Things to do at Microsoft when the power goes out

Raymond Chen


When the power goes out, the first thing you notice is how quiet everything becomes. The hum of the computers in the building stops. You hear… nothing.

Bask in its peaceful silence.

The next thing you do is turn off all the machines in your office, because you don’t want to stress the power grid and network when the power eventually returns by having a hundred thousand computers all firing themselves up and joining the network at the same time.

Of course, another thing you need to do is find your way around. This can be quite a challenge if you’re in a lab with no windows and no emergency lighting: It suddenly becomes pitch black! Laptop computers prove useful at this point. Fire up notepad and maximize it, resulting in an all-white screen. Use that screen as a flashlight to navigate through the lab turning off computers and eventually leading yourself out of the lab to daylight.

Next time, a story of an employee-induced power outage.

Raymond Chen
Raymond Chen

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