Comment On The Long Goodbye

Herwig smiled at Greta as he entered the glass-walled copy-center. "Excuse me, but do you mind if I ask you a few questions?" [expand full text]
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Re: The Long Goodbye

2012-08-06 17:40 • by Abso (unregistered)
386533 in reply to 386523
Your switch "which locks in place" was not a lockout. A lockout would have involved you using a padlock, which your co-workers would not have had a key for, to immobilize the switch.

Like this, for example.

Your story is another example of why Fred Flinstone is advocating the use of lockouts.

Re: The Long Goodbye

2012-08-06 17:45 • by Paul (unregistered)
386534 in reply to 386525
jay:
From Greta's point of view, she might well think this is a dream job. She just sits around doing Sudoku puzzles or whatever else amuses her and gets paid for it. Maybe she doesn't want to "make career progress" to a job where she would actually have to work eight hours a day. Some people have the goal of fighting their way to the top. Others want a job where they can just coast along.
And then, after they coast along for 30 years and discover they have nothing saved for retirement, they feel entitled to steal from the people who actually did work all that time. They also feel a lot of anger, hatred, envy, etc. toward their betters.

Re: The Long Goodbye

2012-08-06 18:10 • by MS (unregistered)
386535 in reply to 386467
"I still think it's a WTF that desktop computers and servers are not like laptops with their own internal power source with the mains acting as just a recharger."


Yes, that would be worth another $150 of cost and 10 kg of weight for every computer. You could incur the cost for every computer, instead of buying a huge UPS for the server room and only attaching the important computers to it.


What I don't understand is why more server rooms don't let the UPSes deliver DC voltage direct to the server motherboards at all times.



The energy loss in powering a whole server room via low voltage DC is much greater than the power loss in the AC/DC/AC/DC conversion. The same size wire has a higher voltage drop when there is a higher current -- and you need a higher current to make up for the low voltage.

You could get lesser power loss by distributing high voltage DC, but then you would need special computers that only work in your server room. You couldn't use the same power supplies that you use in a desktop computer, because my house/office doesn't have high voltage DC available. Special computers = even more expensive that "server class" machines are already.

Re: The Long Goodbye

2012-08-06 18:40 • by herby
I did it to myself once. I had a switched outlet in my bedroom that I had the main lights plugged into. The other half of the duplex outlet (also switched) was powering my computer. I had set it up to do a long process (software installation or some such), then decided to go to bed. So, I flipped off the switch to turn off the lights. Instant face palm plant. The next day I rewired the outlet to switch only HALF of the outlet. Lesson learned!

Re: The Long Goodbye

2012-08-06 21:40 • by Meep (unregistered)
386537 in reply to 386464
Best part of the UPS is, if these assholes had to router plugged into one, it would have beeped when the power went out.

Cbuttius:
I am not competent in that field, I am very much a software engineer and not a hardware expert. However I am competent enough to be able to provide a minimum spec of what I would like my computer to behave if the power cable is pulled from it.


I'm pretty sure the first time you had to lift the computer from an awkward position you'd say, "fuck this, I am never again buying a case with a big ass lead-acid battery built into it."

Re: The Long Goodbye

2012-08-06 22:42 • by Coyne
386538 in reply to 386537
Meep:
Best part of the UPS is, if these assholes had to router plugged into one, it would have beeped when the power went out.


You might be someone who would check into a beeping UPS. But you wouldn't believe the number of people I've seen ignore an alarm that "didn't concern them".

Including car alarms: I doubt if I'll ever bother with one because there's no point in paying for a device that everybody ignores during the whole 5 seconds it takes the thief to hot-wire the car.

Re: The Long Goodbye

2012-08-06 23:26 • by Anonymouse (unregistered)
386539 in reply to 386442
At my work, there are several hanging lights that are switched off every night by pushing the 'test' buttons on RCD's!

Re: The Long Goodbye

2012-08-06 23:36 • by Luiz Felipe (unregistered)
386540 in reply to 386530
operagost:
Tharg:
Wiring a power socket to a lighting circuit is contrary to wiring regulations in the U.K.

