Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Start --> Shut Down

I stared blankly at the email, having worked for almost eight years, I had never seen anything like it. At least not as an official mail.

Hi Everyone,

We have observed that users are not switching off their UPS while leaving for the day. In night when there is no power and also no generator backup is available the UPS goes to battery backup which exhausts the UPS and in morning creates problems for users. In the past we have given several reminders about the use of UPS and also explained the same in every Induction but nobody is in the habit of switching off the UPS.

Same is the case with Computers and Lab Machines as many users leave them ON while leaving for the day as well as for the weekend.

From Tuesday i.e. 3rd Oct. 2006 onwards those users who are not switching off there UPS and Machines/Lab Machines there complaints will be attended at least priority.

Kindly cooperate with us in keeping the UPS and other hardware in proper working condition. Do Switch Off your Respective Machines and UPS while leaving for the day.

Thanks & Regards,

IT Support

In the eight years that I have been working I have never come across a situation as sad as this. Actually, I have never had a machine as sad this one, and that is precisely what is so sad about this mail. It requires me to shut down and start the machine everyday. I repeat, EVERYDAY.

What could be so bad about it? You had to ask. Let's see. I shall take you through the entire procedure of switching on the machine at my workstation.
  1. Come to work, and gaze at this obscure piece of equipment that takes out a "dharna" every second day to demand equal opportunities at par with the Pentium 4s of the world. They have ample political backing as well, because people from the IT support department come to meet them every day, sometimes twice a day, and believe it or not they sometimes spend the entire day with these machines.
  2. So once you are done gazing at the CPU, you turn your gaze to the monitor. At 14 inches diagonally across, it behaves like a supermodel with a flat chest. It makes you think about the LCD, you had in the job some time before.
  3. Then you push the chair away, because the UPS is kept under the table and right next to the wall. You get down on your knees to beg the UPS to not to give you a shock as you reach to switch it on.
  4. You switch on the UPS and and it blows a loud ear shattering whistle telling you it doesn't have sufficient battery. So you let it scream and writhe in pain. No I'm not sadistic, but given what these machines put me through, it no big deal.
  5. After screaming for 30-45 seconds, it settles down. It realizes that I am too heartless to hear it's screams. and then it decides to pass the baton to the CPU and the Monitor. I'm sure if the UPS had a face, it would give me the same smirk that Gollum gives to Sam at the end of The Two Towers.
  6. Now the CPU and the monitor take over. It feels like a handicap match. They are a Tag Team while I have to go Solo. The CPU starts sputtering, thinks about all the things I did to the UPS, and then stops making any sound whatsoever. I await with a baited breath for the monitor to turn on and show me what the fish is wrong? Windows did not start correctly the last time: would you like to start it in the safe mode?
  7. That is a warning shot. But I try and ignore it. I select boot normally and hit Enter.
  8. I think I hit the key too hard. Because suddenly the monitor changed its colour to a dirty purple hue. I try adjusting the wire, slapping the monitor, and then finally as I am about to call IT Support, it turns normal.
  9. I sigh and the long agonizing wait for the machine to start up begins. It sputters and coughs and then goes into whirring sound. The CD drive makes a sound, the Floppy drive makes a sound. What does it think it is doing? Launching a space shuttle?
  10. Finally the login screen appears, you give the three finger salute. Only to realize that the System Administrator had logged in during the night. That is usually never good news.
  11. So you key in the User ID and Password and wait, then you realize the speakers didn't make any noise about starting up.
  12. You decide to let the machine go through it's startup regimen while you grab yourself a cup of coffee. So you step out to the coffee machine and make some small talk with someone you meet there. 10 minutes later when you return to your seat you realize you're again facing the Login screen.
  13. You scroll back up in your mind thinking did you just login or not? You remember you did, so what gives? A small bubble pops up and says "Windows Update recently restarted your machine". Hello, shouldn't you ask me before you restart the machine? Apparently, Billu thinks otherwise.
  14. It Logs you in, you keep eleven bucks aside in your wallet to donate in the temple. Just as your wallet gets into that snug position behind your butt. The whole screen turns blue. Now you can spend those eleven bucks on an Ice Cream instead.
Shutting down this machine is another post altogether.

No comments:

Post a Comment