Trygve.Com > Diary > "on the move (part 2)"
moving Nyx Net from Boulder to the treehouse

Trygve's digital diary /
March 31st, 2000

snow fell the night before the big move

"on the move
(part 2)"

What's a move without a snowfall the night before?

Easier, usually.

NYX HQ in Boulder
10:03AM - Nyx shutdown begins

At least it had stopped snowing by the time the volunteers, led by the intrepid Darlene Cypser, assembled at Nyx HQ (then located in Boulder), with intent to disassemble the remaining equipment and move said Nyx HQ down to the treehouse.

I understand why operating an ISP needs to be done close-to-the-wire, at least when that wire is the connection to the Internet, but like Nyx's previous moves, this one ended up all too close-to-the-wire in the more usual sense as well.

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For those of you who have just tuned in to our diary-already-in-progress, I'm refering to the fact that Nyx's lease at the Boulder location was up at the end of January, 2000, whereupon the building was to be remodelled before the new tenant moved in on March first.

While I enjoy sharing my living space with a whole bunch of servers, I understand that not everybody has the same lifestyle preference. It can also provide a greater challenge for a business to attempt to operate from a small office space when it's already packed full of computers and network equipment.

The T1 lines out here had been scheduled to be turned on around Thanksgiving of 1999, but what initially had seemed like a reasonable safety margin was steadily eroded by USWest not showing up when scheduled and/or cancelling the turn-on at the last minute over and over again for months on end. On March 25th, shortly after threatening to file complaints anywhere we could think of and giving out the home phone numbers of corporate officers to Nyx's 3500 users, USWest finally--under protest--activated the lines.

the intrepid nyxventurers arrive

A lot of the furniture and office equipment and all the donated computers had been moved the preceeding week; the last of the nonessential equipment was loaded up and Darlene called when it was time to shut down Nyx's main servers so they could be loaded. At 10:03AM, Nyx went off the net and into Darlene's car to begin the journey.

Services were down for about five hours, despite the drive from Boulder being an hour even in the best of circumstances. Dimensional updated their routing within two hours and then I reconfigured the equipment on this end in another five minutes, just in time to take pictures of cars and trucks filled with Nyx-hardware driving up.

darlene brings the sun on this snowy day
12:20PM - Nyx servers arrive
setting up the Sun sparcs

With the network already configured and in place, it was mostly just legwork to haul the machines in. The main slowdown in getting everything up and running was a couple of flaky connections where cables and parts had gotten loose during the move.

And Nyx was back on the net in just under five hours; remote users had already logged in by the time I'd been able to type in my own login at the console.

and we're back on the net
15:17PM - Nyx back on line
sorting the serial and phone cables

Long-time Nyx user and many-time volunteer John Boyden was hard at work getting the pile of modem cables and phone cords untangled and sorted out so that the dial-up users could get in.

We'd raced against the clock to get everything ready by three o'clock that afternoon, when ICG's techs were scheduled to arrive and activate the 24 dialup lines for the modem users, but they didn't actually make it here by three o'clock.

wiring up the network
RJ-45 staredown

Or by four o'clock ...
... or five o'clock ...
... or the next day ...
... or the day after that ...

The following week, ICG did locate the techs in question. Turns out that they'd decided to cancel their appointment, but hadn't thought it was important to let anyone else know about this minor scheduling change.

They eventually did come out and activate the lines, though this wasn't sufficient to make them work. After many, many calls and much time on hold to find out why their lines weren't working, I happened to be talking to one of their service personell who responded to some innocuous comment I'd made with the surprised exclamation, "You're not in Denver, are you?"

Well, no, I'm not. Turned out that they'd routed all the calls meant for here into their main Denver switching office where the equipment didn't know what to do with them and simply ignored them. This was rather anticlimactic after weeks of daily back-and-forth calls with their service department in which they'd always assured me that they'd have the lines working within a matter of minutes--because in this case, now that they'd realized I wasn't served from their Denver switching office, the lines really did get fixed in a matter of minutes.

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