* Posts by Delicolor

4 posts • joined 23 Dec 2015

Crash, bang, wallop: What a power-down. But what hit the kill switch?


Buttons that you shouldn't press...

I once had a role that evolved into looking after a 60 rack Data Centre. It was located in the shell of a former 1960s computer hall although most of the vintage services had been stripped out or abandoned.I spent a year or so reverse engineering all of the services as the electrician who had worked on it over the years died in unfortunate circumstances.

Whilst we didn't have an ESD switch, the room did have an FM200 gas suppression system which was disarmed whenever staff lifted floor tiles.

One weekend, I received an urgent phone call from a colleague with the immortal words "There's been a bit of a cock-up". The gas system had gone off, two thirds of the cooling had shut down and Servers were gradually shutting themselves down due to localised overheating. Not knowing how the interlocks worked, I eventually got the Air Con up again by pulling the battery leads off in the alarm panel. (There was a discharge detection sensor that required a manual reset, something that went into the documentation once we were told about it). Fortunately, the cooling interlock wiring had not been extended to unit 3 (and standby unit 4) so we were able to avoid compromising the really important stuff.

It turns out the staff member got confused when re-enabling the fire panel and got it into his head somehow that it would reset if he pressed the button marked RELEASE under the hinged flap with the seal on.

Getting the FM200 replaced was another saga, it took weeks...

Begone, Demon Internet: Vodafone to shutter old-school pioneer ISP


I seem to remember aTenner a month was plus VAT, fortunately I had just gone self employed/vat registered then.

ISTR using a powermac for access, the SMTP force download on first connection was a pain as I don't think you could get Mozilla going properly until all the mail was received and my client sent be big source files. I eventually solved that with Highway bonding and a move to Pipex but the arrival delay of mail was exponential to the attachment size and sometimes took an infinite time to turn up.

All through the house, not a creature was stirring... especially Samsung smartwatches: Batteries empty at 3AM


My Gear S3 Frontier has just started doing the flatten overnight syndrome for the last week or so. Also, if I leave it on the dock overnight, it is still showing red in the morning and only at 90% ish.

There was me thinking the lithium was on the way out...

Electrician cuts wrong wire and downs 25,000 square foot data centre

Big Brother

I remember the S.I.D.E. BBC2 films. I always though the D stood for Dump though. Perhaps I'm misremembering...


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