Sunday, March 26, 2006

The change yesterday went not as well as I might have hoped.
Sure, the data (pr0n included, I'm sure) got moved to the USB drive, as planned.
The partition was expanded using a third party application stolen right off the internet ((company name deleted to comply with non-disclosure agreement) wouldn't spring for a valid version) and required a reboot.
I rebooted and nervously paced about.
I logged into a different server and tried to PING the rebooting mail server.
After a while (I guess I didn't nervously pace long enough) it responded. Relieved, I high-fived the other members of Team Exchange.
Side note: There is no way to look cool when you are high-fiving yourself.
I went to log in and verify. Hmmmmm . . . Why doesn't that work?
I went to manage the server remotely so that I could restart the services . . . No good.
Desperately not wanting to put on pants, I called the office.
On weekends, the "24/7 Technical Support Staff" promised on our website is a little less "Technical". Regardless, I asked him to plug in a monitor and tell me what the server is doing. I hung up the phone and paced nervously. I called him back a few minutes later.
The poor guy had to plug the monitor into the front of the server and a keyboard in the front because of the positioning of the rack, meaning that he had to type stuff . . . then run around the rack to see what he typed. In spite of this adversity, he was able to tell me that the server was "virus scanning".
I verified that the mail service was responding and stopped my panic. I asked him to verify the drive sizes and then reboot.
I began to pace nervously again.
This time, the server wouldn't even respond to PING requests. I nervously paced into pants and got on the road, the word of my boss echoing in my mind:
"I don't have doubts in your ability to make this change, but it is very important that there be no issues. (Company name deleted to comply with non-disclosure agreement) hates us right now. Not as much as they hate you specifically, but a lot. Call me as soon as the change is complete so that I can call management and then the client. Nothing can go wrong. . . . Nothing can go wrong . . . . Nothing can go wrong."
Not surprisingly, for a Saturday I found the worst traffic I'd ever seen in Houston. Cutting down a side street, I was unsurprised when my boss called.
"I'm heading in right now. I just hit nasty traffic. I can get the server back up pretty quickly, I'm sure," I answered.
"Why?" he asked, "I'm logged in right now. Everything seems fine."
As I pulled into a parking lot, waving off the attempts of teenagers to wash my car for money (no one touches the ride), I went over several things for him to check. Everything was good, so I went back home.
Knowing that everything had to be completely 100% better and complete before 1pm, it was with much dismay that I answered a call from work at 12:56pm.
"Did you just reboot the mail server for (company name deleted to comply with non-disclosure agreement)?" the technician asked.
"Um. No. Did you?"
Normally, I'd call the client. In this case, since I'm not allowed to speak to the client, I again called my manager.
I also coached our onsite guy through the keyboard/monitor dance again.
He asked,"Last time it was booting up it said 'invalid disk error - correct or continue'. I hit continue and it blue screened. What should I try this time?"
"Holy crap, man! Correct!"
It booted. There was much rejoicing.
I logged in again and started up Exchange, or tried to. File not found.
File not found.
The whole freaking purpose of the server and file freaking not freaking found?
I opened 'My Computer' on the server and noticed the drives all had apparently been "Corrected" with the wrong letter.
I switched L: for P: and D: for E: and started manually starting mail services.
Everything started working normally, including my breathing. I had forgotten I was still on the phone with my manager.
"What did you do that led up to this?" He asked.
"I made a sandwich, Steve."
He said he would call the client to confirm (it was now almost 2pm) and see me on Monday. "I'll bring the flask," he promised.
Then he called me again.
"Garrick, they want the server rebooted again to make sure the settings stick."
"I don't think that is a good idea, Steve."
He refused to be swayed, so I ended up holding my breath through another reboot, which went flawlessly thanks to the awesomeness of Team Exchange, I'm sure.
So. All told about six hours of my Saturday was spent officially doing nothing.

On another note, someone complained through email that my grammar is "creative", which I interpret to mean "poor".
Challenge accepted, my friend.
According to The Origins and Development of the English Language, grammar (and most spelling) was not standardized until the mid 1800s, which means I'm just using the classical tradition, my favorite of all the traditions commonly accepted. For those who you aren't up on your history of the English language those traditions are Rural Southern, Jive, Ironical, L33T, Double Speak, Coffee Talk, West Saxon, Mr. T, and Urban Southern. Keeping it "Old School", if you will.

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