Sunday, March 12, 2006

Power cuts

We seem to have had a few of these recently - one cause is the huge project to combine all the doctors surgeries in Macclesfield into one building. Last Wednesday we lost power for a few seconds - enough to cause a reboot of the computers.
One came up ok, the other was seemingly ok but connections to the other machine and the internet were painfully slow. I rebooted the router, restarted the machines network connection ,rebooted the machine but no improvement - the other m/c's network speed was fine!
Eventually the following evening, I stuck a Knoppix bootable dvd in the drive and rebooted and with Knoppix the speed was also fine (I'd been wondering if the power cut had broken the network card). So I was more puzzled and booted back into Mandriva and it was now working! I can only assume that Knoppix tested something - in order to set up a network connection - that normally doesn't get tweaked and that got whatever it was (network card? router connection?) back working normally.

Knoppix is wonderful for diagnosing machine problems especially when they won't boot any other way, back at PTI ,I managed to pull a CD's worth of data off a pretty dead disk by putting it in the freezer and then booting Knoppix and using it to burn a CD (the machine belonged to the administrator and was therefore rather important). There were backups but...

Then yesterday St Michael's had a power cut just an hour before the organist was married! On resumption the organ didn't work! And with the choir and organ lined up to do various important things very shortly.
Normal organ maintainer lives a good journey away so someone local was rung, conversation went (roughly):

Wedding in 45 minutes? - well you can always sing unaccompanied!
But it's the organist's wedding!!!
Well he can hardly be playing and getting married!

more armtwisting and he (the electrician) dropped his current job and sorted out the small problem before the organist discovered the the carefully planned music for her wedding was in peril!

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