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Tuesday, December 12, 2000

Whale is down
No, this is not a reference to the exploding whale video on the now defunct my boot theatre, this was a reference to my experience in the computer lab yeseterday.. here is a recounting of the tall tale:

Showed up at 2pm, worked with Tara in the main lab... very busy, didn't sit down for the first hour- walked around picked up trash, pushed in chairs, got the lab to run itself after an hour or so (mostly due to Tara's work), and relaxed...Hell, Tara, Sarah and I even ordered a pizza.

3:50pm, I eat a single slice of pizza and head out into the lab... I'll be back to eat more I think.. Majdi shows up for the 4-8 shift, and Tara makes to leave for Arch to work the 4-8 there.. then the downward spiral into crazyness starts:

Noone shows up for their shifts in:

  • Architecture
  • Weil
  • Bryan
And only Majdi showed up for the CSE shift... so, Sarah sent Majdi to Arch, Tara to Weil and called and started calling people up to take the Bryan shift as Colleen couldn't stay much longer because she had to get to an exam!

So now all the labs are single staffed.. and I am the only one in CSE with over a hundred users, and a ticking time-bomb-of-a-crashing-server slowly causing all of the computers to break waiting to completely die in the back room.

Slowly things start to downward spiral out of control... at first, people start to have multiple login problems... 1 or 2 people come up every 5 minutes, having attempted to log into one computer, have it lock up on them due to the fact that (unbeknownest to everyone) the main server was slowly crashing. Then they tried logging into a second computer, and the login server thought they we're trying to use their account on 2 different PCs. Giving them a multiple login error. Now, we can fix this but it usually takes up to 15 minutes for the multiple logins to get reset, because we just well, we haven't figured out how to scale the login server yet I guess :P.

To top all of this off, HOTMAIL was dying at the same time... I mean, HOTMAIL was actually dying, and not because of the UF servers either. This girl comes up to me in the middle of this chaos where I was having to tell people the same thing repeatedly every 5 minutes, and tells me "I can't access hotmail, and my term paper that is due in 45 minutes is stuck on there."-- Shit!

So I try to access it through:

  • The op station
  • Grove
  • My CYBERGATE shell account
  • By calling my brother in Tampa and have him try it through his cable modem
No soap! But this took a while and throughout the whole thing you heard "Sorry, I'll submit your multiple login clear request, but it may be a while.." Well, the girl decides she can just let her prof know she had problems and it will be all good...

This whole time, I haven't gotten to eat, and then Sara gives me some good news, "Tara will be returning to help out! So just try to pull through these next 15 minutes!"

Yay, I may just live after all...

Tara shows up and I hit the break room. It has been almost 90 minutes of this insanity. I devour the rest of the pizza, and slam some minute maid orange soda that Sarah got for me (Thanks Sarah!!) and head back out into the labs. Things are getting worse...

Slowly the performance of all of the computers is collectively taking a nose dive, soon people cannot log into the computers at all, Tara gets stuck in the trenches while I get surrounded by users at the op station..

Users (collectively): "We can't log in!"
Me: "No reason to panic, let me call my supervisor"

Then, all of the typing in the lab stops. There is silence, and then groups of people start heading towards the op station.

Users: "Uhm... theres something wrong with the computers"
Phone: "Ring"
Me: "CSE Computer Lab, this is Walter how may I help you?"
Nervous pause.
Daniel: "Whatsup?"
Me: "Well, it appears that something is seriously wrong here, noone can log into the computers and everyone who is using the computers cannot do anything as they are all simultaneously locked up."
Daniel: "I'm sending someone now"
Phone: "Click"
Me: "Mike! Wow that was fast"
Mike (Someone): "The server paged me, it's down"
Me: "Wow" (I used to get a page automatically when my old job's server went down)
Users: "Now, the $64,000 question is, what happend to my term paper"

Anyways, Mike went right to work... but the computers didn't. Slowly the 100 or so people who had been in the lab started to trickle out and eventually after 45 minutes, the lab was empty.

Tara, Erica (the next supervisor to work after Sarah) and I sat at the front of the lab, telling people the situation as they walked in.

I got a good idea to make a sign, it read: "Server is down, all PCs can't be used. Sorry. Other labs open."-- This apparently wasn't good enough as people *still* came in. Then I went to the back room and made 3 signs to show Erica and Tara:

  • Go Away!
  • Lab Closed and
  • Lab temporarily unavailable
Heh.. the 3rd sign was the winner :P... but still... so we posted that one, but people still came in- and we were like "People, this shit is broke," and they were like "We can read, but can we use your phone?" -- Apparently people have problems reading 1 sign, but not 2... *sigh*

Finally the fixed Whale by "power cycling" a switch. WTF, they just turned that shit on and off man, I power cycle stuff all the time!! Of course it took a while for everything else to come back online and work with it perfectly but ahh well.. I digress.

