In which I have nothing much to say

So anyone who wants to skip this can go right ahead.

It’s been one of those weeks. Actually, one of those months and one of those years as well. Yesterday got turned upside down by Hurricane Sandy, although not in a bad way. My employer shut down for the day, and instead of playing catch-up with the loooooong list of things that need to be done, hubby and I ended up hosting local friends who’d lost power. Warm chaos beats cold tidiness hands down.

Today, my employer was back on deck, which meant bringing up all the testing team servers, then starting the usual chaos – which of course is rather more chaotic than usual since somewhere along the line the company’s code-base became self-aware. It’s not one of your friendly AI things, either. This is artificial intelligence drawn from the Necronomicon. Instead of networking protocols it communicates directly to the Great Old Ones seeking new ways to torment its users without them suspecting anything worse than bad programming.

If you should by any chance find yourself at a certain very prominent theme park with a rodent mascot, watch for tentacles and eerie miasmas. I’m sure the interaction with that rodent provided the final spark to animate the software and turn it into the betentacled eldritch horror it is today.

I’d wonder if said eldritch horror had eaten my soul, except that I thought such things were supposed to be noticeable. Okay, the phrasing used is usually “exquisitely painful”, two words which really don’t belong in the same sentence, much less the same phrase, but even so, that’s not something you’re going to miss.

“Your soul was eaten in an exquisitely painful ritual and you didn’t even notice?”

“I was distracted.”

Er. No. Fails the sniff test. Not even I could get that distracted.

And now it’s back to the battle with the self-aware evil software that is my job.


  1. No, Kate, not the Elder Ones. The dark side. Darth Mouse has taken control of your systems and all your bases belong to him. (runs)

    1. Oh, Darth Mouse is definitely involved, and all our bases DO belong to him. But he’s still a piker beside the eldritch horror that is the software I test.

    1. Let’s see…. Drives people insane by his very presence – check. Must not be invoked lest he appear – check. Best not to think about him at all – check.

      Yep. Murphy is definitely one of the Elder Gods pretending to be human for purposes of his own.

    1. Sabrina,
      When I found that site I wondered who from my employer was blogging under heavy cover. Then I realized they do a different kind of software.

      I’m technically an “automation engineer” which isn’t that far off SDET, so, yes. Although I do not flirt with the Dark Side. The Dark Side has set up permanent residence in a cubbyhole somewhere in my brain.

  2. My desktop has gained sentience. And it thinks it can play Free Cell . And it “helps” with editing. My husband suggested that it could be my mouse was wearing out and the buttons sticking or stuttering randomly. What does he know? Or . . . is it _the_ Mouse taking over the world through control of all mouses, everywhere?

    1. I don’t know – but I can promise you this: the Mouse is evil. But self-aware software is more evil still.

        1. It makes demons look saintly. Trust me on this – after years working with it, I know evil.

  3. Hmmm, I always thought software testing owed more to Kafka than to Lovecraft. Not the “Metamorphosis,” but “The Trial” (“Der Process”). But I’m one who learned through proxy never, ever to buy the bootlegged beta version of anything. There are few wails that ring quite as loud or long as, “it killed my motherboard!”

    1. I believe the answer to that implied question is “Yes”.

      And speaking as an experienced software tester, never buy the first version of anything, either. Wait until the first service pack at minimum. By then most of the problems the testers didn’t have time to find have been discovered and gone into hiding.

  4. “Your soul was eaten in an exquisitely painful ritual and you didn’t even notice?”

    “I was distracted.”

    Er. No. Fails the sniff test. Not even I could get that distracted.

    HA! WHAT DID YOU THINK INTERNET IMMERSION WAS TRAINING YOU FOR! SOON WE WILL BE ABLE TO EAT SOULS ALL DAY AND NO ONE WILL NOTICE… just keep reading email, playing mmogs (and no one even snickered at that name?), and browsing the web, puny humans. Your souls are ours…

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