Friday, March 10, 2006

Server Quotas and Hostly Duties

Well, what a week it’s been!

We seem to have exhausted our year’s quota of server failures in the first twelve weeks. The server in our San Juan office failed over the weekend, so about a third of my week has been spent on that – and it looks like a portion of the weekend too will be spent checking in on the restore process which is currently running.

As failures go, this one was a fairly regular one; a hard disk had expired and, thanks to Dell’s nanny-like pre-configuration of hardware, the server had been built with a single overlarge disk volume, rather than a smaller fault-tolerant one. Grrr. That’s why we usually build our own servers.

Wednesday was a bad day too. The server which supports two of our UK Project Offices (one of which is only a few weeks away from its final report!) died in a most peculiar fashion on Wednesday morning. This server did have a fault tolerant disk configuration, so Murphy’s Law required it to suffer from severe data corruption on its system partition. Strangely the corruption seemed to persist through several reinstalls of the Operating System on both halves of the fault-tolerant set of disks. In the end we got two new disks out of stock and started again. It was a somewhat longer recovery than I would have liked, but we got there in the end. Fortunately none of the project data on the server suffered from the corruption, which was a great relief.

Evenings have been few and far between this week. Monday was of course Chorus and it went fairly well. I think perhaps I am slowly coming around to this season’s repertoire… but then we start another tranche of new music next week: All pretty hectic.

Tuesday was fine up until about 4pm, when the fragile peace of my day was shattered by Steve B pushing a personal agenda through the Chorus’ mailing list. We’d had words about this previously (basically he’d been allowing unnecessary messages through to the main Chorus mailing list; something which I have been trying to stop for a long time now) so to have him do the same thing again, so soon after our previous run-in left me incandescent. As it happened, there was a meeting of the Steering Committee that night so I promptly stomped off to that to get them to reiterate the policy, which they duly did, and I went home mollified.

Wednesday night was yet another rehearsal, but because of the second server disaster I managed to miss half of it in fear of my job. When I arrived though, I bumped into Alistair W who had heard about a travel blog I wrote of the Chorus’ trip to North America in 2004 from his lawyer who had come across it while googling Alistair’s name. He didn’t seem too phased by it, more just surprised that my blog rated so highly in the Google results [Google actually own Blogger, I believe] Still, I was rather grateful that I give my friends some shade of anonymity on this blog…

Thursday evening was spent at home, luxuriating in being able to sit on a sofa and also celebrating the recovery of the Project Office server: We had dessert as well as dinner and then spent some time talking around the house-buying concept. I am still up for doing it sooner rather than later, but I think Brett is beginning to accept we can’t do it soon enough to complete within the life of our current lease, so we’ll have to extend by about six months.

Tonight is probably going to be spent being housewifely. Kevin & Chris (Brett’s brother and his partner) are in London on vacation from tomorrow. I suspect they want a fairly independent holiday as it’s their first away from the duties of parenting a toddler, but we have planned to see them at least a couple of times during their stay. The first is for dinner at our place on Sunday, so I am getting all house-proud and planning menus and thinking about all the little spring-cleaning jobs I’ve been putting off for months. I’m not sure why I’m having this sudden attack of domesticity – I am normally a fairly standard male of the species in this respect. Maybe I want to impress the family and this is the first chance I’ve had on my home territory. Hmm… maybe time to go see a shrink and get my subconscious reamed!

We may end up sitting in each other’s laps too; Ping wanted to meet Kevin and Chris, so he was invited, we thought it might be nice to invite Rosie & Andy as well (being my sibling and all) and then we added Scott to make up the numbers of Americans in case we end up playing Trivial Pursuit after dinner… but really there isn’t space in the dining room to seat eight for dinner. Tragedy! (Brett is already mentally rearranging the furniture.)

I may just collapse from exhaustion come Monday morning but, hey, my hostly duty will have been well and truly done.

Have a good weekend!

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