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Ask Slashdot: Best Tools To Aid When "On Call"?

samzenpus posted more than 2 years ago | from the hi-tech-wake-up-call dept.

Businesses 249

An anonymous reader writes "Since most readers of slashdot are IT'ers, I assume this is a familiar story: when working in IT, it often happens you need to be standby or 'on call' during a certain period. That may mean you can receive phone calls or text messages from a monitoring system in the middle of the night. I've been looking for a way to have those alerts wake me in the middle of the night but not my partner, who is sleeping right next to me. Are there hardware aids out there that can alert a person without troubling their close environment? I'm thinking armwrists, vibrating head pillows, ..."

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Hmm.. (1)

Synerg1y (2169962) | more than 2 years ago | (#38091878)

Give her some nyquil?

Re:Hmm.. (4, Interesting)

grantek (979387) | more than 2 years ago | (#38092072)

Give her some nyquil?

Honestly, after a few weeks you won't even need that. I can be called with a loud ringtone, have a discussion with the helpdesk about the problem, stumble out of the room to go work on it, stumble back into bed a few hours later, and my partner doesn't even realise I was called the next day. Now that she's on call as well the same thing happens to me - if you wake up and you're tired, and your subconscious knows you don't have to get up and work, you can fall back to sleep as soon as your head relaxes back into the pillow.

I remember watching a recent Bond movie (I think it was Quantum of Solace) where Bond calls M in the middle of the night and she logs onto a workstation built into the bedside, if you look you can notice she has a partner in bed that doesn't budge an inch :)

Re:Hmm.. (1)

gujo-odori (473191) | more than 2 years ago | (#38092358)

That wouldn't work on my wife. She's an extremely light sleeper and once woken, finds in difficult to wake up. I on the other hand, could sleep right through just about anything intended to wake me (good thing my job doesn't require on-call hours). The best way to wake me up would be to page my wife and tell her to wake me up, but that wouldn't go over too well with her

Re:Hmm.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38092432)

So whatever is in a Bond movie is reality?

Re:Hmm.. (1)

grantek (979387) | more than 2 years ago | (#38092586)

So whatever is in a Bond movie is reality?

I thought so, at least that it was based on the personal experience of at least one person who was involved with writing or setting up the scene. I assume they have advisers from intelligence or law enforcement with their own inane but amusing anecdotes, but yeah, everyone's different.

Re:Hmm.. (3, Funny)

Oswald McWeany (2428506) | more than 2 years ago | (#38092734)

I've noticed that Bond films seem to tell the story of my life pretty realistically.

I can't tell you how many times I've gone to a hotel and found an exoctic women waiting for me.

Usually a housekeeper leaving a mint on the pillow.

Significant Other? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38091892)

Clearly the Poster is not in IT.

Re:Significant Other? (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38092920)

I'm in IT and I'm married, but we hate each other and she sleeps in a different room. So there ya go.

Normally I'd recommend a BFH (5, Funny)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 2 years ago | (#38091912)

.. to settle down that monitoring system call. But, yeah, the smashing to bits of a phone might wake a light sleeper. So I see your point.

I used to put my phone on vibrate and put it under my pillow.

Re:Normally I'd recommend a BFH (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38091942)

I was just about to recommend this very thing, so I'll add my voice to yours.

KISS

Re:Normally I'd recommend a BFH (3, Funny)

LoudMusic (199347) | more than 2 years ago | (#38092074)

I don't think that would wake me up. Especially if I moved around and the phone fell to the floor under the bed.

My on call shifts don't typically go past 10 PM (we have global staff), so I usually just stay up. But if I do go to bed I leave my phone on 'GET YOUR ASS OUT OF BED' mode. My wife understands the situation, even offers to make sure I get out of bed in the event of an email or call, because she knows the on call work equals extra income, which means a portion (let's be honest, all of it) is hers. If you're not getting some kind of additional compensation for your on call, stop doing it.

