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This is a question Failed Projects

You start off with the best of intentions, but through raging incompetence, ineptitude or the plain fact that you're working in IT, things go terribly wrong and there's hell to pay. Tell us about the epic failures that have brought big ideas to their knees. Or just blame someone else.

(, Thu 3 Dec 2009, 14:19)
Pages: Popular, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1

This question is now closed.

My career path.
I want nothing more than to be a teacher. Yet despite working as unqualified supply for almost two years, applying to 6 or 7 different universities, and generally being alot better than alot of NQT's I have worked with, I have managed three failed interviews (out of a possible 12) over the last 3 years. Every school I have worked at said I am good and would make a fantastic teacher...I wish they would tell the bloody admissions people.

Right now I'm down to my last choice of uni this year (after being rejected from 3) and it's the University of East London ffs. I don't think I'm being big-headed when I say I'm better than that but I will take the offer if comes along, just so I don't have to do another year of supply work - in fact I may just do my masters.

So, not quite failed completely but this is getting tiresome.
(, Fri 4 Dec 2009, 13:45, 6 replies)
Criminal plot = FAIL
I might have told you this before --- BUT! When I lived in Canada, I had a bit of spare time on my hands and found I had a liking for blondes. We had quite a few on our housing estate and I soon hatched a plan to get me one.

I would roar up to the blonde of my choice on my bike, capture her, tie her up, and leave her with the other blondes I had in storage behind the bins in the underground car park.

This project even underwent a few dry runs (with brunettes so as not to raise suspicion) and I was soon ready to roll.

I positioned myself at the top of the slope, and as my victim emerged from her front door I swooped. And swooped. And swooped some more. And swooped right past her, unable to stop, until I landed face-first in a rather prickly bush.

Then I cried a bit, straightened the stabilisers on my bike and went home.

I was five years old at the time.

I'm not proud.
(, Fri 4 Dec 2009, 13:26, 1 reply)
marriage again
Married a recruitment consultant.

Snakes with tits all of them.
(, Fri 4 Dec 2009, 13:15, 5 replies)
It's a shame that many amusing stories are just not going to make it into this QotW due to people typing out two thirds of a really funny tale then getting bored and going off to do something else.

Even worse is that people will read about half of the longer pieces and then skip ahead. Leading to a huge degree of funny that nobody ever notices.

So, bullet points.

Wrote computer games at school with my chums.
Tried to get publishers interested.
Was told firmly "Your games 'Deadly Black Turbo' and 'Axe Man' will never sell. People won't buy a game that wants you to steal cars and run people over or kill them with an axe."
Sadistic Software dies on its arse.

Fast forward 20 years.

Fuck you GTA.
Fuck you Postal.
(, Fri 4 Dec 2009, 13:12, 2 replies)
I planned on bringing together a bunch of my (rather extended) family members in a sort of "mega-commune", but I found lots of interference from outsiders. Also, we had a few squatters on OUR land who needed to be "re-deployed".

Still, I reckon in about 6 years it should all be sorted.

A Hitler (1938)
(, Fri 4 Dec 2009, 13:00, Reply)
Project Chicken (Stop reading now if you don’t give a shit about me or my chicken)
I’m quite good at seeing projects through to the end, it’s just that I very rarely end up with what I actually set out to achieve. Back in march I decided to keep a small flock of chickens in my back garden. I did all the research and bought all the materials and built a really nice chicken run for my coop. I contacted the Battery Hen Welfare Trust and adopted 3 ex-battery farm hens and introduced them to their new home. Everything had gone to plan.

After a couple of days, things started to go wrong. One of the hens was bigger and in much better shape than the other two. It was also a complete bastard. During my research I had learnt that a new batch of chickens will squabble and establish a pecking order, it didn’t mention that the alpha hen might tear chunks out of the other hens. It was also stopping the other hens gaining access to food, water and the coop. I had effectively built a cock-fighting arena/chicken concentration camp. I had never seen anything like that in the sodding Good Life, “Ooo Margot, a tenner says the big one pecks the little ones eyes out…”

People on forums and in real life kept telling me that it should all settle down after a few days, but 2 weeks later I had two very featherless battered chickens cowering in the corner from the bastard. Enough was enough, I had to decide whether to let nature take its course or take sides. Being British I naturally sided with the underdogchicken. The bastard had to go. I had never killed anything in my life so I did a bit of Google research on the most humane way to dispatch a chook. I was amazed at how many web-sites are out there to help you choke your chicken. In the end she got a stay of execution as some friends with a large flock agreed to take her away.

