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Case 60

The Watchdog

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The production servers for a key system had been functioning poorly for many weeks. After each restart the software behaved well, but as the days passed performance gradually slowed to a crawl until the system became unusable. Worse, it was common for the application to run out of memory and crash during the busiest part of the third day, taking with it all unsaved session data of logged-in users. Dozens of angry subscribers began phoning the Temple to register their dissatisfaction; they had very specific suggestions about what should be done to the developers. A team of trained watchdogs was acquired to safeguard the abbeys.

Unable to reproduce the problem in the development environment, the Java masters begged for a nightly restart of the system. This was granted by a near-unanimous consensus. Yishi-Shing, a host master of the Clan of Iron Bones, remained the lone dissenter.

The restarts were deemed a success: performance remained good throughout the day, all but the most-violent users were placated, and the Java masters were able to turn their attention to more interesting matters.

One night the Java masters and developers awoke to the sound of frantic barking outside their halls. In the moonlight a Temple watchdog could be seen, fur bristling, paws spread wide as it faced down a group of menacing figures clad all in black. The dog was just about to leap when a whistling sound pierced the air. The animal whimpered and fell, its legs snared by the ropes of a thrown dai-chui. The black figures scattered into darkness.

From the shadows the host master emerged. He knelt before the helpless dog to retrieve the dai-chui that was clearly his own.

The Java masters demanded: “Those men may return before morning. Why did you subdue the watchdog?”

Yishi-Shing replied: “His barking disturbed my sleep.”

Topics...  monitoring