The Sunday Project

So a few weeks back I ordered a new toy for my employer… a 600lb monster of a UPS (battery backup for those of you from Warwick) to keep everything running when the power blips. Course, I don’t want to impose on the production environment – or affect my users in any way, shape, or form, so I decide that today, Sunday the 17th would be a fine time to do the install.

Now they say these things require 2 people to install let alone load the 120lb battery packs in. Anyone with half a brain would have asked for help, but as I have 2 quarters of a brain, I am that far ahead of the rest.

Now before I get all started, office is empty, they know the mail server is going down, so I decide to do an upgrade of the antispam server. I’d updated Declude in the past without any problem, so I did not anticipate any problems putting this new version up. You’d think I would have stopped when I saw no documentation or install instructions on the website or with the software, but then again Woody never did call the Police when he should have – did he? So that went to hell, restored the old version, and proceeded with the main project. Who the hell releases an application for sale without any documentation? I’ve got a call scheduled for Tuesday at 8:30am to go through the steps needed to get it running. I just do not get how someone can sell a product without docs… I wouldn’t have bought it if I knew there weren’t any docs yet.

So I clear all the hardware out of the rack, honestly the longest part of the job. I’ve gotta slide out the servers, unscrew the rails, remove the rails, etc… Woulda went smooth except for one of the servers got caught on the rail for some reason, and instead of dropping the server I pulled on that thing as hard as I could until the rail gave way and the server was free. Course, that left me a rail short, but I’ve got enough spare to cover me.

So I’ve got the servers out, I start sweeping up all the various crap that has fallen on the floor of the closet over the past 2 years of use. Then I set my sights on the mission at hand – the UPS. It’s 19U tall, as wide as the rack, and empty weighs about 200lbs give or take. Like I said earlier – two person job, or just 1 dumbass named Yours Truly.

So I unbolt the thing from the pallet (they don’t even use oak anymore, I’d think this thing was balsa or pine, real sturdy there), then get it onto the floor. Then I’m wondering, how the hell am I getting this 250lb contraption across the floor and into the rack? It hits me – get it onto the hand truck, and into the server room. So I do just that, and now I’ve got the rails installed for the unit, all the nuts installed in the rack, and this behemoth sitting on the hand truck which is lying down on the floor like a dolly with the handle facing the rack.

Cue MacGyver theme – I thought about how they get those big cruise ships into the sea, they slide it down some rails and into the water. Same concept, smaller scale. I’ve got the rack against the back wall, the hand truck against the rack, and I simply push the UPS down the rails and into the rack, slides off and into place like Buttah.

I get it all tightened up and start reinstalling the servers and bringing them up… Then I hear ‘tick tick tick tick’ and smell plastic burning. Great. I turn around and see smoke belching out of the monitor we use as a console for all the servers. I’d say the monitor is at least 5 to 6 years old, and it finally gave out. So I hit the power button, rip out the power cable, get the monitor cable out and then toss the thing out the door. Not the first time I’ve had a monitor/terminal go up on me, just like to take care of it BEFORE it sets off the smoke detectors.

So it’s done, took a good 6 hours to square it all away – all the batteries and VA units are installed, servers are up, took a bit more time to take care of a few small tasks easier done when the office is clear and now I get to go home. Maybe I’ll get a pic up here at some point if it won’t get me sued, as it just looks damned impressive IMHO.

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