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Discussion on: The Rules of Debugging

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Thomas Iguchi

Great article! Sometimes turning it off and on again actually breaks things 😁(cue in mysterious music)

A few weeks ago a company I'm working for had a power outage over the weekend. The following Monday my colleagues on site noticed that every single online payment request was failing with permission denied error responses. Every development workstation had the same issue.

Did they all use the wrong access credentials? Was the payment processor temporarily down? No, it worked for me (outside the building).

We dug around, scratched our heads. Then at some point something dawned on me. I asked one colleague on the phone: so what's your time on the desktop? He gasped and realized that the desktop time was off by one minute compared to his phone.

The power outage caused all computers in house to lag behind by one minute. The payment processor requests were signed with the current unix time stamp which got rejected by the payment processor API for being too old (probably to prevent replay attacks).

So... better check your time when your turn it off and on again 😆