Douglas Spencer (dougs) wrote,
Douglas Spencer

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Paris: The door-entry system story.

So last night, as you will have read, the three of us were supposed to be sorting out Novell DS partitioning and replication in London, Paris, Stuttgart and Copenhagen.
Because I would be staying in their office late, I asked the client about how I got out and back in without leaving the place unlocked. Perhaps they would leave me a key?
I was told that I didn't need a key, and that these were the numbers for the door-entry system for the main building and the client office.
I went to the two keypads concerned, and confirmed that each number successfully unlocked its corresponding door.

Blair was flying from Copenhagen to Stuttgart. He phoned me at about 8pm (local time) to tell me that he'd get to the client office at about 9pm.
So I popped out to get something to eat. I turned the lights out and closed the door behind me as I left.
I returned to the office shortly before 9pm and typed the number into the door-entry system for the main building. Obligingly it unlocked the door and I passed through into the lobby and headed up the stairs.
The keypad outside the client office had no power. The keys were not lit up, the little green and red LEDs were lifeless, there were none of those reassuring beeps as I typed the number. Of course, the door remained locked.
Much phoning around ensued. It seems that the door-entry system is powered from -- and governed by the same switch as -- the lights. So if you turn the lights out, you can't get back in.

I could swallow a handfull of iron filings and puke a better door-entry system than this.

And locked inside the office is my laptop and my Internet access and ...
How lucky that I'd left my overnight bag at the hotel when I booked the extra night earlier that afternoon.

Well, fortunately they didn't need me to do anything in the Paris machine room -- the problem was a dodgy network card in one of the Stuttgart servers, but still ...
So if you're ever in Paris, don't turn the lights off or you'll be locked out.

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