A friend had a job traveling around the world setting up NT 4servers. On a particular job, he traveled to a mining operation in one of the most inaccessible parts of the Amazon rain forest. Packed in a crate, two servers were put on a transport aircraft with my friend for the trip down to South America. The client had asked that my friend travel with the servers incase they went missing or became damaged. My friend’s employers were happy to oblige, virtually shackling him to the crate. His instructions were: Keep the servers safe and keep the client happy.

 

When the plane landed, my friend and the crate holding the servers were loaded onto a truck. This truck spent the next few days limping along ever worsening roads deeper into the rain forest. Being the action man that he is, my friend was motion sick after half an hour. He started to really hate that he had to be in the truck with the crate. Why wasn’t it his boss getting jolted around on this muddy track? Keep the servers safe and keep the client happy! A lot easier to say in an air conditioned office than it is on a track in a south American rain forest!

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After what seemed like days of torture, the truck reached a village where the mining camp’s ancient Russian cargo helicopter met them. This wasn’t a new state-of-the-art helicopter. This helicopter was old, rusty and shook so much his teeth buzzed. Still in theory a few hours on the helicopter was better than a couple of more days on the truck.

 

After a ride on the helicopter that got to the point where my friend felt that the fillings in his teeth were about to shake themselves out, the helicopter landed. The helipad was built on the closest substantial bit of flat and stable ground to the mining operation. Because of the region’s fractal geography, the helipad was on the other side of a tributary of the Amazon from the mining camp. At some point in the next year, real bridge was going to be constructed. Until then to get from the helipad to the camp you walked across a rope bridge reminiscent of the one at the end of the Temple of Doom. Moving cargo involved using a separate cable that functioned with a pulley system.

 

Although my friend felt a little reluctant about the cable and pulleys, the staff on the ground assured him that there wasn’t any other choice. The nearest bridge was two days drive away. Needless to say, my friend really didn’t want to get back in a truck. He acquiesced. They hooked the crate holding the servers onto the cable and began pulling them across the river.

 

When the crate holding the servers was a third of the way across the river the cable snapped. The crate holding the servers splashed down into the water, floating for a moment before disappearing under the muddy surface.

 

My friend asked if anyone was willing to help him go down into the river to retrieve what he could from the crate. After hearing the staff laugh and shake their heads, my friend learned that this particular river was infested with piranhas.


Piranhas! All of that and it ended with pranhas!
 

If there is a moral to this story, it would be that when looking after a server in any way involves danger from piranhas, you’ve probably strayed too far from the cubicle.

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