February 17, 2001: Bar Fun in Washington

Today was our big “data centre” upgrade day. Andrew West and Bob Winans drove down to Washington, D.C. with me last night. This was Bob’s first trip to Washington to see where Andy and I have been working for the past year.

Our project for this weekend was to work on a system upgrade for the servers located at Washington Hospital Center. We have a small “data centre” there that has housed our main servers since they relocated from the University of Rochester several months ago. Rochester was more convenient but the space that we have here in Washington is much better and has allowed for greater expansion.

We would have crashed last night at the condo that John Nicklin rents from our friend Rob in Arnold, Maryland. This would have been Andy’s first trip to the condo. All of his former trips to Washington would have been based out of the Extended Stay Suites hotel in Alexandria, Virginia.

The office was hot and very uncomfortable even though it is February and cold outside. Nothing makes the office here cool in any way. Jonathan Stagno, who was living in Pasadena, Maryland at the time, came out to Washington to help out on the project as well. This is, I believe, the only time that Andy or Bob have seen Jonathan as of December, 2007 when I am writing this update.

The work went well. I no longer know all of the work that was done but I do know that this was the weekend that we did some major hardware upgrades to our primary Windows NT 4 IIS 4 Server (a.k.a. “Vienna”.) We added three additional 9GB SCSI hard drives and moved the machine from a straight drive to software based RAID 5 for speed and protection. “Vienna” was one of the two Compaq Proliant 800 servers that Andy and I used in Pittsburgh in March, 2000. At this time it was also upgraded from 128MB to 1GB of memory which helped a lot.

After our day of work in the office we left Stagno to return home and Bob, Andy and I met up with John Nicklin, Rob and Trish at O’Laughlin’s in the Bay Green Plaza in Arnold, MD.  It was quite the party.  We even managed to convince a “not too with it” Andy that he had run up a $500 bar tab (a fake provided for effect by the manager) and that Andy had to cover it if he didn’t manage to get a girl at the bar to kiss him.  The girl was there with a very large male friend who was in on the gag and hilarity ensued.

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