This afternoon, after I replaced my monitor, I found a ton of error messages from my news server INND talking about a bad active file. Thankfully, I know what that is: the file that controls what newsgroups are available on the server and how many articles there are in each. It lives in /var/lib/news.
When I opened it with vi, I noticed that someone or something had rearranged the file like one of those sliding tile puzzles. 8-byte strings had been jumbled up throughout the file, leading to entries like comp.uni00000041min.misc 00000y00001.
I have no idea what did that but I didn’t bother to try and fix it by hand. I restored from last night’s level 2 dump of the /var filesystem. It’s working fine now but I’d like to know what caused the random fuckery I saw.