Thursday, June 8, 2023|
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|Crank It Up |
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As the sole systems engineer for a Midwestern storm prediction center, this fellow has his hands full.
But when there's a problem at a remote site on a college campus six miles away, he's the one who has to make the 15-minute drive to see what's
"This site collects needed weather satellite data and sends the data via private network to our main facility," says the systems engineer.
"One day, the operations folks indicate they're no longer getting the required data, and a quick check indicates that the computers and network
equipment are not available on the far end."
So he hops in his car and drives over. When he gets there, everything in the equipment closet is working fine. He calls the operations folks, and they
say they're getting data again -- it was apparently just a momentary glitch. So he returns to the office.
"About two hours later, it's the same thing," he says. "I get to the remote facility, and everything is working. I return to the office again, only to
repeat the trip two hours later."
After the third trip, he doesn't wait two hours; he goes back to the remote site after an hour.
"As I approach the equipment room, I hear a radio turned up very loud," says the engineer. "I walk in to find our equipment rack unplugged, the UPS
beeping and flashing away, and a radio where our rack was plugged in -- and a maintenance crew of about six working on some new air conditioning
He unplugs the radio and asks the maintenance crew foreman if he had any idea what he had disconnected.
"No," says foreman.
"Why do you keep unplugging it every two hours?"
"We're a union shop," foreman tells him. "We take a break every two hours."
"But didn't you think there was a problem when the rack started beeping when you unplugged it?" the frustrated engineer persists.
"Sure," shrugs foreman. "But turning up the radio helped."
Received from Thomas Ellsworth.