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Amsterdam, Pt. IV

Posted on 2006.09.09 at 18:21
Current Location: 12205
Current Music: Classical on the hotel alarm clock radio
Tags: , , ,
Have only been getting a couple of hours of sleep a night. This gets very old, very fast. Our 14-hour days usually bleed over into a late dinner and discussing the project at the hotel. Speaking of hotels, we checked out Friday and moved next door to a hotel with very comfortable king-size beds. This has helped greatly. I actually slept something like seven hours last night. And tomorrow, we're not going in. I plan to sleep most of the day.

About Amsterdam...Several weeks ago there was a double-disc RAID failure and data was lost. Some corrupted files were retained in a dump, and because of the high visibility of this particular incident (which involved the State Authorities), one of the Division Presidents decided to send in some very expensive data-recovery professionals to asses the situation. After two days, the professionals exclaimed, "The data is lost and cannot be recovered." After they left, my boss began manipulating the file header info, and was able to un-corrupt the data. Unfortunately, there were 17,000 files lost across a four-month period of time. With nothing now to lose, the Division President agreed that we could make our attempt to recover the data. I think we've now done that. We should know for sure Monday after the apps guys get in and we get them to run some tests. Not just some of the data. All of the data. This will resound greatly for us, my company, and our client.

Not only am I having fun troubleshooting again and working with unix (well, cygwin in this case), but the people here are happy to see us. They appreciate the long hours we are putting in. They see that we are accomplishing things they were told was impossible. They think we are working miracles, and are thankful for us being here. This is so very different from working back home where my clients are never satisfied with any of the work we do for them, and constantly point out our shortcomings as to how we're not supporting them to their expectations. Its very frustrating, especially since we work our fingers to the bone for these people and they don't care, they just want more.

Special thanks to drax0r who is a brilliant shell scripter and, for the first time since I've known him, awoke to answer the phone because he saw that I was calling and probably needed help. What a guy!

Picked up a Logitech MX-400 laser mouse today.

Ate at the NY 'Panchos' again.

Snatched from oxy_irony:

My Personality
Openness To Experience
Test Yourself Compare Yourself View Full Report

MySpace Surveys, Bebo and MySpace Codes by Pulseware Survey Software

Wouldn't you know I couldn't sleep past 0600? I sat down to surf the web while my coffee was brewing, but my access code to the wireless network had expired. No big deal. I called the front desk by dialing '0.' I let it ring about 30 times. No answer. Hmmmm. I checked the phone: Front Desk...........0. I call again, and let it ring about 40 times. No answer. I'm trying to find some sort of reasoning behind this in my head. What exactly is going on down there? I make one more 20-ring attempt. Nothing. I get dressed and march downstairs to the front desk. There's a gentleman there. The weekend manager "Good morning." I said. "I tried to call."
He looks at the phone, and at me. Twice. "The phone hasn't rang all morning."
"Zero?" I ask. "To reach you?"
He stares at me for an uncomfortably long amount of time before saying, "I don't have any idea what you are trying to say."
I change my words, "I would dial zero from my room to get the front desk?"
More staring. Its as if I'm speaking another language. We move on. He tells me, "The phone here has not rang, sir. Look, there's the houseman." He points to the houseman. I turn to see the houseman. We're both now looking at the houseman. Somehow, looking at the houseman comforts this man, because now that he's pointed him out to me, we don't have to talk any more. The houseman sees us staring, and approaches. The manager asks the houseman, "The phone hasn't been ringing has it?"
The houseman replies, "Non-stop since about six. I paged you twice." Now that we've received input from the houseman, I feel we can get to the heart of the matter. I explain my dilemma and discover that the access codes roll over at 0100 on Sunday, and receive a new one.

[End 'Freak Show' scene one.]

Exit Stage Left.


(Anonymous) at 2006-09-10 18:58 (UTC) (Link)

Front Desk

I had forgotten how hard it must be for you to interact with all the simpleminded people that have been put in your path. Just hoping all is well with you and yours.
ehowton at 2006-09-10 20:39 (UTC) (Link)

Re: Front Desk

Thank you, all is indeed well, outside of missing my wife and children. It's time for me to go back home.

Usually, I just ignore the simpleminded. This was a rare case in which one was standing between me, and my goal, thus the interaction. By the time I returned for breakfast, he had been relieved.
Complete and Utter Nonsense
jesskd26 at 2006-09-10 20:28 (UTC) (Link)
Wonderful story on the edit. I guess your front desk clerk was little late this morning!
ehowton at 2006-09-10 20:40 (UTC) (Link)
Thank you.

Late? Perhaps. Dumb? Definitely.
irulan_amy at 2006-09-11 02:24 (UTC) (Link)
So why didn't the houseman answer the phone? :/ Silly hotel people. (I am allowed to call them names as I worked in the hospitality industry for 5 years). ;)

ehowton at 2006-09-11 02:35 (UTC) (Link)
I found this on wikipedia:

A useful man or houseman is a male servant ranking below a footman but above a hall boy.

Unlike the footman, the useful man never enters the dining room or waits personally on the master of the house.

The term houseman should be distinguished from houseboy, a usually adult male servant of higher rank.

It looks like the houseman isn't authorized to answer the phone. But he sure was a source of comfort to the weekend manager, and calmed him greatly. All questions were answered when the houseman spoke. He's all-seeing. An oracle, even. All praise the houseman!
drax0r at 2006-09-12 08:55 (UTC) (Link)
Special thanks to drax0r who is a brilliant shell scripter and, for the first time since I've known him, awoke to answer the phone because he saw that I was calling and probably needed help. What a guy!

You really had it written right in the first place. I just helped you troubleshoot why it wasn't working.

I really like my LaserMouse. I think you'll enjoy it.
ehowton at 2006-09-12 12:26 (UTC) (Link)
Moral support.
Tomas Gallucci
schpydurx at 2006-09-13 19:07 (UTC) (Link)
I wonder if you could share with us drax0r's script of wisdom?

I'm happy to hear that you had fun. This is always a good thing.

Interesting story about the nightclerk. Bastard.
Tomas Gallucci
schpydurx at 2006-09-13 19:11 (UTC) (Link)


Though I ment to ask this earlier on your first Amesterdam post, where does that name come from? Evertime I see it, I think of the airport in--well, Amsterdamn. Is that the name of the town that you went to or the name of the server?
ehowton at 2006-09-13 19:42 (UTC) (Link)

Re: Amsterdam

Our best guess is that it was settled by the Dutch. The 'Welcome to Amsterdam, New York" entrance sign to the city had windmills on it, and was surrounded by other Dutch-named cities.
CeltManX, Devlin O' Coileáin
celtmanx at 2006-09-15 15:56 (UTC) (Link)
Picked up a Logitech MX-400 laser mouse today.

I picked up a Microsoft Optical Elite Bluetooth Keyboard and Bluetooth Laser mouse yesterday!!!!
ehowton at 2006-09-15 16:13 (UTC) (Link)
Most excellent, sir!
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