

I'll bite.

What about the waterfall over the Christie Digital booth at NSCA 2005?

MOD PARENT UP (4, Informative)

MustardMan (52102) | about 8 years ago | (#15059850)

The lower couple of rack spaces seem to be used up by a distro box - I've seen similar types of multipin connectors used for both audio snakes and lighting. You can also make out some twist-lock power connectors and what look like BNC connectors (possibly wireless mic antenna).

Smoking Not Allowed... (4, Funny)

creimer (824291) | about 8 years ago | (#15059745)

If the conference was being held in California, Unisys wouldn't been allowed to smoke their server inside the building and the server couldn't smoke within 15 feet of an entrance outside.

Re:Smoking Not Allowed... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15059852)

What does California have to do with anything? The same smoking rules apply in Boston and other Mass. municipalities...

Re:Smoking Not Allowed... (0, Flamebait)

creimer (824291) | about 8 years ago | (#15059895)

Oh, yeah. I forgot that California sets the standards for the rest of the nation. :P

Re:Smoking Not Allowed... (1)

heinousjay (683506) | about 8 years ago | (#15060142)

Apple zealots, OSS zealots, and now California zealots? Great. I was really hoping we could up the flame ratio around here.

Happened to me in a demo... (3, Informative)

tcopeland (32225) | about 8 years ago | (#15059754)

...when I was in the Coast Guard. I was demo'ing some shiny new bar coding equipment, plugged in the barcode printer, and smoke rose and sparks flew. That kind of squelched the demo.

The Coast Guard was a big Unisys customer for a while - lots of workstations running the Convergent Technology Operating System (CTOS). I'll bet that even here on Slashdot no one's heard of CTOS...

Re:Happened to me in a demo... (1)

lambertr (60628) | about 8 years ago | (#15059911)

Sorry to say, I know about CTOS. Did a bit of contracting back in the early 90s. Modular, grey boxes of CTOS goodness *ahem* everywhere.

Re:Happened to me in a demo... (1)

tcopeland (32225) | about 8 years ago | (#15060094)

> Modular, grey boxes of CTOS goodness *ahem* everywhere.

Nice. My office, G-SLS, was involved (in 1996-1999) in getting CTOS to run in an emulator on Pentiums. Actually, all the real work was done by contractors, and I was a mere papershuffling LtJG. But anyhow, it was awesome - the logistics software (SCAMP, CMPlus) ran orders of magnitude faster, and the guys in the field loved it.

Lol (1)

GmAz (916505) | about 8 years ago | (#15059758)

For a second there, I thought the fire system was just being ran by a Windows machine that crashed which made the alarms go off. I mean come on, it must be the end of the world if a Windows box crashes.

Unisys? Sounds familiar... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15059770)

I guess this gives a whole new meaning to "Burn all GIFs" [burnallgifs.org] Day.

Unisys?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15059809)

Holy crap, they're still in business?!

Arn't they the GIF assholes? Or LZW, LHA, or whateverthefrackitwas.

I had a job with them way back in the late 80's but the company they were working for canned the project before I even started. I'm so happy I never worked for them.

the hindenburg (5, Insightful)

dirtyhippie (259852) | about 8 years ago | (#15059813)

George N. Capalbo, VP of backbone networks corp., happened to be nearby with his Leica still camera. which also takes short videos. He hit the "video" button by accident, and got this clip of the rousing billow of grey smoke. "Now I know what that guy felt like at the burning of the Hindenberg back in the 30s," George said.

Yes. Just like the guy who filmed the Hinderberg. 70 years from now, this crappy video of smoke coming out of a little white tower will be as etched on the human consciousness as the Hindenberg tragedy is now. Give me a break.

Video? (1)

fak3r (917687) | about 8 years ago | (#15059884)

Ok, so forget stop drop and roll, forget calmly leave the building via the emergency exits when you hear a fire alarm, what you should do when there's a fire in the vincinity; try out your newest movie recorder! On the video you hear the guy taping say, "...uh, Movie mode, that wouldn't be a bad idea" as he turns the camera on it's side. Later adding, "There is a fire in their booth". This must be the same kind of jackass that doesn't pull over when there's a firetruck coming until the last minute, and then floors it to try to keep up. I hope he later told evenone, "d00d, I got the whole fire on this 1Gig memory stick! Technology is so kewl!"

I am all for it (1)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | about 8 years ago | (#15059979)

The more people go the fire instead of the exits the less change I got of being stuck in a mass of people all trying to fit through a small exit.

It is a form of evolution I suppose. There are two kinds of people. Those that go and see what makes that growling sound in the back of the cave and those that spend the night in a tree and have kids.

What were they smoking - eh? (0, Offtopic)

fahrbot-bot (874524) | about 8 years ago | (#15059889)

Unisys Smoking Hot Demo

What is this "Hot Demo" they were smoking, and does it come in menthol?

Oh, you meant "Smoking-Hot Demo". Never mind.