I like the wrist band idea. You could also build a Lego Mindstorm contraption to drop soccer balls on your head.

Re:Normally I'd recommend a BFH (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38092188)

The problem is that the simple act of getting up might wake the co-sleeper as well. Therefore, I recommend what ever will actually wake you up while you sleep on the couch.

In all seriousness, another thing to try is lower pitched items. One of my friends has to do a similar thing as a doctor. He uses a lower pitched noise of some kind to wake up with and it doesn't wake his wife and they sleep in separate beds when he is at high risk of being called.

Deaf alarms. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38091924)

I have no idea how you'd go about hooking it up, but something similar was posted here a while back, and the solution was using an alarm clock designed for a deaf person. It's basically a big vibrator you put under your side of the bed.

Re:Deaf alarms. (2)

compwizrd (166184) | more than 2 years ago | (#38092216)

Those will generally wake everyone currently occupying the bed.. and will wake up everyone in a nearby bedroom.

The OP could try one of the travel alarms though, as they don't have as large of a vibrator unit. I don't know of one offhand that has a telephone input though. My alarm clock has a standard RJ11 plug that I can connect and when the phone rings the shaker will go activate...

Re:Deaf alarms. (5, Funny)

similar_name (1164087) | more than 2 years ago | (#38092366)

It's basically a big vibrator you put under your side of the bed.

Like the one on her side?

Re:Deaf alarms. (2)

desdinova 216 (2000908) | more than 2 years ago | (#38092730)

...and we're done, Goodnight everyone, Be sure to tip your waitress and try the chicken!

Phone on vibrate on nightstand (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38091946)

Having my phone vibrate makes enough racket to wake me but usually not my wife. However there are folks on my team who resort to sleeping in a different room when on call to avoid disturbing anyone else.

For Android phones (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38091948)

Klaxon (http://code.google.com/p/klaxon/) is a must have. It's an on-call app for text message receiving. You can separate out your on-call texts from personal ones and set separate alarms and everything. It's fantastic.

Re:For Android phones (1)

Troy Baer (1395) | more than 2 years ago | (#38092116)

Klaxon is what I and the other Android users in our on-call rotation use.

Re:For Android phones (5, Funny)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 2 years ago | (#38092120)

Klaxon (http://code.google.com/p/klaxon/) is a must have. It's an on-call app for text message receiving. You can separate out your on-call texts from personal ones and set separate alarms and everything. It's fantastic.

That would be pretty sweet...

Text includes words 'emergency' 'urgent' 'system' 'down' -> (Zzzz)

Text includes words 'down' 'hours' 'hardware' 'failure' -> (Zzzz)

Text includes words 'panic' 'weeping' 'wailing' 'praying' -> (Zzzz)

Text includes words 'payroll' 'not' 'running' -> (WAKEY! WAKEY!)

Re:For Android phones (1)

M0j0_j0j0 (1250800) | more than 2 years ago | (#38092272)

Apart from the Text includes words 'payroll' 'not' 'running' -> (WAKEY! WAKEY!) i don't see the need for waking anyone at the middle of the night..

Re:For Android phones (2)

Venotar (233363) | more than 2 years ago | (#38092548)

Klaxon (http://code.google.com/p/klaxon/) is a must have. It's an on-call app for text message receiving. You can separate out your on-call texts from personal ones and set separate alarms and everything. It's fantastic.

That would be pretty sweet...

Text includes words 'emergency' 'urgent' 'system' 'down' -> (Zzzz)

Text includes words 'down' 'hours' 'hardware' 'failure' -> (Zzzz)

Text includes words 'panic' 'weeping' 'wailing' 'praying' -> (Zzzz)

Text includes words 'payroll' 'not' 'running' -> (WAKEY! WAKEY!)

For differentiating between "personal" and "oncall" pages, I use handcent... then set the "on call" pages to play my Strong Bad "The System is down" ringtone.

Downside? I can't watch strongbad without my jacking up my blood pressure.

