September 18, 2008

Help, sheesh!!!

Well, the call center has moved -- now I get to correct the installation. "No time to do the job right, lots of time to do it over." The leased building has most of the second floor fed from the ceiling area of the first floor. Mostly up into j-boxes and unto the partitions; partitions are also wired for power and thus are not easily movable, unlike the old building.

Some locations, the table pictured right, and not-against-the-wall desks in the training rooms, have monuments for power and communications. The electrical contractor did the power, correctly. The outlet is mounted in the monument, rather kick proof. However, the people who took over the job, seeing as I was, in their opinion, not capable of doing the job right, simply pulled the communications cable thru a hole and attached a surface mount jack. Note the words SURFACE MOUNT. Note that the surface mount jack is not mounted to any surface and WILL be kicked to pieces for me to repair in the future. Not that they cared -- they don't have to maintain the mess they made.

There is, of course, a better way. It even uses the same jack -- all it would have taken would have been a minute or two more AT THE TIME OF INSTALLATION. That self-same surface mount jack has holes for mounting to a standard outlet box. They like up with the screws holding the grommet plate on. It would have been trivial to have routed the cable through the back center of the jack housing and have mounted the jack firmly to the monument -- kick proof! Not to worry about having to repair kicked apart jacks.

But they didn't. So that will be one of my jobs when I get time to do it. Unfortunately it will involve removing the jacks from the cables, re-routing the cable through the back center, re-attaching the jacks, re-certifying the jacks to Cat-5, and then finally mounting the jack as it should have been done in the first place. With the number of jacks involved, a quarter hour each, about a day versus the 15 minutes total it should have taken. But then, that is 15 minutes of their time versus a day of my time. Thanks guys! But I really don't need the work, I have enough as it is.

Posted by Paladin at 01:45 PM | Comments (0)

September 17, 2008

Aquarium of the Pacific

September 16th was Senior's day, free admission to anyone over 50. And they didn't even ask for proof of age! Naturally I couldn't pass up such a bargain. Unfortunately, there were a bunch of old cheapskates there, making it very crowded:

Due mostly to the dim light and the glare off the tanks, my still photography didn't come out very well. However I did get some reasonable video clips of:
the Wave Sculpture in the entrance, a fascinating thing hanging on 81 strings, some Sharks Swimming, jellyfish, a Garden Eel that reminded me a loy of our baby snakes and my favorite sea creature, the graceful Leafy Sea Dragon.

Posted by Paladin at 10:47 AM | Comments (1)

September 11, 2008

Salt Lake Upgrade

"Government is expanding to meet the needs of an expanding government."

The Phone Company, on the other hand, expands to meet real needs. The outside techs carry laptops around to get their workload and test and such. Thus they need access to our Corporate LAN.

The Salt Lake Garage was one of the first places I put an Ethernet LAN into -- running NetBuie instead of TCP/IP, a UB HIB instead of a switch, a little Cisco 1000 router, and a GDC modem running 56Kbps -- that's like dial-up speed. THis was a while ago, the latest computers were 286 powered and 20 meg hard disks were big. The 56K got upgraded to a T1. The single router was replaced with a pair and a pair of T1s. It went from sharing addresses citywide to having it's own set of 64 IP addresses. And ran out of addresses.

We are about to cut over to the latest configuration -- a pair of (existing) T1s, a pair of (existing) Cisco 2600s, and three 24 port switches to replace the existing singleton. Cutover to occur off hours. Why? I don't know. I would simply tell the users "I'm taking the LAN down for a while" and pull the plug! Cutover to be scheduled, but should be next week or the week after at the latest. I'm on vacation both weeks.
So, for whomever does the cut for me -- upon the OK to cut:

On the backside of the 2600 routers, switch the Ethernet cables (picture left.) If they have done their work correctly they'll be able to see the new switches, and the authentication switches. While they're checking you can pull the long cords from the old Ethernet switch and replace with short cords to the new switches.

When they are ready for the WiFi to be powered up, simply plug in the PoE power injectors (picture right.) At this point the LAN is done and the only thing left is to reconfigure the one LAN printer to a new IP address, and to give that address to someone to reconfigure the print queue to match.

Posted by Paladin at 07:24 PM | Comments (0)

September 09, 2008

Subsitute doormat

Arrgh! The things I do for my Brother. He's up in Seatle visiting mum for her 84th birthday. I can't afford to fly up and someone needs to tend to his cats so I get to stop by daily, pick up his mail, feed and water the cats, and clean out their litterboxes.

I also try to spend about an hour so the cats know they haven't been totally forgotten. Fluffy and Pumpkin are rather stand-offish, read as rebuffed offer of skritching. Silver, on the other hand, is rather affectionate.

Posted by Paladin at 06:04 PM | Comments (0)