For starters, safety is improved by segregating power and lighting. If the lights are off at the breaker, I know they're all off, and that power will be on. I can plug a work light into the power to avoid working in the dark.

Conversely, I can have the lights on whilst I work on the "known to be switched off" power circuits.

This is convenience, not safety. We have work lights here in the USA.


Power circuits have to be earthed, but light fitings do not. I usually connect earths wherever possible, in case someone decides to fit a metallic/conducting light fitting, and/or metallic (e.g. decorative brass) light switch.

Lighting circuits must also be earthed in the USA. The cable must include a ground conductor, and this conductor must be attached to the enclosure of the luminaire. If the outlet box is metal, the ground must also be attached to it. Sounds like the UK wiring is pretty dangerous!

Finally, lighting circuits are usually connected to circuit breakers and not an RCD, whereas power circuits should always be connected to an RCD. Thus an errant finger in a power circuit can get a maximum current across the heart of 30 milliamps (or whatever the RCD trips at) which is not enough to kill.

This is backward logic. Any circuit that has receptacles on it must follow that standard whether or not it has switched receptacles. If the circuit is in a kitchen or bathroom (~1990 and later) or a bedroom (2005 and later) it must have GFCI (is this what an "RCD" is?). In fact, I think bathrooms might need AFCI but I haven't checked because I'm just a DIYer and I haven't rewired my bathroom yet. Dedicated ighting circuits don't need a GFCI because it's not expected that a person will be in contact with anything attached to the circuit except the non-conductive light switch toggle. If there's a receptacle in the circuit, it probably needs GFCI now.


Here in brazil, we have houses with 40 years that dont have any of these fancy things. We dont care for safety, we arent so stupid to kill ourselves with electricity. And my house has only 2 circuit breakers, all things goes to one, and three showers goes to another, of course home can fire up if all these thing are to be used in same time. We dont have fire alarms also, we have insurance.


Re: The Long Goodbye

2012-08-06 23:39 • by Luiz Felipe (unregistered)
386541 in reply to 386535
MS:
"I still think it's a WTF that desktop computers and servers are not like laptops with their own internal power source with the mains acting as just a recharger."


Yes, that would be worth another $150 of cost and 10 kg of weight for every computer. You could incur the cost for every computer, instead of buying a huge UPS for the server room and only attaching the important computers to it.


What I don't understand is why more server rooms don't let the UPSes deliver DC voltage direct to the server motherboards at all times.



The energy loss in powering a whole server room via low voltage DC is much greater than the power loss in the AC/DC/AC/DC conversion. The same size wire has a higher voltage drop when there is a higher current -- and you need a higher current to make up for the low voltage.

You could get lesser power loss by distributing high voltage DC, but then you would need special computers that only work in your server room. You couldn't use the same power supplies that you use in a desktop computer, because my house/office doesn't have high voltage DC available. Special computers = even more expensive that "server class" machines are already.



Rack mount servers generally have changeable power supplies, they can use DC power, its not so much more expensive. Of course you need to build large AC/DC UPS, these are expensive.

Re: The Long Goodbye

2012-08-06 23:39 • by Luiz Felipe (unregistered)
386542 in reply to 386541
Luiz Felipe:
MS:
"I still think it's a WTF that desktop computers and servers are not like laptops with their own internal power source with the mains acting as just a recharger."


Yes, that would be worth another $150 of cost and 10 kg of weight for every computer. You could incur the cost for every computer, instead of buying a huge UPS for the server room and only attaching the important computers to it.


What I don't understand is why more server rooms don't let the UPSes deliver DC voltage direct to the server motherboards at all times.



The energy loss in powering a whole server room via low voltage DC is much greater than the power loss in the AC/DC/AC/DC conversion. The same size wire has a higher voltage drop when there is a higher current -- and you need a higher current to make up for the low voltage.

You could get lesser power loss by distributing high voltage DC, but then you would need special computers that only work in your server room. You couldn't use the same power supplies that you use in a desktop computer, because my house/office doesn't have high voltage DC available. Special computers = even more expensive that "server class" machines are already.



Rack mount servers generally have changeable power supplies, they can use DC power, its not so much more expensive. Of course you need to build large AC/DC UPS, these are expensive.


