Sunday, November 04, 2012


At long last, BOT House is finally reincarnated.  And on a much perkier Intel box with a newer, 64-bit version of Debian.  The new, official name is BOT House|RELOADED or BH|R for short.

So much hardware has crashed and burned this year it's hard to keep teack of it all.  First, it was the proxy project box.  It died of—what else—hard drive failure.  It was a strange setup in the first place: a (hardware) "RAID Nuthin" array spread across an IDE and a SATA drive.

And to complete the nightmare... on LVM.

But there were backups.  I re-installed everything on an external USB/IDE drive temporarily just to keep things running.  Later I bought a pair of 3.5T SATA drives & a new RAID card.  I mirrored the drives and plan to use it as the main backup for all this crap I shit out.

But before I finally got around to taking it off the USB, UPS's started to shit themselves.  Power failures have been brutal this year.  It used to be all I had to worry about were a few minor brown-outs during the beginning of "air conditioner season", but this year multi-day blackouts were far too common for my comfort level.  Two UPS's died.  I replaced the batteries in one and upgraded another from 350VA to 1000VA.

A few weeks after the derecho hit and knocked us out for four fucking days (two off, one on, two more off) it was getting a little windy outside, so I decided to check the Weather Channel for a forecast.  I turned on the TV, tuned in, and no sooner than they said "... high winds approaching our area..." the entire house went dark and stayed that way for another forty-eight hours.

A couple of weeks later, there I was, minding my own business and limping away on the USB drive in the proxy project box when one day, after mowing the lawn, I sat down and searched for images of Mossberg shotguns (for this story) on Google.

And... nothing happened.

Then I hear this "click click" sound coming from BOT House.  I switch to the console.  The last thing I saw was a message that said "Replace UPS battery" before I tried to reboot it.

It didn't reboot.  It just went click click click...

I spent the rest of that afternoon recreating the router & firewall on a bootable USB version of the Backtrack5 LiveCD and ran that for a couple of months before buying all the new hardware—computers, UPS's, hard drives—for everything and re-engineering the whole DinkNet NOC from the bottom up.

The things I do for you kids!