Thursday, 2 August 2012

Nothing Really Works With Vista


Back on July 12th, there was an explosion at Shaw Centre in downtown Calgary. It seems that a fire broke out in a transformer in the electrical room and then the sprinklers came on a shorted everything out back up systems included. I had heard initially that it was an explosion that caused the damage but I only heard that the once. I am something of a conspiracy theorist, and that is just the way they would spin it in the media if there were some kind of sabotage. I am thinking James Bond, Jason Bourne or Terminator scenarios, but I realize that is pretty “out there”.
 
Even not taking into account the movie script theory, this was a pretty scary outcome. There were 30,000 customers affected by the outage, not to mention that 911 and 311 (city info) failed, radio stations went off the air, thousands lost internet and therefore their ability to call out, the hospital computers were down and so too was all of the labs in the city. The registries were out of commission for three or four days and some government offices were unable to do their work. No one noticed that the government workers didn’t do anything. If I were a terrorist (I’m not and never will be, God bless Canada!) I would be filing this information away and try to find where similar buildings in other cities were located.

However, Calgary’s problem is nothing compared to what India went through a couple of days ago. They had two cascading power failures that left over 640 million people without power. To put this in perspective, the population of North America is about 530,000,000. That would be all of Canada, the United States and Mexico being in the dark and not doing anything but what people do when it is dark. They make love and loot stores, not generally at the same time of course. Factories and hospitals closed, trains stopped, roads became impromptu parking lots and miners were trapped in the mines.The blackouts extended almost 2000 miles; it is 2157 miles from Calgary to Toronto. That wouldn't be so bad if it happened in Canada, because there isn't anything really worth lighting up between Calgary and Toronto. 

India is used to inefficient electrical service, and it is estimated that demand exceeds supply by about 10% on a regular basis. Part of the problem is that about 30% of the total generated power is stolen. Crazy place!
 
The thing that I don’t get is no one seemed to notice that all of the call centers were shut down. They would have to be wouldn’t they? I have at times needed to talk to one of the call centers and to tell you the truth, I probably was on hold long enough that they could have had a major power failure and I would never have noticed. I guess they are back to the way it was before the outage, but that is none too good and unless something is done pretty quick, I may never be able to figure out why my Canon i450 printer won’t work with Vista. Oh shit…I just have to face it, nothing really works with Vista!
 

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