When setting up the database schema, in a misguided attempt at saving space, I had made the amateur mistake of using the event timestamp as the primary key — so if two events happened to come in at the same millisecond, the DB would throw a unique key constraint violation. I noticed this early on, but determined that this only seemed to happen in unusual and uninteresting circumstances like when futzing about in the monitor’s internal configuration settings, so I added a catch block that logged a warning and continued on its merry way.
But. This was old-school code, and the log string was written C-style into a fixed-length 80-character buffer. While the length of the unique key violation message itself was invariable, the log timestamp happened to be formatted so that it used the long-form English weekday name ( %E ), so the output looked like “Monday, July 17, 1997, 10:38:47.123”
Caught on yet? On Wednesdays, and only on Wednesdays, if somebody manually twiddled certain bits in the monitor settings in a certain way, two events would occur during the same millisecond and cause the DB to throw an exception, and the error message that logged this would be exactly 81 bytes long including the null terminator, overflowing the 80-char buffer and causing the program to crash!