[Rack] stallion back up / pony back up

Danny O'Brien danny at spesh.com
Sat Sep 1 01:29:34 UTC 2012

I did attach an LCD monitor to the back of stallion (which is marked
Pony, fact fans), but didn't get any signal. May have been the LCD
monitor, wasn't sure. Rebooting got Stallion back, but Ben says the pony
VM doesn't autostart. Maestro helped out a lot.

I didn't see any evidence that DNS was going through pony.

Someone else came up to me and Maestro while we were working and started
telling me the network was down last night. We talked a little about
possible monitoring. When I asked if he'd been given any advice, he said
he'd been told to mail rack. When I asked him if he had, he said no.

Some General Advice About Doing Stuff At Noisebridge

The last time I tried to fix the network at Noisebridge, I actually
broke it more. I tried to reset the DSL modem and in doing so, it lost
its settings. I had to find the phone number for sonic.net and called
them and they helped me. I left a label stuck to the modem that
explained that this was not what you did, and how to fix it. I got a bit
better at restoring the network.

Today I then spent about 20 minutes trying to find a torch to look
around the back of stallion. When I found one, I looked for somewhere to
plug it, and just where I was going to put the light, I found a light
already there set up for the next person to use. Duh. I am an idiot.

Nonetheless, in both cases, while an idiot, I was totally AWESOME in
doing what I did, even though I know barely anything about these things.

There are two reasons for this:

0) I warned people I was about to do it.

1) I was reasonably careful.

2) I worked to unbreak what I'd broken.

3) I talked to as many people as I could for ideas.

4) I actually DID something, and

5) I'm documenting it now.

Number 4 trumps pretty much everything, I find. Some people like to
complain at other people for doing things wrong in the space, but mostly
that is the jocular hard-ass chit-chat between superhacker people who do
things. Such conversations smell of wood chippings and machine oil, and
cover our insecurities about for how we all do stuff a bit stupidly. For
everyone complaining at you, you will nonetheless enter a secret magic
priesthood of having done something at Noisebridge.

It is a really different conversation from the bemused tolerance you
will get from me when you come up to give me suggestions about the
network, such as how it needs to work better, and how people who are in
charge should be signalled when it is broken. The implication is that
somehow I am partly in charge because I am fixing something now, and
that you are not, and are helpless, because you're not doing anything.

Stop that. I don't know how this thing works much better than you.  Your
suggestions are good, but the correct incantation is:

"So I was thinking about doing X to make this easier, what do you think?"

To which the answer will almost certainly be "yeah, go for it". 

Other people don't and can't give you permission to do things at
Noisebridge. The fact that someone is telling you to do something
instead of giving their opinion is a sure indication that they either a
crazy person off the streets, they're in too foul a mood to think
straight, or don't really understand how Noisebridge works. (People
telling you, like I just did, how Noisebridge works, are also suspect.)

Finally, I really genuinely want to know why people working in the space
last night when the network was down didn't try and contact other people
to let them know, either before or after, or document what happened to
get the network back up. Were you worried about getting into trouble?
Were you burned out after trying to fix it? Were you so relieved after
fixing it, that you couldn't muster up the energy? What happened there?

I want to find a solution to this, which is more of a problem than this
intermittent network fault (which I've only seen a couple of times, but
who the hell knows?) I'm also going to try and throw together something
that will keep an eye on the network and give us some stats. It will be
stupid, but it will help a little.


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