Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Home Work

Most of the calls I get at work are from people with problems. At least they're technical problems. I couldn't face getting a call at 8 am from someone complaining that they woke up with something green growing on their cheek.

"Which cheek?" I wouldn't really want to know.

This morning was only marginally better.

*ring* *ring*

"Yello?" (I like answering the phone with "yello" like Homer Simpson. It sets the expectations for the caller.)

"I've got a problem."

"Don't we all, babe, don't we all. Wazzup?" (If anything, I like to maintain a professional tone)

"I'm getting this message on the computer."

"Oh, yeah? Is it from Elvis or what?", is my witty rejoinder. Try to lighten up a grim situation.

"No, it's from the Tropic Stick Minimizer, or something. I don't remember 'xactly."

"Oh, that sounds serious. Are you calling from near the equator?"

"No, I'm calling from Houston."

"Close enough," I said, "close enough. But, you know, it probably wasn't the Tropic Stick Minimizer or something. Can you make the message come back?"

"How do I do that?"

"Easy. Say Awah Tago Siam three times and hit the Enter key." I hear chanting, a click and

"Oh, yeah, there it is."

"Ok, sweetie, my x-ray vision needs a new battery this morning. What does it say exactly? Spell it for me if you have to but be EXACT!"

"Tee Cee Pee Eye Pee Conflict. Duplicate Tee Cee Pee Eye Pee address."

I took a slug of my Extra Latte Turbocharged Capo-macho-chino 9X MochaBrew and waited for the bazillion caffeine molecules to course their way to my brain.

Suddenly, it all began to clear.

Networks! What a complication. Routers, hubs, wireless access points, antennas. Not good with a power failure. Very, very complicated. This required a delicate solution. I thought of the Wicked Witch of the West plotting her plots: These things must be done Del-i-ket-ly!

I thought and I thought until my thinker was sore: Storm. Last night. Power blackout. Routers down. DHCP. No doubt the router had reset and reissued IP addresses through DHCP to all the devices on campus; printers, PC's. I visualized the pulsating interglobal network of electrons zipping around the World at the speed of light. Hubs, relays, data centers, multinational corporations, Martha Stewart!

Then, it came to me in a flash! Mentally, I calculated the flux rate of the framastat and cross-multiplied that against the Murphy Coil applying the Widget Factor. Squared.

Eureka! I had it!

"Reboot", I said.


"Reboot your computer, sweetie pie, and all will be clam, er, calm."

I heard the bongs, chimes, melodic symphony of software and machine pulling itself together.

"Well?", I enquired.

"Hey, thanks! That did it, Dad, you're a genius. See you tonight when you get home from work!"

"No prob, Claire," I said, "what are dad's for?"

Like I said, I hate getting calls in the morning, especially from home. Too much work if you ask me.

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