I have been Everything2-less for the last two days. I am trembling. But it is worse than that; I still am Internet-less. And I can only blame myself for this, myself and bad luck actually.
Monday at about 5PM, just when the most pleasant and productive part of the day was about to begin the vital microwave link that connects us to the main campus tanked. It did not become flaky; it just went down like a concrete duck in a pond full of vodka (you can see that I am considering alcoholism as an option at this point).
Mumble, grumble, the network manager (who is the network manager ? why, I am) called the company that we rent the link from. Three hours later, a technician arrived. He pondered our equipment, the blinking LEDs, the humming hubs and the spright switches. Everything was OK. Even the occasionally irritable CISCO router was fine. But the microwave interface was alarmed.
This is a piece of equipment whose interface has clearly been designed by clever one-fingered alien, probably with infrared vision. This is the only possible explanation.
Anyway, after much fingerpoking, the grey box was pronounced OK. Time for a trip to the roof. The dude went on the roof. Things appeared OK. Cable test, OK. Insulation, fine. The dish appears to be pointed in the right direction.
Then the dude went to the other site, for more tests. At this point, it was around 10 PM, I had a cat to feed and I was beginning to feel worried.
This microwave link sits between us and the Internet, but not only that: our WWW server and the big mail server are on the other side of it. If it goes down, not much work gets done here.
Another telecom dude arrived, actually the boss of the previous one. More, very thorough, testing. The power supply was fine. Another trip to the roof. A very dark roof, with a very big cellular tower, red lights, cables, ducts, pipes everywhere, and nothing to prevent you from falling off it.
This being Mexico, and quite late in the night, we had to convince Security that we really needed to get on the roof. So the man stood there, in the cold wind and the red light, measuring gain at the antenna. And lo, we had 2.74 volts, which is nominal.
This was bad news: the only piece of equipment that these people could not test (a thing called a G703 if I understood correctly) was, with high probability, the piece of equipment that had died.
At about 0130 AM we all went home. No network. And today, no network either. Tomorrow we will probably get a brand new spread spectrum system. Today we have been busy rigging up bizarre mini-gateways with all sorts of systems. Tomorrow, if the net still does not work, I will be linched - this may be my last writeup.
My boss is admirably calm. Interesting. Maybe it is because she has ISDN at home. How am I writing this, you ask. Well, I am running Netscape on a Linux machine that mibarra has connected to UNAM on dialup - and I am getting the display via X.
This also explains why I will not be noding more today.
Woe is me, saith the network manager
(preceding pains - following joys)