11:25am Oct29, 2003 

Well the BTM weekend is almost upon us, and we’ve all been burning the midnight oil since BTM40 with major renovations to the Abattoir’s LAN Central…  As more and more Servers come online at the Abattoir, it’s become quite apparent that neither the Abattoir Lab nor Infinity’s room are capable of sustaining them – the fan noise, the heat, the power draw; it’s all too much, so action has been taken!  At BTM41 this weekend you’ll have the chance to take a peek at our brand new Abattoir Server Room!  Built right in LAN Central, we’ve engineered a nice little nook that will secure all our Servers in one central area…  With this construction came the daunting task of moving and redoing the entire Abattoir cLANetic-Energy® Network from front to back and top to bottom, not a task to be taken lightly.  Infinity hit the walls and cables with the tenacity of a bull in heat -- After the dust settled around 3am this morning, we’ve got ourselves one spanky set-up; we’ve even added a third hub to the stack and increased our network capacity by 50% and managed to actually make more room at the BTM for elbows!  Now sporting a giant screen display that will be used for tournaments and sponsor product placement, LAN Central has taken a quantum leap in class; we hope you enjoy the new amenities.

The Abattoir’s LAN Central I should mention will now be robotically cleaned by the Abattoir’s new pair of Roomba robotic floor vac/sweepers…  I’m sure you’ve seen these little guys on television already, produced by iRobot, let loose in a room these little guys do one hell of a great job picking up after you.  I don’t know anyone who owns one (…let alone two of them…) but since I’ve had them I have discovered a few interesting tricks with them while observing their fascinating behaviour and will be coming out with “Stupid Roomba Tricks” on video soon…  For instance, there’s the “Roomba Square Dance” I like to call it, put two side by side and start them, they spiral out till they touch each other which signals them to attempt to find the wall and map the room; since they both get triggered by each other to do this at the same time, they end up reversing their rotation and “dosado” around each other…  Maybe it’s me, but I find this funny.  Perhaps we’ll use them at a BTM in a tournament somehow.   BTM50 “Roomba Wars” Edition – when robot vacuums go wild.

Hold on to your cell phones and generators; it looks like the major flare of Oct. 28 which came from Sunspot 486 will be pounding the Earth’s magnetic shield today…  Here’s a snippet of the full story from Space.com:  A major solar flare unleashed Tuesday began to punish Earth's protective magnetic field early Wednesday. The storm, perhaps the third most powerful on record, could have more effect than one in 1989 that knocked out power to an entire Canadian province.  Depending on the storm's magnetic orientation, it could set off a dramatic display of colorful Northern Lights well into mid-latitudes of the United States and Europe into early Thursday.  Already early Wednesday, the NASA-run web site Spaceweather.com reported aurora had been spotted as far south as Bishop, in central California, signaling the storm's swift arrival. Meanwhile, satellite operators and power grid managers prepared to endure a potentially damaging event. And astronauts aboard the International Space Station took cover from heavier radiation sent out by the flare. They are not expected to be in any serious danger. "This is the real thing," said John Kohl, a solar astrophysicist at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics and principal investigator for an ultraviolet imager on the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) spacecraft. "The eruption was positioned perfectly. It's headed straight for us like a freight train." – Shields up!

One last quick FYI: As of last night/early this morning, we’re at the stage where all Abattoir Servers and our DSL connectivity will be moved to the new Server Room, as such, you can expect interruptions in services this evening – mainly, the SuperFTP Server, Portal Server, Game Servers, MeatCAMs and the like will be going offline tonight around 6pm for an undetermined period…  We will make all attempts to minimize this outage (…aka: we’ll run…)  The Abattoir’s website and BBs will not be affected.  Have a great and safe Halloween weekend and see you at the BTM!!



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