Has it been a month?

I guess it has been quite a while. Where to begin? I suppose work is always a good starting point. It’s been crazy in DCS (Distributed Computing Services) lately. Our new storage array (EMC again) arrived and we’ve been working on getting that set up. Thankfully, EMC pushed off their original date to come set it up (it was supposed to be yesterday) to this coming Monday giving me a little more time to finish the wiring. Our new fiber switches are in and installed along with new fiber trays to attach to our ladder rack. Tomorrow we should finish running the obscene number of cables required to get all 5 of our new cabinets on the network. Then we just have to configure the connections.

We’ve also been working on a number of other projects:

  • We moved one of the air conditioners to the middle of the data center and will be moving the other one once Telcom finishes moving their telephone racks. This should improve our cooling efficiency.
  • The second UPS and the flywheel will be installed soon – thankfully I have no responsibilities with either of these projects.
  • We’re beginning to run into space limitations in our racks and on our switches. Vendors are coming to help us decide what to do with our patch panels. Recabling those if we have to will keep me busy for the better part of a year. Hopefully they can suggest a way to simplify our cable management (we have 2Us of cable management for every 1U patch panel) that will leave our existing patch panels the way they are.
  • We’re looking at ways to seal our cool rows from our hot rows to increase the efficiency of the AC. We’ve been attempting to get big sheets of plexiglass mounted in the spaces between our populated racks, but that has been pushed off for a while now due to all of our more important projects.
  • There’s quite a few other projects that are still being evaluated, so I probably shouldn’t say much about those except that they’ll all be keeping me busy for the foreseeable future.
  • I’ve been traveling quite a bit as well. Recently I picked up a Garmin eTrex Legend HCx with the intent of using it to insert GPS coordinates into the EXIF data of my photos along with auto navigation and perhaps geocaching. I’ll post a review of the unit later, but simply having it has been invaluable during my trips.

    I’ve been doing a bit more on the photography front than I did earlier this summer. My motivation is returning and I’m beginning to go places just to take pictures again. I think the lull was definitely good for me. I’ll end this post by leaving a few photos and some links.

    I went to Porcupine Mountain State Park with my friend Gowtham in July and discovered some amazing scenery. You can find the photos in a flickr collection, but I want to show everyone this one (I think it’s one of the best pictures I’ve ever taken:
    Preque Isle River gorge-1

    I also attended an autocross and took an astonishing amount of pictures. What made it onto flickr is only a smattering of what made it home with me.
    Car 26

    My most recent photo expedition was simply a trip around downtown Houghton. I decided I wanted to learn a bit more about black and white photography, so I stuck my 50mm f/1.8 lens on the Nikon and headed out. It’s simply amazing what black and white does for the atmosphere of a photo. Sticking with just the one focal length made me focus quite a bit more on where I was in relation to my subject and my framing. It was definitely a good learning experience.
    Old McDonald's drivethru

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