500 Mile Email

500 Mile Email is a curated list of absurd software bug stories. It's maintained by me, Harley Hicks, and is named after one of my favorite stories, "We can't send mail more than 500 miles". Know a great story? Send it my way.



The NULL-byte Serial-Port Killer

By khendron on July 21, 2020

Debugging hardware from paper recordings doesn't sound like my idea of a fun time.


Added: July 22, 2020

Submitted by: khendron

Source: www.reddit.com

Categories: Hardware, Networking


"the game thinks my companions are dead" bug

By Taylor Swope on December 29, 2019

In which an Outer Worlds developer tries to fix a mysterious game-breaking bug.


Added: July 21, 2020

Source: twitter.com

Categories: Software, Video Games


iPhones Are Allergic to Helium

By Kyle Wiens on October 30, 2018

Apparently your pocket computer has a slight allergy.


Added: July 21, 2020

Source: www.ifixit.com

Categories: Hardware


The Great Bug Hunt

By Allen Pike on May 30, 2018

An infuriating bug eludes a group of Xbox game developers.


Added: July 21, 2020

Source: allenpike.com

Categories: Hardware, Video Games


The wrong error message

By Andrew McFadden on April 12, 2015

When the developers create the first account on their newly launched service, they get a very unexpected error message.


Added: July 21, 2020

Source: fadden.com

Categories: Software


What's the hardest bug you've debugged?

By Dave Baggett on April 24, 2015

Crash Bandicoot was innovative for many reasons, but they pushed the Playstation hardware a bit further than Sony expected.


Added: July 21, 2020

Source: www.quora.com

Categories: Hardware, Video Games


I Love the Smell of Popcorn in the Morning

By Bruce Johnson on November 07, 2013

"For the most part, the upgrades happened without issue. New hardware would be ordered and installed by a local IT person, data migrated and business carried on as usual. Except for when it didn't. When this happened, corporate sent out James. A.K.A. 'The Cleaner'."


Added: July 20, 2020

Source: thedailywtf.com

Categories: Networking, Windows


A Story About 'Magic'

By Guy Lewis Steele, Jr. on February 19, 1979

The story of the mysterious magic switch on the side of the MIT AI Lab PDP-10.


Added: July 17, 2020

Source: github.com

Categories: Electricity, Networking


Server 54, Where Are You?

By InformationWeek on April 09, 2001

A long lost server is uncovered.


Added: July 17, 2020

Source: www.informationweek.com

Categories: Networking


The Best Debugging Story I’ve Ever Heard

By Patrick Thomson on December 28, 2010

This one required calling in "The Expert".


Added: July 17, 2020

Source: patrickthomson.tumblr.com

Categories: Storage, Networking


Why does man print “gimme gimme gimme” at 00:30?

By Jaroslav Kucera on November 20, 2017

An old silly joke goes wrong.


Added: July 17, 2020

Source: unix.stackexchange.com

Categories: Command Line, Software, Linux


Debugging Behind the Iron Curtain

By Jake Poz on August 19, 2010

A computer and a radioactive cow walk into a bar.


Added: July 16, 2020

Source: www.jakepoz.com

Categories: Networking, Storage


Openoffice can’t print on Tuesdays

By Steve Paine on April 28, 2009

"My wife has complained that open office will never print on Tuesdays!?!"


Added: July 16, 2020

Source: bugs.launchpad.net

Categories: Hardware, Software, Linux


We can't send mail more than 500 miles

By Trey Harris on September 24, 2002

The story that inspired this site! What do you do when someones tells you that your email server won't send emails further than 500 miles?


Added: July 16, 2020

Source: www.ibiblio.org

Categories: Email, Networking