Hooray for bad hardware… (and upcoming blog maintenance)

Well, I just spent the past hour and a half trying to resurrect the box that hosts the blog after it froze again. I finally succeeded in getting it working (cross my fingers…). At this point, though, I think that it’s time to start working on moving the blog to a more reliable location. The current box has locked up a couple times this month already (to the point where I can’t break in with either KD or SAC), which is worrisome. Furthermore, as the current box also happens to be routing for my apartment LAN, it locking up also means the primary Internet connection will for my entire apartment will go as well – ick. The fact that it took about an hour and a half of disassembling it and putting things back together to get it running is definitely something I take as a strong sign that it’s going to take a turn for the worst rather soon. Granted, this box was donated to me, so I suppose I can’t complain too much, but it’s time to get something more reliable.

Since I’m going to be switching boxes for the blog anyway (as the current box looks as if it is going to die, permanently, any day now), I am going to move it to a more capable hosting location (i.e. not my apartment) while I’m at it. Furthermore, I’ll probably be going ahead and upgrading to the next major WordPress version soon as well now that it’s out of beta. Assuming that goes well on the new blog server, it’ll be running 2.1 when I cut it over from the old box.

Hopefully, this should end up with the blog being a bit more responsive (the burst data rate at my apartment is a bit less than I would like for hosting the site), and (finally!) drive a stake through the periodic but short outages I’ve had due to flaky hardware over the past few months.

4 Responses to “Hooray for bad hardware… (and upcoming blog maintenance)”

  1. Marc Sherman says:

    What is SAC?


  2. Skywing says:

    SAC is the “Special Administration Console”, or the kernel-level serial console remote control support added to Srv03.

  3. ddebug says:

    Why you suspect hardware and not (say) malware or attack?

  4. Skywing says:

    The box is pretty crusty and doesn’t exactly have high quality hardware, and I haven’t seen any indications of suspicious activity that might point to it being compromised.

    The box is in my apartment, so it is readily apparent whether something is a connectivity problem or the box itself died.

    Furthermore, it’s certainly possible to write bad code that wedges a box so badly that even the kernel debugger can’t break in, but it’s not very typical in my experience. When it gets stuck, there’s absolutely nothing I have been able to do to get any kind of response out of it. The only thing left to try would be forcing an NMI, but I don’t have any convenient way to do that with this hardware (and the box doesn’t have any ISA expansion slots to short).