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What is the Best Bug-as-a-Feature?

Cliff posted more than 7 years ago | from the unexpected-benefits dept.

Bug 861

Bat Country wonders: "The workflow system, at the department I develop for, was hand-coded by my predecessor in a rather short amount of time, resulting in somewhat unreadable code with a number of interesting 'features.' When I took over maintenance of the code base, I started patching bugs and cleaning up the code in preparation for a new set of features. After I was done, I got a pile of complaints about features that had disappeared, which turned out to be caused by the bugs in the code. So, that leads me to ask: what is your favorite bug that you either can't live without or makes your life easier?"

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The best (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18546189)

Windows Genuine Advantage

Re:The best (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18546217)

Apparently your "bugs" were the features and your "cleaning it up" broke a bunch of shit. Congratulations and good luck finding a new job!

Re:The best (1)

bckrispi (725257) | more than 7 years ago | (#18546649)

Agreed. If you have "piles of complaints" from users, you may well be causing more harm to the system by fixing the undocumented features than by documenting them and making them official.

Re:The best (1)

BSAtHome (455370) | more than 7 years ago | (#18546221)

Ehm, nobody would notice if it was gone. Probably everybody would be instantly happy.

Re:The best (5, Funny)

TerranFury (726743) | more than 7 years ago | (#18546349)

>Windows Genuine Advantage

No, that's a feature that acts like a bug. ;-)

Perl versus Python (5, Interesting)

goombah99 (560566) | more than 7 years ago | (#18546427)

Perl is perhaps one large bug that works so well that it's a great feature. For example in perl when you compare two things you get an answer that is stable no matter what the items are. In python you can't and even when you can the answer is not stable. The order of a sorted list can depend on it's orginal ordering! You cant compare floats to Complex numbers but you can compare strings to complex numbers. Sets are grouped by equality not identity so 4.0 and 4 are the same thing for a set. Which one stays and which one get added to the set depends on the ordering of the lists that were put in the set.
it's nuts. And the origin of the nutty ness is an obsessive desire not to have default behaviours. Whereas perl is all default behaviours. In the end perl does what you really meant, and python does what you told it.

in case you think I'm python bashing google what python evangelist david mertz says about python warts.

Re:Perl versus Python (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18546569)

How much moronic can you get? 'all default behaviors'? how ridiculous. When you grow up you'll like Python. Maybe you'll never grow up.

Re:Perl versus Python (5, Funny)

badfish99 (826052) | more than 7 years ago | (#18546613)

As a mathematician, I'm always surprised by people who think that 4 and 4.0 should not be equal.

Re:Perl versus Python (5, Funny)

zappepcs (820751) | more than 7 years ago | (#18546729)

As a mathematician, I'm always surprised by people who think that 4 and 4.0 should not be equal.
Well, one is just a number, the other is the SP version identifier that tells you when its safe to upgrade to a new version of windows.

Re:Perl versus Python (5, Funny)

rootofevil (188401) | more than 7 years ago | (#18546733)

As a programmer, I'm always surprised by mathematicians who think that 4 and 4.0 should be equal.

Re:Perl versus Python (5, Informative)

IMarvinTPA (104941) | more than 7 years ago | (#18546921)

As a programmer, I'm amused by both.
4 and 4.0 are equal by value but not in precision. 4 has one significant digit, while 4.0 has two. This is important because multiplying it by 1200 (which has two significant digits), yields two scientifically different answers. 4*1200 yields 5000 (5 x 10^3) while 4.0*1200 yields 4800 (4.8 x 10^3).

So, in the end, it depends, just like everything else.

