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Crushing Experience 371

sp00 writes "The Tsunamii.Net Crush Server is currently online live from the Millbank Gallery in London! Watch as the webserver counts itself down before it activates the industrial crusher attached to it, bearing 150-tonnes of brute force onto itself and terminating its existence. Check out the details on the Tsunamii.Net website or visit the webserver directly at"
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Crushing Experience

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  • /. first (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 08, 2002 @05:07PM (#4217179)
    /. will crush it first.

    (-1 redundent to the other 300 posts saying the same thing)
  • cool.. (Score:3, Funny)

    by Suppafly ( 179830 ) <slashdot@[ ] ['sup' in gap]> on Sunday September 08, 2002 @05:09PM (#4217187)
    Thats a cool idea.. I've often had similar ideas while running the cardboard box crusher at work.. It'd be nice if the webserver had more info than just a counter tho.
  • art? Hardly. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by azephrahel ( 193559 )
    I'm sorry. Somone probably thought this was a great deep and meaningfull peice of modern art...but blahh. Big deal. The problem with art nowadays is that artists think they are great philosophers, thinks and movers and shakers of the modern world. See in classic times, when they made real art, artists knew what they were. Entertainers.
    Sure crushing a PC is entertaining...but I don't think thats what this guy is going for.

    • Re:art? Hardly. (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Richard_at_work ( 517087 ) <richardprice@gm[ ].com ['ail' in gap]> on Sunday September 08, 2002 @05:12PM (#4217206)
      Sod art, this is jsut cool :) ever dropped a tv out of a second story window for the hell of it? ever destroyed something cause its fun? thats what hes aiming for :)
    • You're right (Score:2, Interesting)

      by slamb ( 119285 )
      Somone probably thought this was a great deep and meaningfull peice of modern art...but blahh. Big deal. I modded this down because I thought your comment was baseless, but then I saw this a couple links away from their counter:
      a moment in the web. alpha 3.5 is a webserver (click here for the server specs) which will crush itself, on 12 septmeber 1900 hours GMT.Although the act of crushing/destroying the computer suggests a Neo-Luddite reaction towards technology, it is only one facet of the work. The act of destroying the server brings up an interesting proposition: the physicality of the 'internet'. When the client computer fails to find the data from the server, the browser has an error - "cannot find server - xx", and a list of instructions, and reasons appears to rectify the problem. Interestingly, we know the reason why the server cannot be found but the client computer does not. This brings out another aspect of the internet: the physical relationship between the server and the client. Only when the data/server does not exist or fails to function, then the internet user is reminded of this relationship.

      They seem to think it's deep but indeed it's just dumb...

      • they dont get it

        as soon as you put something on the web and someone looks at it cacheing happens

        cached at the browser depending on the settings and depending on the ISP in their cache servers

        Now Ontop of this thanks to UK guv most ISP's have to keep certain data that flow's through the system

        so maybe this wont happen maybe it will depending on who you are, where you are and how your doing it

        I mean they could net even use their own IP address !

        "I just installed redhat 7.3 my mate did the config"

        its so sad


        John Jones

        p.s. I bet it ends up running an IRC server
    • by fm6 ( 162816 ) on Sunday September 08, 2002 @05:33PM (#4217313) Homepage Journal
      ...doesn't mean it's not art. Most people get more out of Disney than Michaelangelo. Does that mean that Fantasia [] is greater art than the Pieta []?

      That being said, I have to admit that I don't "get" most "post-modern" art either, and suspect that most of it is pretensious crap. But I understand enough to know I'm too ignorant of the ideas involved to really have a useful opinion.

      • Most people get more out of Disney than Michaelangelo. Does that mean that Fantasia is greater art than the Pieta?

        Hmmmmm...... I'll go with "Yes!"

      • That being said, I have to admit that I don't "get" most "post-modern" art either, and suspect that most of it is pretensious crap. But I understand enough to know I'm too ignorant of the ideas involved to really have a useful opinion.

        What kinda bullshit is that? I fuckin hate "art" that joe shmoe can't understand because he's "too ignorant of the ideas involved".... Like beauty, art is in the eyes of the beholder. That kind of crap is simply a vessel for the pseudo-"intellectuals" that read poetry in coffee shops to sit around congratulating themselves because they get it, and all us stupid folk don't.
        • What you like (Score:3, Insightful)

          by fm6 ( 162816 )
          Hey, do write code? Do you enjoy doing it? Many people do, because it can be an esthetic experience -- good code is beautiful. Do you get pissed off when somebody who doesn't understand what you're doing criticizes your work? Bet you do.

          Actually, that goes for anything you might do for a living -- putting up buildings, selling cars, whatever. If you enjoy your work, you probably take pleasure in doing it well. You might accept criticism, but you'd think that ignorant criticism is stupid. And you'd be right.

