Cron just keeps going and going…

What happens when you set a cron job to run every fifteen minutes, generating mail, and then leave the computer in the hands of someone who doesn’t know what a cron job is? 266MB and 54500 messages stuck in a mail directory that would never be read. Today it was turned off, and all trace of its existence (bar this post) has been wiped out. It had been running since January 10, 2006. It could have gone on much, much longer.

As a geek I set these things up as a convenience, but somehow I’ve never really trusted the technology enough to believe it would run for more than a few weeks without my intervention one way or another. I wonder how many other abandoned, forgotten cron jobs are out there, like the vestigial body parts of a species that has evolved away from them…

1 thought on “Cron just keeps going and going…

  1. That got me thinking. So I had a look.

    MRTG stats running every 5 minutes since 2001 – still ticking over! I’d completely forgotten about those. They collect the usual network interface statistics, but also snmp probe various other things, such as the squid cache statistics.

    Home grown traffic counter running every 5 minutes since late 2000. Still providing useful information 🙂 I’d hate to see the size of the table it’s dumping stuff into, but you gotta hand it to Postgresql: they know how to write a database. 4803483 rows, apparently.

    (ps: hi! found your blog!)

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