The politics are so fierce precisely because the stakes are so low.
—Dr. Arnold J. Mandell
As I'm walking out to my car I notice that it seems to be farther away than normal. Sure enough, taped to the driver's side window is the following note:
Next time you park here, your car will be towed
At least it wasn't one of those self-ahesive stickers the Condo Commandos use around here. I pull the note off and go to pop the trunk when I hear someone yelling at me.
“Is that your car?” It's coming from in front of my car, up somewhere. Sure enough, there's someone from a second floor porch yelling at me. “That's my spot you parked in!”
“I'm sorry!” I yell back.
“You're not allowed to park there. You don't park in handicapped spots, right?”
“I'm sorry! I must have parked in the wrong spot last night,” I said. I hop over to the next spot. “This is my spot. I must have parked here by mistake,” I say, putting the package I was carrying in the trunk and shutting it. The man on the porch was glaring at me. Even at 50' away, I could tell.
There was a second note under the wiper of my car as well. Said the same thing. Gotta love those Condo Commandos.
Now the package I put in the trunk is a new harddrive I picked up from CompUSA yesturday. Tower (the webserver for conman.org) is running a bit low in disk space so I figured I'd put in a new drive to alleviate the problem.
Now tower is a 486SX-33MHz NCR IBM PCompatible that was given to me by a friend (otherwise it would be tossed into the garbage). Not wanting to turn down an otherwise usable machine I took it, increased the memory to a whopping 20M and installed Linux on the just barely 200M harddrive.
Yup. I'm serving up the primary web server, an online bible and friend's site on a machine that most people would otherwise toss into the garbage. It's adequite enough for what I do with it (and for four years another friend ran his company, a web hosting company, off a 486 (okay, so it was twice as fast as my 486, but it worked).
So I went to CompUSA yesturday to find the cheapest harddrive I could find. I don't need that much space.
The cheapest drive I could find (okay, it wasn't the cheapest, but it was the best price per gig) was a huge 17G harddrive for $150.
Sure, I could have probably scrounged around for a drive, but it's cheap enough to get a new one.
But it feels odd installing a 17G drive in a 486. My home system only (only!) has a 3G drive.
Why not put the 17G in my home system, and move the 3G to the webserver? Too much hassle. I had quite a bit of fun installing the 17G drive in the 486. The supplied drive cable wasn't long enough (the two drives sit side by side) but fortunately my host company provided a “just long enough” cable for me to use.
Then it was a matter of getting Linux to recognize the second drive. Enabled it in the BIOS, then had to reconfigure some settings through the BIOS (and here I'm glad the NCR had a BIOS program built in. The Compaq 486 I have here doesn't) to get Linux to see more than 500M (the CMOS had some default values which I upped using the settings from another Linux system with a 17G drive installed).
My only concern with such a huge drive is if the machine goes down uncleanly. My Linux system takes forever to fsck a 3G drive, and it's an AMD 586-166MHz system. Lord only knows how long it'll take a 33MHz 486 to fsck a 17G harddrive. Shudder.
UPDATE: I ran “time mount /dev/hdb1 /mnt” (under Unix, this will time how long a command takes to run) and found that it took 7.08 seconds in the kernel to mount the 17G harddrive under Linux 2.0.36 running on a 486SX-33MHz. Ouch.
I also ran “time fsck -f -y /dev/hdb1” (under Unix, this will check the consistency of the filesystem and make corrections. The -f option forces the program to run, even if the filesystem isn't corrupted) and it took almost 15 minutes to run. That on a clean filesystem. I'd hate to think what it would do on a corrupted system.
I've been following the various Linux IPOs and today I see that VA Linux Systems had their IPO today.. Briefly, it IPOed (can you verb a TLA? Can you verb the word “verb?” Whatever … ) at US$30 and opened at US$299. Inbloodysane.
Andover.Net wasn't nearly as inbloodysane.