IMarv

Re:Perl versus Python (0, Flamebait)

goombah99 (560566) | more than 7 years ago | (#18546843)

should 4.0+0.0j and 4.0 be equal? Python does not think so. should 4L and 4.0 be equal? python does not always think so

mertz (1, Informative)

goombah99 (560566) | more than 7 years ago | (#18546763)

mertz article [ibm.com]

Re:The best (1)

jacobsm (661831) | more than 7 years ago | (#18546511)

We have an entire system that produces documents and letters that we send to to our customers. This system has to use a 1990's version of the software package. These hundreds or thousands of machine generated forms and letters were composed using this level of software that contain known software bugs and will not format correctly if they execute using a later copy of the package.

Thankfully this system is in the process of being phased out.

Mark Jacobs

Re:The best (3, Funny)

jhfry (829244) | more than 7 years ago | (#18546765)

This system has to use a 1990's version of the software package. These hundreds or thousands of machine generated forms and letters were composed using this level of software that contain known software bugs and will not format correctly if they execute using a later copy of the package.
Your not using MS Word are you?

Re:The best (1)

tritonman (998572) | more than 7 years ago | (#18546673)

Gold dupes in every MMORPG

404 (5, Funny)

Jordan Catalano (915885) | more than 7 years ago | (#18546193)

My favorite:

"404 File Not Found
The requested URL (askslashdot/07/03/30/0116246.shtml) was not found."


That little error saved me from having to read a bunch of replies.

Re:404 (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18546493)

From DOS:

Keyboard not found.
Press to continue.

Whenever I boot my windows machine (5, Funny)

antifoidulus (807088) | more than 7 years ago | (#18546203)

it pops up all sorts of porn pages I never even asked for!

Re:Whenever I boot my windows machine (5, Funny)

nick_davison (217681) | more than 7 years ago | (#18546355)

Not sure it's my favorite... but props to Microsoft for having the balls to market Windows ME as one giant bug-as-a-feature.

Yes (2, Funny)

UPZ (947916) | more than 7 years ago | (#18546213)

I vote Windows as the best bug-as-a-feature

Re:Yes (3, Funny)

soft_guy (534437) | more than 7 years ago | (#18546759)

I'm unclear how Windows qualifies as a feature.

Windows? (4, Funny)

cmeans (81143) | more than 7 years ago | (#18546223)

Microsoft keeps trying to clean up their code, and as a result, sometimes, features that SPAMmers etc. are relying on stop working.

rm (5, Funny)

KillerCow (213458) | more than 7 years ago | (#18546227)

rm * .old

Re:rm (1)

sheph (955019) | more than 7 years ago | (#18546395)

that would be a lot more interesting with a -R from /

Re:rm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18546435)

You realize, of course, that that is actually a shell glob-expansion feature, not an rm bug? rm will only see a list of filenames (all the filenames that match *) followed by the file .old, and will (as designed) operate on all files in the list. So, really, it doesn't qualify as a bug-as-feature since there is no bug, just a user error :-)

what is a bug? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18546861)

Programmers are "users" as well. A bug is often caused by a simple error like a space in wrong place, not only errors in design.

Gotta be the BSOD (1)

LenE (29922) | more than 7 years ago | (#18546233)

Everytime it happens, I just smack myself in the forhead for not rebooting sooner. Usually I can just reboot with a better memory state than before the BSOD.

Every single BSOD I get.... (1)

Reverend99 (1009807) | more than 7 years ago | (#18546239)

... 15 minutes of coffee break time!! 15 more minutes of paid time!!!

The money lender bug in Taipan (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18546251)

Great game! Here. [download.com]

The guy who wrote the Windows version actually allows you to turn it on! Overpay the money lender and your money grows at 10% a month! The bug was in the original Apple 2 version and then subsequent ports, like the one to Palm, removed it.

Re:The money lender bug in Taipan (2, Interesting)

Rei (128717) | more than 7 years ago | (#18546603)

My favorite was from Final Fantasy Tactics -- the level up/level down as a different class bug for boosting your stats. The neat thing about it was that while you could do it, and it had very real benefits, it took a lot of effort. As a consequence, it was more like a non-required miniquest, sort of like Chocobo breeding in VII or card collecting in VIII, that people who wanted a "perfect save" could choose to embark on.

