This morning the unthinkable happened. The solitary server that connects all user terminals, printers, security cameras, email and most importantly our maintenance and requisitioning system crashed with a loud buzzing alarm. This means that every file saved to the server, virtually everything I have for work documents, is now toast.
Email has been relegated to the stand alone designated terminal on the bridge putting a major dent in the crew’s electronic social life. The Captain hasn’t the time to forward 20 other people’s emails and then sift through the already clogged in box printing out the personal messages.
Then again, I did have one captain who did this routinely. It was the first and probably last ship I will ever work on without a server. This meant only the Captain’s computer had email capabilities and we would have been out of luck if the old man wasn’t so good natured.
Since he was willing to sacrifice extravagant amounts of time for his crews welfare, each night he’d collect all the floppy disks and flash drives from those of us who had a message to send home. He would next open each disk, cut and paste the message from MS Word to MS Outlook, put it in the outbox and send them all out with the PM replication.
When personal messages were received back from wives and sweethearts he would print each individual message and hang them on the crewman’s door. I still to this day look at the paperhanger on my door every morning I open it for a ream of paper fluttering in the passageway. Only once did I see that Captain chew out a cadet for getting too many emails, two to three a day usually, from his overzealous wife who he had just married at the ripe old age of 20. I don’t think that cadet ever wound up going to sea.