Re:For Android phones (4, Funny)

sqldr (838964) | more than 2 years ago | (#38092940)

funny you should say that. At one place I worked, they only paid us if we got called out. So we wrote a perl script called "cha-ching.pl" which created a fault then fixed it. We got paid.

sleep? (1)

dittbub (2425592) | more than 2 years ago | (#38091966)

i thought you're suppose to be awake when you're "on call"

Union (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38092010)

And how much stuff can wait for the next day any ways and not right now?

Re:sleep? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38092050)

Yes, because people who are on call 24/7 never sleep...

Re:sleep? (1)

sexconker (1179573) | more than 2 years ago | (#38092076)

Yes, because people who are on call 24/7 never sleep...

Someone who is on call 24/7 is a slave.

Re:sleep? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38092248)

Yes, because people who are on call 24/7 never sleep...

Someone who is on call 24/7 is a slave.

Better to be a slave* than to be out on the streets and starving.

* Note: Only for now...once the economy recovers and the power to be more selective in one's employment situation shifts back toward the worker, 24/7 IT slavery may become slightly less acceptable. [Even if this is only wishful thinking... :( ]

Re:sleep? (3, Insightful)

hedwards (940851) | more than 2 years ago | (#38092260)

It's actually pretty common. A person might be on call 24/7, but if that means more than a few calls a year at night then something isn't right. Being on call shouldn't mean that you're being regularly woken up at night.

Re:sleep? (1)

sexconker (1179573) | more than 2 years ago | (#38092874)

It's actually pretty common. A person might be on call 24/7, but if that means more than a few calls a year at night then something isn't right. Being on call shouldn't mean that you're being regularly woken up at night.

It means you can never be out of the area/state/country, it means you can never go camping in the woods away from technology, it means you can never get drunk, etc.

Re:sleep? (2)

s7uar7 (746699) | more than 2 years ago | (#38092380)

You're doing it wrong.

Re:sleep? (1)

Bucky24 (1943328) | more than 2 years ago | (#38093006)

Not when on call is 24/7 for a week.

Separate beds.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38091972)

Just kidding. I'm lucky that she sleeps better than I do since we had kids, and frequently doesn't even wake when I get paged.

It's not so good when she sleeps through one of the kids waking, puking, having a shower and me changing their bed and getting them back to sleep... I usually hear the smallest thing happening in the kids room, even at the other end of the house!

But vibrate under the pillow sounds like a plan :)

Shakeawake (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38091976)

Many flavors of vibrating only alarm clocks are out there, worn by folks with hearing deficits. Should work for you!

Re:Shakeawake (1)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 2 years ago | (#38092040)

Many flavors of vibrating only alarm clocks are out there, worn by folks with hearing deficits. Should work for you!

Yeah, but can you hook them up to a phone of any sort? I think that's the trick.

GOOGLE (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38091980)

If you go to Google and look for IDK "alarm clocks for the deaf or hard of hearing" you'll find sites that have things like vibrating alarms that hook up to cell phones.

Tried (1)

hel1xx (2468044) | more than 2 years ago | (#38091996)

I have tried a myriad of different things. Under the pillow, strapped to my leg, it just doesn't work for me. On the nights I am on call, I sleep on the couch. I would be interested to see different approaches.

Re:Tried (1)

warchildx (1695278) | more than 2 years ago | (#38092226)

bluetooth single ear headphone thingy. just lay on you side, then if you doze off, etc you can hear the phone ring but nobody else will. in theory.

and if all else fails...e.g. headset falls off..., ducttape the headset to the side of your noggin!

Re:Tried (1)

NotSanguine (1917456) | more than 2 years ago | (#38092534)

I have tried a myriad of different things. Under the pillow, strapped to my leg, it just doesn't work for me. On the nights I am on call, I sleep on the couch. I would be interested to see different approaches.

Crystal Meth?

Re:Tried (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38092690)

I have tried a myriad of different things. Under the pillow, strapped to my leg, it just doesn't work for me. On the nights I am on call, I sleep on the couch. I would be interested to see different approaches.