So I was left with 2 hens (Charlie & Lucy), not quite the flock I had in mind but they got on well and Charlie was laying an egg a day, which more than covered my eggy needs. They both put on weight and their feathers grew back but poor old Lucy was never that healthy, her time in the battery farm had taken its toll and she died a couple of months later. I’m not ashamed to say that I cried like a sissy girl. I buried her with full honours and as I filled in the grave, Charlie threw herself in. Obviously she was overcome with grief (or she saw a tasty looking worm).

So there we have it, a flock of one chicken. I couldn’t face getting any more and watching them fight it out for the pecking order. She seems quite happy. I spend a lot of my spare time in my garden so I let her out of her chicken-run. She is more of a pet now; she responds to her name and follows me around. She loves being cuddled and friends and neighbours pop round to see Charlie and feed her scraps. People stop me in the street and ask about Charlie, they don’t give a monkeys stuff about me but they want to know all about my chicken. I spent September in Australia and the friends I made out there have all emailed me asking to be sent photos of Charlie. They occasionally ask how I’m getting on as well.

Apologies for length, photos in reply
(, Fri 4 Dec 2009, 12:52, 26 replies)
Probably not as interesting as some of the others, but feel I need to share this to expose my shame.
(This will probably only be of interest to fellow hardware techies)

For about 10 years I worked in a computer hardware repair workshop, fixing all sorts of computer hardware. PCs, Macs, Servers, Laptops, even the occasional PDA. Well into four figures for equipment fixed. Everything from simple RAM changes to resoldering knackered power sockets on laptops (Acer laptops were a particular bastard for this)

I moved to a totally different job. A year after that, Fishcake Jnr's Nintendo DS Lite broke (a crack in the case that stopped it from staying open), I thought "Piece of piss. Done loads of stuff in the past similar to this - how different can it be?

I had a look around the net, found some video instructions, got advice from a couple of people off techie forums that I use and bought a replacement case from a nice man on ebay (good feedback, registered business, quite trustworthy and helpful).

The case arrived on a Saturday. So I cleared the kitchen table, was armed with printed instructions, my laptop for following a video tutorial on youtube, a specially bought tri-wing screwdriver, and of course the DS.

Taking it apart went smoothly. Like a good little techie, each screw I took out was stuck to a piece of A4 and neatly labelled. Nothing dropped, nothing scratched, nothing broken. Did it reasonably quickly. Thought I was halfway through.


Got a few of the components in the new case, quite pleased with my little self. Because I'm not a DIY kind of person in the slightest, I was feeling proud that I was finally being a 'fix it' dad! Hooray! I'm no longer just a "let someone else repair it" person. My son will be so proud! He'll be able to say that his dad fixed his DS!

However, from then on, it all started going to shit. When I was taking the wireless aerial cable out, it came out within seconds, totally intact. Putting the fucking thing back in took literally 35 minutes and much self-censoring. And then I had the rest of it to do. The power switch and volume control were a right royal pain in the ringpiece. The tiny little ribbon cable for the top screen took a fucking lifetime to get in, with lots of twiddling. It took bloody ages to get the components all plugged back in, so before I put the final screws back in, thought I'd give it a power up to check it out. HOORAY! Both screens came on! Sound came on! Brilliant! Touched the screen to try a game. Touched the screen again. And again. And again with increasing desperation. The touch screen wasn't working. OK, why the hell not?

So I took it apart again. Taking each screw and labelling it properly again. Noticed a loose cable. Plugged it in. Did a couple of other fiddly things that I'd noticed, whilst I was there. Put it back together again, taking just as long as before. Turned it on. Bottom screen came on. Top screen *did* come on, but it was covered with all sorts of video corruption. SHIT.