*you need to buy

Re: The Long Goodbye

2012-08-07 04:39 • by hikari
386543 in reply to 386431
CodeCaster:
Nagesh:
You know you've been reading TDWTF too long when you can read the first two paragraphs of an article, and the only suspense left is whether it was something plugged into the wrong socket, or somebody explicitly unplugging it in favor of a kettle/phone charger/vacuum cleaner.

Here, here.


It's "Hear, hear".

Re: The Long Goodbye

2012-08-07 04:56 • by Gurth
386544 in reply to 386523
monkeyPushButton:
she undoes the safety lock and presses the start button. I was so shocked to see her do this while I was working on the machine, it wasn't until the last second that I pulled my hand back as the belt started rolling.

TRWTF here being, I'd say, not letting people know you're turning off the machinery they use, and your reason for doing this.

Re: The Long Goodbye

2012-08-07 04:59 • by hikari
386546 in reply to 386473
Mikerad:
Ben Jammin:
It's that he's concerned with HR about:


"That's what 'night-shift' means," Greta replied with a smirk. "You were here for the whole thing last night."


But not concerned about hr/police about:


With the lights off on his side, Greta couldn't see him, but he could watch her through the glass walls.


Everyone knows HR doesn't exist after 5pm...


HR is one of the last departments to actually leave the building where I work, outside of the people working night shift in support.

I suspect the reason they leave late is precisely because there are people who work nights: they need (want) to be around for at least the start of their shift in case there's something they want to talk to HR about. But then our HR department is run by human beings who actually care about people.

Re: The Long Goodbye

2012-08-07 05:05 • by Mathias (unregistered)
386547 in reply to 386460
java.lang.Chris;:
Carl:
Anyway, TRWTF is using FTP instead of rsync.


This.

This...Not! (As it could easily be older than rsync)

Re: The Long Goodbye

2012-08-07 06:28 • by Mayhem (unregistered)
386548 in reply to 386502
It might be contrary to regulations, but a colleague of mine experienced a similar situation at Kings Cross Station during the Network Rail upgrade in the early 00s.
Turned out their platform network switches were plugged into sockets that were wired into the main station lighting circuits. Everything died around lunchtime, and they were frantically running around trying to figure out why.
Turned out a sparky was scheduled in changing overhead lightbulbs, and came within minutes of shutting down all traffic in & out before they found him on his lunch break and turned the power back on.

Re: The Long Goodbye

2012-08-07 08:12 • by dummy (unregistered)
programs this guy writes -no matter the intense logging- won't detect a network failure? talk about fail.

Re: The Long Goodbye

2012-08-07 09:31 • by YR (unregistered)
386577 in reply to 386428
Nagesh:
You know you've been reading TDWTF too long when you can read the first two paragraphs of an article, and the only suspense left is whether it was something plugged into the wrong socket, or somebody explicitly unplugging it in favor of a kettle/phone charger/vacuum cleaner.


Precisely

Re: The Long Goodbye

2012-08-07 09:45 • by Time and Again (unregistered)
"and at 12PM, she grabbed her purse..."

The OP correctly knows that midnight is 12 p.m.

Noon of course is 12 m., and there's no such time as "12 a.m."

If you don't understand this, start asking yourself what the m. is for, and what the a. and p. are for. Got it?

Re: The Long Goodbye

2012-08-07 10:24 • by no laughing matter
386593 in reply to 386540
Luiz Felipe:

Here in brazil, we (..) dont care for safety, we arent so stupid to kill ourselves with electricity.

Sure, sure.

Luiz Felipe:

We dont have fire alarms also, we have insurance.

So you prefer "warm renovations"?

