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Thread: Raining in the Computer Room

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    No, not all of SoCal is Los Angeles!

    Raining in the Computer Room

    As opposed to days gone by, my on call responsibilities for work are fairly light. Well, I was on call this week and about 7pm I got a call . . .

    A pipe had ruptured between floors above the computer room at the University of Riverside. I'm only 4 miles away so off I go. What I walked into I have never seen in my 20-odd year career in this biz. It was literally raining in the computer room. We covered a lot of the gear with plastic and I was amazed something hadn't blown already.

    I thanked my lucky stars that our design consists of two network cores in buildings about 1/8th a of a mile apart on this campus. We could lose the whole building in question without impacting the state. UCR serves as a major hub for the largest private fiber network in California serving all U of C's, private universities, city colleges and even K-12 sites plus some of our neighbors in Arizona.

    All ended well except for the mess and I forgot my camera!!! Others were taking pics with their phones and PDA's so I'll try to get some pics. You haven't lived until you've see a literal "decorative fountain"-like waterfall flowing down the stairs into the lobby.
    Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.
    - Arthur C. Clarke

  2. #2
    Been there done that, in 1987 or so, during construction of a new computer center adjoining the exisitng. Incomplete roof tie-in + torrential rainstorm = flood in a room full of Honeywell disk drives. Not only was it pouring where the ceiling had given way, sheets of water were coming into the room from two walls... one of which was the wall with all the power panels. It was just incredible. Never want to see anything like it again.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    ABQ NM
    Sounds like quite an adventure...for both of you guys. I'd like to see pics if you can get them Glenn.

    Kirk, I'll bet back in '87 those Honeywell disk drives were a bit more costly than today's drives, huh? I'm continually amazed by the advances technology has taken in the past 15 to 20 years. A few weeks ago in a discussion with a friend, I calculated that based on disk drive prices in 1991 (when I started in the software business), my roughly 750 GB of disk space on my home computers would have cost somewhere around $225,000,000. Even 6 or 7 years ago the idea of having a three quarters of a terabyte of storage at home was unheard of.
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Lakeport NY and/or the nearest hotel
    In the mid nineties my Dad and I ran a tech resale company, we'd buy at auction from the local Martin Marietta plant clean it up and then try and resell it. Never did make a lot of money, but it was fun. We were sort of a high tech Sanford and Son, and I was Lamont. Just about as much shenanigans as Fred and Lamont too. The point, yes, I have a point here somewhere... oh yeah... I distinctly recall a 'day' when we were excited to find a buyer for four Skids of IBM Pc's who was interested in the ones with the hard drives. They were 'huge' according to the buyer... at 10M! I couldn't load that truck fast enough. I threw in a bunch of keyboards and some monitors for good measure (and still had to deal with scrapping the remainder when we closed our doors a couple of years later.)

  5. #5
    What I remember most about that deal was when the Ops chief told the director that with any luck, he'd have everything back up in a week or so. Director said, "It **** well better be up tomorrow".

    I think there were 100+ units in the room... and they only had to work on one. It was amazing. Ops chief kept his job.

  6. #6
    Glenn............I can sympathize with you. I work as a field engineer for a rather large corporation. We once had the main feeder pipe for the sprinkler system in a hospital burst in the ceiling over the computer room for a angiography room........Luckily it was turned off....we used heat guns, fans and 2 days later everything functioned normally.

    I was on vacation 18 months ago at Christmas......A female CEO of a local orthopaedic clinic called me at home at 9:00 P.M.......The MR scanner is located in the basement of the clinic. The sewage line for the basement had broken and the sewage pump had pumped sewage into the MR computer room flooding water down on the RF amplifier (20KW). Of course, it was still energized when the flood happened. No sweat, I come back in off vacation, lose that day and another one as the company has a use it or lose it rule for vacation. 2 days of labor and several 10's of thousands of dollars in parts, it was fixed. My wife, Sharon, gave me a funny look a couple of days later when I got flowers delivered to the house with a Thank You note signed "Cindy".

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