Turned it off. Took it apart again, feeling increasingly shit. Saw that the cable to the top screen appeared to be loose. SO AGAIN... plugged it back in, put it partially back together and powered it up again. The top screen was still fucked. I tried the bottom screen anyway, That still wasn't working.

Remember how I wrote a few paragraphs up that I "Did a couple of other fiddly things that I'd noticed, whilst I was there."? One of those things was taking off this clear plastic thing on the front of the bottom screen, that had a little border around it. On further inspection, i discovered that I'd messily ripped (what I assume to be) the fucking touch screen off it. I then took a closer look at the cable for the top screen. What's that? Oh crap - a tiny rip in it.

I felt totally dejected. FAILURE. Had to explain to Jnr that "There were a few other things wrong with it as well". Contacted the guy that sold the case to me and sent it off for him to repair.

I couldn't face admitting to my son that I'd royally fucked it up. But I think he knows that his dad, whilst lovely and caring, is absolutely crap at fixing things. 10 years of skill and experience obviously flushed right down the toilet.
(, Fri 4 Dec 2009, 12:13, 2 replies)
As a kid I did lots of 'experiments' which involved making something wet, then putting in a drawer or a plastic bag.

My mother told me perfume was very expensive and that gave me the idea I could make a fortune making perfume. A sock filled with rose petals, run it under the tap, then put in a plastic bag. Wait a week or 3 hey presto perfume.

Result: One very angry mother covered in pissy smelling brown water with blue bits in it and no fortune.
(, Fri 4 Dec 2009, 11:54, Reply)
I just thought of a hilarious one!
(note to self: finish this before Thursday).
(, Fri 4 Dec 2009, 11:28, Reply)
I once tried to build...
...a layer of protective ozone around the entire earth. I never quite finished it.
(, Fri 4 Dec 2009, 11:24, Reply)
At college
I never finished my A levels because frankly I was too busy humping Mrs SLVA-to-be in the rarely used music practice-rooms.

Then in 1995, I went back and had another go at A level maths and physics, but dropped out after 4 months. Then again in 1999 for 6 months, and again in 2005 when I managed to get an A at AS level maths, but each time losing interest.

I'm now doing a degree in maths with the Open Uni and getting further with it.
(, Fri 4 Dec 2009, 11:10, 6 replies)
You know those small cannisters that you get 35mm films in? Not ten minutes ago, I started a post about how I tried to fill one with man-lard when I was 12. But I closed the browser instead and went and put a load of washing in instead.

The punchline was that the cannister was about 1/8 full, but then by the next night it'd turned into a thin clear liquid with a peculiar odour. So I gave up with that venture.

There you go, two fails in one go. Where else can you get a deal like that?
(, Fri 4 Dec 2009, 11:03, 4 replies)
I wrote a relationship guidance book once, only took me thirty seconds
Didn’t get past jotting down the title - Insert, Spurt, Taxi

(Couldn’t think of anything else to add after that)…
(, Fri 4 Dec 2009, 11:03, 1 reply)
About three months ago I decided to make some mead.
It's going well. So far I've managed to decide to make cider instead after seeing the price of honey. If anyone lives in Jakarta and has an apple press, please gaz me.
(, Fri 4 Dec 2009, 11:00, 5 replies)
Terrible Investment!
I think I will have to tell you the tale of my mate Mark and his failed investment.

Mark is a friend of mine, we have been mates since secondary school and where I decided to have a family, settle down and earn enough to be happy this guy decided to move down south and start working in the financial sector. Due to a couple of good investments Mark has worked his way up the corporate ladder, done very well for himself and earned a shitload of cash.

Anytime he gets big headed abouth the whole situation I like to bring him back down to earth by reminding him of the one investment he failed spectacularly at.

Back in the early 90’s Mark was approached to join a group of people investing in a scheme to buy a plot of land, sort out the drainage etc etc and build a modest theme park to attract tourists. Mark is a big kid really and for once his brain bypassed the part labelled warning bad investment. This lead to him parting with a decent sum of cash but he wasn’t too bothered as it would be worth it to be part of a backer for the next Alton Towers or Disneyland.

