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April 01, 2005: The miracles of technology

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It's been an interesting week at work. One of the main people has been out all week on vacation, and another was gone 3 of the 5 days. Tuesday morning we discovered that the voicemail system had gone kaflooey and they didn't make it out to fix it until the following afternoon. The service guy pointed out that we apparently had some issues with our battery back-ups, which we were already aware of due to the incessant beeping and the fact that during the last week or two our server has now rebooted itself (not always successfully) several times without reason. And he noted that unless we did something to fix the issue, we'd likely lose our voicemail system again.

The new battery backup arrived this afternoon. It's a heavy, compact little piece of equipment. And as we were lugging things around in the tiny closet that is our de facto server room, we discovered what might be the main problem for all the issues we've been having lately with the server and the voicemail. We already had two battery back-ups, but for reasons unknown to any of us (since we were not the ones who initially set the whole system up), the first backup had a multiple outlet extension plugged into it, and someone had plugged the second battery backup into this extension. This meant that the second was plugged into the first and why the first hadnít just up and melted by now none of us can guess.

Somehow we got everything moved around, although in the middle of it my coworker and I inadvertently shut down the entire phone system - while a third coworker happened to be on the line with a client (oops). And it's possible we also rebooted the voicemail system, also by mistake. But at least none of the systems are plugged into each other any more, and that annoying beeping has finally stopped, and maybe our server will no longer feel the need to reboot on a whim.

All things considered I'm not sure any of us are holding our breath.

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