Yesterday was my first visit to the West Bengal State University, Barasat. Rtnpro, Meejan, Yevlempy(Harsh), Chandana and /me being led by IndraDG and StephDG reached the university around 12:30 p.m.
IndraDG led us straight to the Server Room. He got us acquainted with the equipments in use there. We were given a briefing about the wiring and the connections of the room, the batteries being charged by this *big* UPS (I have to admit, first look, I thought it was a CPU, a big CPU. But then, I noticed just a small display and no optical/usb drives… then I understood… this was one big UPS). This UPS is used to charge some 20 batteries which are arranged on a shelf, blocks of 4 in each of the five rows.
The UPS is a Liebert GXT-MT 6KVA UPS with a OpenComms Web Card.Indradg then explained some details about the UPS. We were then told about the mechanism used to provide back-up during power cuts, IndraDg actually recreated a power cut by shutting down the power supply for a while. We were also introduced to the network configuration of the university.
It was time to get started… we set up a Desktop in place of the already-setup one. But the system was in a bad state… so we had to install Fedora 10. After the installation was complete, rtnpro began his task: downloading the Fedora 11 repository. But, rtnpro seemed to be having some trouble with it. A call to Susmit da… he mailed some instructions and finally… there was some progress.
While rtnpro was busy with the repository, I had a cup of tea twice. The server room is so cold!… had to step outside every hour or so… Some posters citing “Do not switch off this machine! Work in progress” were prepared by StephDG and stuck on the desktop and the doors. IndraDG then showed us how to configure the router so that it can be controlled from outside. rtnpro could now login and check the progress sitting at his home. But, as we were about to leave, rtnpro hit the halt command on his terminal, not realising that he was logged in to the server. (thank you very much rtnpro! 😛 ) The system had to be booted again and the whle procedure cost us some 20-30 minutes.
However, we finally left the university at 5:30 p.m. I reached home at 8:50 p.m. and was so tired that I went to bed instantly, waking up at 7 this morning.
As of now, I am sitting alone in the server room – Day 2. rtnpro and meejan were supposed to be here at 11, but its almost 1 pm. and they haven’t arrived.