Glitch in the matrix

That’s the polite way of putting it, anyway… i won’t tell you how some people described it, other than to say that most of the words aren’t repeatable in polite company. i’m referring to the rather harrowing and painful moment last night when everything went rather pear-shaped for an awful lot of people.

This was the official communique on the matter:

Login Failures & In-World Issues
Posted by Status Desk on September 9th, 2011 at 02:38 pm PDT

[POSTED 2:35pm PDT, 09 September 2011] Some residents may be experiencing issues logging in, and residents in-world may be experiencing issues with teleporting. Please also refrain from making any in-world transactions as they may not be completed. Please continue to check this blog for updates as more information becomes available.

All sounds very innocuous doesn’t it? It most certainly wasn’t – it was blooming ‘orrible… several zillion people all booted out of sl at once, without so much as a warning. Then an interminable wait as they tried to get back online, only to find when they did, that the good old Governor of the Bank of Linden had emptied their accounts!

i can tell you there were some rather unhappy – and destitute – bunnies in sl last night!

We all know that there will never be an explanation for the way that sl lurched to a halt for so many people yesterday – rumours will be spread… an asset server went down, or some such nonsense. Don’t believe a word of it, because i can reveal, exclusively on this blog, exactly what went on to make the world go ‘phut’ for so many people last night!

Picture, if you will, the offices of Linden Lab, all light wood ceiling beams, brushed steel and glass panels – a curiously complex open space, all angles and obstacles. It is late Friday afternoon and the whole Lab is strangely empty – everyone has left early for the day, save for a few stray Lindens enjoying a moment’s respite after a long week – the sound of their laughter drifts up from the basement, interspersed with the sounds of Grand Theft Auto, as they test their skills against one another on the company Xbox. Apart from these muted sounds, the office is silent… then, a sudden clatter at the entrance, as a figure struggles to negotiate the doorway, bulky equipment clutched awkwardly in their arms.

They’ve not been here before but they’ve been well-briefed – confidently they make their way past the whiteboard by the door, crammed with the signatures of visiting residents, up the stairs into the the main office. They set down their equipment, easing the kinks from their back, their eyes darting around… searching – for something.

The framed photograph of Mr T. stares down disapprovingly above the legend ‘What would Mr T. Do?’ – you can almost hear him saying “You crazy fool!” as the eyes of the stranger brighten as they sweep the room, lighting upon a small cabinet against the wall. Dragging their equipment roughly across the floor, they approach the cabinet – a small museum case – and look quizzically at the item inside. It’s a metal box, stuffed with circuit boards and fans: A computer – the handwritten paper note beside it proclaims it to be ‘Sim 1’ – the very first of many. The figure shrugs and reaches behind them, taking a long cable from their bag; crouching, they reach beneath the cabinet towards the object of their desire… fumbling awkwardly in the confined space they grasp, then swiftly yank a connector, parting the plug from its socket, before slotting into place their own replacement cable.

Objective achieved, the figure scrambles awkwardly to their feet and carefully assembles the remaining items of equipment. Even before they flick the big red button the telephones have started to ring.

A few minutes later, Twiddles Linden, distracted by the insistent ringing of his mobile ‘phone, crashes his stolen car through a shop window. Irritably, he answers it and the familiar voice of the Boss assaults his eardrum… slowly the colour drains from his face and a look of horror takes its place.

The sound of running feet precedes the Lindens, as they careen into the office from the cellar below; moments later, two more Lindens crash through the front door and up the stairs, panic on their faces. The cacophony of ringing telephones is joined by frustrated shouts as each Linden desperately stabs at keyboards… to no avail, there is no power, no computers and, all across the Grid, residents suffer catastrophic crashes. Nobody knows what has happened.

Twiddles sinks into his chair, face in his hands, then feels a tap on his shoulder… “Excuse me dear, would you mind lifting your feet, so I can do under your desk?”

He looks up at the motherly face of the cleaning lady, smiling brightly at him; his eyes travel down to the vacuum cleaner hose, clasped in her hand… to the cable snaking along the floor behind the whining hoover, to finally disappear beneath the cabinet into the power socket. Beneath the socket, dangling uselessly, is the red plug bearing the label “Network – Do not unplug under any circumstances!”

S. x

Lights will guide you home
And ignite your bones
And I will try to fix you
Coldplay – Fix You

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