Re: The Long Goodbye

2012-08-07 10:58 • by Neil (unregistered)
386600 in reply to 386530
operagost:
Tharg:
Power circuits have to be earthed, but light fitings do not. I usually connect earths wherever possible, in case someone decides to fit a metallic/conducting light fitting, and/or metallic (e.g. decorative brass) light switch.
Lighting circuits must also be earthed in the USA. The cable must include a ground conductor, and this conductor must be attached to the enclosure of the luminaire. If the outlet box is metal, the ground must also be attached to it. Sounds like the UK wiring is pretty dangerous!
I don't know what current regulations are, but in my house the light switches are earthed (the face plate is bolted on, so this earths the bolts). However many light fittings such as pendants only use two conductors, although the ceiling rose itself will of course have an earthing point for the conductor that leads to the switch.
Finally, lighting circuits are usually connected to circuit breakers and not an RCD, whereas power circuits should always be connected to an RCD. Thus an errant finger in a power circuit can get a maximum current across the heart of 30 milliamps (or whatever the RCD trips at) which is not enough to kill.
This is backward logic. Any circuit that has receptacles on it must follow that standard whether or not it has switched receptacles. If the circuit is in a kitchen or bathroom (~1990 and later) or a bedroom (2005 and later) it must have GFCI.
I'm still using fuses...

Re: The Long Goodbye

2012-08-07 11:38 • by callcopse
386613 in reply to 386593
no laughing matter:
Luiz Felipe:

Here in brazil, we (..) dont care for safety, we arent so stupid to kill ourselves with electricity.

Sure, sure.

Luiz Felipe:

We dont have fire alarms also, we have insurance.

So you prefer "warm renovations"?


I was kind of wondering whether this was the new Nagesh so trying to avoid any response. I might point out though that insurance is generally cold consolation when your kids are dead. Still, life is probably pretty cheap in Brazil. Sorry if I'm just in a troll bait state of mind or something.

Re: The Long Goodbye

2012-08-07 11:41 • by James (unregistered)
386615 in reply to 386459
Well, if it is a business. The plate should be at least marked 'Switched Power'.

Re: The Long Goodbye

2012-08-07 11:46 • by the beholder (unregistered)
386618 in reply to 386536
herby:
I did it to myself once. I had a switched outlet in my bedroom that I had the main lights plugged into. The other half of the duplex outlet (also switched) was powering my computer. I had set it up to do a long process (software installation or some such), then decided to go to bed. So, I flipped off the switch to turn off the lights. Instant face palm plant. The next day I rewired the outlet to switch only HALF of the outlet. Lesson learned!
About fifteen months ago I rented and moved to an old house. In the first day I set up a place to fulfill my basic needs - sleep, bathing and a computer.

That night I decided I would leave the computer working while I took a shower. When I turned off the lights to leave the room, silent goes the computer. You can guess why.
Cue much cursing, lights on in my room during the shower and me fixing the wiring the following day.

The REAL WTF is that I didn't remember it when reading the article but did when I read the post I'm responding to.

Re: The Long Goodbye

2012-08-07 12:53 • by Arseface (unregistered)
Wow... here was me thinking that the IEEE 17th Edition wiring regulations were a bit of a pain in the arse, and slightly annoyed that I am legally required to pay a qualified electrician to at the very least check any wiring and for most things have him install it (unlike 16th Edition which was happy with compliant DIY jobs). You have all convinced me that actually it's a bloody good idea since I assume you're all reasonably competent and technical people but you clearly have no clue about how to safely install and maintain electrical systems.

Everyone whinges about health-and-safety and it might seem a bit overkill in many places but I've worked in grain stores - a machine that moves many tonnes of grain a minute doesn't struggle to much with your arms - and everything is isolated with switches padlocked off by every single person who may be working on that machinery. Padlocks can only be removed by the person who installed them (obvious exception for disgruntled employee 'sabotage' by locking off machines and running away - there's a master key but they have to ensure everyone is off-site first and the machine has been made safe e.g. all covers reinstalled. Anyway keeping the business running is a secondary concern to having employees not maimed and killed. Some personal responsibility is required (e.g. you actually have to isolate+padlock machines) and failure to take adequate precautions resulted in instant dismissal.

Having light switches and mains switches confused is bad. Someone will plug a kettle in, or some tradesman a power tool, and the 5A lighting wiring goes up in flames. That's why a lot of hotels in the UK have strange round-pin sockets btw. they are for lamps that have wall-mounted switches and by not being standard sockets prevent anyone from plugging hair-driers etc. in.

