August 29, 2002

Well, today starting off with a bang – our Internet access is down. Road Runner is generally pretty reliable but it does go down for a half day at a time from time to time but then stays up for a month or two. It is pretty weird the problems that they have. It is annoying though, because they are always down during the times when I am really needing to be online. And they are often down for very long periods of time which is really ridiculous. I don’t know what they have going on that they should ever be down for 8-12 hours at a stretch.

More home work today. The semester is over this weekend and I need to finish up everything that I have gotten behind on. And of course, having no Internet access this close is not helping matter any. I am heading for Washington, D.C. tonight. I plan on working at the hospital for a while tonight and then sleeping in at the house in Annapolis in the morning. Now that we have the servers moved down there, life is so much better. It is cool in that office and much cleaner. The rack we are using for the computers is much better and we can move it around to get behind the computers and work on things.

Dominica is going to be coming down to Maryland to spend the weekend with me tomorrow night. We are hoping to be able to go to the Renaissance Festival down there over the weekend. Don’t forget that Monday is Labor Day. (You know, from the people who brought you the weekend.) And for our Canadian friends who are surprised that we have that holiday too, it is a British holiday.)

Currently, Gordon is our house server. It was selected because it had multiple hot swappable hard drives and a smart array adapter. But, Gordon is getting old. In fact, Gordon was a pretty old machine when we first purchased it while living in the Gaslight Apartment in Ithaca. That would have been in the Spring of 2000. (Speaking of the Spring of 2000, Loopy – do you remember what we spray painted (with window frosting) onto Josh’s bedroom window on Feb. 19, 2000, well, it’s still there.) So Gordon is getting on and is becoming less and less useful in the house as we need more and more disk space and would like to have more and more features on our server. We are looking for a good home for Gordon in the near future. He has been a good machine for us but he needs to go do some good work for someone else. He is a Compaq Proliant 2000 upgraded to a Pentium 100. I have two more Pentium 100 boards and processors and an ourboard drive array so he could be almost tripled in speed by a loving family. He has room for a couple more identical hard drives as well that would speed him up and give him more disk space to work with. All of his parts are pretty cheap on eBay. He has 86MB of memory but could be upgraded. Our new machine is a rack mount Compaq Proliant 6500 with larger drives, 128MB of memory and four Intel Pentium Pro 200 processors (roughly the equivalent to a 1GHz Celeron machine.) It isn’t the fastest machine on the block anymore either but it is a super high reliability machine like Gordon was and will hopefully last us just as long. Gordon has been running Windows NT 4 Server but we want to move to Red Hat Linux for the house server. That will make the new machine even faster yet.

I just got off the phone with Road Runner. It would appear that they forgot to process my last payment and they shut off the cable service. This is not the first time that they have screwed up the billing and shut us off even when we were paid in full. But they don’t inform us that that is why it is being shut off so it is impossible to tell the difference between their regular network problems and a billing problem. I wouldn’t have even called had today not been two days after the end of the billing cycle. But it is long enough after that I thought for sure that it wasn’t a billing issue. You would think that a Fortune 10 company like that would have its act a little bit more together than that.

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