30 October, 2007

Dear Norm Podhoretz

Mahmoud Ahmedinejad is not Adolf Hitler. He is not anything like Hitler.

Shut your war mongering fascist pie-hole, Norm.

26 October, 2007

Colbert Nation

Have you joined "1 million Strong for Steven T Colbert"?

Well, have you?

If the election were held today, Steven Colbert would be President-elect tomorrow. Easily, handily.

19 October, 2007

Datacenter Confidential #10?..

Yes, let's call this one ten. Nine needs a rewrite anyway.

I just spent 24 of the last 48 hours racking and stacking since one of my hosting companies decided they needed to move me.

I'm venting toward the middle of the room since I'm pretty sure that they are 4+1 CR/AC units short of what they will need if they fill their room up with servers (not to mention the power, but that's another issue -- I have three extra 20amp circuits for an insanely cheap $150/mo, so I'm good to go and fuck everyone else, haw haw). Also, 80amps per cabinet is twice as much as the hosting company upstairs lets me get away with, although, as I said before, the lack of air condition and UPS may just bite me later -- nothing too important down there though.

So, here's how you know you have been working too long on racking and stacking: when, at 5am, you drop a 1u grid machine (don't worry, the thing had a value in today's dollars of probably $350, but it cost $1700 back in 2005 when we bought it -- rest in peace).

Power, space, cooling.. first principals. Next week I have to find space, power and cooling for 18 new machines (including another SAN tray). I have ROR for space adjacent to my 5 upstairs racks, but they aren't sure they can give me two 20amp circuits. *FROWNY FACE*. I saw someone carting out three dozen Dell's last week, there better fucking be power. I hope we don't have to go downstairs, because I will have to go with something cheaper for SAN, like a sucky commodity 3WARE on-board JBOD.

Oh, also, I wanted to return to the idea of mise en place when talking about jobs like this.

At minimum, each machine getting racked will need two rails, measured to length, 4 square nuts with threaded screw-holes, and four screws. For the thirty-five or so machines I moved, that's 70 rails, 140 nuts, 140 screws. How does one divide up this tedious labor (the most tedious of which, in my opinion, is adjusting the rail lengths to the horizontal length of the front and back risers on the rack, left and right)? By 5am this morning, I had devised the following attack strategy:

Working 5 machines at a time (5 boxes, 10 rails, 20 nuts, 20 screws), I marked off and installed the nuts, measured (or had pre-measured) a length template for the rail, adjusted all the rails (not including the template) and hand installed each rail, screwing in the screws with my fingers and tightening or adjusting them with a screwdriver when the machines slide into the rails.

Then I would drop the power (because my retarded hosting company put the power receptacles on top of the racks as opposed to in them, on the bottom), bundled 5 power cables at a time, on the left, and I would pull and drop the cat5 on the right. Cat5 goes in first, then power, then a KVM to verify that (a) I'm in the right NIC (all hosts were dual NIC) and (b) that the machine actually boots.

Which brings me to admin pet peeve #272 -- there is never, EVER, *EVER* any reason to boot into runlevel >3. I'm talking to YOU, Lunix lusers.

A datacenter grid machine or server NEVER EVER EVER needs some fucking gimpy stupid fucking douchebag GUI. Its in a RACK, its not a DESKTOP, idiot. So, to the previous admins who initially installed these machines, I say to you, thanks, thanks for making me edit /etc/inittab to undo your stupid runlevel 5 moronocity. On a dozen machines!

Next week: software RAID, stupid or just mean-spirited?

17 October, 2007

08 October, 2007

03 October, 2007

Dear Mr Lebron James, Millionaire

Sir, let me first say that I appreciate you remaining in Cleveland and playing for the Cavaliers, and continuing to support the community. Certainly, I do not need to remind you that Cleveland is a city with numerous image and economic problems, and while I do not agree that having a successful sports franchise is in any way a panacea or even a suitable Band-Aid for our city's ills(*), I cannot argue that your continued support does do some good.

That said, when you (allegedly) tell your friend not to tip a valet because "they get paid to do that anyway," I feel I must take offense and correct you. Certainly, valets are paid. Usually, they are paid a fraction of the minimum wage. The reason this is possible is because they are employees, like waiters and bartenders, who earn a portion of their income from tips.

In July, the minimum wage for Cleveland, the lowest in the nation, went up to a dismal $5.85. According to the text of the bill, an employer may pay 'less than [the proposed minimum wage] but not less than half of [the minimum wage] if it can be demonstrated that the employee also earns tips.' Half of the minimum wage is $2.93, and you can bet that almost every employer will pay their tip-earning employees the exact minimum the law allows.

So, sir, with all due respect, if you do not tip valets, and if you tell others not to tip valets, then that means that not only are you a cheapskate, you are also a douche-bag.


(*) Regarding the phrase "successful sports franchise", I do mean a winning one; in the words of Stringer Bell to Omar Little and Brother Mouzon, "get on with it, motherfucker."

A Recipe for Sadness

I just finished watching a surreal interview with Chris Matthews and Jon Stewart on last night's The Daily Show.

"This is the worst interview I've ever had in my life!"

Damn straight, Matthews.

The book is called "Life's a Campaign: What Politics Has Taught Me About Friendship, Rivalry, Reputation and Success." If that doesn't make you NOT want to read this book, I don't know what won't.

In fact, if that title does make you want to buy that book, you are probably a fucking scumbag.

I will not deny that there is a place for politics and political tactics: politics. But there is a reason that "politics" gets a bad name: politics are bad. Politics is what politicians are doing when they aren't helping their constituents (voters, not companies) -- which is my not so subtle way of insinuating that politics is what politicians are doing 99.9% of the time.

And what are the lessons, the aims of politics: get out there and make the most money, say the most whitewashed generic things you can say, do not offend anyone by not having any distinguishing characteristics, smear your opponent and have no soul.

The person with the combination of the most charisma and cash "wins." What do they win? They win the chance to shill for their corporate and special interests masters while failing entirely to accomplishing any of the lofty goals they may have had decades ago when they first decided to enter politics; "to make a difference."

Or perhaps your goal is to win for the sake of winning. This makes you a perfect "candidate" for politics. More likely, if you don't play the "game" right, this makes you a perfect mark for people selling self-help books or "The Secret" DVDs. You are a prick with a false sense of entitlement, you think the Universe owes you something and you are willing to compromise ethics, morality and common sense to get your way.

Pat yourself on the back, if this is you, and go out and buy a copy of Chris Matthews' book.