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China 2006

Hot Rats

Eric Johnson Jan 10, 2006

There are astoundingly striking skyscrapers in Shanghai. Beautiful, shimmering architectural wonders – I marvel at how they’re able to bend the marble-like building materials in that Gehry-esque way.

Then there are hearty, earthy buildings of stone and wood.

These old-style buildings are also quite lovely and full of character.

For our broadcast location, as you may already know, we chose the Astor House Hotel – one of the old-style buildings. Again, quite lovely and full of character – but choosing such a location does present its share of issues…

We spent several days early in this trip getting all of our connectivity in order. Michael worked hard to set up our broadcast site, while I spent time getting our editorial workspace together. We tested all of our connections quite thoroughly, and things were looking great – so we settled down and had a great night of sleep knowing that everything was going smoothly from a technical standpoint.

The next day we starting getting things going and discovered that our ISDN connectivity, which we were using to transmit our audio back to Los Angeles, had stopped working. Michael looked at our ISDN interface and had found that the little light that confirms the line status had gone dark.

After getting in touch with our China-based producer to translate with the technicians here at the hotel, it was discovered that sometime overnight, our ISDN lines had actually been severed.

The technicians went around the building, and back into the phone closet, and discovered that in fact rats had chewed through the cabling. Rats!

Thankfully after a short while, the hotel engineering staff was able to get our connectivity restored and the broadcast was saved again!

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