Shark Tank: Do NOT try this with an online publication!

It's 1985, and this magazine publisher is converting a storage room to serve as a real computer room, reports a pilot fish who was there at the time.

"They hired a consultant and put in a raised floor, glass window and operator's desk outside the room," says fish. "Extra air conditioning was needed, so the unit was placed in a neighboring room -- and of course a new Halon system was installed, complete with all the alarm bells and whistles."

But when local fire inspectors test that new Halon fire-suppression system, there's a problem: the new air-conditioning system is too effective.

"The air-conditioning system almost instantly sucked all of the Halon out, making it useless," fish says.

So the consultant goes to work on the problem. Within a week, large dampers have been added between the air conditioner and the new computer room.

Another test is scheduled, and this time, as the fire inspectors watch, the Halon is released -- and all the ceiling tiles in the computer room blow out because of the pressure difference.

"The inspectors asked to have a 'final' test 24 hours later," says fish, "but it would take longer than that to get the right kind of clips to hold down the ceiling tiles.

"Solution: Back issues of the magazine were stacked on all of the tiles. The test was passed flawlessly.

"No idea if those were ever removed and clips installed."

Copyright © 2003 IDG Communications, Inc.

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