Already this year, we’ve added 3 servers to keep up with the volume of traffic on the site and expect to add at least 3 more by the end of the year. The other day all the pieces arrived to build the next new server for the site. I get a lot of satisfaction building a machine from scratch, but it’s always been a painful experience with the seemingly endless hardware troubles. This was the smoothest one yet, except I spent 3 hours last night fiddling with the machine trying to get it to power up. I gave up at 1am and went to bed.
I woke up, spent some time reading message boards and newsgroups to help diagnose the problem (how would I have done this before the internet? Call Taiwan for tech support?!). Not optimistic, I went for a bike ride while the morning weather was great rather than spend more frustrating hours tinkering to find out it’s raining. When I got back, I tried a few things that didn’t work and then figured, as a last shot, a different video card. It worked! The problem was that the (very reliable, until now) video card wasn’t working which made it appear the machine was not powering up. It was, I just couldn’t see anything on the monitor. That’s great, but I can’t believe I wasted 3 hours on a stupid video card.
Now it’s all just software to finish this machine, which is the easy part (for me). This machine should take us quite a ways down the road til the next upgrade.