Re: The Long Goodbye

2012-08-07 15:08 • by Dann of Thursday (unregistered)
386641 in reply to 386544
Gurth:
monkeyPushButton:
she undoes the safety lock and presses the start button. I was so shocked to see her do this while I was working on the machine, it wasn't until the last second that I pulled my hand back as the belt started rolling.

TRWTF here being, I'd say, not letting people know you're turning off the machinery they use, and your reason for doing this.


If you think that TRWTF in his story was anything other than "woman disengages safety lock without checking the machinery" then congratulations, you're dumber than a second grader, and I wouldn't want you working on any machinery more dangerous than a bit of string and maybe some Scotch tape.

Re: The Long Goodbye

2012-08-07 15:56 • by conifer (unregistered)
386644 in reply to 386476
operagost:
Do they have untrained morons playing with electricity in the EU?


No, we have them playing with our money...

captcha: dolor - consequence of the above.

Re: The Long Goodbye

2012-08-07 20:02 • by Konstantin (unregistered)
386659 in reply to 386451
foo:
Some Jerk:
unsafe if you have your fire detection plugged into that spot.
This, or something like: "Hmm, this socket is dead, I'll have to open it and check the wires. But let me just turn on the lights so I can see better ..."


In the US these types of sockets are actually upside down. So the ground plug is on the top of the socket rather than the bottom. It is made this way to prevent this, so you always know which socket is wall operated.

If you don't believe me, go home and look(if your in the states, that is).

Re: The Long Goodbye

2012-08-08 11:25 • by Moi (unregistered)
386730 in reply to 386433
Sten:
TRWTF is the electrician who connected an outlet to the lights. AFAIK it is illegal in the EU for safety reasons


Well, except if France suddenly quitted the EU, then it isn't and it's actually pretty common. I tend to pest upon them, label them, and then no more problem.

Re: The Long Goodbye

2012-08-08 13:59 • by shepd (unregistered)
I can't comment on the NEC, but after spending 6 months learning the Canadian Electrical Code very thouroughly, you are permitted to have an outlet and lights on the same circuit, assuming we are talking about 120 volt lighting here. This applies to residential, commercial, and industrial installations.

With 347 volt lighting, things change, but then again, you're not going to connect your cheap hub up to that.

As for fire alarms, if they are connected to electrical power here, in a residential situation, they must be permanently wired (and need to be able to signal each other). They may not be plugged into an outlet. They MAY (and SHOULD) share the same circuit as an often used light-fixture so the resident knows quickly that the breaker is popped. However, they are installed before the switch, for obvious reasons. So they are an exception to being connected to a switch, but then again, they don't plug into an outlet, so who cares?

There is absolutely nothing inherently dangerous about a switched 120 volt outlet* that isn't equally dangerous as simply unplugging the device. Considering that's part of the test you have to pass to get UL/CSA/ETL/whatever certification, I don't worry about it.

* -- There is one exception. Split receptacles when you use a single pole switch (like most would). Since you would turn off only one half of the outlet, the other half would be live and thus items plugged into it could liven up neutral should it be faulty. Such an installation would be illegal.

If you want verification of any of this, call up an electrical inspector. I rewired half of my house and included circuits just like this (lights and outlets on the same circuit) and I passed first time, not even one negative comment. Because I like pain, I even pointed out the worst of my work and he didn't complain. Loving my "Electrical Safety Authority" inspection sticker on my new subpanel.

In Europe, just about everything electrical related seems to be illegal. Outlets in the bathroom, switches in the bathroom, plugs without fuses built into them, etc.

Yet, for some unknown reason, in the UK you can put 26 Amps of load on an outlet designed for 13 Amps without blowing a fuse, as ring circuits are permitted. Which is why the plugs have fuses in them. Crazy unsafe if you ask me!