In general, I actually liked Tactics' bugs.

GPOW (4, Funny)

SinGunner (911891) | more than 7 years ago | (#18546257)

I remember getting Godly Plate of the Whale in Diablo at the sacrifice of a single potion with the duping bug. I can't think of anything better than that.

Re:GPOW (1)

Clever7Devil (985356) | more than 7 years ago | (#18546367)

You sir, are old school. I like it.

Re:GPOW (1)

crow (16139) | more than 7 years ago | (#18546485)

I'm not familiar with that bug, but if you include games, there is a whole wide range of bugs that make the games easier. You can probably find examples in almost any large game.

Re:GPOW (1)

Moridineas (213502) | more than 7 years ago | (#18546653)

It's more complicated than you think even--and I'm laughing that I remember this from what, 10 years ago?--Godly Plate of the Whale didn't exist in the game--you could never find it. Somebody hacked the game to create that item, and then thanks to the duping bug, everyone got one! The duping bug was big!

Ahh, good times...

buffer overflow (5, Insightful)

virtualXTC (609488) | more than 7 years ago | (#18546261)

buffer overflows are great - they allow you to get root on all sorts of devices that some bastard tried to lock you out of.

Not sure if this is a bug... but (4, Interesting)

SirStanley (95545) | more than 7 years ago | (#18546265)

ncpmount on linux... at least in our configuration... allows us to overwrite files that have "locks" on them by users. It appears to be happy to ignore the locks. I'm guessing this is a bug... because I can't do it with the same user from Windows.

This allows us to deploy our java Jar's to our Folders on our network where the users launch the app from.

Yay.

Re:Not sure if this is a bug... but (4, Informative)

smallfries (601545) | more than 7 years ago | (#18546379)

That probably isn't a bug. Most file-systems don't lock files that you are executing, so they can be overwritten whilst mapped into memory. This can abused in lots of amusing ways.

One in particular (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18546271)

THE BUG UP MY FUCKING ASS! MY CO-WORKERS CAN'T GET THROUGH A DAY WITHOUT ASKING ME ABOUT IT!


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IE6 is packed with 'features' (4, Interesting)

Allicorn (175921) | more than 7 years ago | (#18546279)

And although, ultimately, its a pain in the arse that they're there at all, when you get get down to the practical day-to-day business of writing/maintaining websites, some of those bugs turn out to be very handy in concocting freaky work-arounds for inconsistencies in the ways that browsers support (or don't support) the standards.

I'll leave the provision of an exhausitive list to somebody else, but suffice to say if you're looking for a sizeable seam of bugs-which-simultaneously-screw-you-over-and-help- you-out, then there can hardly be a better place to look than Internet Explorer 6.

QW strafejumping (3, Insightful)

dybvandal (535813) | more than 7 years ago | (#18546287)

Easily the best bug ever. Its been paramount in enabling continous "innovation" as people speed jump through maps.

Easy! (4, Funny)

carn1fex (613593) | more than 7 years ago | (#18546289)

They screwed up alot of our web-based financial software. If i set the number of items purchased to zero, the whole thing reboots and i get to go home for th

Re:Easy! (1)

wisconjon (1064136) | more than 7 years ago | (#18546743)

Where can I get a bug like that? It's kind of like the old "Boss Key" from Liesure Suit Larry...serves a great purpose, creating simultaneously lower productivity with job satisfaction

Personally, I like... (4, Funny)

ZiZ (564727) | more than 7 years ago | (#18546297)

Error

Nothing for you to see here. Please move along.

Nothing beats a good dose of pot-kettle interaction.

Re:Personally, I like... Actually... (1)

Hollinger (16202) | more than 7 years ago | (#18546333)

I've seen trace before that said something like: "FunctionName: line 434 : Error: (Not an error)"

Re:Personally, I like... Actually... (4, Funny)

Spudtrooper (1073512) | more than 7 years ago | (#18546421)

PC LOAD LETTER? What the f*ck does that mean?