Crystal Meth?

It's not just for white trash(TM) anymore!

Where's Kurzweil (1)

sneakyimp (1161443) | more than 2 years ago | (#38091998)

I bet Ray Kurzweil has something hooked up. If he doesn't, he's a sham. I for one welcome our late-night-texting-overlords.

Sleep? Must be nice! (0)

Moderator (189749) | more than 2 years ago | (#38092002)

To me, being on call means essentially spending the weekend at work. I spent 37.5 hours at work during an on call weekend three weeks ago. It's not unheard of for our guys to just bring a cot and camp out until called upon.

She's going to wake up anyway (3, Interesting)

decipher_saint (72686) | more than 2 years ago | (#38092004)

Regardless of what method of notification likely you'll have to get up, which is going to wake her up.

If it's a real problem get separate beds.

I did this for about 3 years, and it's fine when you're single or sleeping in your own bed but when you're in a relationship and you share sleeping arrangements it's going to add some strain to your life (I solved it by finding other, better work).

Re:She's going to wake up anyway (2)

BagOBones (574735) | more than 2 years ago | (#38092222)

King size foam or similar mattress will allow you to get up without disturbing your partner... or in my case partner and small child also sleeping on my bed. It is a case of space and motion transfer... Just don't trip on something on your way out of the room.

As for stealth notification, if your notification system can phone you instead of just texting / emailing you, there are a variety of Bluetooth watches out their that vibrate and do caller ID that I think would work.

My wife takes crazy amounts of call... (5, Insightful)

Psychofreak (17440) | more than 2 years ago | (#38092016)

I learn to sleep through it. My wife is on call very nearly 24-7 and gets called multiple times every night.

Her phone vibrates, then does a loud alarm, sorta like a Hollywood submarine dive alarm. The vibrating phone on the nightstand usually wakes her, but not always. She reacts to her phone immediately, but not to other noises. If I need to wake her up for some reason it is easier to call her phone, then get her attention.

The key is you need to pick an alarm that you will respond to immediately, but your partner will tend to ignore. Then have the alarm become something that will wake the dead so your partner can kick you out of bed.

Phil

Re:My wife takes crazy amounts of call... (0)

sexconker (1179573) | more than 2 years ago | (#38092110)

I learn to sleep through it. My wife is on call very nearly 24-7 and gets called multiple times every night.

How much does she charge to sleep over and to let you call her your wife?

Re:My wife takes crazy amounts of call... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38092364)

All of his assets. Standard fare, really...

Pillow Speaker (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38092038)

They do make pillow speakers. Not sure how well they work.

Separate beds/rooms if possible? (1)

mlts (1038732) | more than 2 years ago | (#38092042)

This may not be as high tech as a decent work controlled vibrator, but if one has a big enough place, perhaps crash on the couch, or a separate room. This way, one can deal with the on call bit and not wake the SO if something comes through. Then once the rotation changes, put up the bed and go back to the usual bed.

Something I can comment on (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38092066)

As a surgical resident, I spend a lot of my time on call, the last couple of years mostly at home, usually every other day. Your partner will quickly learn to disregard the nighttime calls, trust me! I just leave my pager and phone on a lowered volume, and try to get out of the room quickly when I have to actually talk to the other person...

Resume (5, Interesting)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 2 years ago | (#38092082)

The best tool for on-call duty is a resume. And a list of jobs to apply for.

Even if you don't normally get called while on-call, it likely prevents you from going about your life. You can't go to a movie, go out of town, etc etc. They should be paying your for those services. If you aren't getting paid well for it, don't accept a job with on-call duties.

And besides all that, a job with on-call duties is a job that has need of them. That means they either have an unstable system or they aren't staffed properly. It's a huge sign that things are not right, and that company is best avoided.

I didn't realize all that until I got a job that didn't involve it. I kept making excuses for the company, and for myself. I'm so glad I'm not there any more.