Re: The Long Goodbye

2012-08-10 05:34 • by Sir Robin-The-Not-So-Brave (unregistered)
386874 in reply to 386424
ochrist:
I suggest they put up a note in the room with this text:

ACHTUNG!
ALLES TURISTEN UND NONTEKNISCHEN LOOKENPEEPERS!
DAS KOMPUTERMASCHINE IST NICHT FÜR DER GEFINGERPOKEN UND MITTENGRABEN! ODERWISE IST EASY TO SCHNAPPEN DER SPRINGENWERK, BLOWENFUSEN UND POPPENCORKEN MIT SPITZENSPARKSEN.
IST NICHT FÜR GEWERKEN BEI DUMMKOPFEN. DER RUBBERNECKEN SIGHTSEEREN KEEPEN DAS COTTONPICKEN HÄNDER IN DAS POCKETS MUSS.
ZO RELAXEN UND WATSCHEN DER BLINKENLICHTEN.

PS: What The Fr1st!


This, in a gothic font, with an eagle symbol on top.

Re: The Long Goodbye

2012-08-10 14:22 • by shepd (unregistered)
And to end the debate on GFCI/AFCI/RCD/whatever-the-fudge, for residential in Canada (and the US, although the US had the GFCI requirement for a lot longer):

GFCI required on all outlets near the kitchen sink. Kitchen counter outlets must be 20 A T-Slots, OR (Canada only) split 15 Amp receptacles (this is almost dead now because dual GFCIs are very expensive).

GFCI required on bathroom outlets. Also, bathroom light switches must be a minimum of 1 metere (probably 3 feet in the USA) away from a shower/tub.

GFCI required on all outlets outdoors and in wet locations.

GFCI required on hot tubs.

AFCI required on bedroom OUTLETS only. Optional to connect to other circuits, however, it may nuisance trip when connected to certain lighting circuits.

GFCI is optional pretty much any where else, however, you should fail workmanship if you put a GFCI on: Freezer, Fridge, or Sump Pump. Reasoning is that these are critical devices that must remain on, and since a GFCI can nuisance trip, the results would be... bad.

Fuses are still permitted for anything, anywhere, in both countries--assuming you can still find currently certified residential panels that take fuses (industrial ones are very easy to find, in fact, for certain currents, you aren't going to easily find breakers). Heck, for that matter, at least in Canada, knob and tube wiring is completely legal even for new installs (good luck finding certified parts, though). If you have installations that aren't legal anymore, but were when installed (and were passed at the time!) they remain legal until you make changes (eg: If you have an ungrounded circuit and want to add an outlet, you will need to add a ground to the circuit or use a GFCI [Canada only]) unless there are exceptions (there was a time when it was legal to fill in the ground hole with caulk or drywall compound so it could not be used and use a standard 3 prong outlet on these circuits).

There's other rules, too, like a 50A outlet for the stove fused at 40A, disconnect required beside the air conditioner, special grounding for hot tubs, clock outlet only outlet allowed also tied to the kitchen fridge breaker, the list goes on.

Re: The Long Goodbye

2012-08-10 20:55 • by xert (unregistered)
386995 in reply to 386755
shepd:

In Europe, just about everything electrical related seems to be illegal. Outlets in the bathroom, switches in the bathroom, plugs without fuses built into them, etc.

Yet, for some unknown reason, in the UK you can put 26 Amps of load on an outlet designed for 13 Amps without blowing a fuse, as ring circuits are permitted. Which is why the plugs have fuses in them. Crazy unsafe if you ask me!


In Europe? Not all countries in Europe are as stupid as the UK.

Re: The Long Goodbye

2012-08-13 07:03 • by Blind (unregistered)
Very nice.

Reminds me of a problem an Administrator hunted at my univeryity a number of years ago.

Every morning, the RAID was doing a resync. Then everything was fine.

Just till the next morning.

The RAID was set up of old SCSI Disks on a SN machine. One disk sitting in an external case, plugged into the wrong outlet.

Whenever the admin left for home, he switched off the lights, causing the System to loose a disk... Only to start resyncing it the next morning when the Admin came to to look after the RAID...

Re: The Long Goodbye

2012-08-22 15:36 • by R. King (unregistered)
387930 in reply to 386459
Every outlet in my house controlled by a switch is labled "switched." Is that so hard?

Re: The Long Goodbye

2012-10-23 16:58 • by thelordofcheese (unregistered)
she turned the lights off as she left.


I knew the ending faster than The Book of Liz.

sagaciter
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