Re:Personally, I like... Actually... (0)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | more than 7 years ago | (#18546599)

It means you (the "Personal Computer user") have to put more paper in the Letter Tray. It's companion error is "PC Load Legal".

Re:Personally, I like... Actually... (2, Insightful)

Volante3192 (953645) | more than 7 years ago | (#18546775)

Minor quibble, PC means Paper Cartridge in that context, not user.

Re:Personally, I like... Actually... (0, Flamebait)

qwijibo (101731) | more than 7 years ago | (#18546833)

It stands for:

Paper Cartridge LOAD LETTER sized paper, you retarded git you can't figure out what the error message means that always occurs when you run out of paper.

I'm positive that if you read the documentation, it would say exactly that. =)

ModeX graphics? Buffer overflows? (5, Insightful)

Kufat (563166) | more than 7 years ago | (#18546299)

The famous undocmented 320x240 VGA video mode, pre-VESA, and other tweaked VGA modes.

I've heard the 6502 (or, more specifically, RP2A03) had some useful undocumented opcodes. I think they weren't intentional, so they might count.

On the software side...how about exploitable buffer overflows on the Xbox and PSP to enable execution of arbitrary code?

Ping of Death (4, Funny)

thomasdn (800430) | more than 7 years ago | (#18546309)

Ping of Death (http://insecure.org/sploits/ping-o-death.html) entertained me quite a while :)

Not a software bug but a design flaw (5, Funny)

jimicus (737525) | more than 7 years ago | (#18546339)

Not a software bug but a design flaw in a car I used to own.

The Vauxhall Astra Mk.2 (Opel Kadett E) had a design flaw in the steering column. Specifically, the steering column was rather weaker than the steering lock.

The upshot of it was when some little scrote decided to try and steal my car (this was way before cars were fitted with immobilisers), when he tried to break the steering lock the steering column snapped and the steering wheel came straight off in his hand.

Linux (5, Funny)

stratjakt (596332) | more than 7 years ago | (#18546351)

It was supposed to be a unix clone, but actually came out useful in the end.

Re:Linux (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18546911)

Was? Zing.

"Subscribe to view" pages visible to Googlebot. (5, Interesting)

Behrooz (302401) | more than 7 years ago | (#18546357)

"Subscribe to view" webpages that are still visible to users browsing as GoogleBot.
 
  User agent switcher extension [chrispederick.com] + Browse pretending to be GoogleBot = Annoying "register/pay to see me!" pages go away. I have no idea how many sites it works on now, but I think it still gets into a lot of archived newspaper articles and suchlike.

Re:"Subscribe to view" pages visible to Googlebot. (5, Interesting)

apathy maybe (922212) | more than 7 years ago | (#18546591)

Personally I use the modify headers extension to do the same thing. But I have "I am not a Googlebot/2.1", rather then the full Googlebot string. But I sometimes come across pages that say something along the lines of "You appear to be pretending to be a major search engine when you are not", for those pages I change the header to "I DIDN'T CLAIM TO BE A MAJOR FUCKING SEARCH ENGINE".

Of course, both are examples of why you shouldn't use "User-Agent" to try and detect what browser or bot is using your webpage. The first allows "illegitimate" users access, and the second blocks legitimate users.

In fact, you shouldn't trust headers for anything unless you have a secure session. To control access to your webpage to robots, use ROBOTS.TXT or a meta tag, and to control access to other users, password protect. But the trouble is that sites are trying to eat their cake (be crawled and indexed) and have it too (control access to ordinary users).

Re:"Subscribe to view" pages visible to Googlebot. (1)

WarwickRyan (780794) | more than 7 years ago | (#18546685)

Sweet, thanks :-)

Skiing in Starsiege: Tribes (5, Interesting)

Manatra (948767) | more than 7 years ago | (#18546385)

For me, the physics bug that enabled "skiing" in Starsiege: Tribes was the best bug as a feature. It's a bug that became a key defining point of the series.

