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April 04, 2005

Tough Week

Last week was tough. First, we had a difficult time w/a new email server, server's name is Hyatt, with getting some new software to work. This machine is scheduled to replace an older email server. So after working on it myself for a good part of a week I finally figured it out, tested it and Eureka! it worked!  Then...

Sc450nx6 there was a loud bang and I was sitting in the dark in the office. Now, that isn't supposed to happen!  I don't care if the power goes out, but these servers are setup with UPS (uninteruptable power supplies) as well as surge protection. So even though the power fails, these machines should be chugging along, lighting up the office.

Well, these machines are Intel server powerhouses, four xeon cpu, six scsi raid drive, gigs of memory, 3 redundant power supplies, etc. etc. Geez, they weigh 100 lbs each!  Our production web server is named "Nylon", our staging server is "Vinyl". Got a storgae machine named "Bakelite".  So anyway,  I went on to discover that a faulty surge protector let a spike in which destroyed several hard drives (and right after I fixed my problem too!)  This falls under the "life isn't fair" rule, since I hadn't been careless but got burnt anyway.

Luckily, we have two server areas, the production rack where the live servers sit went unharmed by the failure, never missed a beat. But this was our staging area where new servers get built and tested.  So on the good side, it wasn't a production server. Oh, except for that one guy Wayne, who was my test subject. Ha, sorry Wayne!

For those interested our web and email servers are all unix. The older ones run FBSD unix with Apache. The new ones run Fedora Linux, Apache and MySQL. Nice machines!  We have a T-1 feeding them and have a 99.9_% uptime rate over many years. So normally things go well.

I've gradually been forced to become quite the unix geek. Before the internet imploded we had several employees and as our dot.com clients went bust our workforce attritioned down. As an employee left I learned how to do their job, one by one. The ultimate jack-of-all trades I am!  More skills than even I want to know.

Later last week our forums got HACKED! Turned out our software hadn't caught up with a very recent security bug, allowing a hacker exploit to more or less grafiti our forums.  Well, this was straightforward but involved spending a day I had planned to spend at Mass Plastics Trade Show, instead repairing the damage from backups and upgrading the software to the security fix.

Then a new client called and needed a mass email sent out 'today' instead of in a few weeks as scheduled... sigh!  Well, we do like to rescue our clients when we can, so we did that too.

Then finally I got over to Mass Plastics where I was very underwhelmed that I didn't see much in the way of new and neat technologies.  Came home Friday evening... basement flooded with all the rain :(

All in all, the week didn't go anything like I planned and only got half what I wanted done!

So I work up this morning pumped and jacked for a new week, went out to the car... won't start!

(But I do get the last laugh while I sit awaiting the mechanic. Because of remote connectivity I can work from home as if I were sitting at my desk)


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Blogs! What a great idea. Pure genius!

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