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ECS Fire

Big all-hands meeting this morning, with senior University management in attendance (vice-chancellor and registrar). The upshot is that the clean rooms are completely destroyed, and that the top two floors of Mountbatten are badly damaged. The fire spread downwind from the clean rooms to the upper floors of Mountbatten (which is a separate building). The comms group on Mountbatten level four have probably lost almost everything, though the damage is less severe on the north side of the building (facing away from the clean rooms) and towards the Zepler bridge at the east of the building. Mountbatten level three has been flooded. Zepler is virtually undamaged, which is extremely lucky (the wind blew the flames north towards Mountbatten, not east towards Zepler). At worst, it'll be a little smoky from the ventilation.

The systems look like they'll be recovered without incident. Zepler will be used as the base for the ECS networks as soon as we have clearance to reoccupy; there's no point in moving servers out of Zepler to Building 1 in order to set up a presence, only to move them back again a few days later. We have daily backups from Thursday night (Friday night's were still in the building), so little data from the main servers will have been lost. People's desktops are another matter. Some hard drives from Mountbatten will be salvageable, depending on location, but those in the clean rooms will most likely be a writeoff.

I've just had news that we're not going to be able to reoccupy Zepler tomorrow, as was originally hoped, and that our systems staff have decided not to try and recover any systems today (they were given a maximum dwell time in the building of one hour, and entrance to the building is strictly on a named-personnel-only basis). So, my mail email won't be back until tomorrow afternoon at the earliest, and maybe not until later. In the intervening time, I'm using my gmail account (ngibbins at gmail.com), and I'll be staying at home tomorrow.

In other news, ias started her new job in the library here today. Rar.

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Thanks for the updates! I see that http://ecs.soton.ac.uk has been updated (presumably by ChrisG, given the totl username)

Yep, spoke to Jules at about 3.30pm, and he updated me on the systems. Mary Campbell has been phoning the academic staff to let them know that Zepler won't be open tomorrow - I'm not sure if there's anything similar in place for postgrads, so you should probably pass this on as necessary.

Yep - TotL has leeched enough from ECS in the past, so it's nice to see some of it going back ;)

Completely unrelated, and you might have already seen these, but if you haven't...
This place is amazing! Secret army bunker photographs with streets and lots of shiny industrial gear for running a microcosmic civilisation:

And minimal news about the bbc's content database opening up. It's not specifically semantic, but that much data has to interest anyone:

Hope you get to febreeze your office very shortly.

That's the bunker in the quarries under Box Hill; it's *above* the Box Tunnel that the Great Western from Paddington goes through just before you get into Bath. Last year, the Bath Waterstones was selling a book on the various WWII-era underground facilities in the UK (can't remember the title, and I've no idea where in the house the book actually is - probably is a box somewhere), which also covered the converted slate quarries in Snowdonia.

Saw Matt Biddulph's posting regarding the BBC database yesterday - he was on IRC (#swig on irc.freenode.net) talking about it.

With a bit of luck, my office won't be too smoky. My window was closed, at least.

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