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2003 - Computers

My horribly-messy computer area. As I added more computers and more junk,it became more and more clear that something would need to be done. Laterin the year, the rack project began.
^topJanuary, 2003
My horribly-messy computer area. As I added more computers and more junk, it became more and more clear that something would need to be done. Later in the year, the rack project began.

This was one of the rare times one of my home servers has reached a triple-digituptime. In fact, it's the only time I can recall this happening. I've gottenmachines into the 90's a few times. I tinker with my machines too much, and so they rarely get uptimes past 90 days. Just before rebooting this server(and finding out I didn't need to), I decided to immortalize the uptime. Interestingly,this machine ran for another 3 months, and might have had a 200 day uptime hadI not rebooted it unnecessarily. :)
^topEarly 2003
This was one of the rare times one of my home servers has reached a triple-digit uptime. In fact, it's the only time I can recall this happening. I've gotten machines into the 90's a few times. I tinker with my machines too much, and so they rarely get uptimes past 90 days. Just before rebooting this server (and finding out I didn't need to), I decided to immortalize the uptime. Interestingly, this machine ran for another 3 months, and might have had a 200 day uptime had I not rebooted it unnecessarily. :)

My computer area is always in flux, and will be seeing many improvements in the near future, but here's yet another viewof my monstrosity. This particular setup ranges from my old 486 all the way up toreasonably current hardware... believe it or not, the olderhardware can still be useful. The 486 has 36MB RAM, and runningLinux it can still be put to work. :) What the picture does not show is my old tower-case (with afunctional pentium system inside), or my old XT and 286, aswell as the work-area covered with ancient PCI and ISA devices,and less-than-optimal monitors. Soon after this, the revolution begain. :) (as of this picture, all eight were running and active on the network)
^topJune 17, 2003
My computer area is always in flux, and will be seeing many improvements in the near future, but here's yet another view of my monstrosity.

This particular setup ranges from my old 486 all the way up to reasonably current hardware... believe it or not, the older hardware can still be useful. The 486 has 36MB RAM, and running Linux it can still be put to work. :)

What the picture does not show is my old tower-case (with a functional pentium system inside), or my old XT and 286, as well as the work-area covered with ancient PCI and ISA devices, and less-than-optimal monitors. Soon after this, the revolution begain. :)

(as of this picture, all eight were running and active on the network)

About a month later, the changes began, and the rack projectwas under way! Notice that even a half-rack still stands as tallas my 21" monitor on your average utility table. Not all of the configuration and mountingwas done yet, as of this picture. The upper machine wasn't evenpowered on at the time (which can be noticed by the subtle lackof a backlight on the little blue LCD display in the drive-bay,as compared to the one below it). I've really been packing in what I can, and it's proving to be an interesting and educationalexperience.
^topJuly 15, 2003
About a month later, the changes began, and the rack project was under way! Notice that even a half-rack still stands as tall as my 21" monitor on your average utility table.

Not all of the configuration and mounting was done yet, as of this picture. The upper machine wasn't even powered on at the time (which can be noticed by the subtle lack of a backlight on the little blue LCD display in the drive-bay, as compared to the one below it). I've really been packing in what I can, and it's proving to be an interesting and educational experience.

The new and improved "computer lab". Much more space efficient andaesthetic. That was the easy part... I mean, don't get me wrong, itwas a lot of work to re-arrange furniture, replace a table, removea desk, reconfigure hardware, etc... but it was also kinda fun becauseit involved buying and assembling lots of neat new cool things. The hardpart is soon to follow-- bringing myself to actually get rid of theold stuff. *sigh*
^topJuly 18, 2003
The new and improved "computer lab". Much more space efficient and aesthetic. That was the easy part... I mean, don't get me wrong, it was a lot of work to re-arrange furniture, replace a table, remove a desk, reconfigure hardware, etc... but it was also kinda fun because it involved buying and assembling lots of neat new cool things. The hard part is soon to follow-- bringing myself to actually get rid of the old stuff. *sigh*

Some of these pictures (this one and the one below) have been carefully framed so as not toshow the immense mess that was the entire first floor of my house while completely redesigning my computer area and decomissioningsome of the older hardware. (<A href="2003/976.jpg">Click here</A> to see a darker image (no flash) with the door closed, showing some of the<A href="http://www.catb.org/~esr/jargon/html/B/blinkenlights.html">blinkenlights</A>).Of course, nothing can really beat the old vintage <A href="http://mission.base.com/tamiko/cm/cm-image.html">Connection Machines</A> in that regard! :) To those who want to do their own rack projects, here's a tip:eBay is your friend! You can get a lot of decent stuff muchcheaper than buying it new... although there are some thingsworth not skimping on. I decided to go for a brand-new UPSsince the battery life is a concern, and splurged for the largest capacity one I could get that would still run off astandard AC outlet.
^topJuly 18, 2003
Some of these pictures (this one and the one below) have been carefully framed so as not to show the immense mess that was the entire first floor of my house while completely redesigning my computer area and decomissioning some of the older hardware.

(Click here to see a darker image (no flash) with the door closed, showing some of the blinkenlights). Of course, nothing can really beat the old vintage Connection Machines in that regard! :)

To those who want to do their own rack projects, here's a tip: eBay is your friend! You can get a lot of decent stuff much cheaper than buying it new... although there are some things worth not skimping on. I decided to go for a brand-new UPS since the battery life is a concern, and splurged for the largest capacity one I could get that would still run off a standard AC outlet.

The computers are always being modified and updated, so here's a morerecent shot than the ones above. To see the same thing without the labelling,<A href="2003/1015.jpg">click here</A>, or <A href="2003/1014.jpg">click here</A> for the same shot with flash.
^topNovember 22, 2003
The computers are always being modified and updated, so here's a more recent shot than the ones above. To see the same thing without the labelling, click here, or click here for the same shot with flash.

The same scene as above, but from further back. <A href="2003/1017.jpg">Click here</A> to see it with the camera flash.
^topNovember 22, 2003
The same scene as above, but from further back. Click here to see it with the camera flash.

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