I work for a mid-size lawfirm that hired me as an IT specialist to handle all of their digital evidence for trials.
The law-firm was in the process of changing their evidence managing system to Cloud based
and wanted me to to be the only person with admin access to the Cloud, everyone else would be limited to view only and would work on a local network drive.
I quickly realized this was the only task they expected me to perform in my 8-hour shift.
Then COVID happened and I was asked if there was any way I could work from home.
In about a week I was able to write, debug, and perfect a simple script that performed my entire job.
scans the on-site drive for any new files,
generates hash values for them,
transfers them to the Cloud, then
generates hash values again for fidelity
(in court you have to prove digital evidence hasn't been tampered with).
I'm only at my desk maybe 10 minutes a day.
For a while I felt guilty
eventually I convinced myself that as long as everyone is happy there's no harm done.
I've already decided that if they ever try to get rid of me I'll just get rid of the script.
I'm running it on equipment that I own
so if they lose me, they lose the work.
Creating my own job security.
How much am I getting paid? Just shy of 90k. I think I'm doing alright.
Before they hired me they were struggling to keep up with things.
Employees submit a spreadsheet of all the files they've placed on the local drive at the end of the day.
Then the admin manager would check the spreadsheet and manually drag and drop the folders/files into the Cloud.
I still receive the spreadsheet every day and it's what I use to verify my logs.
What code language am I using / how can you do this?
The script is in batch with some portions of powershell.
The base code is fairly simple and most of it came from Googling ".bat transfer files" followed by ".bat how to only transfer certain file types" etc.
The trick was making it work with my office, knowing where to scan for new files, knowing where not to scan due to lag
(seriously, if you have a folder with 200,000 .txt files that crap will severally slow down your scans.
Better to move it manually and then change the script to omit that folder from future searches)
Why don't you sell it and make bank?
It only has value in this situation because the office has no technical skills.
This is the type of script people put on github with a $5 price tag linked to their PayPal.
Space Cadet Pinball has a special place in the hearts of many Windows enthusiasts.
A customer used their support contract to ask how to change among the three levels of play in Space Cadet Pinball.
My proudest achievement of Windows XP was fixing the game so it didn’t consume 100% CPU.
People keep asking if it can be brought back.
One point of contention is over my claim that I removed Pinball from Windows because I couldn’t get the 64-bit version to work.
When the 64-bit Windows project started, there was no Itanium hardware yet.
The only way you could run any Itanium code was to run it in a simulator.
On the other hand, the Windows team did have access to a lot of copies of Alpha AXP.
The Alpha AXP is internally a 64-bit processor. It’s just that 32-bit Windows used only the 32-bit subset.
Solution: Port the Alpha AXP version of 32-bit Windows to 64-bit Windows.
The assumption is that most of the effort in porting Windows to the Itanium is in the 32-bit to 64-bit transition,
and not in dealing with quirks of the specific 64-bit processor you are porting to.
My theory as to what happened is that some time after I removed Pinball from the product,
the C runtime team realized that they had a compatibility bug in the way they set the default rounding mode, and they fixed it. Or maybe there was a compiler bug, and the compiler team fixed that.
Somebody fixed it, and then went back and re-tested Pinball with this fix, and everything worked great, so they put Pinball back.
nobody informed me that they had gotten Pinball working and added it back. I just assumed that it was gone forever.
Many many years ago, a customer presumably was taking advantage of the unlimited support part of their support contract when they asked
In the documentation for Space Cadet Pinball, it says the game is divided into three levels of play: basic, intermediate, and advanced.
How does one advance to the next level of play? The documentation doesn’t explain.
The level of play being described in the documentation refers not to any particular in-game option or accomplishment.
It’s describing three different styles of playing the same game.
It’s like how you can play tennis on multiple levels
Basic level: You try not to lose the ball.
Intermediate level: You earn more points by hitting the targets in the right order.
Advanced level: You earn even more points by completing missions.
In other words, the answer is not in the game. The answer is inside you.
Windows XP was the last client version of Windows to include the Pinball game that had been part of Windows since Windows 95.
There is apparently speculation that this was done for legal reasons. [But] that’s not why.
The 64-bit version of Pinball had a pretty nasty bug where the ball would simply pass through other objects like a ghost.
In particular, when you started the game, the ball would be delivered to the launcher,
and then it would slowly fall towards the bottom of the screen, through the plunger, and out the bottom of the table.
given that this was code written several years earlier by an outside company,
and that nobody at Microsoft ever understood how the code worked (much less still understood it), and that most of the code was completely uncommented,
we simply couldn’t figure out why the collision detector was not working.
We had several million lines of code still to port,
so we couldn’t afford to spend days studying the code trying to figure out what obscure floating point rounding error was causing collision detection to fail.
We just made the executive decision right there to drop Pinball from the product.
Space Cadet Pinball was not originally written by Microsoft, but was rather obtained via licensing from a company then-known as Cinematronics.
Unfortunately, release as an independent product was not included in the terms of the deal.