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Topic: The power has failed ... (Read 2260 times) previous topic - next topic

Nick Gammon

So, I was walking up to my local bank the other day, to get some cash out of the ATM.

As I walked purposefully towards it, a woman wearing Bank Officer uniform intercepted me.

Bank Officer: The ATMs aren't working. The power is off.

Me: Oh, thanks.

I glance at the ATM machine. Indeed, on the screen was in large, glowing letters "Out Of Service".

Me: The screen seems to have power.

Bank Officer: (as if talking to an idiot) Yes sir, it is telling you that it isn't working, because the power is off.

Me: But, the screen seems to have power.

Bank Officer: (looks confused)

Meanwhile, the bank doors slide open. The electrically operated doors. Another Bank Officer walks out.

Second Bank Officer: Sorry, the power is off.

Me: I notice the doors still work.

I look through the glass doors to the ceiling of the bank.

Me: The lights are still working.

Bank Officer: Some of the power is off.

I notice three thick cables going into the building.

Me: It looks like you have 3-phase power. Maybe one phase is out?

Bank Officer: I'm going to ask some of the nearby shops if they have lost power too.

Me: Maybe every third shop has lost power?


This conversation went on for a while, I never found out what happened after that. A nearby bank had an ATM that worked, so I used that.
Please post technical questions on the forum, not by personal message. Thanks!

More info:
http://www.gammon.com.au/electronics


GoForSmoke

Power maybe off at the main branch? But that doesn't explain the cables there, not at all.
Or as usual they just told the guards some BS to stop them asking questions?

I've known people who get upset if you open a microwave oven door without waiting first.
That's because the rays are still bouncing around inside and will get out. It's the same reason
you don't wrap a potato in foil to nuke it, the foil hold the rays inside and they get you.

Even worked with a woman who had to keep electric sockets plugged to keep the electricity
from leaking. Dangerous stuff, that electricity. It might make you think.

Nick Gammon on multitasking Arduinos:
1) http://gammon.com.au/blink
2) http://gammon.com.au/serial
3) http://gammon.com.au/interrupts

Jack Christensen

LOL Nick, you must like living right on the edge, arguing with the gendarmes like that. I imagine that they were beginning to suspect that you were part of the problem and a plot to rob the bank while the power (?) and its defenses were down.

Absolutely hilarious story though!! :D
MCP79411/12 RTC ... "One Million Ohms" ATtiny kit ... available at http://www.tindie.com/stores/JChristensen/

focalist

Loose network cables are the worst.

Can't tell you how many times we ended up moving around the desks, crawling around on hands and knees to find the damn token when it fell out of the ring because of bad coax.

Of course, these days, if one of the gigabit connections gets frayed, those 1's and 0's can take out an eye-  so many people don't understand the inherent dangers in IT...
When the testing is complete there will be... cake.

GoForSmoke

Can you charge more to fix if you have to wear bit-safety gear?
Nick Gammon on multitasking Arduinos:
1) http://gammon.com.au/blink
2) http://gammon.com.au/serial
3) http://gammon.com.au/interrupts

focalist

It's the ones that will get ya, they're all pointy.

There really are 10 types of people in the world- those that think in binary and those that don't.
When the testing is complete there will be... cake.

cjdelphi

the ATM is a glorified networking application anyway.


Msquare


Bank Officer: The ATMs aren't working. The power is off.
Me: Oh, thanks.
I glance at the ATM machine. Indeed, on the screen was in large, glowing letters "Out Of Service".
:
Bank Officer: Some of the power is off.

:D  Sounded like a good Monty Python Sketch

retrolefty



Bank Officer: The ATMs aren't working. The power is off.
Me: Oh, thanks.
I glance at the ATM machine. Indeed, on the screen was in large, glowing letters "Out Of Service".
:
Bank Officer: Some of the power is off.

:D  Sounded like a good Monty Python Sketch


That parrot is dead I tell you, it's an ex-parrot.

Lefty

greywolf271

PMSL reading this and then while watching the ABC 24 saw bank stock price go up.
Well, loss of power did'nt affect their profiting off our money.


vasquo

Back in the 90s, I wrote and maintain programs for Siemens and Diebold ATMs that interface them to the bank's mainframe system.
All ATM transactions are written to a database, and then at night, mainframe batch programs are run to reconcile these transactions with the customers accounts.

If transactions are heavy (example: weekends, payday) the ATM database gets full quicker, so the ATM can't write anymore transactions, and displays an Out of Service error message. All ATMs used by the bank will display this same error message. So basically, their ATM network will be dead.

Usually, there's a phone nearby the ATM where customers can call the bank's IT department to report any ATM related problems (card captured, ATM dispensed wrong amount, bin out of bills, etc).

At the mall, I was trying to withdraw money that day, and there was a long line of frustrated users that can't withdraw their money. The bank having that problem is one of our company's  customers, so I picked up the phone, told their IT department their ATM Journal is full and they need to execute such-and-such program, then switch to the secondary Journal database by executing such-and-such command on their terminals. The guy said "oops, you're right! Will do that now".... a few moments of silence then he said .... "HEY! How do you know all these confidential stuff?!"  .... then I hung up the phone.  :D

GoForSmoke


PMSL reading this and then while watching the ABC 24 saw bank stock price go up.
Well, loss of power did'nt affect their profiting off our money.


It's only right since they get the profit off you, every time you shop.
Nick Gammon on multitasking Arduinos:
1) http://gammon.com.au/blink
2) http://gammon.com.au/serial
3) http://gammon.com.au/interrupts

greywolf271

Huh ? I thought the government got the GST or VAT or State taxes.
oh...wait a minute, the banks run the government   {slaps forehead} :smiley-sad-blue:

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