I got a taste of it on Friday working with Pat at Hartford Public High School. HPHS is itself in the middle of a hugely drawn out renovation and construction project. Now, a year and a half after originally scheduled, work has progressed to the point where the south-west corner of the building is being cleared and partially demolished (this is the first point where the new construction will link to the existing building).
One of the five wiring closets at HPHS is in that section; Pat and I spent the morning taking it apart. The experience generated an odd mixture of feelings. There was pleasure and relief that progress was finally being made. Also, happiness over recovering a small treasure-trove of cables and equipment to add to our tiny pool of spares. There was also sadness and nostalgia. I crafted the configuration of HPHS' network. I was part of the crew that installed it in 1999. While I did not install this particular closet, it is -- was -- an instance of my thoughts made real. My handwriting is literally on this equipment (I forgot to bring our label maker when Majik and I went through and configured the management on all of the switches, so we wound up writing the IP addresses on the hardware with grease pencil).
Laying hands on this closet was a powerful dose of memory refresher. Remembering those early days -- the good times, the people who have since gone away for better or worse -- throws the present into sharp relief. The happiness aspect of taking the closet apart must, I think, be tied with the expectation that soon we will be putting in new equipment as construction and renovation progress. In the past, riding a wave of new installations was the good times. So new installations in the future will bring the good times back, right?