Memory-Lane Monday: Now, that’s excitement

The things you can learn by chance.

Computerworld  |  Shark Tank
Computerworld / IDG

It’s the 1990s, and this drugstore chain is adding the first Windows NT machine to its previously all-Unix server room. And naturally, all the PC and network techs are gathered around to watch the process — including this pilot fish.

“Everyone is very excited,” says fish. “We have the new server set up and we're configuring it for services.

“Then the Halon alarm goes off.”

That’s when fish and her cohorts discover some things they didn't know before — such as the fact that the room’s automatic door is set to lock if the fire-suppression system is triggered.

And the fact that there’s no phone in the room.

And the fact that no one’s cellphone will work in the shielded, basement server room.

Fortunately, says fish, this was only a test; someone in charge of the help desk decided to test the Halon alarm to see how audible it was.

“He discovered that the alarm is quite audible — as is the screaming of six people.”

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