Chinese railway station knocked offline when Flash stops being supported

The railway depot in the city of Dalian, China, was thrown into chaos on Jan. 12 when Adobe triggered a kill-switch to end its support of Flash. It turns out … it was critical for a bunch of their systems!

However, the techs who run IT for the station appeared to have quite a sense of humor about it, though, because as they scrambled to revert to an earlier version of Flash, they posted real-time WeChat updates about their struggle — "in the style of a military thriller, written with all the self-awareness of Dwight from 'The Office'," as David Cohen and Yue Sun quipped on Technode.

As they write …

The staff divided into hardware and software task forces, and attempted to restore an older version of Flash from a backup "GHOST system," an effort marked by triumphs and defeats. By 10 p.m., they had mostly restored computers to backup states—when, suddenly, automatic updates caused the systems to disable Flash again.

According to a brief statement which later replaced the viral post, the issue was limited to newer computers in the depot and no trains were affected.

After midnight, the team began to chalk up lasting victories:

"Jan. 13, 0113 hours: 'Wan Jia Ling station is fixed! Ling Ma shouted…we all gathered and confirmed. The room burst with cheers and applause." [snip]

"1411 hours. The station is back in crisis. Once again, we cannot use the printer."

The authors note that Flash is still "in widespread use" in the Chinese government, which is pretty interesting if true.

(via waxy)