What Did All That Mean?

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What Did All That Mean?

Files in the Athena system are kept in lockers on file servers. A locker is basically a chunk of space on a disk somewhere, generally in building E40 or W20 or 11; a file server is a workstation, exactly like the workstations you'll log in on, but with rather more disk space. If a file server goes down -- for maintainance, or there's a power outage, or terrorists take over building E40 and refuse to turn the machines on until President Vest sings the theme to Gilligan's Island -- you will not be able to access the files on that file server until it comes back up. Shortly after a servers comes back up you will see a message saying this:

afs: file server in cell athena.mit.edu is back up

If you have attached a locker (the sipb locker, for instance, or the graphics locker) and the file server that contains that locker goes down, you will get a ``lost contact'' message in your console window. Some lockers are spread out over more than one file server so that if one goes down you will still be able to access the information. For more information about this, you can look in the AFS section of Inessential Athena.