Tuesday, December 11, 2012

The Top Hat

So, a couple weeks ago at work we got a couple-four-ish really big monitors in. I mean, really big. Like 80 inchers. A small feud immediately erupted over who would get said monitors. Let’s just say that words were used (such as ‘doo doo head’) and then before it could spill over into violence, we were told that the monitors would be mounted around the office.

We put away our bricks and bike chains (yes, we’re old-school rumblers) and then started discussing what would appear on these wall-mounted monitors. Rumors abounded. Some thought that they’d be used for company-wide meetings. Some thought that they’d run cartoons 24-hours (my personal favorite). Others made a strong case that these ‘monitors’ were actually observation devices that would be used to watch us, so the men in black would know whom to take in the night.

In short, we didn’t know and we waited breathlessly, as the IT began the slow process of installing the mounting brackets, running wires, sighting in the machine guns, and generally being productive.

NOTE: Our IT guys rock. They’re amazingly good at what they do and nothing ever fazes them. If there was a zombie apocalypse, they would be calmly erecting defenses and ensuring that we still had internet connections while the rest of us ran in circles, screaming and trying to update our Facebook status to ‘panicked’ or ‘being eaten.’

Thus about a week ago, with the monitors all mounted on the walls and all the complicated wiring tucked neatly away, IT announced that they were going to be turned on.

The monitors. The monitors were going to be turned on. I mean, I don’t know. Maybe the IT guys really liked their work and felt a need to announce it. I try not to judge.

Anyway, we all gathered around the monitor in our area, to bear witness to the great Turning On! And then, with little fanfare, the monitor sprang to life.

And we saw graphs.

Sixteen graphs to be exact, laid out in a four by four grid. We waited and watched. One of the graphs updated.

“Is that it?” someone asked.

“That’s the feed they gave us,” the IT guy responded.


We looked closely at the graphs. They were all bar graphs and one looked like a top hat. About thirty seconds in, they all updated, becoming slightly different versions of what they had been before. This happened again, thirty seconds later.

What were these graphs and what did they mean? The bravest among us stepped close and looked at the titles. One was ’09 SPLUN.’ Another was ‘TST ADVR.’ One guy thinks he knows what two of them represent, but the rest of us are dubious. 

Needless to say, the novelty soon wore off. The graphs change slightly about every thirty seconds, so something’s happening, but we have no idea what. It could be tracking Wonder Woman cosplayers for all we know (which would be cool).

Now we just generally ignore them. Occasionally, someone will wander by, glance at the monitor and announce ‘the top hat is still there.’ Which is probably good.




Gillsing said...

Googling for SPLUN got me "Splunk", which appears to be some kind of software/company for monitoring IT/computer performance. Googling for "tst advr" only showed this blog post though, so that's a special little snowflake.

Jason Janicki said...

And my mom always said I was special :)