The Boston Diaries

The ongoing saga of a programmer who doesn't live in Boston, nor does he even like Boston, but yet named his weblog/journal “The Boston Diaries.”

Go figure.

Monday, September 25, 2000

Black Monday

What a way to start a Monday.

What a way to start the week, actually.

First off, the phone rang off the hook again this morning. Not that I answered it. But one call I could hear the person leaving the message on the answering machine, which is across the house (couldn't be much further from me in fact). Poor Rob. His room is next to the computer room—he must have gotten the full force of it. I suspected at the time it was my client CS.

I finally got up, showered and ready to go to Lou Bachrodt Chevrolet (regularly scheduled maintenance on my car). I check my answering machine and yes, it was CS screaming about his colo facility—they shut down his server and what the hell was going on?

It's not like I would have been of much help even if I did pick up the phone; I no longer have access to the colo facility like I used to and while I still know the people there, I suspect I'm on the outs there (for a variety of reasons, one of which my working with CS but that's something I don't want to get into here). And CS is definitely on the outs over there.

There was another message or two but I don't know what they are as the phone started ringing. It was CS, much calmed down. He told me to ignore the earlier message and went on to fill me in on what's been going on. Meanwhile, the machine I still use for email was rebooted so I had to log back in to check my email.

Only I couldn't log in. Wonderful! I'm planning on going to Lou's and all this crap starts coming down on me.

It just so happens that the machine I check my email on is located at the colo facility mentioned above. I knew I was on the outs, but this? This wasn't even a machine associated with the company in question. CS was amused by the news and even offered to pay for my connectivity when (it's not a question of if) I loose it (again, being provided by the colo facility in question—not like I should still refrain from mentioning the company but hey …).

Once we're done talking I call the colo facility and talk to CW, who runs the box I check my email on.

“There was a security incident,” he said when I asked why I lost my shell. “You can still FTP in and get your mail.”

“It's not quite that easy,” I said. “I still use the account—it's still my primary email address.”

“I thought you were getting your email elsewhere. Can't you FTP your email?”

“Can't you enable secure shell? FTPing my mail isn't really an option.”

“Okay, I'll enable your shell,” CW said and hung up.

A few minutes later I try logging in.

/bin/spc: no such file or directory
Closing connection.

Well, proof CW is no longer in the technical realm, I thought. I phone back, only to get the message CW will call me back in a few minutes. Grrrrrrrrr. Might as well forget Lou's today.

Surprisingly enough CW did call back in a few minutes. He fixed the problem, then laid the next bomb shell on me: “Your ISDN. You still using that?” Not for much longer I suspect. “Do you want to keep it?”

“How much will it cost me to keep it?”

“$129 a month.” Gee, Velotel only charges $50/month for the same service.

“How long do I have to think this over?”

“Send me an email by the end of the week,” CW said. I can only hope I still have access to email by the end of the week to inform him of my decision.

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