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Ask Slashdot: Server Room Toolbox?

jgreco Re:Static strap? (416 comments)

It's on the list I posted 40 minutes before your note. :-)

more than 2 years ago

Ask Slashdot: Server Room Toolbox?

jgreco Re:Ignore all these suggestions (416 comments)

"Consider how you would fix X" is a bad idea unless you have experience enough to know what the possible set of X is.

Also, I've seen plenty of people who had "the tools" to do a job. I saw three guys mounting servers in a rack one day with manual screwdrivers. It was taking them a really long time, of course. Since I had a primary and a spare, I lent them one of my power screwdrivers and a 9" phillips bit and suddenly they were installing gear a whole lot faster.

more than 2 years ago

Ask Slashdot: Server Room Toolbox?

jgreco It all depends of course (416 comments)

We've got a toolbox worth a good bit more than $1000 sitting in our east coast data center (800 miles away) because if and when there's a problem and someone has to show up on site, it's always at an inconvenient hour like 3AM when no stores are open.

Local maps with the locations of Graybar, ADI, etc., marked (dates the toolbox to "before smartphones" eh)
A mini notebook
Sharpie fine points in several colors

Screwdrivers, nutdrivers - actual tools not bits, useful in many cases
Mini MagLite and headlamp holder
Utility knife (do not use for box cutting!)
Xacto (do not use for box cutting!)
6" Bit extension
8" flexible bit extension
Screwdriver bits of all sorts
Pin extractors for connectors that can't be easily extracted without
Metal nibbler tool
Surgeon's Clamp
Neon voltage tester
Wire strippers
Terminal crimping tool
EZRJ45 Crimping tool
Set of 3 pliers (multi sizes)
Lock-jaw pliers
9" #2 Phillips bits- Made by Senco for a rapid drywall screw installer, these combine with a power screwdriver as THE single most used tool we have.
22" #2 Phillips bit - unobtanium but very useful for screwing stuff into rack rails you can barely get to
Large needle nose pliers
Curved long nose pliers
Other similar "larger" pliers
4" and 6" adjustable wrench
Milwaukee Power Screwdriver #6546-1 and spare battery - completely mandatory tool to prevent wrist fatigue, can tighten screws with the greatest of finesse due to the variable clutch
Victorinox Swiss Cybertool
Dental tools (picks, scrapers, mirror)

AC outlet wiring tester
Telephone line tester
Tone generator and probe
PDI CT340 Computer Cable Tester
Wire wrap tool and wire
Pencils and a cheap sharpener
Anti-static wrist strap
OK Logic Probe #PRB-50
Tool magnetizer - because the tips of all your screwdrivers should be very lightly magnetized, just enough to be able to touch a screw and lift it out of that awful corner
Digital multimeter
Soldering iron & solder
Electrical tape
Heat shrink tubing in multiple sizes
66/110 Punch Tool
US/Metric Hex Key Sets
1/4" socket drive set and hex bit adaptor for them

Tap and drill sets for common rack, computer sizes (6/32, 10/32, 10/24, etc)
20' Tape measure
Small Hammer
Rubber mallet ("compliance tool")
BIG flat, Phillips screwdrivers ("small pry bars")
Box cutter - utility knife with large handle
Torpedo level
Small drill
First aid kit
Dual D-cell Maglite
Test leads (alligator and hooks)

A decent clamp-on ammeter
A good labelmaker (harder to find than you might think)

Cans of air, WD40, adhesive remover, alcohol wipes, contact cleaner
2" Velcro One-Wrap in the cut-it-yerself roll. There are other options specifically made for tight wiring environments but this stuff is just overall a super-handy consumable.

External DVD-RW drive and a pack of blanks
External floppy disk drive and some disks (yes really, never know what stupid stuff a BIOS update for an odd system requires)
USB thumb drives

more than 2 years ago

US Shuts Down Canadian Gambling Site With Verisign's Help

jgreco It's all a problem (354 comments)

It's not just .com and .net. Once the US Government decides that ICANN itself is in the US, what happens when they want to revoke "bodog.ca"?

more than 2 years ago

Ask Slashdot: How To Allow Test Takers Internet Access, But Minimize Cheating?

jgreco Maybe take a different strategy (330 comments)

When I was screening new hires with a knowledge quiz, I would allow them Internet access - but only for the last third of the time, and after giving them a red pen. Sometimes it is knowing how to find an answer, not actually knowing the answer itself, that is meaningful. It was also a simultaneous stealth test of Internet search skills. The red answers, and ratio of red to black, was frequently interesting...

more than 2 years ago

Blow-By-Blow Account of the Fukushima Accident

jgreco Or how close ... (259 comments)

... or how close the designers came to creating the worst nuclear disaster ever?

more than 3 years ago

Is Siri competitor, Vlingo, a DHS spy app?

jgreco Probably not. (1 comments)

It's much more likely that this legacy UUNet netblock was at one time assigned to DHS, and UUNet's hostmaster provided generic rDNS for all IP addresses in the /24. Then it was reassigned to Vlingo in 2007, and of course no one cleans house on things like DNS PTR records.

No real need to get paranoid on the basis of PTR records that are clearly generic fill.

more than 3 years ago

ISPs 'Exaggerate the Cost of Data'

jgreco Re:Misleading (173 comments)

We used to have this thing called Ma Bell that had the same problem: they amortized costs over decades. It worked.