Re:Resume (3, Insightful)

s7uar7 (746699) | more than 2 years ago | (#38092476)

There's nothing wrong with doing on-call as long as you accept that the job comes with it or get paid extra if you're asked to do it in a current role.

I agree with you about not realising how much of an effect it has until you stop doing it though. When I stopped about 4 years ago it took some time to get used to being able to go out in the evenings without having to worry about getting called.

Re:Resume (5, Insightful)

thisnamestoolong (1584383) | more than 2 years ago | (#38092498)

THIS. I used to work in an on-call capacity (not IT, mind you, but the idea is the same). Being on call ruined 5 years of my life. It destroys relationships and makes it so you can never truly relax. I took a huge pay cut to get off of on-call duty and I couldn't have been happier about it.

Re:Resume (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38092768)

Agreed. Being on call should be avoided no matter the pay. Unless it's ~ €200 / h, and then only because it makes it easy to quit your job and take a really long holiday while looking for a new one. Believe me, nothing can compensate for what amounts to working 24/7.

Re:Resume (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38092624)

Most of those dream software engineer jobs at Google involve an on-call duty (sometimes a week per month, sometimes more). I guess you wouldn't take them if somebody called you and offered.

Re:Resume (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38092786)

You are 100% right. Too many of these worthless IT positions have become multiple-job 24x7x365 nightmare. The best solution is to obtain a position without on-call work.

Re:Resume (2)

DigiShaman (671371) | more than 2 years ago | (#38092790)

Depends if you're the only one on-call 24/7. For example, I work with three others whom also provide server, network, and desktop support. We rotate the on-call duty each week. So having this duty for one week out of the month isn't too bad. Just remember, when doing this kind of IT work, it's almost a requirement. Technology failure waits for no man.

Re:Resume (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38092882)

I'm an operational sys admin; I'm responsible for my platform and it runs 24x7. I work in a team, on-call is part of the role. We get paid adequately for it, and, we all see it as part of our career choice.

There's nothing in the OP's statement to suggest he doesn't get paid for doing it.

What suits some people doesn't suit others. I wouldn't give up my on-call job, I enjoy it. I got paged at 4am; it wasn't anything to do with an unstable system, or incorrect staffing. VPN box died, Nagios warned me of it's death. I get paid to take those pages, I get monetary reward, and, when other people were heading in to the office for 9am, I was in the park with my dog.

Re:Resume (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38092912)

this is basically threadjacking tbh

Are you sure you really have a girlfriend? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38092114)

The blow up variety do not mind getting woken up in the middle of the night.

Look at Assistive Devices for the Deaf. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38092130)

Try looking into vibration alarm clocks for the Deaf. I believe that Krown makes a telephone sensor for their unit.

Dear Bogus Story Submitter: +4, Helpful (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38092132)

Thanks for the fake submission.

You've obviously have never heard of the vibrating cell phone alert.

IT my butt.

Yours In Minsk,
Kilgore Trout, C.I.O.

P.S. : Newt Gingrich For Town Clown !!!

Majority of /. Iters? (2)

wjcofkc (964165) | more than 2 years ago | (#38092134)

I think we found a new poll.

For the record, I do home improvement work. Mostly hardwood floors. I spent a decade being very successful in IT but I never really liked it and finally couldn't stand "IT" anymore.

Re:Majority of /. Iters? (1)

greghodg (1453715) | more than 2 years ago | (#38092214)

I was always under the impression that the majority of ./ers were engineers of some ilk.

Re:Majority of /. Iters? (1)

wjcofkc (964165) | more than 2 years ago | (#38092288)

As someone who has been here under one account or another since 1997, me too. However, it would be fun to see some numbers and the conversation that would follow.

Re:Majority of /. Iters? (1)

gujo-odori (473191) | more than 2 years ago | (#38092468)

In the late nineties when I joined /. I was a sysadmin. I had both a pager and a cell phone it was pretty hard for even both of them to wake me when I was on call :p Fortunately, I stopped being a sysadmin just about the time I got married, and that made the problem go away. My wife would not be amused to be awoken in the middle of the night by my pager while I slept on, oblivious.

