Technology department attempts to “sink the ship”

Connor Reis

The Benilde-St. Margaret’s technology department decided to unblock all filters (except for the indecent content filter) for 15 minutes on Tuesday Sept. 28 to find out how big of a workload the school’s network can handle without crashing.

The day provided the technology department with the information that they needed, including what happened when every student began streaming high amounts of bandwidth and what needs to be done to keep the school’s Internet connection running well.

This momentary freedom to stream videos and play games during their homeroom periods meant that students were more than happy to participate. “I decided to spend some quality time with my Runescape character,” said junior Gabe McDonald.

The testing went along flawlessly; the technology department found out the information they needed to know, including what happened when every student began streaming high amounts of bandwidth and what needs to be done to keep the school’s Internet connection running well.

While students were enjoying the lack of filters, some BSM staff members were hard at work figuring out the status of the network; while it never completely “crashed,” the school’s link balancer didn’t function the way it was supposed to.

The piece of equipment had a setting that was not set to function with the number of laptops being used at the time. The setting has been fixed by the technology department with the help of the product manufacturer, so the school’s Internet connection should remain relatively stable if another “Sink the Ship Day” were to take place.

The name ‘Sink the Ship Day’ originated from the nervous feelings of the technology department at the beginning of the school year. “The first day of school was kind of like sitting inside of a submarine. You hear it creaking… and you wonder if it really does what it’s meant to do,” said Mr. Steve Pohlen, the director of Technology and Learning.

No two students had exactly the same experience. Many laptops had trouble loading something as small as the Google logo, while some were able to stream full TV episodes on Hulu. “A lot of people experienced slowness,” said Mr. Don Aslett, Director of Networking Administration, “We can identify the problems we need to fix.”

Although some problems with the network were identified, the technology department still feels they have more to learn, and they plan to hold another “Sink the Ship Day.”