29 to 31 January, 2000


Late Friday evening Matt called and asked "Uh ... so, this disk partition ... that's not backed up, is it?"

"Don't quote me on this, but it should be ..."

"Oh! Well, uhmm ... see, I need this directory restored ..."

"Is it very urgent? I could come in and do it now."

"Oh, no."

"Good then I'll drop by tomorrow morning and do it."

"Great! Thanks!"

Coworkers love it when I do stuff that helps them work more efficiently. Go figure.


So I slept in Saturday morning, after some scrambled eggs on toast, I wandered down by the office. Time to run some backups and relax a little by playing SimCity 2000 while I waited for the server to ask for fresh tapes. Not a bad way to spend your Saturday afternoon, chilling out. Things went pretty zippy ... first tape ... second tape ... third and final tape ... disk full! A busy day at Fry's

"Augh," said I, and after a moment of consideration, thought a trip to Fry's was in order. I go to Fry's a few times a week, helping fuel Tellme's insatiable demand for spare parts on short notice. Say what you will about Fry's, but when it comes to Tellme's short-notice appetite, Fry's satisfies.

But that means I tend to go during the week. I'd no idea what a mad house the place could be on a weekend! Now I know why they have such a high-capacity cashier queuing system - they actually use it on the weekends!

I picked up several Ethernet cables and a pair of 28G Seagate Barracudas. Nice, big IDE drives at a decent price. After the checkout zoo I was back on my way to work. 90G of disk in my workstation

I had earlier purchased a Promise UDMA/66 IDE controller ... with all these big disks waiting around in my servers, the higher-end controller might do a bit of good. That and you can only have four IDE devices in your average PC. So, after much unscrewing and fiddling and rerouting cables and screwing things back together, I put it all together in my workstation, which has been doubling as an extra file store, and booted up. It is a weirdly impressive site to see about 90G of disk in your workstation.

Now, at first, FreeBSD didn't see the second controller with all its high performance goodness. No problem, the kernel wasn't built to look for it. Rebuild kernel, reboot , no problem.

Problem. The kernel still didn't se the controller. Hrmmm. A few quick searches on Deja turned up a kernel patch. Problem. The patches just wouldn't apply! Why? Beats me, they looked alright to me. After much head scratching and frustration, I discovered patch -l - the Usenet post had incompatible whitespace and a few wrapped lines. Valuable lesson.

And so I did rebuild my kernel again, and reboot, and the controller was recognized, along with its disks. And I went to format them, and the machine crashed.

Ooookay, maybe that patch wasn't all there was to it. So I took my workstation apart .. unscrew, unscrew, unscrew, pull the hard drive mounting bracket out, pull one of the disks out, re-cable, verify master-slave settings, screw back in place, screw, screw, boot.

And the system did come up, and it was stable, and with that middle disk removed there was better heat dissipation, and the disk got formatted and the file restoration was mostly successful, and there might have been much rejoicing but it was already a bit too late to go out and enjoy my Saturday night. Oh well, there's always next weekend.

When I got home, the carpet had been cleaned. You see, Todd Markle is visiting, staying on our couch. He is far tidier than me, which makes him way way tidier than Dave. Well, between Todd and Rebecca, Dave was overwhelmed and those dear souls spent Saturday cleaning. I felt better about having spent the day at work then, because the right thing to do with my Saturday would have been to clean the bathroom, as I've been marshaling my resources to do, but which Rebecca beat me to. Bless her.


On my day of rest I slept in good and long. I just chilled the whole day, enjoying the break, playing SimCity. I haven't played a computer game in years! In the evening we went to Joe Doyle's house for his Turkey Dinner. The Superbowl was playing, but that's one of those monumental events in American culture that I have zero interest in. I don't care about football, and I could care less what creative ways corporate America or the "dot-com"ers have come up with to stroke their own egos. I hear the handful of good commercials can be found on the Internet anyway.

And then "The Simpsons" was a rerun, and nobody had any interest in suffering through "Malcolm in the Middle" for another "X-Files" rerun. We all headed home, thanking Joe for a Wonderful Feast. Next weekend will be better ... new Simpsons and "Futurama" comes back. Yay!

Upon returning home, I wanted a breath mint. I walked over to Long's, but they're only open 'til midnite during the week, so I ventured in to the "Six to Midnite" liquor store, which is also a block away from our apartment.


Insomnia last night meant I was a few minutes late to work for the weekly noon "All Hands" meeting. I saw Holly was still around, sharply dressed in a business suit. Her initial interview had been scheduled for 9AM, and that she was still around at noon was a good sign. An offer in the works, and I may have a pair of good Illinois alumni as co-workers.

And neighbors, for I'm hoping to find a place near the new office. Dave gets to pay rent the next two months, a good time for me to head on out! I could live right near Andrew and Holly and Dave and Mike and Gina, who may soon owe me two weeks of food.


Yeah and so today the power was shut down for a few hours until Dave got the bills straightened out. A healthy reminder to go apartment hunting. Next week, perhaps? It's breath mint time.

27 January << 2000 >> 17 February

This document last modified Wednesday, 19-Nov-2003 23:24:54 UTC <dannyman@dannyland.org>