End of an era

At 10:00pm on 3/18/09, I went down to the InReach building at 4635 Georgetown Place to move my one lone server out of their colocation area.  I got a call 2 days prior saying that they are shuffling everyone left in the building over to their rack at Pac-West telecom.  They are moving out of that building.  That building that I helped wire, that I helped setup, that I spent more hours there than anywhere.

I got to walk around the vast empty InReach building.  I knew where all of my desks were throughout the almost 10 years I worked there.  Looked at the tiny pieces of CAT-5 jumpers that I wired by hand well over 10 years ago.  My eyes started to tear up to realize that I’ll probably never ever see the inside of that building again.  I spent most of my teenage years confined within that small building working on servers, putting out fires, dealing with shit that now-days I could of never deal with.  Remembering the laughs, the long nights, the sitting at my desk wondering how in the fuck I was going to fix this server (but yet always did), the walks to McDonalds.  A ton of people who read this (or my LJ) worked there and grew up there with me.  That faculity saw the birth and the move of DeadJournal and housed zillions of bytes of data that I could never replace.

I unracked my one server, and followed Mike over to Pac-West.  Considering that over 10 years ago VAdept (this server) started out in the PacWest colo was sorta ironic.  I could still hear the sounds of the Ascend modem boxes heating up the room like huge rackmount hair-dryers.  Visualizing the USR 5+U modem chassis with the HyperDSP cards (that could never work right).  The smell of a real colocation faculity, and how a few times I slept on that cold raised floor hearing the air woosh under it while waiting for an array to rebuild.  Remembering the time Andy formatted a web-server array by accident, then said “See ya!” and left me there to restore from tape (you dick, I still remember that.. 😛 ).  It was a very weird and awkward feeling to be there again.  Everything looked exactly how I remembered it to be.

So since I was there, I decided to help Mike rack the gear that he brought over from customers who didn’t care enough to drive down to move their own damn computers.  It was such a weird feeling, that its hard to describe what it was like to be sitting in that colocation again after so many years.  In a way its fitting that my server ended back up to where it was born, with real generator power, real Halon and temperature monitoring, real 24/7 NOC, a “real” facility.

But using the same rackmount screws, the same power cord, and the same piece of cat-5 I’ve used for years and years; I’ve managed to pocket a few handfuls of dirt from the grave of the InReach colo.  Really, my server is its legacy.

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4 Responses to End of an era

  1. David D says:

    There are definitely some memories at Georgetown, and at Coronado, and a handful at Franklin. It was an amazing opportunity for all of us to learn, grow, lead, make mistakes, and watch the rise and fall of dot-com with a front-row seat.

    I’ll never forget the time I convinced USR to send us over $50,000 in co-op marketing funds, or selling products that hadn’t quite been developed yet, the heated battles between sales and IT, or sales and marketing, or sales and customer service, not to mention the monkey knife fights.

    Our experimental NNTP and IRC servers, the “home” server that started out on Josh’s Macintosh, and copying install discs with the QuarterDeck Mosaic browser on my home PC. There were office romances that blew up in front of everyone’s eyes, and a few success stories too. It was an amazing place to work — and really, to grow up — and seeing it die the way it did is a tragedy.

    Yeah, those were some times. Frank, I’m pretty sure I owe you at least one beer for all the shit I put you and the rest of IT through. Probably a whole case. Maybe we all need to go to the West Lane bowling alley one last time.

  2. saintneko says:

    And your server’s about the only good thing that came out of InReach. It’s about time that doddering old duct-tape n’ baling wire operation went the way of the modem.

  3. Twist says:

    wow. this really hit home. Working in IT for ADT my job was to go in and build out offices with pbx/network or tearing them down. Through all the acquisitions we finally moved out of our old main building which I had spent so many years working in. I was the very last person in the building before we turned over the keys. I just stood looking at it all empty. Very sad moment.

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