OCS goes haywire, system is 'toast'

By Amy Ledig

The power outage Sunday night affected more than end of the weekend homework plans. Oracle Collaboration Services, Macalester’s e-mail system, has been down sporadically since the power went out, and Humanities Academic Information Associate Michael Nelson said there is not even an estimate for when it will return.”It’s toast,” he laughed, when asked what happened. “The power outage brought down the system in a way that it wasn’t meant to be brought down.

“When it went down unexpectedly like that, operating system files went bad.”

OCS had been back working for short windows of time before crashing again during the early part of the week.

“There were some intervals where it was brought back up and was working for a short period of time, but there were files that were damaged by the power outage and those cause OCS to work improperly,” Associate Vice President of ITS Jerry Sanders said. “There were brief periods where it was up but those files brought it back down.”

The disruption could not have come at a worse time. The Advisory Board for the Institute for Global Citizenship and the Board of Trustees are visiting the college this week. In addition, Friday is Founder’s Day, which draws a number of alumni to campus.

Faculty and staff have been upset by the outage as well. A student in one of Peter Rachleff’s history classes said that Rachleff did not have notes at the beginning of the week because OCS was down.

Corey Koscielniak ’11 expressed the frustration many on campus have been feeling due to the disruptions.

“I applied for [an internship] and I got an e-mail [Sunday] that they wanted to interview me for a position, but now I don’t have his e-mail, anything,” Koscielniak said. “They send all my important e-mail about my finances to my email and I can’t get that.”

The ITS website has a notices and alerts section that has been updated hourly since OCS went down. Nelson echoed the notices, saying that ITS is working with Oracle to try to fix the problem, but added that they do not have an idea for when OCS will be back up and running.

“It’s kind of out of our hands,” Nelson said.