Since the early 2000s, I've been in email (more recently, web) security and never have to be on call. I did love being an SA and sometimes still miss it, but sure don't miss the pager.

Re:Majority of /. Iters? (1)

Oswald McWeany (2428506) | more than 2 years ago | (#38092806)

Good for you.

I've been doing programming for 11 years- HATE IT... absolutely dread work every day- and it's not my company- I keep changing looking for greener pastures- it is the programming I find mind-numbingly dull.

Hopefully I can find a job to transition to myself. Unfortunately reluctant to take a pay cut due to being sole provider for the family and already being stretched.

Re:Majority of /. Iters? (2)

wjcofkc (964165) | more than 2 years ago | (#38092936)

Just keep an open mind. If 10 years ago someone had told me I would be installing hardwood floors and enjoying it I would have laughed. I am still a geek at heart. Just a happier geek.

Vibrate (1)

blackC0pter (1013737) | more than 2 years ago | (#38092146)

I'm a pretty deep sleeper but my brain has been trained to wake up to two different sounds, my name or my phone vibrating. I can't explain how that works but the sound of my phone vibrating (after 2-3 calls) will wake me up or someone calling out my name. I also notice that in normal settings my brain picks out the sound of my name in situations where I normally wouldn't be able to hear that person.

So train your brain to wake up to a vibrating pillow or some other quiet sound. This is similar to professional boxers that are still standing and punching while they are unconscious. It is not the same thing, but you can train your brain to do things when you are not fully conscious.

On call (1)

sonamchauhan (587356) | more than 2 years ago | (#38092168)

Got me thinking: even getting up from bed disturbs a person sleeping next to you, in varying degrees. So an 'on-call' incident for one employer, lowers productivity for a different employer.

For a cheap, reliable option, strap a smartphone on an armband, and write a program to poll your alerting system. Its better to poll than to wait for events - that way, at least your app knows whether it can reach the alerting system or not. Who knows, perhaps there's already "an app for that"? But be sure to have the app switch your cellular radio off (and leave Wifi on) -- the WHO classifies them as possible carcinogens [who.int] .

Ignore it... (2)

metalgamer84 (1916754) | more than 2 years ago | (#38092182)

In all honesty, I set the on-call phone to vibrate and goto bed. Problems can wait till 7 AM. Does this work for everybody? No.

maybe.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38092184)

I will say a good pair of earplugs.....

Get a silent alarm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38092194)

I haven't personally tried it, but this might work - http://jawbone.com/up/product

Bluetooth vibrating wristband (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38092198)

I bought this one [dealextreme.com] for my wife who can't hear her cellphone very well when it's inside her purse (she has a slight hearing problem) and works quite well.

Wire your toes to the phone line. (4, Funny)

blair1q (305137) | more than 2 years ago | (#38092208)

Wire your big toes to either side of the phone line, and disconnect the phone's bell.

That sucker pumps 90 volts AC to ring your handset.

To stop the on-hook 48 VDC from giving you the crawlies, put a small capacitor in series with each lead.

Phone In Pillowcase (1)

colman77 (689696) | more than 2 years ago | (#38092320)

Put your phone in your pillowcase before you go to sleep, that's what I do. The vibration (both sound and motion) travel through the pillow to your ear/face, while leaving your partner reasonably unmolested. For insurance, put together a ringtone with 4 or 5 seconds of silence at the beginning (so you can discreetly shut off alarm when you wake up) followed by something really annoying (in case you're really out cold), and set the phone to blaring.

