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The trials of the Hogwarts IT director

by John Cox

Headmaster: I regret that I must resign my position, effective two weeks ago, at least. It is simply impossible under these conditions to create a modern, integrated, flexible IT architecture aligned with the school's educational mission and objectives. Despite my best efforts, Hogwarts' IT communications infrastructure will remain dependent on owls, talking letters, the use of Floo powder and a fireplace network, and of course, divinations, dreams and visions.

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Reader Comments: (Page 2)

Surely it's a Magic Lantern, not a projector? I saw a demonstration once and they can look quite amazing. It would fit in well Hogwarts technology at the time Harry was at school wouldn't it?

Posted by Marjorie from New Zealand on August 22, 2007 02:49 AM

Yes, a magic lantern, a muggle invention, was just the name for the earliest kind of slide projector. It didn't use electricity.

Posted by Dave Haber from Los Angeles, CA on August 22, 2007 10:14 PM

Actually I quite like the idea that Hogwarts is immune to electricity. Not to dismiss the wonderful benefits it brings to us muggles...but the whole environmentally sustainable, non-plastic wrapped nature of the magical world is one of the things which makes it so attractive I think! And if you can communicate with flying paper memos and patronuses...and have exploding snap and wizard chess to keep you amused...why would you need computers? As for the library, I'm sure it has the magical equivalent of a card index.

Posted by Joe from England on August 23, 2007 01:35 AM

As an Electronics and communications engineer, I would probably assume that the reason why these devices (particularly the 3rd generation devices) don't work in hogwarts is that the energy released from the wands of students constitute a massive amount of electromagnetic pulse. Though harmless to human beings and animals (depending on the spell cast) and not to mention, uncontrolled magical energy from those wands.

Virtually all electronic gadgets incorporate a certain amount of micro (or nano) technology in their circuitry, typically the IC. These handle low-level signals that are capable of being destroyed by an non-compliant EMI device near it. Since these devices are sensitive to any unwanted variations, energy released from wands, I would think, would perfectly be capable of producing this kind of pulsating interference that would render an electronic gadget useless in the vicinity.

Any muggle would know that if I generate an EMP, any electronic device in the surrounding area would go berserk or likely to crash. That would depend on the energy being fed to produce it. The greater the energy, the more massive the damage, the bigger the radius of the surrounding area the EMP affect.

Posted by Josh from Cebu, Philippines on August 23, 2007 08:18 AM

So, would it be possible to either (a) shield muggle devices from the EMP effects of magic, or (b) modify wands that create the EMP to focus the power more so that it generates effects that are less harmful?

What we need is a "shield charm" for muggle devices, just like the magical shield charms that Fred and George encorporated into hats, cloaks and gloves for protection against eaters.

But any shield charm would also need to not inhibit a wireless network...

Posted by Dave Haber from Los Angeles, CA on August 23, 2007 11:14 AM

To: Coxrid
Re: Re: My resignation

Dear Coxrid,

I am very sorry to hear about the difficulties that you've been at my beloved school. Unfortunately, I must inform you that since I d, I ceased to work there.

But I believe that the time has come for you to know the ultimate truth. Do not argue, do not interrupt. As you'd already be knowing, I have been planning the revamp of the whole Hogwarts infrastructure from quite a while -ever since the great hacker -he whose IP is not known- became a major threat and tried to take over the internet with his Black hat community. You are not a muggle Corxid, you are in fact a Wizard with extra-ordinary powers. Your father and mother allowed sacrificed their usernames, passwords and security questions in order to save your account from being compromised. The reason why he was after you was that he was aware that it had been predicted by the super computer in Albania -using massively parallel processors and law of averages -that you would be the one to deploy the anti-hacking infrastructure that not only protect the white hat community against him but also allow them to track him down. But because of your parent's bravery and love towards you, you were 'the boy whose account was not compromised'.

Finally, it had to come to this. I know that the job I have left you with is not easy. I also can't tell you at this stage -what part OC-3 fiber backbone, CAT5 cable and wireless LAN play in the downfall of 'he whose ip is not known'. But I am sure that being a brave, brave man you are, you won't give up on this. Your love towards your parents not let you divert away from your path.

Don't make any mistakes about the fact that you need to go on. You must put all your trust in me and keep on marching on the way that I have shown you. You see, this is all a part of a Grand Plan and ultimately result in the Greater Good.

After all is said and done, there may come a time for you to face the ultimate truth. The fact that you need to get your account compromised to 'he whose IP is not known' and he himself need to posses it. But all I can say is don't worry, it's all a part of plan. I shall not tell you more as I prefer not keeping all my secrets in one basket -especially the one which interacts with the Black Hat Community on daily basis (on my orders albeit).

-Albus (writing in from the portrait)

Posted by Sagar from Washington on August 24, 2007 08:02 AM

What is the magical equivalent of a card index?

Posted by Lady Malfoy from Malfoy Manor on August 25, 2007 11:51 PM

The magical equivalent of a card index would probably be just like a muggle card index but would update itself automatically (by magic of course)

Posted by ashley from California on September 9, 2007 7:14 PM

Genius! Great idea Ashley!

Posted by C.J. from Utah on September 11, 2007 9:27 PM

I also think that it is absolutely genius that the Hogwarts students/faculty cannot use electronics. Electronics are like the muggle 'substitutions' for magic. They wouldn't really need them, right?

Posted by Andi Malfoy from London, England on September 12, 2007 6:30 PM

Or you could just say the book's/Author's name and it Fly towards you...

and i'm Sure that the Mamdame Pince memorised all the books in there. she has done nothing but hang around in the library the past, what'll it be, 20 years or so?

Posted by George from Roosendaal (Netherlands) on October 20, 2007 2:14 PM

What a load of bunk! Everyone knows that Cisco Certified techs don't have souls, and thus would be immune to Dementor attack. They already had their souls sucked out when they took the certification tests. For the Dementor it would like trying to suck the dregs out of an empty juice box.

Posted by Daniel from Philly, PA on November 4, 2007 08:44 AM

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