Thought Repository

The Hardware Shuffle

This is showing up in a flurry of backdated journal posts. I like to date the posts when I should have written them, even if I was lazy and only put them on a list to write later. Once there are a couple on that list, it only grows because I don't want to write one if I'm not going to do them all and that would be more that I usually want to do. I was doing pretty good this summer, but there's a reason that a list developed.

While at NextFest I noticed that my server was down. I was afraid that it was hackers and when I got back, I found that it was. Luckily GATech computing services rocks. They had taken me off the network but they weren't so mad that it had happened and that I wasn't a student. They were willing to reconnect me as soon as I fixed the problem. And they were able to tell me exactly what happened. At first I was worried I wouldn't be able to resecure my machine because I didn't know how it was vulnerable. The computing guy told me that it was an exploit in an old version of awstats (that I wasn't getting updated because it was debianized) that I wasn't even using, I had just forgotten there. All I really had to do was turn off cgi-bin since I didn't use it anyway. Of course who knows what else the hackers did. It seems liked a good time to reformat and reinstall linux anyway. Besides, I needed to upgrade the kernel.

Well, that wasn't the only machine with problems when I came home. My desktop was making a very loud noise. It sounded like the harddrive working frantically. I immediately assume that was hackers or a virus too. This was not a good day. After some experimentation I noticed that it still made the sound even when the machine was at the bios menu so it wasn't software related. I thought it was just a bad HD. That would be awful too except no data had been ruined so I'd just need a new drive. Later it got even better. At some point I figure it wasn't even the HD, it was a loud busted video card fan. Tricky to find but easy to replace. Although I had some trouble finding how to replace one for that card, I eventually discovered it wasn't even that. It was the main CPU fan. Fans die all the time, especially in my dirty machines. That one was a piece of cake to replace.

In the mean time, I had looked at new HD's and found a pretty good deal. I was almost out of space on my server, and on my desktop on both drives. I had plenty of extra space but it was partitioned weird and wasn't that usuable. I decide some major changes were needed. New 200 gig drive for my desktop with plenty of programs and data space. No more linux so that's frees up space and I don't have to worry about partitioning the whole thing NTFS. The old machine can get the 40 and 120 GB drives and support lots of pictures and what not.

While thinking about all this, I thought, I'm moving all my data, wouldn't it be cool if I could make my server faster too? It was still a 333 and a bit slow for doing some of the things I wanted it to do. Long story short, I decide to upgrade my desktop, make the old one my new server, and get my Dad to pay for it for my birthday. The day the parts arrived, it was a big mess. I had 3 machines open and was passing parts around. Finally I had 3 reassembled machines. I had to reinstall OS's and programs and now I'm finally back up and running.