The video in the linked article details how much of the work for Toy Story 2 was almost permanently erased. Someone ran a delete command on the root directory of the computer containing the movie’s CGI work, and the backup was corrupted. The only reason they didn’t lose all their data was because one employee had made a recent copy of the files so she could work from home. Seriously… that’s what happened during the production of a multi-million dollar Pixar movie.
Now on to a technical explanation of how the article and video are wrong. First, the article says it only took three characters, referring to “
rm/“. This is incorrect because there’s a space between the “
rm” and the “
/“, making it four characters instead of three.
And the video is wrong when it says the command used to delete the files was “
rm /. In order to delete directories, subdirectories, and their contents, the
rm command requires you to supply the
-r parameter. And to suppress prompts and warning messages, you would need to speicfy the
-f parameter. Thus, the command that was most likely run was “
rm -rf /“.
Now don’t I feel like a total geek after that rant.