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Monday, Feb. 27, 2017

Fubar or Snafu?

Posted Tuesday, December 11, 2007, at 10:11 AM

Computers sure have changed society.

It wasn't long ago that most folks had a kind of loathing for the little boxes with the TV screen and the typewriter type keyboard, partly because people in general don't like change. They once represented a type of change that everybody thought required a degree in rocket science to figure out how to make it work, and the terminology "garbage in - garbage" out became universally understood to explain a host of computer generated "errors". Add to that the number of times you called a bank, mail order house or the like, and were told that the computers are down, and the early days of the information age don't sound all that rosy.

Nowadays technology has improved dramatically as well as the ability of computer operators to get accurate information input into these modern marvels. The Internet has opened up the world to everyone from the comfort of their living room easy chair, and emails fly through cyberspace with the greatest of ease with nearly flawless results.

Yep... Computers and technology sure have come a long way, but recently I had a harmless FUBAR occur at the McCook Gazette's web site. First off, FUBAR stands for Fouled Up Beyond All Recognition. I believe this term got it's birth during WWII as a descriptive way to describe daily Army life.

To add a touch of irony to this story, in my past I was a mini computer repairman for AT&T and worked on some some pretty cutting edge equipment. DEC Computer Corp had a large computer who's design engineer borrowed on the FUBAR term by having a useless catchall failure report called the Failed Uni-Bus Address Register that stored totally useless information. When all else failed, the FUBAR was there to catch you...there always has to be someplace for a computer to send useless error information you see.

I'd just responded to an article comment, and noticed that the date and time of the comment I posted showed up as December 32, 1473 at 27:31 AM, and there was a little ! with a circle around it icon that I clicked on that gave me the following message...

"An Obvious Error Has Occurred"

Now I hadn't thought about the FUBAR register in years, and I'm pretty sure the error message I got didn't come from a FUBAR registers output. So does that mean it's really a SNAFU? Situation Normal, All Fouled Up?

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