The Button Pusher Problem

Oct 4th, 2018
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  1. Bob writes...
  3. Hi,
  5. Long-time listener. Love your show. Especially now when you had bilingual TechSNAP show – UK and US. Pleasant sound to my ears.
  7. I was thinking to share my War-Story to you. It dates quite back in time. About 15 years. At that time I was an IT apprentice. Every so often some computers were losing connection to LAN and the internet. Sometimes just a few computers, sometimes one part of the building, different times of a day, different days in a week. Never the same. Sometimes for a minute, sometimes 15 minutes, … an hour. Always different. There was no common point to these outages. Or was it? We run all sort of diagnostic programs to determine why computers were losing connection. We also brought some Linux computers just to test if there was a problem with Windows. Also Linux has issues with connection. We also run diagnostic programs there. No useful result.
  9. Well it took about a half a year or even more (I don’t recall exactly) to point the common point to these outages. It was a switch in a conference room.
  11. During rapid growth of the company, the company bought offices next door and expanded LAN to that part of the same building. Due to fast growth, the IT guys didn’t have time to plan and prepare network growth so they bolted a switch under the table in the conference room – with plan to reposition it later to more suitable place. Of course “later” never came. And it stayed there.
  13. Every time a particular group of employees had a meeting in that conference room, a guy sat at that table and when he got bored at the meeting he started to play with the cables. He unplugged them and re-plugged them to different ports. Pressing all the buttons on the switch, including power button. But after the meeting he managed to put everything back to the right place and turn on the right buttons. Amazing.
  15. One additional obstacle in our research why connection isn’t working were meetings in the conference room. Because there was always a meeting in the conference room, we didn’t go inside and check the switch. After the meeting everything was ok in the switch, so we ruled out the switch.
  17. After this incident we did find the time to reposition the switch to more suitable place and also the employee was repositioned to more suitable place. :)
  19. Thanks for the great show.
  21. Best regards,
  22. Bob
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