More Work Photos

14th December 1999

I already have some photos of the people at work, but I wanted to show some of the technical side of work, so I took a few photos of the computer room.

This is our connection to the outside world. Four T3s bring in the phone calls. [The phone inputs]

The calls get passed through our Meridian switch. This sends them to all the operators in the call centre who answer the calls. [The Meridian switch]

Call details also get passed to the Suns. They send details of the call to the operator who answers that call. [The Suns]

When the operator answers the call, she types in a message. That message comes down to one of the boxes on the right, which is our Glenaire. This sends the message up to the satellite. That sends the message down to a satellite receiver in the right city, and that sends the page out to the pager the message was destined for. From the time the call comes in, to when it hits the pager is usually less than a minute.

The other bits and pieces here are hubs and routers and all sorts of network stuff. Plus modems and all sorts of weird stuff for ancillary purposes.

[Glenaire and ancillary equipment]

Those boxes at the end answer the phone, play automatic messages, record details and send pages. Some also send faxes.

The ugly yellow cabinet on the far right is the Wang. This is an ancient item used for accounting that is soon going to be replaced by the sleek and sexy E450 shown below.

[VRU and Fax stuff]

Now we are out of the computer room. This is downstairs in our cubicle farm. I live behind that partition on the right. These are our Oracle boxes in their nursery. The squatty grey-black thing on the bottom is a Sun E450 called kingsmen. Above it are three Sun Sparc 20s. They are called humpty, dumpty and kingshorses. Can you fathom the system naming pattern for our Oracle computers?

These beasts make noise. The noise washes over my partition and adds to my defective hearing by providing enough white noise to blur the human voice even more. When people talk to me, I usually have some trouble hearing them. Rob, good kind-hearted Rob, is a great blessing. Not only has he attached a sign to my cubicle asking people to speak up, if he detects any sign of my lack of hearing, he will repeat what is said very, very loudly. It is quite helpful, if a bit embarrassing.

[Oracle nursery]