ESTHER may not be the self-aware joint project of a conspiracy between the government and Rice administration, but it nevertheless came to a screeching halt on the Friday of Orientation Week when the system slowed down so much it prevented some students from being able to register for classes at all. To accommodate the largest class in Rice's history, the Office of the Registrar designated two registration time slots based on the last six digits of a student's Rice ID. The first group registered at 8 a.m. and the second at 8:30 a.m. However, both groups encountered difficulty registering when a bottleneck in one of the system processes caused requests to cluster and impede the flow of oncoming requests. For students, this manifested as dropped connections and time-out errors.