A description of skiing is here [wikipedia.org] .

My favorite bug? (0, Redundant)

QuietLagoon (813062) | more than 7 years ago | (#18546389)

Why, Microsoft Windows, of course.

My Karma isn't low enough... (5, Funny)

EWIPlayer (881908) | more than 7 years ago | (#18546413)

Sendmail

Nameless Firefox Bookmarks (5, Interesting)

Headcase88 (828620) | more than 7 years ago | (#18546437)

This barely qualifies as bug, more on an inconsistency, but...

In Firefox, when you make a new bookmark, you need to give it a name. FF grays-out the OK button until you do. This implies that bookmarks weren't meant to be nameless. Here's the "bug": if you go to rename the bookmark, you can make it blank and the OK button remains active.

So what good is a nameless bookmark? I place all of my frequently-visited bookmarks on the menu bar, to the right of the menus (it's normally wasted space). I have over 25 bookmarks marks there, and if they had names (even one-letter names), they wouldn't fit by a long-shot. The favicons are all I need, so this ability is pretty helpful, and isn't likely to be fixed.

Re:Nameless Firefox Bookmarks (1)

Archangel Michael (180766) | more than 7 years ago | (#18546567)

Sweet!

Thank YOU!

Re:Nameless Firefox Bookmarks (1)

networkBoy (774728) | more than 7 years ago | (#18546745)

So....
how do you get the icons to fit in the menu bar?
I'm feeling stupid today.
-nB

Re:Nameless Firefox Bookmarks (1)

SupplyMission (1005737) | more than 7 years ago | (#18546779)

Thanks for pointing out this "feature". I just condensed my bookmark toolbar to less than half its normal width. Awesome!

Second Life camera (5, Informative)

LinuxHam (52232) | more than 7 years ago | (#18546449)

In Second Life, if you zoom your camera up to a wall, you will normally just zoom in to see closer detail of the wall. But once up against the wall, swing the camera around to the side, and you can "back your way in" through the wall. Release and click again, and the camera is now "mounted" inside the house. Its so much fun to watch people inside their homes, especially when your avatar is prevented from entering the property. Some even pay for a little orb that still tells them that no one is detected within 30m. Its fun because the clicks still work, too, like right clicking on someone and IM'ing them.. to tell them that you liked their last outfit more than this one, or the couch looked better in the other corner.. really freaks them out. That is definitely a "bug" (or feature) I couldn't live without... not in SL at least.

Much greetings to you Respected Sirs. (-1, Offtopic)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | more than 7 years ago | (#18546459)

It is with great humbleness I seek your indulgence, Sir. My name is Ai Cheet Yu, barrister-at-law in Hong Kong. Some three days ago a man with your respected surname was killed in the game of Dragon of Death, v 3.6. He had deposited a sum of 37 billion QQ coins in a trust with our well respected law firm. By law after 3 days I have to turn the QQ coins over to the unclaimed propety department.

Sir, here is my plan. I suggest I present you as the next of kin and claim the QQ coins, which we can share at 30% for me, 60% to you and 10% to bribe the party officials in Beijing.

Hoping, the well respected person like you will not forget the timely help rendered by this humble servant and reward me with your most esteemed cooperation, Please contact me for proceeding further.

Re:Much greetings to you Respected Sirs. (1)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | more than 7 years ago | (#18546497)

Sorry posted to the wrong thread. Mod it down please. It is a lame joke anyways.

Re:Much greetings to you Respected Sirs. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18546557)

No, you posted it to the wrong story, not the wrong thread. You started a new thread.

If the code is "unreadable"... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18546479)

If the code is "unreadable" how can you be sure they are bugs and not intended features you happened to overlook?