As the months passed the amount of money needed from the site increased, with the excuses always being different (building faults, electronic problems with the rides, faulty attractions). After a sizeable amount was invested the place was due to be opened when one of the workmen was injured in an accident, this lead Mark and co to get a little edgy as they didn’t want any compensation claims from visitors on the first day. The group decided to invest in another health and safety visit and sent along a representative for the group too.

Big mistake.

Thanks to the visit the whole place was eventually shut down costing each of the backers to lose everything they had invested. I never really saw much details of why the place failed the audit so spectacularly but Mark says it had something to do with an escaped pack of raptors and a T Rex. I just think the bloke behind the whole place was taking the money on the sly.
(, Fri 4 Dec 2009, 10:38, 7 replies)
Has never been a go-getter in life but he works on a building site so hes fairly handy with DIY (long as he's supervised with power tools). When he shifted into his flat i offered to help if he needed any assistance with decorating, stating only beers for sustinance would be necessary for my involvement.

One saturday (about 2005ish) during some beers I remarked his stairs still werent done and said if he wanted to score a few points with the missus i'd give him a hand. The next day we set to with steamers and scrapers and proceeded to strip 50 year old wallpaper off the walls. We were both fairly hungover and the heat from the steamers meant we had to keep taking breaks. After several hours we had get into a decent routine and was making (slow but sure) headway through the nightmarish layers of wallpaper.

Ken was up the stepladders doing the higher parts while i was lower down plodding on, but ken seemed to be suffering a lot more than me and we naturally blamed it on the beer. I stood up to stretch a little and i saw ken looking a bit funny, he then kinda did a bruce grobbelaar wobbly legs thing and crumpled off the stepladders and i kinda half broke his fall.

We decided enough was enough and a few cans were needed to "rehydrate" after such a near death experience. The colour came back to his face and we decided to watch the match that was on the telly.

Kens missus came home from work a few hours later and instead of coming home to a lovely surprise of a fully stripped stairway, ready to decorate; she found a stairway full of manky old yellowing wallpaper, 2 mangled steamers, a collapsed set of stepladders and a dirty big lead pipe hanging from the ceiling that we'd tried to rip out. Proceeding into the sitting room to find 2 dusty, dirty, beer soaked idiots playing PES was in hindsight not the surprise we had planned......

We explained kens funny turn to which instead of sympathy his missus asked "well didnt you have a window open", our bemusement confirmed our stupidity and explained why ken seemed to suffer more. Heat rises you see and apparently, steam has hot in it :-O

Ken texted last week saying he'd finally finished the stairs and im going round tonight with my missus to see them (ken and his missus not the stairs), think i might regale them all in the tale of how it all came together
(, Fri 4 Dec 2009, 10:18, 2 replies)
my novel
how many "chapter one"s do i have on my computer?

a lot. that's how many.
(, Fri 4 Dec 2009, 10:17, 20 replies)
May I also mention my house?
I painted the upstairs hallway (white) but I haven't got round to the ceiling yet, or filling those nasty plaster gaps between wall, ceiling and skirting boards.

Also, the floor needs sanding and varnishing upstairs (bastard of a job) and the dining room really needs redecorating (but I'll leave that until I get the aforementioned motorbike out).

When we've done all that, we can look at either putting away or throwing out some of the crap in the two spare bedrooms upstairs so we can actually use them for something, like a study or somewhere to store children.

Trouble is, I don't seem to have the time or inclination to do any of it. I'd rather sit on my arse in front of my computer and get pissed.
(, Fri 4 Dec 2009, 9:43, 1 reply)
I started to write an 'operating system'.
Yes, really. In assembler.

You would copy it to a floppy disc, boot it and get a command prompt and everything.

I got bored with it when I realised that:

a) nobody wants another operating system.
b) it would take about 6 million years to write a decent operating system using only assembler.

I was about 14 at the time.

It's still floating about on the internet somewhere, but it's got my real name on it so I'd rather not share it here (and the website's a bit embarassing).

