Thursday, October 29, 2009

Expect the Unexpected

Here’s something you hear all the time but don’t ever expect it to happen to you. Well.. at least I wasn’t expecting it to happen

My dorm was struck by lightning

That’s 1.21 GIGAWATTS of electricity that just hit us.

Interestingly enough, we didn’t experience a fire or power outage, but rather, a huge power surge and many people crying (including myself) that we no longer have internet service. Some of the networking hardware got fried and knocked out both buildings. What’s also interesting is that my computer tower started buzzing when the lightning hit, and my desktop told me I just experienced a power surge… Interesting how it knows when it had a power surge. Beyond that nothing happened, except my Network Interface Card (NIC) no longer works… as in it no longer appears in my Device Manager.. it just vanished. The lights are still on and it’s integrated to the mother board of my tower but… it seems only the NIC card doesn’t function anymore. Thank goodness my hard drives didn’t fry like some other poor unfortunate souls.

It seems if you weren’t using a surge protector, your stuff got zapped. Many people are moaning about the Red Ring of Death on their Xboxes and entire hard drives getting burnt up. I suppose the reason my NIC card was cooked was because that was not on a surge protector, it was simply plugged straight into the wall. A CAT5 ethernet cable is capable of carrying a gigabit of data over 100 meters, providing me with endless youtube videos, and now apparently burning up my network card. Oh ethernet, how I love thee.

On a side note that got me thinking… everyone is in an energy crisis, but the answer to our problems just zapped my NIC card. Wind turbines, hydro electricity, solar power, geothermal, and our newest, lightning electricity. Come on, nature has zapped us with this stuff since day one and no one has tried to harness it? Actually Doc Brown tried… and he went Back to the Future with it. That’s saying something.

Where’s an engineer when you need one..?