Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Server Down!

The two words high on my list that make me cringe, "Server Down!" Because of the nature of my job I can usually find others things to do on the computer if I don't have access to the Internet, but it sure is an inconvenience.

Tuesday we had three different power spikes over a course of about 6 hours. You know that brief millisecond of time that dims your lights and is the visual equivalent of electricity waving its fist at you.

Because of the way we use computers in our studios it was something you could hear over your radios briefly as the computers we use to play commercials and programs hiccuped along with the lights.

Now this wasn't just a short interruption, its effect lasted a few hours. In addition to writing and recording news I am responsible for helping edit and send out an online newsletter. Sadly that wasn't possible Tuesday morning. That same program is also used for our online news, sports, etc. So our "Server Down" became the computer version of "It's a Wonderful Life." It meant an inconveniece for the thousands of people that get the newsletter and view our website for up to date information. As Clarence the Angel in training would say "Isn't it strange how one life (server) can touch so many others?"

Okay so that's a little bit dramatic, but people have come to depend on the Internet. Many people I correspond with every day use e-mail as their main form of communicating. I didn't miss the spam, but did miss a few messages I should have gotten.

There was a small humorous moment amongst the angst "Server Down" caused. One computer in the building still had access to the Internet for a short period of time. One of our morning announcers said e-mail your news to me and I'll put it the newsletter and website. And how was I supposed to do that? It reminded me of working at a radio station in the U.P. when we lost power during a blizzard and a listener called to tell us that we should go on the air and tell our listeners that we were off.