It was a busy old week last week. A very good friend of mine went to pick up an old Rack (described as 'half height') from somewhere in englandshire, and I popped down to his house to pick it up. So far so boring, but Casa Pants is some 500 miles away. And since the Mini is no more, I had to take SWMBO's car - the venerable Citroen C3 Diseisel. Which can pooter along at some 80mpg or so. Some lessons for me for 'next time':

  • Actually get some idea of size of this rack before saying 'Yes'. Half eight is actually something like five feet tall, five feet long and three foot wide. No WAY would it fit in a car. Perhaps a flat-bed truck. Richard, on seeing this, just took it apart. In a car park. And slung the lot into the back of his estate car.. And sniggered at the idea of me getting it in the C3

  • When I got there, in a significantly smaller car, it all went in. If I pushed the front seats forward.

  • Whilst not heavy (100kg or so), it was made of 50+ pieces of metal, all sliding and clanking on top of each other, which made for a slightly odd driving experience.

  • When driving the significant length of a country, nothing is 'out of the way'. So when a customer called and asked me to pop in for coffee, I just plugged their address into the GPS and toodled along.

  • Which lead to the second faux pax of the journey. The road from the M6 motorway to the west peninsula coast of Cumbria could be described as 'interesting'. As in 'if I was on a motorbike, I'd be having a whale of a time'. However, driving a wee underpowered Desiesel on very steep hills, behind caravans, with a lot of metal in the back was.. interesting. Sigh.

  • Customer meeting over, it was a straight run oop north to Edinburgh, where I decided to take the country road from the M74 to EDI. After the cumbrian roads, nothing could be as bad, right? And so I finally got home around midnight. Not bad for a 9am start. And can I just say that the Gretna Green services -the first services in Scotland - are horrible. I'm truly sorry for anyone who thinks that they represent the Scottish Tourist industry in any way. Experiences included the Burger King 'Coughing' guy who coughed all over the food and milkshake machines. With no attempt to catch the flying sputum. Or the tourist board shop that shut at 5pm prompt.

  • Next time I purchase a large, complicated piece of steelwork, I will make sure I know how to put it together before I start.. I think I constructed and deconstructed it eight times.. A mere six hours later, and RackZilla was alive!

Sigh. Still, everything is in the rack now, and I'm just waiting on a new UPS, shelves, and some spare drives to turn up today to make my life complete.

Photos ? Well, a black HUGE frame with some computers inside isnt what youd call interesting, is it ?

What on earth do I need RackZilla for? What on earth am I doing ? Well, us HADSL folks have a number of test machines, and keeping them in a rack makes sense. Thanks to VMWare ESX 3i (The Free version) we now have a large number of windows-32, windows-64 and Linux machines which help us test our platform dependances. As well as an AIX and Solaris machine. In fact, the only thing we need to complete our set would be an iSeries box.. If anyone has an old one going spare.. ?