October 17, 2007

Raw Sewage and Wi-Fi

While looking at videos on YouTube Monday evening, I discovered that my Internet stopped working. Taking this as a sign from the Wi-Fi gods, I decided that it was time to escape my room and socialize a bit. I wandered into a kitchen suite across the hall and started chatting with people. A few seconds later Rick wandered into the suite.

“I’ve decided to come out and join you guys because my Internet died,” he exclaimed.
"Me too!"

As time passed, more and more people began to realize that the Internet was auspiciously absent from their computers. What could be the problem?! A passerby mentioned that a sewage line in Burton-Conner had burst and leaked sewage not only into our stairwell but all over the ground floor. Due to the lack of Internet, I needed some type of adventure to keep me occupied and this was just too exciting to pass up. Opening the door to the stairwell and taking one whiff was enough to confirm, without a doubt, absolutely, positively, absolutely, that there was poop in our stairway. Lovely.

I hurried back to the kitchen to report the news, and also to discover that the Internet was still not functioning. Could the poop somehow be related to the missing Wi-Fi? *ponders . . . *

Wanting some answers, I wandered back to the stairwell and spotted a plumber. The following dialogue occurred:

“So, what’s going on?”

“Well, there’s a backup in the sewage line and it’s started to leak raw sewage all over the ground floor.”

“Ah, I see. Could this possibly be affecting our Internet?”

“It just might, actually! All the sewage seems to be leaking into one room. It seems like there are a lot of electronics, lights, and wires in there. Most of it is covered in poop now.”

“Ah. That’s not good. Well. Thanks.”

That was when the true hilarity/horror of the entire situation hit me. Our server room had filled with poop, destroying Internet to the entire dorm. The next several hours consisted of either:

a) Running around the hall screaming about not having Internet
b) Concocting ways of getting Internet.

These ideas consisted of lining up dozens of hundred-dollar laptops and using their mesh-network capabilities to bring Wi-Fi to our dorm and using tinfoil and bottles of water to fashion a Wi-Fi antennae.

Needless to say, we did more of option (a) than implementing option (b).

So what ended up happening? Why would you possibly want to come to MIT if you knew there was a possibility of this happening? Because 2 hours after the spewing sewage, the cleaning staff had the entire lobby smelling like bleach. The servers? Brand new servers were installed the next day by 8:00 pm, meaning our dorm has brand new Wi-Fi! Stuff does go wrong here, it’s just like anywhere in the world, but let’s face it. MIT knows we’re a bunch of geeks, and when you wipe out Internet to an entire dorm full of geeks something needs to be done about it very quickly. I mean, after all, we'd get into so much more trouble if we didn't have our computers to keep us occupied!


Anonymous said...

Hehe, and then there was the webmail issue today...

José P. said...