It's the 1970s, and this small scientific computing company makes specialized minicomputer-based systems -- which means profits are small too, says a Fortran programmer pilot fish there.

"One day our VP let out an anguished roar so loud all of us heard it," fish says. "He had just opened that month's electric bill, but instead of the usual $200 or $300, it was for well over $10,000!

"He went on a screaming rampage into every room of the building, looking for the culprit. He finally found it in the high bay area where the hardware was assembled.

"Here's what happened: A severe natural gas shortage hit the nation the previous winter. All gas customers were asked to limit consumption if at all possible.

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