Street Fighter 2 (2, Interesting)

Scrotumous (814250) | more than 7 years ago | (#18546481)

My favorite bug -> feature was the doing a jumping kick to the back back side of enemies. This was not intended but has become mainstay in fighting tactics in the SF series ever since

VW close the sunroof bug (5, Interesting)

Ancient_Hacker (751168) | more than 7 years ago | (#18546491)

There were two oversights in the older VW's electrical system:

(1) You needed the key to close the sunroof.

(2) But.. a sneak path in the headlight wiring meant you could instead just turn on the headlights and pull on the high-beam flasher (on the turn-signal lever). Enough electricity would flow backwards through the sneak path to operate the sunroof motor. ... ooops, that's more hardware than software. sorry.

Re:VW close the sunroof bug (1)

ReidMaynard (161608) | more than 7 years ago | (#18546737)

Obviously your VW bug wasn't old enough. My 58 beetle had a manual canvas-type sunroof. Also, no petrol gauge was available! To the right of the accelerator was a fuel petcock, kinda like a motorcycle, only there was no Off, just On and Reserve. But it had an ashtray and lighter, probably so you could have a relaxing smoke after you ran out of petrol.

Re:VW close the sunroof bug (5, Funny)

sconeu (64226) | more than 7 years ago | (#18546889)

Back around '79 or so, a buddy of mine had a VW Bug with a different bug in it. It had some kind of short, so that if you touched the steering column with another key on the same ring as the one in the ignition, it sounded the horn.

telnet -l "-froot" (5, Interesting)

mmell (832646) | more than 7 years ago | (#18546509)

More than once, I've rescued SUN servers where somebody hosed up PAM (or even /etc/passwd /etc/shadow) by breaking in this way.

A related "bug" is the ability to boot Linux "fail safe" with the notation 'initrd=/bin/sh' on the boot line. As MVS would say, "Thou art God!"

World -1 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18546519)

World -1 in Super Mario Bros.

EMACS movemail (2, Funny)

robbkidd (154298) | more than 7 years ago | (#18546535)

Without that mail forward bug [ualberta.ca] , I'd never have been able to get root [wikipedia.org] when I wanted it.

Easy (1)

voice_of_all_reason (926702) | more than 7 years ago | (#18546537)

The original metroid's "hidden worlds".

If you let a door close on you and kept crouching/standing up, you could go outside the map, and the game would end up filling in new areas as best it could. Easy to get stuck, one way doors, and other nasty traps, but endless fun.

http://www.gamefaqs.com/console/nes/file/519689/42 503 [gamefaqs.com]

One of my favorites, from console gaming... (5, Funny)

foxtrot (14140) | more than 7 years ago | (#18546539)

From the Blue Sky Rangers website [intellivisionlives.com] :

FUN FACT: While testing the game, Bill came across a bug: every now and then, the game would, seemingly at random, hyperspace you. He and his boss, Mike Minkoff, went over the code with a fine-tooth comb before realizing what the problem was: the Intellivision hand controllers encode button presses in such a way that an action (side) key pressed at the same time as particular directions on the disc will be interpreted instead as a numeric key being pressed. There was no software way around this; shooting while moving would occasionally be interpreted as pressing 9 -- the hyperspace button.

After several days of puzzling over a solution, the bug was ultimately "fixed" by including the following note in the instruction manual:

"Every once in a while, your space hunter will move near a 'black hole,' and the computer will automatically put him into HYPERSPACE. This will cost you the same number of points as if you had pressed the HYPERSPACE key yourself. On the other hand, it will save your hunter."

This led to an axiom frequently heard around Mattel: If you document it, it's not a bug -- it's a feature. Anytime a game in development crashed -- no matter how badly or bizarrely -- witnesses would invariably turn to the frustrated programmer, shrug, and calmly say "document it."


-JDF

Quake2 strafe jumping (5, Interesting)

pak9rabid (1011935) | more than 7 years ago | (#18546547)

I'd have to go with strafe jumping in Quake2. What better way to get the 100 health pack in q2dm1 w/out having to sacrifice precious life w/a rocket jump. w00t!

