Slashdot Posting Bug Infuriates Haggard Admins: Slashdot runs into their version of the Y2K bug.
Last night we crossed over 16,777,216 comments in the database. The wise amongst you might note that this number is 2^24, or in MySQLese an unsigned mediumint. Unfortunately, like 5 years ago we changed our primary keys in the comment table to unsigned int (32 bits, or 4.1 billion) but neglected to change the index that handles parents. We’re awesome! Fixing is a simple ALTER TABLE statement… but on a table that is 16 million rows long, our system will take 3 hours to do it, during which time there can be no posting.
At least they didn’t crash a rocket.