Friday, October 21, 2005

Cutting Edge technology

I borrowed this pic from - hope they don't mind! - 'cos this is what ours looks like
One of the Helpdesk ladies came over to ask us to let her into the Comms room today. This is a large secure room with swipe-card access only, which contains all the Server computers in the Company. It has anti-static flooring, a sophisticated automatic fire-extinguishing unit that locks and seals the room completely in the event of a fire. It is cooled by an expensive and reliable air-conditioning system and looks like something you'd see on TV - rows of neat, orderly racks of equipment, all humming gently, led's flickering comfortingly, with nothing out of place. It is the only room in the building where drinks are not allowed - no, not even water or coffee.

But apparently it serves another purpose, of which I was not aware until a few minutes ago. Every Friday our happy Helpdesk lady goes shopping at lunchtime, and when she returns she uses the Comms room to store her groceries so that the meat and fish stays cool.
So there ya go - a dual purpose storage facility!

Now, I think that is hilarious - she can't see what's so funny.
"Wha'? I do this every Friday.."
Well, I suppose the Lads go sit in there to cool down after their lunchtime squash game, so why not?

Actually, that reminds me of another story involving this room.
One day - we hadn't been here long and the building still smelled of fresh paint - the alarm went off in the Comms room, indicating a possible fire. At the very least, the temperature had risen above it's trigger limit. Nobody knew what to do - the Facilities people were nowhere to be found, and the doors were automatically locked, just as they were designed to be. Understand, there is thousands of Euros worth of equipment in that room, not to mention all the data on the machines.
Until one of the Developers (don't u just love programmers?) asked himself, "What's the worst that can happen if I press this button on the panel outside, next to the flashing light?"
Stupid question, really, and anyone who is in a position to ask this question should automatically know the answer.
Don't. Do. It.
But he did.

There was a loud CRASH from behind the locked doors, followed by a sound akin to the air escaping rapidly from a large hole in a monster-truck tyre. Then... silence. From both inside the room and outside. Said Developer went red in the face and began to shuffle his feet. Almost as one, dozens of heads popped up from behind partitions, everyone looking wide-eyed at him and each other. There were a few nervous giggles. And still nobody could get into the room.

Eventually the Responsible Managers arrived and opened the doors. Did I mention it's also designed to have all the air sucked out of the room in an "emergency" like this, which is why the doors sealed so well? There was no fire, though - it had been a glitch in the Aircon unit. The button, when pushed, had activated the fire extinguishing units, which had expelled their special fire-putting-out stuff so strongly that it had blown tiles off the wall and damaged at least one of the servers.

Er, Oops?


ChittyChittyBangBang! said...

Pushing that button is a typically "Homer Simpson" moment, if ever there was one.
Isn't just how life is... tell someone they should not do something and that is the only they can think of! I have a lot of those moments, but you know that already!