I dunno (5, Interesting)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 7 years ago | (#18546549)

In high school I wrote a program for a physics project that showed electromagnetic wave propagation and interference. Nothing that special, the end result was basically a pretty screensaver with some relevence to physics. In light of that, one of the features I added was a pull-down menu for selecting what color you wanted to use. This was back in the VGA days with a 256 color pallette and manually poking the VGA frame buffer. Due to an off-by-one error in calculating the bounding box of the pull down menu, it was possible to select an invalid index for the color, so instead of selecting a row of the pallette with my nice color gradients set up, it was one of basically random colors. The result was really trippy, so when I discovered the bug, I decided to leave it in. At the open house where my program was running through a projector some bystander discovered the bug and thought it was indeed cool and trippy.

That's about it. Most of my bugs just break shit. :)

Re:I dunno (3, Interesting)

soft_guy (534437) | more than 7 years ago | (#18546855)

I hope someone mods this up because it is like the only post for the entire article that is actually relevant or interesting.

Memory segment B000? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18546617)

How about being able to use the memory segment for monochrome video adapters as extra memory, back in those days?

Not sure if youd call it a bug but... (1)

SuperCharlie (1068072) | more than 7 years ago | (#18546623)

I support a lotta desktops and its always a pain to log off user, do your admin, log on user especially if youre trying to do something profile specific.

I found that with IE6/XP if you enable quick launch, rt-click properties, find target on IE6 (lazy way to get to it) I could do a runas admin and have free roam to do what I needed without logging the user off. Killed with IE7. Thx.

Physics bugs in video games are the best (4, Interesting)

mattgreen (701203) | more than 7 years ago | (#18546645)

I used to play too much Starsiege: Tribes about five or six years ago. It is a multiplayer first person shooter with enormous maps. When it first came out, everyone walked around, or hitched a ride on a vehicle. The game was fun, but it was a bit slow for my tastes (I grew up on NetQuake). Somebody discovered a physics bug that allowed players to move very fast over terrain by rapidly tapping the jump button as players slid down a hill. This process was scripted, and the overall dynamics of the game (terrible pun) changed dramatically. The game went from being fairly slow to being one of the most intense games I've ever played. Different hills would give different amounts of speed, and the process of 'skiing' itself required that you constantly look for ways to maintain your speed while fighting off other players.

When the developers saw the potential it gave the game, they left it in. They realized how it made the game unique and exciting, and this bug became the standard feature that sets Tribes far apart from almost all FPS games out there, even to this day. This bug resulted in probably the closest simulation to virtual athleticism that I have ever seen, which was responsible for the fanatical, but small fanbase the Tribes series had.

That's simple... (1, Insightful)

sherpajohn (113531) | more than 7 years ago | (#18546651)

The bug in evolution which allowed Homo Sapiens to gain language and self awareness. Gaia knows it never should have happened! But I am sure it will corected shortly (that being shortly in the cosmic scale of time).

Re:That's simple... (1)

electr01nik (598106) | more than 7 years ago | (#18546925)

My version of Evolution seems to be missing that.

Are your Homo Sapiens pre-compiled or are you building from source before you release them into your production environment.

rich text indent vs. blockquote in IE (2, Interesting)

brunascle (994197) | more than 7 years ago | (#18546657)

most of those web-based rich text editors you see use the same core functionality that's built into the browser. it's sometimes called "design mode" because to initialized it you have to set the designMode property of an iframe element to "on".

there's a set of commands that you can execute on the iframe after you've set this property. one of them is "indent". when handled properly, this should create a new div element with some kind of margin or padding on the left. well in IE executing that command actually creates a blockquote element.

completely wrong, right? yes, but convenient. in our CMS we need to be able to create a blockquote, and have no use for indentation, and i cant find any other way to do it in IE. fortunately, in better browsers blockquote is handled with the command "formatblock: blockquote".

