This morning I stood outside the computer lab clutching my lever-arch file to my chest. hakuna stima in the college. My colleagues joined me there for a moment of solumn reflection.
“There is no power”, said one of them.
“Guess who turned if off”, I replied, jabbing at my chest with my thumb.

I had to explain the story of what happened last night: I was at home listening to Manu Chao and hacking operating system notes. There came knock on my door: a small deputation of students were there with the Matron who lives on the compound. They called me to go with them saying that the principal had requested it.

We trudged accross the dark playing field where the night watchment were laying, invisible, next to the path. They scared the living shit out of me by greeting me drom the darkness near my feet. Matron told me to borrow a torch from them.

We approached the dining hall, where the electricity supply for the college is switched. There had been sparks coming from the wires near the junction box. They wanted **me** to go turn off the power at the box.
“Don’t walk that way!”, said the matron, “you’ll get an electric shock”
She lead us the long way round. I pulled a frightened face but, since it was pitch dark, nobody saw.

Finally we approached the switch box with our borrowed torch. I peered inside and Matron assured me that the sparks had been coming from the wires, not the box. I reached into the box and operated the switch. The compound was plunged into darkeness.

My colleague listened to my story with a look of disbelief on his face.
“How did you do it?”, he asked, “with HARDWARE?”

I’ve told him I’m a software mand, not a hardware man. I wanted to do it remotely… to telnet to the junction box from my house and issue the shutdown command…


  1. Drew Says:


  2. Raj Says:

    So the power is now off :), so this message must have been sent via sheer willpower and stubbornness, unless the battery in the torch was good enough to power your computer … and the satellite link to the wider world !

    We’ll have to give you a new nickname … "Sparky" Skipper !! :O

  3. Cad Says:

    Hehe 🙂

    It’s a good job you had the forsight to configure the junction box to allow telnet connections.

    You’re a braver man than I!


  4. Jan Says:

    🙁 Hey did you have your flip flops [or Jandels!!] on at the time sparky !!?? and how is the cold ?? not good if you are running about in your jandels !! as mum would have said .. in the dark …love sis

  5. Mark Says:

    I have a pair of those red rubber fip-flops (locals alledgedly call them Rubbers — must be good for Americans!) when I stood on the big acacia thorn that went 1.5cm into my foot last sunday and I only stopped limping today.

    Think Id rather risk the electric shock.

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