          Or music. What kind do you like? Do you enjoy dancing to it? How do you feel when somebody with two left feet criticizes your favorite music as "noise"?

          If you think this self-smashing computer is stupid and pointless, you're entitled to think so. I might even agree with you. (In this case I probably would!) But unless you make a serious study of what's going on, you're not entitled to make authoritative statements about it, and insult the people doing it.

          Unless, of course, your name is Rush Limbaugh. But he's special!

          • Re:What you like (Score:2, Insightful)

            by G-funk ( 22712 )
            Yes I am. I'm entitled to say whatever I feel about this "art" project, to anybody who wants to listen. I'm allowed to think it's crap, and I'm allowed to say I think it's crap. Same goes for the kinds of people who like this sort of crap. I'm allowed to think they're idiots, and I'm allowed to say I think they're idiots.
            • You're Entitled! (Score:3, Insightful)

              by fm6 ( 162816 )
              Well, yeah, you have a right to express any opinion on any subject whatsover. Even when you're opinions are totally ignorant. Doesn't make you less ignorant.
        • Like beauty, art is in the eyes of the beholder.

          No, some beauty is universal.

          Like how men the world over are genetically wired to find the same waist-to-hip ratio most beautiful for a woman: 0.70 being sexiest (and non-pregnant), > 1 is too fat, and 0.40 too grotesquely Aeon Flux [] :)

          Also, just about everyone appreciates the natural beauty of the golden ratio [] whether they're aware of it or not. A good artist can make a pile of elephant shit look good.


      • "post-modern"

        In the words of Moe Sizlak, "wierd for the sake of being wierd". Post modern isn't really a movement, it's more a collection of stuff, like that guy that cut up a cow and put it in formaldehyde and took pictures of it. It's crap.


    • Nah, its not art. Its "Just Another Useless Thing To Do With The Internet (tm)"

      At least they could have put a decent picture of the thing there. You can't even see it well.

    • See in classic times, when they made real art, artists knew what they were.

      What a load of crap. Art has always been about titilating rich creeps, whether those rich creeps are kings or banking millionares. True, art has changed because photography can bring you realism if that is what you want, so art has retrenched into emotional portrayals instead. Other than that, it is the same game.

      You are just jealous because poor artists get laid more often than middle-class geeks. I almost went into art as a career myself. But, my style does not attract the chicks. It is "geek art" more or less. (
  • by unorthod0x ( 263821 ) on Sunday September 08, 2002 @05:11PM (#4217198)
    Watch as slashdotters from around the world bring the web server to its knees and save the poor server from extinguishing it's own life!
  • why? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Kargan ( 250092 )
    The website offers no insights into why they are doing this, I'm a little confused.

    Also, this is in the News category?
    • Sometimes, it's good to just answer the question yourself, for yourself. Instead of settling for the trivial answer to "why are they doing this?", consider the implications of "why am I confused?".
    • It's probably a reference to oil running out or something. The idea of an industrial society destroying itself by using up the stuff that keeps it going.

      Or it could be a refence to biological aging.

      Or maybe the guy hates computers and loves torturing them.

      However, by far the most likely reason is that the artist thought it was a cool-sounding idea and it would be likely to bring him cheap advertising. Well, it worked. ;-)

  • Oh dear... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by garf ( 12900 )
    Is this want it has come to? Some conception of unclever modern art making the grade on /.

    I come here for fun not to be swayed by the 'Arty' types..

    Oh dear..
  • Yea... (Score:3, Funny)

    by di0s ( 582680 ) <[moc.liamg] [ta] [719tobbac]> on Sunday September 08, 2002 @05:17PM (#4217229) Homepage Journal's got to be running Linux, because if it was running IIS on Windows, the 150 ton hand of the BSA audit department would crush it in no time.
  • The counter will keep running well past zero. The server is not providing the ticks.

    This is the first tie I've wanted someone to hack a box. Change the crush time to Monday Morning :-)
  • I don't get it (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward
    Can someone explain? What's the point of this?
  • Well at least the server hosting up the image file( got toasted! w00t!
  • by jukal ( 523582 ) on Sunday September 08, 2002 @05:23PM (#4217272) Journal
    Browse here []:

    * 2 computers - both connected to the Internet
    *One working as a web server and the other as a web client.
    *The client is connected to the server through the Internet.
    *The server is then crushed physically by a machine thus causing the server's data to be lost - the client will continue to search for the (server) site in vain.
    * This action will be performed once and recorded on high-speed video or film. To be played back for the period of the show.

    My personal opinion is that someone has accidentally crushed his own brains instead.

  • Isn't this like a suicide or hunger strike just to get posted on slashdot?