I also have a motorbike in my dining room which might never get finished. Luckily the girlfriend is tolerant and doesn't mind an engine on the table.
(, Fri 4 Dec 2009, 9:39, 2 replies)
Back in 2006 my son decided he would like to play golf. We were due off on holiday to Devon and I arranged a weeks worth of fun and games at the North Devon golf club. The resident professional was very helpful and set about giving us the required skills to play the great and ancient game of golf. Thats right: I did say "us"; as I hadn't the least clue either, but thought I would give it a go.

That week saw good progress and my son took to it like a natural. He can still play exceptionally well but WOW became a bit of an obsession not long after (those level 80 characters take some maintenance), and he plays golf occasionally. His WOW habit faded last year as his girlfriend persuaded him that 18hour sessions were not the done thing when he should be with her...

I, on the other hand, have continued with throwing tons of money at this pastime and not getting a long way. It must be taken into account that I have the sort of mentality which lets nothing lie and I have one of those annoying habits of being excellent at everything I do. Golf has been the first thing I have not been able to do straight away. I cant jolly well write in English either, but I have a wife who can so I'm not really bothered about that.

I have all the kit you could require, am a member of the local country club, have had rather too many lessons from the pro but....

3 long years later and I still cant hit the ball very far or in a straight line.

If I get round the par 72 course in less than 110 I call it "great". I am losing less balls than in 2008 but the whole thing is head-achingly difficult and no matter how much money or science I throw at it, I don't seem to improve.

Money spent? probably about £5000 over that period, possibly more but I have lost count.

Satisfaction? doubtful

Length? About 170yards with a driver (ffs)
(, Fri 4 Dec 2009, 9:29, 5 replies)
Is it a failed project if it just takes a long time to get finished?
I've been in this house for 15 years and the kitchen still hasn't been wallpapered/tiled properly and there's never been any floor covering in the dining-room. We bought a new kitchen in May 2007 and it was finally fitted 2 years later. Apart from the splashbacks, along with the pelmets, cornice and plinths for the cabinets to be fitted. Oh, and a cooker hood needs hanging.

The bathroom still needs the bath panel attaching and in the living room, the skirting boards still need fitting along with part of the doorframe.

I will get around to it, honest.
(, Fri 4 Dec 2009, 9:23, 2 replies)
I work with kids,
I was playing a game with a kid who is 5 but developed mentally about 2, we were playing with building blocks when he peed himself.
His Mum was in the room next door, so I walked him over and told her what had happened. She explained that I shouldn't have been tickling him because he always pees himself when being tickled.
I told her that I didn't touch him and she took him home to get changed. They returned ten minutes later and he was looking sad standing next to his Mum. So I shouted his name, ran towards him all excited like, when he screamed and pissed himself again.
(, Fri 4 Dec 2009, 9:16, 4 replies)
Back in 2002, I hit upon a corking idea.
One that would make me a dotcom millionaire ™. I trawled the internet to see if it had been done before, but I found nothing. So I knocked up a database, built a test-site in Dreamweaver, nicked a layout from a Warez site, (after all they're hardly going to come knocking about copyright law) and registered "Fancyatakeaway.net".

Using a phone book and a couple of takeaway menus, I populated the database and put it to live preview. You typed in the first part of your post-code and it listed all the takeaways in that area. From there you could display the menu itself. There was an admin system to add takeaways and a takeaway-admin for them to input their own menu information. It worked fine, it had about 60% functionality so I went around about twenty takeaways in Hull to put forward the idea. I can't imagine why not one of them was interested, but being the world's worst salesman, having no business plan or any marketing knowledge whatsoever probably didn't help.

So I went back to the computer, added some more functionality, a way of building up an order and a few other admin sections. But being turned away repeatedly at takeaways took the wind out of my sails and so after a few days tinkering I gave up on the idea. Everytime the domain was up for renewal, I'd renew it, load the files into Dreamweaver, play about with it for three days and give up again. This went on until about 2008 when I let the domain lapse and buried the project once and for all.

