Diary of a geek

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Andrew Pollock


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Wednesday, 03 February 2010

Farewell Central Park Apartments

In buying a place and moving, we've left the home we've been in for just over 4 years. Central Park Apartments was a wonderful community for us, and we made many wonderful friends there. At the peak of awesome, we knew really well the occupants of 4 out of the 7 other apartments in our building, as well as numerous others throughout the complex.

The company running the place ran it really well. Everything was well maintained. I wouldn't recommend one of the single-level apartments, as the inter-floor sound insulation was pretty terrible, but the townhomes were great (albeit the kitchens were a bit small). We were in a Greenwich floorplan.

The other big plus for me was that it had data cabling.

We'll miss all of our friends there, but thankfully they're not very far away.

[23:26] [life] [permalink]

On trying to buy a 19 inch rack

The first time we looked at this condo that we ended up buying, I looked at the cupboard under the stairs, and could visualise a small 19 inch rack in the lower part of it, with all of my computer gear in it.

When we got structured cabling installed, I had the CAT-6 cabling terminated onto a basic 19 inch patch panel, with the intent of mounting this in a rack.

Then it became a case of trying to find a rack.

My favourite junk shop, Weird Stuff, didn't have anything that wasn't full height, so I started looking around online.

There's certainly a lot of variance in price. I settled on a 26U Intellinet rack from New Tech, because based on the dimensions on the website, it would fit in the space I had in mind.

When we assembled it, it became obvious that the dimensions quoted were the inside dimensions and not the outside dimensions, and it was about 4 centimetres too tall. In hindsight, I should have figured that out. 26 x 1.75 is 45.5.

This is where I must give a shout out to New Tech. Sarah called them up, explained the situation, and they agreed to take the rack back, and sent us some shipping labels to ship it back.

We managed to find a more simple rack, a 20U Middle Atlantic, which arrived today, and was significantly easier to put together. The only downside: no rear mounting holes. I don't think it'll be a huge problem, though. All I'm planning on mounting in the immediate future are the patch panel, some sort of cable management, a Catalyst switch, and a power strip. At some point in the future, once we stop spending money hand over fist, I'll look at getting a rack mountable server to replace the hodge podge of computers I'm currently running.

What I wish we'd discovered about two days ago, was the Lack Rack. This would have been perfect (and so much cheaper).

[22:44] [geek] [permalink]

Completely moved

We finished off moving everything from the old place last weekend. Our new home number can be determined by adding 59115 to the old one (or calling the old one in the next 60 days).

The great unpacking is continuing. We're reluctant to unpack much in the kitchen because it's all going to have to come back out again in a couple of weeks.

The cats have settled in well. Lily is still spending most of her time under the bed, but she comes out to explore from time to time.

We had a bunch of fun with various bits of cable. I had some CAT-6 cabling installed throughout, and also some new RG-6 cabling was installed at the same time. The contractor ran a new line into our place and also a line to the patch panel he installed for the phone.

When Comcast came out to activate our cable TV service, the poor guy had all sorts of problems, until I realised there was an air gap between the line coming into the condo and the cables outside. Then the next problem was my contractor had run the new line out to the wrong location. The bunch of cables where he ran the line to was some old out of commission stuff. The Comcast guy was really great. We located where the current cable came in (via the attic) and he spliced that into the new internal cabling, and the net outcome was close to what was supposed to have happened in the first place. The funniest thing was the Comcast cable guy left in such a rush because he ran over time on the job, that he left the cable cabinet wide open, including the box with all of the building's cable connections. If I new how to crimp RG-6, and was feeling lucky, I could remove the filter that's restricting the channels we receive.

The next fun was getting the phone line sorted out. Again, my contractor had run a new CAT-6 line to the patch panel for the purposes of giving me a few jacks in the one place, so I could plug in my DSL modem, and a line into my Asterisk box. The only problem was he wasn't sure which pair was the phone line (and the phone wasn't active at the time) so there was an air gap between the end of the CAT-6 and the phone line. AT&T came out and sorted that out. I suspect the AT&T guy also left in a hurry, because he left a tone generator jumpered into the phone line.

Once the phone was working we had to wait a couple of days for the DSL service to get moved to the new number. It turns out that I got new static IP addresses with the move, so it wasn't just a case of plugging everything back in and it working, unfortunately.

But that's all behind us now. We're fully here, online again, and settling in. I think this weekend we'll bang in some picture hooks and hang up our paintings, and try to unpack a few more boxes.

[22:24] [life] [permalink]