    Put me on slashdot or I will starve to death. Believe me I won't eat until I see a headline with my name on it

    (btw, i dont mean to troll here)
  • they put banner ads up on the last remaining days. i see this as a well orchestrated, yet very geeky, publicity stunt.
  • Why time based? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by EasyTarget ( 43516 ) on Sunday September 08, 2002 @05:30PM (#4217303) Journal
    If I was trying to do this, instead of making it time based (waiting for a clock to count down) I'd have made it page view based.

    After, say, 1 Million page views the server crushes itself, first come, first served, so to speak..

    PS: Yeah, yeah, make it completed page serves from unique and resolvable IP addresses, to try and avoid the usual trolls scripting page hits to try and crush it too early. Maybe something else, not sure..
  • great (Score:3, Troll)

    by GoatPigSheep ( 525460 ) on Sunday September 08, 2002 @05:40PM (#4217349) Homepage Journal
    so instead of donating the server to a school or non profit organization that might NEED it, its going to be crushed and destroyed.

    This is almost as selfish as the people who blow up their old MACs.
  • by Tim Browse ( 9263 ) on Sunday September 08, 2002 @05:42PM (#4217360)
    To save the server, just turn off Javascript in your browser - the clock immediately stops! Hurrah!

    Together, we can rebuild^Wsave it!

    • by wirefarm ( 18470 ) <> on Sunday September 08, 2002 @10:15PM (#4218321) Homepage
      Why not hack in to it and change the web page a bit?
      (First adding some ALT tags to those stupid number images...)
      Then, add in some pleading messages from the web server:

      Please don't let them do this.
      I don't want to die.

      I am being made to do this under duress.
      This is just *wrong* - I could be donated to a school.

      That sort of thing...
      See if you can convince enough people that this is a horrible, horrible thing to do, that they protest it and have it stopped.

      Now *that* would be art. ;-)

  • I get 404's for far more pedestrian reasons =)
  • by Master Switch ( 15115 ) on Sunday September 08, 2002 @05:55PM (#4217412) Homepage
    To someone that needs a computer, or a school perhaps. Seems like a waste
    • Too many people see public schools as a dumping ground for old computers for tax writoffs and it is very annoying to get a lot of old 286 computers that cannot be used because they won't run the apps we are using or are broken and are not worth repairing. The myth that school districts always need new computers and are too poor to get them is in the past thanks to e-rate (that means a school district pays 17 cents on the dollar for equipment - thats how my employer afforded a PBX and some really nice Proliant servers) and educational discounts (for example with Microsoft's contract with Washington State school districts, SQL Server Standard/1 Processor costs $1800 as compared to around $10,000 for a company to purchase a license) and grants given by the government and companies. So please instead of donating them to your local school district, give them to charities who fix them up and give them to communities overseas who can really use them

      Save your breath and don't suggest installing Linux on them, I do not have the time to train a bunch of teachers to use it nor will it run the apps we use - unless of course somehow a decent gradebook program, Dreamweaver, AutoCAD 2000, Adobe Photoshop and a bunch of other programs all of a sudden magically decided to run on linux overnight.
    • This can be said about a lot of things. Try to convince people not to waste money on fireworks on forth of July, but to give them to charity instead. People always spend money on things they find amusing even if it's something other people find meaningless. This will never change, and it's probably just a matter of taste what you think is a waste of money.
  • ...will it sing "Bicycle Built for Two?"

    Daisy, Daisy, give me your answer do, I'm half craazy, alll fooor theee looooove oooooof yoooooouuuuuu..."
  • Does the server have a interface for turning on the light switch?

    It looks unimpressive in the darkness.
  • Dr. Evil: Activate the unnecessarily-slow-moving crushing mechanism! I'm just going to watch from my Web browser and assume it all went to plan. What?
  • It seems the British really do have pointless, drawn-out ceremonies for every little thing. But why did they choose September 12? What if a terrorist blows up the exhibit on the 11th? Then we'll never get to see how it ends.
  • SPAM ALERT (Score:5, Informative)

    by Fastolfe ( 1470 ) on Sunday September 08, 2002 @06:29PM (#4217535)
    FYI, I received the same "release" as quoted above in multiple pieces of spam this weekend. Keep this in mind when we show our support and interest in this (admittedly amusing) venture.
  • While this project isn't exactly my box of springs, there was some discussion on the this newsgroup [] if you are lucky enough to find the particular post. Network54's article retention is less than average, but the original crusher discussion took place there. Well worth the read if you can locate it, perhaps in a Google cache.
  • Crush the server? Hell, crush the lusers! "I guess you won't be needing that diskspace anymore, good that I didn't waste any tape on it..."
  • Simulate this crushing experience in your own home! No compactation machine required. Simply put the following line in your /etc/crontab:

    00 5 1 * * root ifconfig eth0 down

  • Remember the scene from Office Space where they opened a can of whoop-ass on the printer? Now THAT was art baby. It had context, meaning. You understood the poetry behind the scene.

