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Those of you who've been blessed with (or cursed by) an email from me know that in my signature I define Woodhead's Law as follows:

"The further you are from your server, the more likely it is to crash."

I declare this to be a fundamental constant of the internet. Time and again, the site will be running smoothly for weeks, and as soon as I leave town on a trip, all hell breaks loose.
Code that hasn't been touched in months fails.

Databases that were extremely stable get forgetful.

Hardware that was solid as a rock becomes as responsive as a rock.
The further away I go, the bigger the problem is likely to be. When I go to Japan, for example, I confidently expect the webserver to explode and burn down the office!

In addition to getting unstable when I leave town, my webserver also seems to factor in how inconvenient it will be for me to fix the problem! Go figure!

In any case, the other day one of the teeming multitude that I correspond with came up with a Corollary to Woodhead's law, which has inspired me to put up this page. Enjoy reading, and if you come up with something cute you think should be added, email it to me!

Levy's Corollary (to Woodhead's Law): "The severity of the crash is directly proportional to the number of paying visitors browsing the site at the moment of meltdown, multiplied by the time, in hours, since the last backup, divided by the number of hours you had already slept before the crash occurred."

Woodhead's Emphatic Emphasis (to Woodhead's Law): "Never do anything to your server after lunch unless you like working in the evening. And never, ever, even LOOK at your server on a Friday unless you enjoy popping into the office over the weekend."

Haigh's Extension (of Woodhead's Law): "The cost and prestige of your operating system is inversely proportional to it's stability."

Pfaff's Corollary (to Woodhead's Law): "The equipment outage that pages you when you are in the office could have been fixed remotely, while the equipment outage that pages you at 2am will always require leaving a comfy bed and a 15 - 50 mile drive to the site."

Kortink's First Postulate: "When you embark on a promotion campaign for your website, the probability of your server crashing the day after the promotion is complete is proportional to the square the number of websites you submitted your site to plus the number you exchanged links with."

Kortink's Second Postulate: "The only good ISP is a dead ISP, therefore it is seldom worthwhile changing ISPs except for emotional reasons."

Vadim's Veracity: "The installation a new service pack which is supposed to improve the stability/functionality of your server will in fact do the opposite."

Why Woodhead's Law is Old News: Because "A watched pot never boils, and a watched server never crashes!"

Next, courtesy of Rhiannon Davies

Rhiannon's Rules of Errata

1) Typographical and coding errors (L. errata illegitamus) are automatically seeded in every website, this is a mandatory, free service provided by God.

2) Errata never blossom until the host website has been comprehensively submitted to all search engines, indexes and reciprocal links providers known to mankind. Extremely hardy, they self-propagate across the airwaves and mysteriously appear in the thoroughly-checked-for-correctness source code that was uploaded to the server.

3) A particularly successful way to grow errata is to write, upload and promote a website on behalf of a paying customer and then adopt a serious tone and evangelise the importance of correct grammar and spelling in a public forum.

4) The incidence of errata is directly proportional to the professional or career importance of the document multiplied by the time in hours spent checking the document divided by the time available for retrospective corrections.

5) The seriousness of errata is directly proportional to the amount of money paid by the client.

If you would like to reprint this article in your online or paper newsletter, please contact me for permission.

About this site...
This site was developed on a Macintosh, programmed in WebSiphon, and served by WebStar. The author, on those exceedingly rare occasions when he does think, indeed thinks differently.

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