This afternoon, the network connection of my office computer suddenly broke down. I spent a lot of time first trying to figure out what happened, rebooting a few times, then calling the service desk and finally having two technicians trying to solve the problem.
However, I was amazed to discover how much I am depending on the university network for my work:
- Word crashed because normal.dot is saved on a remote drive.
- MathCad crashed because my license is on the server.
- I wanted to put some references in Endnote, but I like searching for them online and then importing them into my Endnote library. So without network connection I couldn't do this.
- I wanted to look up some references which I found in a paper, but I couldn't connect to Scopus.
- I also couldn't e-mail the service desk. Luckily my phone was still working.
The most critical part was by far losing the MathCad license. I wanted to make one more calculation for my analysis report, but I couldn't. Since I was waiting all the time (first for action from the service desk, then for the technicians to come, then for a third person to reactivate my computer in the network), I wasted a fair amount of time.
This, however, made me think about how dependent I've become on the network for carrying out my research. With my personal laptop I can do more in case of network failure than with my office computer.