BOOM!!! POP!!! BLAM!!!

That’s the sound an electrical transformer makes when it explodes in spectacular fashion…

Here’s the story. At around 16:00 on Tuesday, I was sitting in my office pretty much doing nothing, waiting for 17:00 to come so that I could go home, when suddenly the big electical transformer that supplies the whole block EXPLODED, as in loud pops and bangs and lots of white smoke coming out of it. Said power box is right outside my office, so as you can well imagine I nearly made a nasty mess in my pants when it happened. Off home we went (no point in staying further). Eskom did a temporary fix that evening (temporarily restoring power), with the repair crew arriving the next day to sort out the problem. Out went the power again at 09:00, and a few minutes observing the repair crew (too much “eish” and not enough work) was enough to persuade us that there would be no power for the rest of the day. So, off we went to Westmead and hired a generator so that we could at least put our servers back up (there are a lot of people outside the company reliant on those servers), then we were all given the rest of the day off.

At least I had something to do while at home, as Telkom had installed my ADSL on Tuesday. With the servers back up, I was able to VPN into the network and get some work done. That, and play some games when I’d done all that I could have done. 🙂

We’re now looking at buying a permanent generator for the servers. We had quite a few power failures last week as well (Eskom’s so-called “load shedding”), and we just can’t go on like this…

To make matters worse, somewhere amongst the power failures our Exchange server decided to die (it obviously decided that it had enough of Eskom). As Murphy would have it, the backups didn’t work. It’s currently being reinstalled as we speak, but a lot of people have lost a lot of mail as a result of this. At least I wasn’t expecting anything important.

Oh, and if you’re ever contemplating post-graduate studies, head over to rooijan‘s blog and read his latest post there. It’s put me off ever doing it. 😉

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One Response to BOOM!!! POP!!! BLAM!!!

  1. jerith says:

    We have a nice big UPS (when we needed it it was broken, of course, but that’s a different story) and our office park (three buildings) has a shared generator.

    The generator’s pretty new and we haven’t had power issues here since it was installed, but the UPS gives us a chance to shut down all the critical stuff (most of our stuff is critical, actually) cleanly.

    A very important part of making backups is ensuring that they work. An untested backup is no backup at all..