March 26, 2007: Living in Newark

Today is the first day of never seeing our first home again. Weird. It will take a while for that to sink in – assuming that the house actually closes as planned.

Dad, aunt Sharon and uncle Leo put in a combined twelve hours getting stuff out of the house in Geneseo today. A lot of that went into taking away the stuff for the rummage sale at the church and taking apart the bed that Art built. What a project that must have been.

Kodak has resigned from the Better Business Bureau. The collapse is almost complete. Kodak has been “thrashing” attempting to find some sort of footing as its market erodes from under its feet. It is so sad that Kodak wasn’t able to find any viable market to move into when analogue film started to disappear.

I got about one hour of sleep last night. That didn’t make for the brightest of days. I was pretty busy all day and got home a little after seven. Dominica had to spend the evening working on her classwork for her Systems Analysis and Design class. I spent the evening porting ancient ASP applications to PHP. Simple stuff but it took all evening. But I am very glad to have it all done. One less thing that I have to worry about hanging over my head. I am slowly knocking these things out.

I had enough work that I wasn’t able to turn in until after midnight. So much for catching up on any rest. At least I really get to sleep tonight.

March 25, 2007: Final Day of Packing (for Scott and Dominica)

Going to bed really early last night was a good idea as we were both still quite tired this morning.  There is so much work left to be done it is unbelievable.  We have been working on this house for so long.  It is really hard to fathom how much stuff we had to pack.  We are sending as much as we can to the church rummage sale.  And the pile going to the church is getting quite large.  They aren’t going to know what to do with all of this stuff.

Dad came over at eleven, after Sunday school, and we went over to the Omega for breakfast.  We couldn’t hang out very long though since there is so much yet to be done so it was back to the house and more packing to go.

In addition to packing today there is also one server left running in Geneseo that has to be dealt with today.  That took a long time.  I had to prep it for shutdown and then move it and some other equipment over to Pavilion.  That took almost two hours out of the middle of the day.  But finally it is done.  Nothing still running in Geneseo!  Now we can shut off that really expensive commercial DSL line there.  What a drain that has been.

I returned to Geneseo and we packed all afternoon.  It was after seven before we decided that we were as far as we were going to get and loaded up the Mazda and headed back to Newark.  We arrived in Newark around two in the morning.  Dominica went to bed but I had a lot of homework that was due by today for my grad class at RIT so I stayed up until almost six in the morning working on that.  But at least I got a ton of it done.  This is going to be a really long week!

March 24, 2007: More Packing

The packing continues unabated today. I slept in a little more than I did yesterday but didn’t manage to catch up on the missing sleep.

There is nothing exciting to report for today. We packed. Dad and Min focused mostly on the packing and I focused on getting the applications that have been running out of the downstairs datacenter switched to Scranton. That was no small project. That took many hours. And it is a scary process as well.

At six this evening I began the major migration process and it took only two and a half hours for us to move the big live application from one location to the other. It was stressful but it went really well and about as smoothly as could have been hoped for.

It was a weird feeling shutting down the old servers tonight. It was around ten o’clock this evening that the two Compaq Proliant 800’s were powered down for decommissioning. Those two sibling servers have been sitting side-by-side chugging away with no more than forty-eight hours of downtime for just over seven years. They were purchased in February, 2000 in Rochester were moved to Ithaca a few weeks later, move to Pittsburgh in late March and were a primary staple in Andy and my totally bare apartment. Andy used to sleep with his head right by one of the servers. Then in late April they were relocated to Rochester again when they went into production from our then Rochester Data Center. A year or two later they moved to Washington, DC where they put in a lot of time. They continued to run from there along with the IBM Netfinity server that we added alongside them. That was probably late 2001. Then in 2003 those three servers along with others that had been added over the years moved from Washington to Geneseo where they sat until today.

For seven years I have been able to think about those two Proliants sitting there humming away. After seven years we didn’t have to replace a single memory stick, CPU, power supply or hard drive. Each server had four hard drives – each having spun around approximately 26.5 billion times! And not one hardware failure. No hardware maintenance has even had to have been performed on either machine. The Windows NT 4 operating system that they have been running on was the same image that was originally installed on those boxes in the spring of 2000! Practically nothing ever went wrong with those boxes. They were the best investment ever. It was sad and lonely feeling to power them down without knowing if they will ever be powered on again. They are like old friends that have hung around through thick and thin always ready to power a database and serve an application.

Altogether I was able to shut down three servers tonight.  That took a lot of the “hum” out of the townhouse.  It is amazing how loud those things can be.  The silence was strange.  The one remaining server doesn’t leave until tomorrow but is pretty quiet on its own.

We were so exhausted from yesterday and today and Min and I decided that we needed to get to bed very early.  We were asleep by not much later than ten!

Menu Foods Pet Food Contamination Identified as Rat Poison

Chemist at NY’s Cornell University have identified the contamination in Menu Foods’ tainted pet food supply as aminopterin – a former cancer drug, abortion drug and illegal rat poison.  The wheat gluten that contained the poison was identified as coming from China.  Andre Rosowsky who is a chemist at Boston’s Dana Farber Cancer Institute speculated that a rare and highly controlled substance like this would not reasonably find its way into wheat gluten unless it was put there intentionally.  At this point it looks very likely that the pet deaths were intentional.

March 23, 2007: Packing Day One

I managed, somehow, to wake up without an alarm at a quarter to eight this morning. Less than four hours of sleep. I didn’t feel all that great but I managed to pull myself out of bed just the same.

I had a lot of work to be done for the office this morning so I got right to work on that. I don’t have the day off today – I am just working from Geneseo. But we are bound to be more productive being here all day rather than in Newark.

Dominica slept in for several hours as she didn’t get much sleep last night either. Dad came over mid-morning and once I got a window in which I could escape from sitting directly in front of the computer we took it and all ran over to the Omega Grill for a really late breakfast or fairly normal lunch.

Between being a normal office day and having one email disaster after another to deal with I was very busy all day long. I hardly had any chance to get anything done around the house.

After lunch there was a lot of packing and work to be done.  The whole day was extremely busy as we expect all of the weekend will be.  For dinner we just ran over to the Shang Hai in Geneseo and had the buffet.