Party kept them from studying, until they put a few kitchen appliances to work...
In my junior year of college, my roommate and I decided to move into the Engineering dorm to hopefully enjoy a more peaceful environment that might allow us to stay on top of our crushing course loads. The university decided that in the interest of academic diversity, they’d sprinkle a few non-engineering folks in the dorm. Our room was next to a non-engineering major who partied hard enough to drive his roommate out and thus garner the whole room to himself. He was barely hanging on academically with a 2.0 average.
One night during semester finals, he had 20 people in his tiny room with the music on full well past midnight. My roommate and I had an 8am final exam. After repeated attempts to reason with them failed, we came up with a plan. Some quick checking confirmed our two rooms shared a 20 Amp electrical circuit. We also knew the circuit breaker closet was locked and the facilities crew wouldn’t answer a call at that hour.
We quickly got 30 amps worth of toasters and hotplates from other folks on the floor who wanted the party shut down. After plugging everything in we simply waited a minute and as expected the circuit breaker blew, plunging the partiers into darkness and quiet. They poured out into the hallway wondering what happened. We explained that their stereo was so powerful it knocked out the power for the whole floor. After they slapped each other on the back in congratulations, they quickly decided the party was no longer fun in that room and took the party to a room a few buildings down. Our entire floor went to sleep smiling.
Sometimes the simplest solution is the best solution.
Long-time editor covering embedded systems at EE Times and Embedded.com influenced a generation of industry readers. Anyone who has touched the pages or viewed the pixels of EE Times or Embedded.com over the years has read and benefited from Bernie’s insights on embedded systems and software.
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