Hit Counter

25 Jul 2010

A Morning At The Data Centre

When I had to give up my OCD a fair deal, I wondered how I would cope. I could not. I hated it but hell, life never promised to be fair. There are some bits I've tried to cling on to just so I can identify myself when I look in the mirror. That seems to work fine, for the moment.

With so many things changing, it feels like the beginning of a new life. Maybe it is. Do you know what that means? I get to make choices all over again. Who do I want to be? How do I want to live? My first thought was, "Oh shit! I have to start planning all over again" but you gotta do what you gotta do. Sometimes, you find out you actually want this.

It is a bit like shopping. You try on different clothes, someone around you gives you a thumbs up or wrinkles up their nose and you try another one... until you find something that fits you well. Tedious as it may sound, shopping is fun, comfort, bliss. That is exactly how I decided to approach my options. Try them all, I didn't have to just pick one at random, nobody was asking me to. 

I tried working long hours at work - you know, the staying-after-hours-and-trying-to-learn-things routine - but soon realized it wouldn't do. For one, I would get hungry and unless dear DM was around with something to eat, it was hard to concentrate. For another, I would be itching to get out and experience the outside world. It definitely did not help that no one else stayed around at that hour. Hell, this outfit won't fit. 

The next thing was to do 'normal' hours. It was a bit of a worry in the beginning, people around me were hammering away in the background while I was fumbling. I wondered if I should go back and pick up what I had discarded. This is where the friend comes in. The one who does the thumbs up/wrinkle nose, remember? Try it on, pick up accessories to go with it... see if it works. Worked for me, yay! Ah, I am beginning to like this. 

The visit to the data centre last week has left me in a fix again. It is like having a new pair of shoes but not dress to go with it. How hard is that? I know! 

The expectations set to me were clear - a room full of big black boxes. GF added, "The most exciting thing there will be the man-traps". You can imagine, I was not quite looking forward to it. I've seen them on google, what else is there to see? Again, you gotta do what you gotta do. If the boss says "Jump", you ask, "How high?"

The real feeling of seeing storage devices, the circuits, the UNIX machines, the mainframe, tandem boxes, LAN storage - whoever said black boxes were boring? Simply walking past them, listening to the techie explain what cables go where, the colour coding, how it all fits together in the real world had me tingling with excitement. Of course, the man-trap was cool too. Data security took an altogether different meaning. Data took an altogether different meaning. Suddenly all of management's favourite terms like 'save storage', 'save costs' took a new meaning. 

Sitting in an office in the city, beautiful heritage building, lovely views and dummy terminals, I never once wondered or cared where it was all going. The long journey that every keystroke of mine traversed and hit me back at unbelievable speeds is mind-boggling. Knowing that everything I do is being recorded on a machine and stored away somewhere is fascinating as well as freaky. 

Have you ever worked from home? Accessed your local drives or desktop? You might think you are picking up stuff from your PC at your desk in a building in the city. Get over it. All you are doing is looking at images from a storage device hidden away behind layers of security in no man's land. Shared drives, you say? There is no hard drive sitting in one of your offices collecting everything you have stored, it's all out there, in a secret place where big black boxes in a room swallow everything you have ever put in there at some point. Now, that sure explains how data is "restored", doesn't it? 

What was that someone once said? You can never lose data, it's there somewhere. It was meant to be in conjunction with one of our all-time theories of how matter can never be lost in space. 

Back to my shopping anecdote. How does all of this fit into me having mis-matching shoes and dress? I loved looking at black boxes, got goose-bumps looking at circuits and got excited about data. I picked myself a dress that said 'social life, outdoors, excitement'. Now, my shoes are screaming 'data, indoors, work'. Now, what?

Well, for the moment, I guess I will have to go with what I have. Who knows, it may even become the next big thing in fashion! Something like that...


  1. Kewl dude!! Nice to spend a day at data center. Isn't it?

  2. Oh, nothing like it... except that I felt rather inadequate given the knowledge some of the techies have

  3. You write a lot these days, but it is good :)