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Pam Klabbers | USLHC | USA

View Blog | Read Bio

A Love-Hate Relationship

Without the internet, it would be impossible to do my job. We rely on it to control our hardware: we have several special boxes that have their own internet addresses in our CMS private network. We can talk to it via the internet to control the power in our racks, readout the temperature of the crates (cold? go stand next to a powered RCT crate for awhile) and other things about our racks. Its great, because to turn off or on crate power and I don’t have to be in the same room. I can also log in remotely and configure all my crates with special software, using a package we call the “Trigger Supervisor” to write to the memories on our boards and read out bits that tell us the status of various parts of it. This makes use of a browser like Firefox or Safari (I’m an Apple fan), and can be done anywhere in the world (in principle – though sometimes it is too slow).

We also use it to keep in touch via e-mail and video conferencing, document our hardware, and research topics. Because of all this, and because I am living abroad, far from my family, I have access at home as well. I have wireless so that I can sit in any room of my small apartment and work, talk with my family via Skype, shop, or just goof off and surf the web. I love this technology for all it enables me to do.

But it sometimes seems to rule my life – my home computer is beeping at me whenever an e-mail comes in – demanding my attention. If I happen to read an email before I go to bed that agitates me in some way, I can’t go to sleep until I answer it. For complete peace, I have to put my computer to sleep too. Sometimes I don’t want to talk to anyone via Skype, so I have to shut that program down, and the mail program has to be shut down too. There are times when the spam is out of hand, and I hate it for all that.

JungleCat

But it was recently able to give me some answers and some peace of mind. My littlest cat, who has even had her picture in one my posts (Evie: see above), has developed a very rare condition of the nervous system, dysautonomia. This condition leaves her digestive system unresponsive because the contractions which are automatic don’t work anymore. Because of the internet, I was able to find out that there is no treatment, other than symptom relief, and it is fatal. This sounds awful, I know, but it allows me to be able to let go, as hard as it is, and not be angry with the vets for not doing enough when they care for her. We are trying something experimental to see if it helps, for the next few days, but don’t want to see her suffer, so at some point we will have to say it is time for her to go.
A la prochain…

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