Sunday, 23 August 2015

Another clock

Down in the Data Center, I've long had a hankering for a display.

Upstairs in my office, I have a rolling display which shows me A) the temperature outside, the time and the number of reported errors on my servers, B) the view from my front garden and C) how much network activity here and at my colocation, and on two important servers.

So I decided to have the same display in the Data Center. But first, where to put it?

I have a rack with a row of 2U servers, unpowered, there as backups, and (hopefully) used pretty much never. I thought, why don't I take those off the rack, and use the rack for the display.

So first, I cleared a space for them. I have a small collection of front bags for bikes, but I haven't used a front bag for a long time, so I took those up to the attic (also a reel of CAT 5 cable, and a couple of boxes of video cables). While putting those away in the attic, I rummaged round the big unsorted heap-of-stuff, and found four cartons of stuff belonging to daughter.2, so I've pulled them out, and next time she's here, I'll tell her to either take them away, or let me dump them. It looks to me like stuff from her university days.

So I moved the 2U servers to there, and moved my AST 386 (which is the computer I used for compiling Dr Solomon's Antivirus 20 years ago) to the attic. And with all that tidying done, I was able to get the display set up.

It's driven by a Raspberry Pi. I've taken a 12 volt feed from a nearby computer, put that through a voltage reducer, and fed that to the Pi. And I made a bootable SD card by taking an image backup of the SD card on the Pi that runs the rolling display upstairs.

And when I powered it all up, it worked immediately. Sweet.

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