Then a few months back, my mate says "Have you seen this?" and points me to the website for Just-Eat (which is a shit name, sour grapes or not). I thought I would've been gutted, but I wasn't. I wasn't bothered at all. Then my brother told me about it and said "wasn't you doing that? Why don't you do it?" But there are myriad me-too sites out there now and I can't be arsed to end up as one of them. Even if I had finished the site, I still didn't have any business acumen to see it through and now I just look upon it as an interesting programming exercise. I learnt a lot of Classic ASP and a load of stuff about relational databases. I've also learnt how much Kung Po Chicken has gone up in price by in the last few years.

I have a couple of other ideas now, both of which are work in progress. I'll make the big time* one day, see if I don't.

* May not hit the big time due to pathological lassitude and acute apathy.
(, Fri 4 Dec 2009, 9:01, 3 replies)
not me but my Dad, and not failed. in the long run
Started building the patio when i was new. Finished it for our joint 60 and 21st birthdays.

its about 6x5 foot. i guess that works out as a slab a year ffs :D
(, Fri 4 Dec 2009, 9:00, 1 reply)
In 1978
I decided to make a cartoon of Lord of the Rings...
(, Fri 4 Dec 2009, 5:51, 1 reply)
We made Skittlebrau
Homer: "I'm feelin' low, Apu. You got any of that beer that has candy floating in it, you know, Skittlebrau?"
Apu: "Such a product does not exist, sir! You must have dreamed it."
Homer: "Oh. Well then just gimme a six-pack and a couple of bags of Skittles."

My friend Josh and I decided it was worth a try. We got our beers. We got a couple of bags of Skittles. We told everyone what we had in mind. They laughed at us.

It wasn't too bad actually. Gave the beer a sugary aftertaste, the Skittles would float to the bottom and soften up and we seemed to get more drunk than we probably normally would have.

Any chemists care to back that up with science?
(, Fri 4 Dec 2009, 5:32, 10 replies)
failed projects... I've had a few...
...the flat I had before I moved down to London, I'd lived in for 11 years. two bedroomed, 'ah', thinks I, 'I shall indulge myself with a study - somewhere for all my books, desk, PC and whatknot to go, and just have the living room for hanging out in.' when I moved out last year, there were still boxes in that room exactly where they'd been put the day I moved in in 1997.

£900 on a home study course to qualify me for the (iirc) Windows 2000 MCSE. did about two months work on it and then just couldnt be bothered studying after a full day at work (not that was stopping me from playing games and talking shite on message boards, mind.)

£600 on a brand new mountain bike and all the bits in 2002. took it out twice and decided I didnt fancy my chances in all the traffic near where I lived.

At least three or four pc's that I never did get round to fixing up - including the carcass of one machine I left in the old place when I moved, leaving in it a Creative X-Fi soundcard, Geforce graphics card, 2mb of memory and a 500gb hard drive. (all brand new bits I'd bought to fix it up with.)

not strictly 'projects', but mountains of games for various consoles and generations of pc's I've bought over the years and then never got round to playing. (I know for a fact I paid £40 for syphon filter 2 on the PS1 and I've never played it. As I did for Call Of Duty Modern Warfare on the 360.)

My mate's Aria Pro II bass that I 'borrowed' off him and a Marshall amp I acquired at least five years ago - been sat in the corner of my room ever since. I still can't play the bass.

All these pale, however, next to my collection of plastic model kits. I used to really like the hobby as a kid, and thought I'd get back into it back in about 1999 when I had the money and (so I thought - how wrong I was) the time to indulge myself.
ten years later, I now have approximately £500-600 pounds worth of paint and various tools, and probably three or four grands worth of unbuilt kits (airfix, tamiya, hasegawa, you name it. you could have a decent stab at stocking a shop with what I have hanging around.) as a friend keeps pointing out to me, and as I know, (especially seeing as some of them arent made any more and fetch even higher prices now than they did new), if I stuck them on Ebay I'd make a fair few quid off them.
but thats not the point - I *am* going to get round to making them.

(, Fri 4 Dec 2009, 3:37, 6 replies)

This question is now closed.

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