Evolution (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38092334)

both hubby and I are on call 24x7 .... we've simply learned to ignore each others pagers/cells
overnight. THe only time this sisn't work is when the job change = different pager/cells

1watt narrow angle LED aimed at your head (2)

benlwilson (983210) | more than 2 years ago | (#38092378)

You could try a really bright led with a very small beam angle aimed at you. With enough power it should be visible through your eyelids. (I don't think you'd need that much power, maybe 1 watt). If it flashed or just did something annoying it would probably wake you up. To further cut down the stray light it could be mounted in a tube that shields everywhere else from the light except your area of the bed.

Re:1watt narrow angle LED aimed at your head (1)

Tastecicles (1153671) | more than 2 years ago | (#38092472)

hmmm... yeah, I foresee a minor problem with that.

You'd wake up with burned retinas.

Re:1watt narrow angle LED aimed at your head (1)

benlwilson (983210) | more than 2 years ago | (#38092986)

It doesn't need to be anywhere near powerful enough to do any damage.
Could easily be mounted on the other side of the room.

Ever tried to sleep with the lights on, it's quite hard, you can see the light even through your eyelids are shut.
If this was flashing it would be quite annoying.

Re:1watt narrow angle LED aimed at your head (1)

Tastecicles (1153671) | more than 2 years ago | (#38093124)

sorry, I read "LED" and "1 Watt" and my brain said "1 Watt LED laser".

Which is doable with a stock LED. You just have to get a pulse generator set at the right voltage to force the LED to lase, which is right on the threshold of burning the diode out - hence the need to pulse modulate the forward current to prevent just that from happening. This is how high power LEDs for car running lights and tactical flashlights (think Luxeon and Cree) work.

I've learned a lot about the subject but it's cost me a fortune in burned LEDs and hours experimenting with homebuilt 555CN oscillators...

heard it on TV... (1)

Tastecicles (1153671) | more than 2 years ago | (#38092460)

...Red Bull and cocaine!

returning to bed... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38092484)

I have more trouble getting back to sleep after I've been paged and got out of bed for an hour or so. I have to switch on and my brain can't turn off again straight away when I get back into bed.

I'm a developer not IT (1)

strangeattraction (1058568) | more than 2 years ago | (#38092504)

Most /. are developers not IT.

Re:I'm a developer not IT (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38092966)

What sort of developer? Building, software, just diy guys, etc. If software I fail to see the distinction.

Thank you (1)

HangingChad (677530) | more than 2 years ago | (#38092530)

For reminding me about another great thing about being out of IT. That gut wrenching feeling when you get a call at 5am with someone shrieking the site has been hacked and there's an investor meeting that morning, hair on fire blah, blah, blah. Followed by the subtle insinuations that it was something to do with your code. The developers pointing fingers at the networking people, the networking people acting like the passive-aggressive beat dogs and biting back.

Changing careers was the best move I ever made, next to going independent. What a relief.

Stats? (1)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 2 years ago | (#38092554)

"Since most readers of slashdot are IT'ers..."

Is this true?

Re:Stats? (1)

Capt.DrumkenBum (1173011) | more than 2 years ago | (#38092844)

I think it is time to a SlashPoll.
My current employment is:
IT grunt
Development
Management
Office work
Menial
I am unemployed you insensitive clod
I work for Cowboy Neil

Re:Stats? (1)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 2 years ago | (#38093044)

I'd add 'digital artists' to the mix.

What's wrong with vibrate? (1)

BlakJak-ZL1VMF (256320) | more than 2 years ago | (#38092676)

Pager on silent/vibrate, under my pillow, tends to work well.
Only so much you can do about the noise of the vibration unit, though.
Have done this with my phone before also.

Should Work... (1)

carrier lost (222597) | more than 2 years ago | (#38092718)

Adrenochrome injecting flechette, launched by solenoid-triggered miniature crossbow bypass-wired to speaker circuit of pager.

Earbuds. (1)

flimflammer (956759) | more than 2 years ago | (#38092764)

Hook up your phone to a set of earbuds. But also set an alarm that goes off ~5 minutes after your earbuds are set to go off, in case they fall out of your ear. In most cases they wont, but it's good to have the security if they do so you don't wind up missing the alarm.