Re:What were they smoking - eh? - Grammar comment. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15060121)

To the grammar idiot who mod'ed this "Off Topic"....

It's not about "weed" dude. It's about the fact that "Smoking Hot Demo" is grammatically incorrect", unless they're actually smoking something called "demo" and it's hot.

If the demo itself is "Smoking Hot", then it's "Smoking-Hot Demo". Take an English class for Christ's sake.

ObBOFHref (4, Funny)

Guppy06 (410832) | about 8 years ago | (#15059935)

source [ntk.net]

Mr Smiles likes the words "Fast", "Top of the Line" and "Expandable". He runs over to a machine surrounded in glitter and advertising and gestures at it. "This is probably what you want then. The latest thing. There's only two in the country and luckily we have one here today"

"Yes yes, but will it talk to my laptop?"

"THIS baby will talk to ANYTHING. What's the interface, ethernet?"

"No, a SCSI-1 Interface. My machine pretends to be a disk, ID 3. But lots of machines kill my machine's powersupply with inductive transience backflow due to a non-standard SCSI interface...


He practically BEGS me to try the new machine out. Which I've been waiting for. I drag out my luggable, which is, admittedly, a bit of a beast.

"Wow! That IS old!! And *ungh!*.. quite heavy too. I guess you're quite attached to it?"

I mumble about legacy data, only use it at home, sentimental value and irreplaceable software while he plugs it in and starts the host machine.

"Okay, let's see what we can see" he says, and presses the power-on switch on my "portable" The 31 hefty nicad batteries that make up almost the entire inside of my "laptop" pour grunt into a tripling inverter which in turn supplies RICH, CHUNKY VOLTS to alternate pins on the "SCSI" bus, whilst emitting a dull "uuurk" sound.

"My Laptop!" I cry, reaching for it, just as smoke starts pouring out the back of the display machine. Mr Smiles dives for the demo machine weeping, while I exit, in "anguish".... ...resetting the circuit breaker in my machine as I go... ..to the next stall...

Itanics or Xeons? (1)

Brian Stretch (5304) | about 8 years ago | (#15059943)

Was is an Itanium or Xeon server rack that went boom? Unisys sells both [unisys.com] , though in the case of the Itanics I use the word "sell" in the theoretical sense.

I keep telling people to switch to Opterons, if only because they run cooler, but noooooo...

Who made the dimmer board? (1)

TheHawke (237817) | about 8 years ago | (#15059999)

Was it a Apple MacBook Pro Touch N Dim board? The one where you have to build a fireproof /explosionproof enclosure around the battery and power supply to prevent innocent bystanders from getting fragged when the thing explodes?

Or was it the new Microsoft Xbox360 Digital Porportional Dimmer Board? The one you have to fabricate your own cooling system or the whole thing goes up in smoke?

Unisys ploy? || = NOT (1)

FragHARD (640825) | about 8 years ago | (#15060061)

Just another Unisys ploy to use smoke & mirrors... only they forgot the mirrors so it's no wonder it didn't work right.

Sev 1 defect (1)

Mur! (19589) | about 8 years ago | (#15060201)

I spent some time doing Software Testing, and according to our team lead, a bug/defect was not a Sevrity 1 unless the server was on fire. I never managed to find a sev 1 (though we did have a defect for a server that had fan burn up that I had to verify - never could reproduce it, though). It looks like these guys found one of the fun Sev 1s. :)

And In Other News... (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | about 8 years ago | (#15060228)

Semey, Kazakhstan - An international arm's dealer show was interrupted when one of the nuclear devices, the Platnav 9 Fission Bomb, accidentally went off.

"It was quite terrifying," said international war criminal Boris Yupyuv. "People were glowing, skin was melting, and some turd in a tuxedo kept shouting 'I'm shaking but not stirred!'"

The faux-pa was attributed to an intern to Russian President Vladimir Putin, who apparently mistook the red button marked "Kill Everything" for a dispenser of his favorite brand of vodka. The fellow has since been punished by being made Russian ambassador to Italy.

Fire crews were on the scene within a few minutes, and the burning corpses were quickly put out. Several hundred AK-47s were deemed too irradiated to be used and were sold at firesale prices to Hamas.

Good. They deserve it. (3, Insightful)

Snap E Tom (128447) | about 8 years ago | (#15060231)

I hope they're embarrassed. I hope they look bad. I hope they lose business. We still remember the shit you pulled with the GIF patent, Unisys.

Hmmm....suspicious (1)

catdevnull (531283) | about 8 years ago | (#15060244)

That looks suspiciously more like a rack of sound/light equipment than a server rack (though it's hard to tell from that pic). Either way, with all that crap piled up in a small, enclosed space, I'm not surprised something got a little "warm."

Then again, it might have been just a couple of those long-haired Berkenstock wearin' communist open-source hippies [slashdot.org] burning a bud or two before the show...
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