netcurmudgeon (netcurmudgeon) wrote,

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The closest you'll get to seeing election commentary here...

Mark, my unindicted co-conspirator, spent last night into the wee hours today hunkered down in the Registrar's office providing in-person support for Hartford's home-brew election system. Apparently, being a poll worker in Hartford is a political patronage job; competency isn't a prerequisite. It took the staff at the 23 polling places until almost 11 last night to get their tallies to City Hall. Once they had them, the Registrar's crew got the election work done by two thirty.

You may ask why Hartford is running a home-made Access 97 voter/election system. The answer involves us pulling the plug on the old IBM mainframe in '02 and the state having a massive budget crisis right about the same time. We pushed the Registrar off the cliff by removing their old mainframe system, and the State utterly failed to catch them when they cancelled development of the State system (due to layoffs) with only 25% of the features delivered. So, Mark got to develop a system to handle the other 75% of the functionality, and now gets to spend election nights mother-henning the Registrar.

Oh, and domain controller #1 in the root domain of our Active Directory forest died an ugly death last night. The RAID controller failed, and in so doing scribbled on the disks, so even when we moved them to a new box the RAID set still came up DEAD. (I had never seen a RAID container status of DEAD before.... I don't feel the need to see it again.) We have two other DCs in the root domain, but it being the first DC in the first domain of the forest, it had all sorts of other jobs -- four FSMO roles (Schema Master, Domain Naming Master, PDC Emulator, and RID Master), Global Catalog Server, primary WINS, and primary DNS for the server room. Oof.

Not quite a case of network fall down, go boom, but not fun. The users are all in two child domains, but the Exchange server is in the root domain. With DC #1 out of commission all of the Outlook clients couldn't find the Exchange server. Domain logins got a little wonky, and most of the legacy Win 9x boxes were apparently dead in the water.

A little heavy-wrenching with NTDSUTIL later and all of the FSMO roles were seized and handed over to other DCs by 11:00 AM. We finished rebuilding DC #1 on new hardware, promoting it to Domain Controller, and reconfiguring DNS and WINS around 3:30 PM. So, most of Hartford had a day without email. I'm not sure that was really a bad thing. If only we could arrange a couple of days without voicemail!

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