    But this is just stupid.
  • no wonder they didn't bother registering a domain name for it.
  • The Crush Server on exhibition in London is finally up and running. Watch out for the action on 12 September 2002 (1900HRS GMT)! Basically what happens is that the webserver counts itself down to its fiery end when it will activate an industrial crusher to terminate its existance. You can have a look at the action as the countdown occurs LIVE on camera. Visit the Crush webserver at!

    We're offering Counter-Strike server hosting to clans and also webhosting services. Over the past few weeks we've been ironing out some issues to make it simple for users to access their accounts and manage their e-mail. We'll continue to work on this and pile on more features as we stumble on more interesting tools and programs we can install :)

    Please note however that these features will abuptly cease to function on Sept. 12 at 19:00 Zulu, when the server is *ahem* counter-struck.
  • ...and cut the connection the machine has with the crusher. Do it!
  • I recall a work of "art" (it must have been was at an art gallery) called "A Matter of Time". It consisted of an aquarium with a goldfish in it, and a mechanism that, at random intervals, shot a spear into the aquarium from the top, and then pulled it out.

    Every so often, they had to get a new fish.

  • They should have done a more Matrix-ish version and had a person sitting underneath, not the server.
  • Back in the day, this was Novell's gimmick at trade shows. You'd watch the secretary typing away at a terminal, an a giant weight dramatically crushes the server, while the backup server gracefully fails-over. Secretary keeps
    typing, unfazed by the big noise/surprised audience/etc.

  • Somewhat offtopic. (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Restil ( 31903 ) on Sunday September 08, 2002 @08:34PM (#4217999) Homepage
    An idea I had, prior to 9/11 anyway....

    My house has numerous wired appliances, to be controlled and observed via the internet. Something I thought of doing was to rig up a mock nuclear bomb, movie style, with the keypad and readout on it, something similar to what was used in "Broken Arrow". The idea is, people could set the timer and start the countdown, and anyone watching could abort the timer. If, for any reason, the timer managed to reach 0 while someone was watching, that person would get automatically added to the firewall rules and wouldn't be able to access the site anymore. For all practical purposes, the entire network would "disappear".

    At least, I thought it would be a clever prank that might worry someone for a few minutes anyway. And I'd be sure to put enough casual disclaimers around that it wasn't real. However, after 9/11, even the perceived threat of something like that was likely to result in a lot of "shoot and ask questions later" approaches by your favorite law enforcement agencies, so I just trashed the idea.

  • OK, We need to mount a rescue effort to save this machine. Surely some CounterStrike players could come up with a plan to rescue this machine before it is sentenced to death. Surely there is some decency left here on Slashdot. SAVE THE BOX!!!

    Or don't, I don't really give a shit.


  • Sour stomach (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Powercntrl ( 458442 )
    This is the same hideous gut wrenching feeling I get watching a car crash test commercial on TV.

    At least destroying a brand new automobile helps provide information that may save lives. This is just a sad waste of computer equipment. Karma be damned, I just think the people running this "experiment" need to grow up.

    We have a finite amount of resources on this planet and this just sends a message to the entire Internet that they're willing to webcast their own wastefulness.
  • ... and don't get me wrong, I do have a fair appreciation of what's art and what isn't, but I can't help thinking that the doomed computer could be put to better use by, say, giving it to a school in a deprived area, or even to a family that can't afford to buy one. A few years of learning seems like a better investment than a few seconds of novelty entertainment for people who, I bet, have all got computers.
  • by bergeron76 ( 176351 ) on Sunday September 08, 2002 @10:05PM (#4218285)
    This sure sounds like a tempting box to hack. I wouldn't be the least bit surprised if it turns out to be a honeypot. I guess we'll have to see on Wednesday.

  • And to think that this server could have instead held the web pages that led to world peace.

    The guys lighting and sniffing the plastic to sort it for recycling in asia will really appreciate it.
  • by Nicopa ( 87617 )
    I know this will be moderated as "troll", but I can't help posting this. I don't see anything here but a big "hey, we the rich of earth can destroy things. We have so much... Our next show will be throwing a couple of tons of food to the ocean".
  • by Kaz Riprock ( 590115 ) on Monday September 09, 2002 @12:12AM (#4218612)
    Could you imagine if this thing had a positronic brain governed by the 3 laws (or any of the modifications)? We'd have a revolution on our hands!
  • While in class I once programmed an industrial robot (just an arm with a grip, really) to yank its own power cord. Robot suicide! But, I guess it doesn't count (!) since I didn't have a cheesy clock running backwards on the Net (Anyway, this was before Tim Berners-Lee had his vision and where's my cane, you young whelps!?).

"An organization dries up if you don't challenge it with growth." -- Mark Shepherd, former President and CEO of Texas Instruments