Following on from my recent post on modern technology, today I want to share with you a story from a previous blog on the day our office computer server took on a mind of its’ own. It was the day that Hal went haywire.
When watching the computerised mayhem in Stanley Kubrick’s 1968 Sci-Fi film, 2001 a Space Odyssey, based on Arthur C Clarke’s stories, I would never have believed that nearly 50 years later, it would pretty well sum up my day.
Hal was the affectionate nickname we gave the somewhat highly strung computer server in our newspaper office, who kept us connected to pretty well everyone in the media universe and beyond.
Hal had his very own room, complete with temperature control. Only he got very upset one Easter that his air conditioner broke down. He was forced to put up with the pedestal fan from my office and frequent visits from passing staff to make sure he was OK.
Do computers have a mind of their own?
On the Tuesday, the phone lines all flashed and everything went dead.
Suspecting Hal was to blame, our off-site tech support had us take photos of Hal’s flashing lights.
By the wonders of modern technology, we were able to work behind Hal’s back, and email pics via my Iphone. Now Arthur C Clarke, never predicted that one, did he?
But sadly, it was confirmed that Hal needed a new brain. After a little techno first aid, the operation was scheduled. Despite the fact that we were on a tight deadline, it would be a relatively quick and easy operation, said tech support.
Unlike the movie, tech support didn’t arrive in a space suit, but just in his usual jeans and T Shirt. But the operation, and the end results were much the same.
“I’m afraid I can’t do that Dave,” Hal responded when the tech tried to shut him down.
Right before he blew up the phones.
And my computer monitor.
And wiped out all my accesses to pretty well everything, sending us back to old technology to get the paper out.
Isn’t modern technology great when it works?
Thanks Hal. You can check your own aircon next Easter.
You can check your own aircon next Easter.