Packet Rat: The Rat finds his server box low on capacity

The Rat

With his travel budget frozen, the Rat had been at a loss about how to get approval for a trip to an important trade show. That was until he read news accounts of an entrepreneurial'and
now incarcerated'young man who shipped himself airfreight to his parents' home in Dallas.

'It's genius,' he cried with glee over the breakfast table. 'Travel by air cargo crate'I mean, I've traveled in tighter confines. Airfreight might even be a step up from coach.'

Mrs. Rat shook her head in disbelief. 'Sure, they might be roomier than the center seat. But airfreight is still expensive. And doesn't your agency have rules about using express services?'
'Sure, but I've got the perfect solution,' the cyberrodent cackled. 'Three little letters solve everything: RMA.'

'Rising margin of airfare?' she asked, puzzled.

'No, return merchandise authorization. One of the sponsors of the conference I want to attend in California sent us a server that was dead on arrival. So I filled out an RMA request last week, and they sent me authorization to air ship it back for replacement. I'll just go along for the ride.'

'Oh, sure. And how about the return trip? Do you get yourself packed into a replacement server?' the Rat's better half demanded.

'Something like that. Come on, we're talking me here. I always manage to pull something off, don't I?'

'That's why I'm afraid,' she whispered as he left the room.

At the command bunker, the whiskered one's idea received a bit more respect. 'I've sat through so many webinars, I never thought I'd ever get the chance to interact with real vendors in the wild again,' one acolyte gushed. 'This could be the biggest thing since they let us stop programming in Ada!'

'Calm down, son,' the Rat admonished his overexcited underling. 'We'd have to start breaking equipment on a whole new scale. Besides, I don't think we buy many servers with boxes big enough to ship someone in. Hand me that carpet remnant, would you?' With a bit of creative reconfiguration, not to mention resoldering of the printed circuit boards, the Rat and his team built what looked like the cabin of a Mercury spacecraft within the server chassis. The wirebiter squeezed in to check the fit.

'Hmm, tighter than I expected,' he gasped as his henchmen tightened the cover of the case with power screwdrivers. 'Hey, guys, wait. Where's the escape hatch? I said we needed an ... '

Suddenly the Rat felt movement. He tried pounding on the crate to get someone's attention, but he was packed in too tightly to move his arms. 'Guys?' he yelled. 'OK, test complete. Get me out.'

Then he heard the forklift.

Three days later, a systems engineer for a large West Coast server vendor pulled an access panel off a returned server and dropped his tools in shock at the sight of a large, crazed anthropomorphic rodent wedged between the drive arrays.

'There's the problem right there,' he nodded sagely.

The Packet Rat once managed networks but now spends his time ferreting out bad packets in cyberspace. E-mail him at rat@postnewsweektech.com.

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