netcurmudgeon (netcurmudgeon) wrote,

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Catch-up post

The last days of last week were spent pretty much full-time with the team from IBM and Nortel working on starting deployment of the two pilot areas for the municipal WiFi project. I am both pleased and dismayed by the work that we did. Pleased that we got most of the fine details set and much of the back-end equipment configured. Dismayed that during week one of installation we were still doing so much fundamental design.

Saturday ashacat and I spent the morning and first half of the afternoon selecting things to put into storage, boxing them, and trucking them over to our newly rented storage unit. This is in preparation for putting the place on the market in the mid-to-near future. The rest of the afternoon was yard work. I am an herbicidal maniac, and a madman with a brush mower.

Sunday was my day of rest. I spent the morning finishing my Nth re-read of The Hunt for Red October. Still an awesome book. After finishing that, I picked up Red Storm Rising. Asha and I spent Sunday afternoon and evening at her folks' place, celebrating her mom's 65th birthday. A nice time was had by all, and we even managed to keep the dinner-table politics discussion from turning into the major downer it usually morphs into.


This morning was meetings and catch-up work, and wanting to plant an axe through the face of a certain individual in city government who is doing his level best to obstruct the muni wireless project. There are times when I just shouldn't read my email.

The afternoon was a different story. The two IBM servers and rack showed up (finally!), though still missing a few pieces (namely, a tape drive and the Microsoft media). The rack was, um, the rack was a goddamn parallelogram! No shit. From the factory (by appearances the same OEM that fabricates Dell's racks, which we like very much). The frame of this rack was welded out of true. We scrutinized the frame and the welds -- no cracking, no flaked enamel, no signs of stress. this thing wasn't bent in transit, it was made that way. If we didn't need the rack right now, I would have refused delivery. But, the situation is urgent, so we'll live with it.

I spent a good five hours getting everything installed in the rack. I had Kevin and Shawn (two of my engineers) with me to get the old hoss router set in the bottom (this rack is never going to tip over -- BLNs weigh a ton). After that Kevin helped me rack all of the other components. We roped Mark-my-unindicted-co-conspirator into helping us get the two servers racked at the end. (Get this IBM filth out of my server room!) I configured the disk arrays on the two servers, and decided to take a stab at installing Slackware on the one that will run Linux. I was pleasantly surprised that the install had drivers for all of the IBM proprietary hardware. So, sitting in the server room is one IBM box with a base Linux install, and another waiting for Windows 2003 Server.

Setting aside the disappointment of a crooked rack, and servers that showed up with somewhat incoherent accessories (they were not spec'd by server people, I can tell you that), it was really nice to get all of this other equipment installed in a proper rack instead of sitting in a pile on the computer room floor. I didn't get out until after six, but I think I'm ahead of the game for tomorrow, and the physical work felt good.

Tomorrow the Nortel team will be back and we'll probably spend most of the day on the Linux box, installing and configuring DHCP, RADIUS, FTP, SNTP and whatever other odds-and-ends they need.

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