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Technical

Data Center Supplies

As a Systems Administrator, I have spent my share of time in various data centers. So, I was keen to read Ben Rockwood’s Personal Must-Haves. He wants a Leatherman, a particular mug, a particular water bottle, an iPhone and a particular bar code scanner. Honestly, it kind of felt like reading a marketing advertisement. I like the idea of a bar code scanner that can dump ASCII as if it were a keyboard device:

Your laptop will register it as a keyboard, so when you press the button to scan the contents of the barcode are “typed in” where ever you like, which means you can use it with Excel just as easily as my prefered auditing format, CSV’s created in vi.

I explained that I keep my liquids in the break area, so I don’t need any fancy mugs. And I don’t know if an iPhone supports making calls over wifi, which is important because mobile signal is often poor to none in a datacenter, nor have I any idea if the camera is all that handy for quick, low-light macro shots.

My own list would include:

In the Cage

In the Cage – Networking and Comunications

In the Cage – Human Sanity

I like wearing the earplugs, then earbuds under noise-cancelling headphones, or over-the-ear earphones. You block out most of the noise and can enjoy some tunes while doing what is often non-thinking physical labor.

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  • Grego

    Excellent list, Danny. Definitely shows that you’ve spent plenty of time in datacenters! Here are a few additions; some depend on the particular colo environment. Folding chair. Step stool. Cable tester. Floor tile lifter. Bootable USB stick w/ recovery tools. Cage nut tool. Skype (etc.) headset. Printout of employee contact info. Set of #0, 1, 2 Philips drivers. Large and small flat drivers. And a lot of patience!