Tag Archives: Infrastructure

Weather station update

So among the casualties of the severe weather today were apparently Nightwind’s serial ports — I came home to find that everything had rebooted, but Nightwind was unable to communicate with the station at all. After trying a few things — including resetting the station — I moved the console to healer for testing and found it picked up pretty much immediately. I moved it back to Nightwind and it was receiving corrupt data — no good. The hilarious thing is that healer — the crappy Dimension that I railed against not more than three posts ago — is now running the station flawlessly, with no phantom windspeed readings or anything. Go figure, right? I hate it for to happen this way, but it’s nice seeing my original plan carried out. :) So, Nightwind will rejoin the other servers, and the much quieter healer will be sitting relaying the conditions to Wunderground and AWEKAS. (It also will continue to serve as a backup domain controller and DNS box.)

Regular commenter NotMyBest2Day passed along a radar composite of the storms exploding over Charleston today. It takes a bit of time to load, but it’s worth it to see all the energy move ashore. This one really reminded me of the disturbance that dropped all that rain and that extreme lightning over downtown last August.

The forecast is more of the same for tomorrow, from that disturbance that’s still sitting offshore. Let’s hope it winds down by the weekend!

Back to reality

Well I hope everyone had a fantastic Thanksgiving break. Mine was pretty terrific: in addition to the video gaming mentioned a few days ago and the requisite consumption of turkey and chocolate pie, I also saw the new James Bond movie with my friend Mark. It was the first movie I’d seen in a theater since Star Wars III in May of 2005, and I must say, it was fantastic. Daniel Craig may not look like past Bonds but he does a fantastic job. Highly recommended!

In addition to my first trip to the theaters in a year and a half, I’ve also made some infrastructure updates; I now have a backup domain controller, redundant DNS, and some limited DHCP failover now on my home network. This machine, known as healer (it seems the latest trend in my naming of machines are early Ryan Farish songs), is a Windows Server 2003 box with a single 733 MHz Pentium II and 384 MB RAM. It’s not bad and will do a great job not only serving in the BDC role but it will also be put into motion as the latest machine to power the weather station — because it is a smaller, quieter machine (literally, an older Dell Dimension), it will fit much more nicely in the back of my apartment versus the giant machine currently there (Nightwind, my Windows 2000 Advanced Server). This switch will occur sometime overnight in the next few days; probably this weekend. After school lets out I’ll be upgrading Nightwind, the primary domain controller, DNS box, etc. from Windows 2000 Advanced Server to Windows Server 2003 Enterprise. Windows 2000 is incredibly reliable but Windows 2003 enables some additional security stuff that will be quite useful.

That was the extent of productivity; though — a lot of time was spent just trying to chill out a bit (for a change). It most definitely was the calm before the storm. To be blunt, it doesn’t get much better from here until the 13th of December, when my final exams will be complete. :) I’ll be airing my plan out into the open here in a blog post in the very near future.

Some small infrastructure changes at home

So in light of yesterday’s power problems, I’ve decided to make a couple changes:

  • wxstarzero.jaredsrealm.net, the 200 MHz Pentium running Debian Linux that is currently responsible for uploading weather data to Weather Underground, will be retired. It’s fairly unreliable (needs to be rebooted every two to three days) and has a lot of strange issues. Plus, it’s a 200 MHz Pentium.
  • I’m relocating nightwind, my domain controller/DNS server/DHCP server, to the back of the house, where wxstarzero currently sits. This will help in distributing power a bit better, and puts the server in a perfect location to begin uploading the weather data. I’ll load Virtual Weather Station or some equivalent on the machine and start having it upload the data. This cuts down on running an extra machine, and it should prove to be much much more reliable as well.

With this in mind, expect a little downtime on the station tonight as I make the transition over. It shouldn’t take too long, though.