Pavlov, man...pavlov (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38092856)

so......sleep on the couch and set a ringtone that's quiet and pleasant.
Doesn't have to be loud, and better if it DOES NOT wake you up.
Also doesn't have to be your normal sleep-time....could be an afternoon nap.

have a friend call and then after the call, wake you up in a more startling manner.

repeat several times.

your unconscious/subconscious mind, like pavlov's dog, will come to associate that ringtone with "wake up"

eventually, you will awaken to the song despite it being soft and pleasant....by association and classical conditioning.

Fix your monitoring (1)

undeadbill (2490070) | more than 2 years ago | (#38092864)

Having lived with being oncall for most of my career, there are two things that will help your partner sleep through the night:

1. Divorce.

2. Fix the chatty monitoring.

3. Career change.

The first one is easier, but it can be costly.

The second one means taking a hard look at how you work, and changing everything which involves you putting hands on a keyboard. If you have to do it three times to fix a problem, it should be automated. The ONLY stuff you should be getting a notification for is something that cannot be dealt with procedurally. If that is coming up more than once or twice a month, then refactor your work. Most monitoring systems have a scriptable API. Doing this for a year or two under a moderate to heavy workload should get you back most of that sleep you've been missing out on.

The third makes sense if you can't get the buy-in on the second. I'd either change jobs, or find something else entirely different to do that requires you to be onsite to work, because that is the only way your partner is going to get a good night's sleep.

2 of them (1)

smash (1351) | more than 2 years ago | (#38092878)

a brain and a mobile phone.

Guest room? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38092924)

I just slept in the guest room when I was on an on call rotation...I went on call every 4 weeks for 7 nights. Now that I don't get called (off a rotation...I just get called on certain issues) I just keep the volume low. Wakes me but barely wakes the missus.

Tools for the Hearing impared (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38093122)

I once knew a deaf girl in college who had an alarm clock about the size of a pack of cards - it was made out of rubber and had a clip (just like a nametag or security badge clip) which attached to her pillow or sheets so that it would stay put overnight. In the morning it would vibrate in certain patterns to help her wake up effectively.

Seems like us IT'ers could hack something together from one of those and a usb cable/bluetooth from a smartphone.

Anyone else know what I'm talking about?

Was only a problem until we had kids (3, Interesting)

ediron2 (246908) | more than 2 years ago | (#38093160)

Everyone else has good tech suggestions... but also have a talk with your SO regularly to solve the problem without just throwing tech at it. If she's a light sleeper, the tech might be needed. If she's able to adapt, the problem may solve itself or take some minor shift like telling her 'kick me when you hear a work pager' (i.e., she becomes part of your alarm mechanism -- there's no fooling the spouse-as-snoozebar)

Wife used to notice stuff like this. Then the first baby came along and we started divvying out the labor: I feed the last bottle, she does the wee hours stuff and I do the early dawn stuff. This has evolved into kids, old cats gackking up hairballs, txts or calls about server issues, weather-related sounds (storm: close the windows), my insomnia and god knows how many other minor overnight interrupts.

Oh, and we got a kingsize bed (just that few inches more separation disturbs her less when I get out of bed) and I got rid of the boss who skimped on everything, then thought they owned me 24x7 to compensate.

Nowadays, we'll *RARELY* just be affected by these things. When that happens, we mention the problem and quickly adjust. But most triggers get ignored without even waking up. OTOH, if I need my wife awake, I can play her ringtone on my phone or speak her name loudly or make a sound like a cat hurking up dinner and *PRESTO*. (I know better than to ever abuse that knowledge -- I think my wife'd turn into the angry spawn of Shiva and Cthulu if I did it as a prank. I choose life.)

Most importantly, try to rein in the late night calls: they shouldn't be a habit unless you get compensated incredibly well for also doing off-hours support. Don't let employers abuse you. Rule of thumb: If the calls seem lame or about preventable issues, and if the company won't pay extra for prevention, you're being abused.

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