28 October 2007

Primitive land/Remote control

Working today with a WinME box locally, & a CentOS release 4.3 server in Perth.

The ME box is being a pain. I had to plonk a network card into it, & then somehow get drivers onto it for the card. Naturally, the floppy drive was dodgy enough to not be useful for this, & none of the machines here have a CD burner. Finally worked around the problem child by locating an ancient ethernet card — which doesn’t even have a brand, AFAICT — which ME happened to have drivers for.

The card was out of a machine with both PCI & ISA slots, with the older-style (pre SD-RAM) DIMMs — which the machine had none of — & it had a BNC (video-looking) socket as well as UTP. Shrug, it works.

The CentOS box obviously has a story behind it, as the files are managed by an app called e-Smith & you can log in directly as root on port 22.

All of the shared files went missing recently, & guessing from the debris, I’d put my money on someone running out of space on the server (40GB RAIDed) & making some more room for themselves by inadvertently axeing everything with a point’n’click tool. I’d also guess that it happened 2 Fridays ago, at about 08:30 in the morning, but I don’t actually know the people calling for help, so I’m not quite sure what the best way to put this to them is...

They also want to grow the hard disk (ie, disks), so I strongly suspect that the best solution is to port the setup to a squeaky new machine (all of about $500 these days: dual CPUs, gig of RAM, dual 200GB drives), do without the GUI tools, & let someone with common sense & an Admin password do the managing.

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