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, August 21, 2006

On the road again, IV

[Always seems to happen—I travel, and for the first day or so I manage to keep up making posts then suddenly I drop off the face of the earth for a week or so. Sigh. Anyway, what follows will be a rather quick recap of the Hellish nightmare that was last week.]

So, where was I?

Ah, yes. Charlotte.

We checkout out of our hotel, then proceed to the data center (after making our obligatory stop at Starbucks that's just around the corner from the data center) with a full day's plan ahead of us, only to have it shot down mere seconds after walking inside.

Now, let me explain a bit about the setup of the data center in Charlotte. You walk in the main lobby. You then have two data centers, one ahead (data center #2) and one to the left (data center #1). Each data center has a keypad on the door that you wave a featureless white card at, then enter your PIN. This leads into a waiting area—the data center #1 vestibule (as this waiting area is called) has cubes set up for work, as well as a work table, while the vestibule in data center #2 (where our cabinet is stored) is just a large featureless room. Nonetheless, there's another set of doors in each vestibule with a small cylinder vertically mounted by the doors. You wave your card in front of this, then place your finger on the top of the cylinder, then you can enter the data center proper.

Our plan had been to set up a cable assembly line in vestibule #1 since we had a large number of networking cables to make. Smirk was also planning on checking the dead server in this area and see if he could get it working.

Well …

The table was in use in the lobby for a blood drive. And all the cubes in vestibule #1 were in use by another customer (or customers). Not a good start. An hour goes by as Smirk talks to the various employees there about where we can set up. We're told that we can snag the table at 2:30 pm and take it into data center #2 where we can work. So we have to wait around until 2:30 to get the table …

So we're running late.

2:30 comes, we set up the table in the data center, and I proceed to manufacture cables while Smirk checks up on the dead server, which turns out is dead because of defective memory. Smirk then goes out hunting computer memory while I stay behind making cables.

And cables.

And more cables.

Smirk returns, puts the new memory in the server, and it works. He then helps me make cables.

We made a lot of cables.

And spent quite a bit of time hooking up said cables.

And doing some quick tests.

We finally get out of the data center around 10:00 pm. The plan now? To drive until we can't drive any futher, get a hotel room, then resume travelling tomorrow.

On the way through Columbia, South Carolina, we stop by and visit an old friend of Smirk's who just recently moved to the area.

The apartment I lived in in Boca? The one I jokingly refered to as “The Facility in the Middle of Nowhere?”

Smirk's friend, J—his house is in the freaking “Middle of Nowhere!” We must have driven about 40 or so minutes through dark winding back country roads that met at odd angles until we reached J's house. And for being in the freaking “Middle of Nowhere” it was a nice house. A house like that down here, with that much land, would probably be in the half million dollar range easy.

Cheap up there though.

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