It doesn't bother me too much that service providers would prefer a shorter timeframe in which to recapture their invested funds, but the problem is that they then want to keep charging the higher prices even after they do, make only modest further improvements, and rake in profits at insane rates. Where I live, cable Internet prices have been basically flat for more than a decade, and performance has maybe doubled in that time. It's hard to buy the crying when I know the bandwidth costs are dropping, the networks can handle it, and the companies are reporting record profits.

more than 3 years ago

Ask Slashdot: Best Long-Term Video/Picture Storage?

jgreco Use high quality media (499 comments)

You can use high quality media; we backup important stuff on Taiyo Yuden DVD media and I don't think we've ever had a problem reading the data later. That doesn't stop us from making quarterly snapshots and sticking them in a safe deposit box, which helps to ensure that there are many readable copies of the data available.

The question is really how much data do you need to protect long-term. For us, where the total critical data pool fits on a few DVD's, this is fine. If I was going to back up 1TB of photos, I'd probably choose a hard-drive based strategy of rotating drives out to the safe deposit box.

more than 3 years ago

Court Reinstates $675k File Sharing Verdict

jgreco How dumb is this? (388 comments)

So you take a merely onerous award that the defendant might possibly pay off and raise it back up to something that there's no way in heck he'll ever pay. What's the point, again?

more than 3 years ago

Obama Admin Wants Hackers Charged As Mobsters

jgreco Mobsters ... but only if there are more than one (568 comments)

Seems like when they find that the electronic crimes are not perpetrated by a lone individual, then they ought to be able to target them appropriately.

I worry, however, that this sort of thing would be used to justify ruining the life of some poor dumb kid whose knowledge was larger than his wisdom.

more than 3 years ago

Microsoft Suggests Heating Homes With "Data Furnaces"

jgreco Re:It could work! (209 comments)

Great way to ruin a compressor unless it's been rigged to run that way (hot gas bypass and other stuff). Is there a reason not to use a properly engineered economizer?

more than 3 years ago

Microsoft Suggests Heating Homes With "Data Furnaces"

jgreco Re:Lots of power needed (209 comments)

I'm pretty sure the subject said "Microsoft Suggests Heating Homes With Data Furnaces."

So I'm thinking about things in context. Further, I do have some experience with leveraging waste heat in office, commercial, data center, and home environments, and I'm pretty sure most home, commercial, and office environments (most certainly the home environments) typically do not have much bandwidth or mobile technicians available.

more than 3 years ago

Microsoft Suggests Heating Homes With "Data Furnaces"

jgreco Lots of power needed (209 comments)

We were successfully staying off natural gas until January in Wisconsin by running a rack of servers. The cost in electricity, however, was greater than the cost of natural gas to do heating. We've realized a savings as we've virtualized. In any case, there are other problems ... for example, it isn't clear that a home would have the bandwidth to support a meaningful cloud cluster or the environment to suit, including protected power. Also, a rack of servers can be a very noisy thing, and then there's the question of who does routine maintenance and when.

more than 3 years ago

Why Waste Servers' Heat?

jgreco It's already being done. (204 comments)

We used to have a minimal heating bill in the winter back when we kept a few racks of servers on-site. Our gas bill has gone up substantially as we've moved to virtualization.

more than 3 years ago

My current printer has printed ...

jgreco Shoulda asked last week. (310 comments)

Damn. JUST got rid of our workhorse HP5Si (500K pages, though only about 100K in the last 8 years) and two old HP4's (~50-100K each, guessing) for some new CP2025dn's. Couldn't resist the cost of the new cheap color lasers. So right now, page count is only 30-40ish on any of them.

Our print rates continue to drop around here.

more than 3 years ago

Behind the Great Firewall of China

jgreco Try Tor or a proxy (1 comments)

Try Tor (tor.eff.org) or a paid proxy or VPN service.

more than 3 years ago

Cellphone Carriers Try To Control Signal Boosters

jgreco Re:The obvious answer (231 comments)

I come from a telecom background. You need to get a clue about how cell phone amps work, and why what you're talking about isn't particularly relevant. Amps don't just automatically pump out peak signal. They're intelligent devices, very much like cell phones.

Anyways, you completely failed to answer my question, so I'm guessing you don't actually have a reasonable answer, and as such, I feel no need to continue this.

more than 4 years ago



Petition: Mitt Romney to Bail Out Hostess

jgreco jgreco writes  |  more than 2 years ago

jgreco (1542031) writes "Some segments of the Slashdot community survive in large part on Hostess cakes and Starbucks coffee. Someone (not me!) has created a petition to the White House to have Mitt Romney head a bailout of Hostess. The more I think about it, the better this sounds..."
Link to Original Source

Replace that raised floor with carpeting

jgreco jgreco writes  |  more than 4 years ago

jgreco (1542031) writes "Minnesota-based ISP and colocation provider ipHouse has just finished remodeling their Minneapolis facility with carpeting. From the announcement:

"The new carpet uses a technology called HushWeave (licensed from a small 4 letter company in Sweden).

The reduced noise in the data center creates a relaxing environment for both the users of the data center and the servers themselves. This increases the lifespan of the storage subsystems by nearly eliminating the vibrations that affect the spindle wobble on high speed hard disk drives. A quiet/serene data center makes for well behaved servers.

This helps us achieve our goal of a datacenter based on the idea that good servers should be seen and not heard."

An excellent idea all around. Hopefully some of the major data center providers will follow their lead."

Link to Original Source

DRM content drives availability on P2P networks

jgreco jgreco writes  |  more than 4 years ago

jgreco (1542031) writes "The music industry once feared that going DRM-free would drive a massive explosion of copyright-infringing music availability on P2P networks. Now, this study seems to suggest otherwise. The answer is obvious: if you can easily get inexpensive DRM-free content that works on your devices through legitimate channels, most people won't bother with the headache of P2P networks. It appears that users largely turn to P2P to acquire DRM-free versions of content that is distributed with DRM. The MPAA, of course, will not come away from this with the obvious conclusion."
Link to Original Source


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