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Случай 204

Night Shift

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The small nun Hwídah was known by all to be master Banzen’s preferred choice for investigating production problems. Hwídah was not proud of this role, for she suspected that it was merely Banzen's punishment for her overly-curious nature. The fact that she now spent hours each day poring over log files did nothing to allay this suspicion.

“It is most frustrating,” she said to Banzen, when he asked how her latest assignment fared. “In theory, such a problem could appear if this batch job did not run at midnight. Our cron logs do show that it started four hours later than scheduled, but for the life of me I cannot explain why, and I am going cross-eyed from the effort.”

Banzen looked at the scrolling text on her monitor. “Very well,” he said, “perhaps you have suffered enough. Pick one hour of the evening, and your investigative duties shall be limited to that hour.”

Hwídah thought a moment. “The hour starting at nineteen o’clock,” she said. “For I will be done with dinner and ready to face all challenges.”

Banzen nodded and went out.

- - -

Hwídah’s cell phone woke her at two thirty-three that night. It was Banzen, summoning her to the Temple’s Central Command Courtyard for an on-call assignment.

“Did we not agree on the hour of nineteen only?” she asked blearily.

“We did,” said Banzen. “And for at least one of our users it is precisely nineteen thirty-three, local time. For another user it is twenty thirty-three, and so on around the globe. How unfortunate that you did not specify your working hour in UTC, for that would have been unambiguous.”

“Indeed,” sighed Hwídah. “But like most sane individuals, I am not in the habit of thinking in UTC.”

“Oh, it is quite easy,” said Banzen. “Just take our local time and add four hours. I find it good practice for looking at the Temple’s cron logs, whose timestamps are written in UTC.”