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Astute readers may have spotted this server falling over a few times in the past month. It's happening ever-more frequently, and we need to get it fixed. My money is on a dodgy power supply to the rack it sits in, rather than a software problem, and this is being looked into. But in the meantime, it's overdue for a kernel upgrade anyway, so we'll be rebooting it tomorrow evening. Hopefully this will be a routine non-event, but in the worst case scenario (server bursts into flames, runs amok with an axe, and barricades itself in the colo centre office with an UltraSPARC hostage) we might be down for somewhere between a couple of days and a week or so.

Update: the server appears to have had early-stage Alzheimer's (memory corruption). Some new RAM was called for, and we are now monitoring the situation.



Canary Wharf, LONDON --- A tense hostage situation ended earlier today after special forces armed with advanced `Nerf' countersurgency weapons stormed the building. The kidnapper, a server calling itself only 'the Antipope', panicked and fled when it heard the shots, and was intercepted and overpowered by its hostage, a SPARC of the Solaris clan, and a tight cluster of bystanders of the kidnapper's own Linux tribe.

Interviewed by email, the Antipope issued a brief statement from its virtualized jail in Telehouse. In the statement, the kidnapper said that it was `all a misunderstanding' caused by `race conditions', and that `she was wearing a swish black pizza box, y'know, she was asking for it'. When advised by its lawyer (of the firm of Stross & Sons) that this could be construed as an admission of guilt, the Antipope said only 'Oops.'


Rogue Server Farm!


I've seen computers get people annoyed enough that they looked able to launch themselves into orbit through sheer anger. Does that count?


Charlie, Charlie - surely you know that computers need blood sacrifice from their masters.

They don't get them as easily these days. Once all the parts went surface-mount, there were no longer razor-edged wire spikes on the reverse of the boards to slash your fingers on. Then too, the fools making cases now don't understand there was a reason for all those sharp metal edges inside.

You'll just have to do your best to find an excuse to open it up before the kernel upgrade, scrape your knuckles "accidentally", and drip a little blood somewhere in there - then your familiar should be good for another couple years. If you try the upgrade without that crucial step, well... then you're putting your bet on chance and human mastery of technology, and we all know where that ends up.


Speaking of rogue computing (and recently of spam): It sure seems at this point that the computer network most likely to bootstrap itself into sentience and become self-aware is the collection of spam botnets that recently appear to have begun obeying power laws. Annoying, but annoyingly impressive, too.

Note that in the above proposal, "most likely" can still equal "not likely at all". But still. I think this likelihood should clearly have an impact upon the script for Terminator 4: V1aqra Strikes Back. Or whatever. Arnie's character could be revealed to be an overgrown Bayesian filter...


If you discover that the server's components have become rugose, I'm heading for the hills...



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This page contains a single entry by Charlie Stross published on January 16, 2007 10:50 PM.

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