OOB Windows bug (WinNuke) (3, Funny)

c0d3h4x0r (604141) | more than 7 years ago | (#18546659)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Winnuke [wikipedia.org]

This was the handiest thing for getting rid of idiots on chat.

Runner-up: ALT-F4 to close a window. Also handy for getting rid of idiots on chat:

Idiot: Hey, my computer is broken, how do I fix it?
Me: Well, first, hit ALT-F4
*** User 'Idiot' has left the room. ***

Re:OOB Windows bug (WinNuke) (3, Funny)

brunascle (994197) | more than 7 years ago | (#18546805)

Ah yes, how many times have we seen this:

User A: how do i kick someone out of the channel?
User B: type /leave [their name]
*** User A has left the room (User B) ***
*** User C has left the room (User B) ***
*** User D has left the room (User B) ***
*** User E has left the room (User B) ***
*** User F has left the room (User B) ***
User B: :(

Apple ][ Taipan (1)

CygnusTM (233935) | more than 7 years ago | (#18546669)

I was always fond of the bug in the Apple ][ version of Taipan that let you overpay a loan which would turn it into a negative loan that would grow more negative as the game went on. You could then borrow against this negative amount. With the usury rates on loans in the game, it was effectively an ultra-high interest savings account.

Obvious.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18546677)

Daylight savings time...

SQLDeveloper (2, Interesting)

beef623 (998368) | more than 7 years ago | (#18546727)

In one of the older versions(after they dropped the codename raptor and went live) of oracle's sqlDeveloper, after your session with the DB had timed out you could just execute a query a couple times to renew your session rather than logging out and logging back in. I know its a considerable security flaw but it was damn handy.

tribes 1: skiing (1)

teh_chrizzle (963897) | more than 7 years ago | (#18546731)

jumping rapidly while going downhill caused you to gain speed at a rate that defied physics (both real and virtual). it became such a hit with players that macros and other mods were built to automate the process. the "feature" became so essential to game play that it was built into tribes 2.

Most useful bug... (1)

toxique (584721) | more than 7 years ago | (#18546753)

UNIX!!! Just partially kidding :-)

If You Can't Fix It, Feature It (5, Funny)

adavies42 (746183) | more than 7 years ago | (#18546771)

A couple of friends of mine in high school CS wrote a Tetris clone for class, but they had a bug where occasionally, blocks would spontaneously appear or disappear. They couldn't figure out how to fix it, so they claimed (in the docs, not to the teacher) that they had AI adjusting the difficulty to match the players' skills.

Date library (5, Interesting)

isj (453011) | more than 7 years ago | (#18546785)

Not me, but one of my colleagues took over maintenance of a system which included a date library. The dates and times were treated as floating-point, leading to much conversion and adjustinging. Eg. 12:30 was 12.30, so when adding 40 minutes getting 12.70, and then adjusting that to 13.10, No input validation was done. My colleague tried cleaning that up, but then got complaints from the users. They had discovered the "features" and were now using eg:
    January -6th
meaning december 24th the previous year.

My colleague had to remove the input validation again and keep the features.

Game Bugs (1)

Bones3D_mac (324952) | more than 7 years ago | (#18546813)

I gotta put my money on the numerous video game bugs of the last few decades which don't really do anything but invoke a "hey, that's kinda cool" response. Ones like the negative worlds bug in the original Super Mario Bros, or the Pac-Man "perfect game" crash.

There's probably at least one out there each of us has stumbled over at one point.

The bug in Lotus Domino 4.x... (1)

Hymer (856453) | more than 7 years ago | (#18546835)

...used by ADSM for making backups of document level... the bug allowed users to restore documents (from ADSM server) directly from their Notes Client too.
This bug/feature dissapeared in Domino 5 (and later), when we called IBM (the great mothership of both Lotus and ADSM) we were told that it wasn't a feature but a bug and it has been corrected.

Budden budden! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18546853)

The Volkswagen Beetle.

Windows (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18546867)

Would the answer to that be Windows, by any chance?
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