I drove home and was utterly surprised at how light traffic is. I think somewhere in the neighborhood of HALF of Chicago must have stayed home today. I'm not sure exactly why, but I'll hazard a bet that it has to do with the massive storm system that rolled through the area around 3:30 AM this morning. I was awoken at about 4:00 AM by crashing thunder and the sound of it echoing off the surrounding area, along with the sound of rain pelting down accompanied by bright flashes of strobe-like lightning. It was a whopper of a storm, apparently dropping hail in some areas of the Chicago suburbs. It's a pity that I had to get up for work at 6:00 AM, because I dearly would have loved to have gotten out of bed and watched the storm for an hour or two. There's something utterly majestic in the fury of nature during a storm, and I haven't been able to simply sit and watch one for quite some time.
As I write this entry I'm sitting out on the patio of the apartment, with my laptop on the table and absolutely no cables tethering me in place. This is accomplished through that technology we all love and hate at the same time, "Wi-Fi" or Ethernet 802.11b if you wish to be pedantic. That's right, my eCost order showed up via UPS today and I've got my wireless NIC in my laptop out on the porch. The access point that I purchased seems to be reliable so far, throwing a signal that at least reaches to the building across the lawn from us. I'm moderately pleased by that, and I am impressed at how easy Adaptec made it to set this thing up. Plug it in, run a simple utility and away you go, everything's set in almost no time. The access point not only acts as a bridge to the wired network (thus allowing my laptop to get a DHCP address over the air), it also speaks DHCP and can lease an IP from our DLS router as well. If we decide that for some reason we don't want leases for the wireless network to be sent to the DSL router we can turn on the DHCP server inside the access point and give out IP addresses from a wholly different range. The AP supports 64-bit and 128-bit WEP, and also supports MAC filters and SSID masking so that we can make it a bit more difficult for anybody who might decide to piggyback off our network. Thus far the most trouble I had overall was getting the WEP strings copied from the browser into my laptop's profile. Outside of that I can't complain, this is pretty much an ideal setup for a residential user. I don't want this stuff deployed in the office or at any of the campuses I supervise, but for residential use it seems to be pretty decent. I know I am enjoying the freedom of being able to sit outside on our patio. This makes it so easy and pleasant to use my laptop I almost think that I should have done this much earlier. I mean, I get to bum around, sip a drink, enjoy the weather and watch the fireflies as they dance over the lawn less than two feet away from me -- all without wires. How cool is that? Earlier, before it got too dark, I had Ra out here on his tether and couldn't help but laugh at his antics. The little black bugger was running back and forth, trying to catch the fireflies nearby every time one of them flashed. It was horribly, horribly cute.
The other thing that arrived today via UPS was my order of hard drives. I unpacked them with glee, thinking it was time to slot them up in the MultiPack case so that I could get cracking on the RAID-5 partition for my server. Of course I ran into one very large snag -- these drives don't fit! These are 1.6" height drives, and despite claims to the contrary the MultiPack case does NOT support drives that tall because they hit the SCA connector for the next slot up, as the MultiPack was only designed for 1" height drives.
So here I'm sitting with over $250 in drives that I simply cannot use because of their physical size not being compatible with the chassis they need to reside in. My current plan? Sell 'em, and hope that they'll go on eBay for the same cost I bought them at. If I can break even or come within a few dollars of what I spent I'll be reasonably happy at this point. The part that annoys me the most about this entire scenario is not that I have drives that I cannot use if they don't sell, it's that I will be have to resume my search for a number of drives that match my needs (and are the right size) and are selling at reasonable cost. I thought I had this whole situation licked, but it seems I'm the one who's been licked instead.
Such is life, right?
Tomorrow will be another unexciting day at work of writing documentation and handling helpdesk tickets, but hopefully it will go quickly. I'd like to come home and watch a few of the many DVDs that I still haven't watched, especially since I've got a fresh new batch coming in off the Amazon order.
Oh, and I've discovered that bugs are just as attracted to an LCD screen at night as they are to an incandescent light. This is horribly inconvenient, having to brush junebugs out of the way so that I can type.
We'll take this place apart