I think I'll "power cycle" this computer a coupla times


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Saturday, December 09, 2000

Take a swish of this splish
Hrm.. never thought that sounded funny till now... damn Dee-Lite lyrics. Anyways just thought I'd jump in real fast and say "wzup" to my homeys :). Got an OM exam in 15 minutes and I'm more ready for it than I was for the last 2 exams I took in that class. If I miss only 2 questions I get an A. Up to 4 questions and I get a B+, then I can miss like, 16 and still get a B. That's messed up man!!.. Heh. Still though, had fun today, went to only *ONE* book store and got the price I wanted on my book.. that was nice, and I saw a Dodge Viper being washed downstairs in the desiganted car wash area. Heh, I knew my apartment complex was nice, but didn't know it was that nice that we got crazy rich people living here. Well, either that or its so damn cheap and cost-less that people can afford Vipers! hehehehe.

Anyways saw this and thought I'd share: Going my way?

Later :P

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Thursday, December 07, 2000

It's Thursday....
Damn web interfaces... I need to invent a way to save your work in these things a la Word so that way this never happens:

Walter fires up his blogger right-click interface and types out a story. Walter clicks publish.

It tells him its published.

The story never appears


Anyways... I just figured I'd write. Saw one of the most disturbing movies ever last night, Requiem for a Dream. Seriously messed up man... the director, Darren Aronofsky (who is a rather normal looking young man) compared the film to a jump from a plane without a parachute, and the movie ends three minutes after you hit the ground. Sick stuff. Needless to say it really grabbed me and shook me up big time. This movie's hallucinations induced real life ones. Just.... don't watch it if you don't want to have problems going to sleep at night. This movie should be shown at rehab clinics- it'll get anyone to go straight.

Here is a game you can play:

Study finds moderate alcohol drinkers have higher IQ than non drinkers

Do you think the conclusions of the study were:

  1. Drinking makes you smarter
  2. A compliment of drinking makes you smarter (IE drinking beer induces eating pretzels which makes you smarter)
  3. People who are smarter probably have more money and therefore can afford to drink more
  4. Simply that people with a higher iq may simply drink more than people with a lower iq

If you answered 1 through 3, then you're correct! But it's too bad that they didn't take any decent statistics courses, because if I was working with that study, you'd just realize it was number 4! Just like a stuy I once read where they found that soccer players who tended to hit the ball with their heads had lower iqs than those who didn't. This doesn't mean that they are being made dumb from all of the hits to the head, but instead that people with a higher iq just know better than to hit their head on a damn ball.

Scientists... jeez

Just wanted to write :)

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Friday, December 01, 2000

It's Friday and... ARGHH!!
Ok... once again the web interface to this damn thing has deleted an update that I had crafted for y'all... once again:

Today hasn't been so good to me... I couldn't get out of bed this morning... none of millions of alarms (Read 2 alarm clocks, 3 wake up calls and an hour long MP3 playlist) I set for 9am worked, but luckily my backup emergency alarm set for 9:42 am got me up at 10:17am... unfortunately for me I mistakenly thought that my bus was comming at 10:25 and I hauled ass out there to make it at 10:25..

But my bus comes at 10:20. DOH! So I walked back home and grabbed my speed bike and trucked it back to class. Ripping my pants on the main gear but enjoying the new back tire and how much speedier and slick my bike feels now... Made it to class

Class was uneventful, except that our teacher almost forgot to have us do our presentation.. that kinda made me a little upset. I had worked on my presentation damnit, and I wanted the chance to present it cos today was like the last day we could. Needless to say he remembered half way through his part of the presentation when I spoke up about my interpretation about something.. "Oh yeah you're supposed to do presentation aren't you.." DOH! Well it wasn't his fault I should have said something. I just didn't want to appear any more nerdy than I already am ;)

Anyways, get out of class to pickup my paycheck of $43.17 (Yay atleast I got SOMETHING heh), and when I pull out my palm pilot to enter in the amount... it


to the FLOOR and the screen S H A T T E R S.

Yay. This is the second palm pilot in 11 months that I've destroyed. I was a little upset by this.. because you can't just repair it yourself, it costs about $100 for a new screen plus shipping and time factors. After the fact it probably runs about $130 for the whole process. New Palm IIIe's cost about the same. Whee some day I'll have a new palm pilot.

Then I go to ride my bike home, and someone has taken the chain off of the main gear!.. Bitches!!!-- Mabye it just happend on its own since I did have the tire missing for a while, but somehow I don't think chains fall off on their own... luckily for me I inspect my bike before I hop on it and ride around, so I didn't cause any damage to the chain or any real embrassament to myself (expecting resistance on the pedals and not getting any, falling flat on my face in front of the whole world in Turlington plaza.. that woulda taken the cake righ there) BUT I did have to get my hands a bit greasy... to top it all off on the way home the sprinklers in the field next to my apartment complex got me... then when I'm writing this update for the first time the computer freaks out and breaks the window on me...(I'm writing this from notepad :).

Ahh well- I've got if figured out with the Palm Pilot, I can still use it to *read* data, I'll just use my PC to enter data into the Palm Desktop software and use the Palm Emulator software to input stuff into my checkbook register.. oh well, I'll just carry around a litle baby pad and pencil and that way I can take notes to enter into it later... I'll save up and buy a new one... listening to Pair-A-Dice's CD again... its reallll good.

I hope the worst of my day is over, and that I have a good one from now on!! :)

Thanks for reading this... [HUG]!

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