Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Govassic Park - Sun April Fools Prank 1997

As I mentioned, I will point you to some of the contributions to Sun that a few of us made over the years that made it to this site, specifically some April Fool's Pranks :-)

Govassic Park

John Meyer wrote the text below for TheNetworkIsTheComputer.COM:

Dr. Dennis Govoni was the Sun Southern Area’s senior network engineer (later Chief Technologist for Sun Federal) and one of the most satisfying people in the world to torture. Dave Edstrom, Southern Area Systems Engineer, Neil Pierson, Federal Region systems engineer and multimedia ambassador, and yours truly, John Meyer, Federal Region systems engineer and technical systems ambassador, hatched a plan for April Fool’s Day 1997 when we found out Dennis would be in California for two weeks starting March 31st.

Dennis has his Ph.D. in Botany and our first thought was to turn his office into a miniature rain forest, complete with flora, fauna, waterfalls, and so forth. But the expense and difficulty in locating appropriate materials for the goof ruled this out. Then we hit on the idea: let’s use a Jurassic Park theme. This was just what we wanted. It was cheap, easy, and fun. Dave and Neil had five boys under the age of eight between them, so stocking the office with dinosaurs, Jurassic Park paraphernalia, and toys was certainly no problem.  I spent most of Easter Sunday preparing a “Govassic Park” logo and web page, while Dave collected toy dinosaurs and Neil set up two live video feeds on Sun’s world-wide internal network that would tie into our web page. This meant that anyone in Sun could see a real-time picture of Dennis’ office and anyone who walked into it for two whole weeks and there was nothing Dennis could do about it. Remember, this was 1997: real-time video on the Internet (let alone Sun’s wide-area network) was unheard of at the time.

When all was in place around 9 AM on the 1st, we sent out an e-mail to just about every Sun employee in the world, inviting each and every one of them to visit our web page.    Meanwhile, Neil collected some very interesting statistics on who visited, when they saw the page, and where they were from.

See the pictures and reminisce at