The Digital Machine hive has moved, after massive disturbance to the nest. To chronicle the story…

We moved about 5 minutes down the road to get some extra land so we had pasture for our horses. We needed to move out and clean up before we could sell. So I left the hive at the old place while I worked on getting the new place connected. Such a simple plan…

  • Called Time Warner. They have DOCSIS in my neighborhood, 30Mpbs/1Mpbs, awesome. While the idiotic over-lobbied Republican-led NC State legislature is busy passing a law hampering municipal broadband, I find out the Time Warner monopoly wants to charge me $3250 (no that’s not a typo) to run cable down the 700ft driveway.
  • CenturyLink DSL is my fallback. I’m promised 10Mbps/1Mbps with a static IP for $3/mo, awesome. Then the installation troubles begin. 3 weeks later (no that’s not a typo), I have 8Mbps and $20/mo for a static IP, and no alternative.
  • About a week into waiting for CenturyLink, lightning strikes at the old house, killing the server motherboard right through the APC UPS. I could have rebuilt the hive at the old house, but I assumed CenturyLink would provide a modicum of reasonable service, so I unplugged and dragged the nest to the new house. That was a mistake…
  • I stripped everything down to determine what was working and what wasn’t, using my desktop for spare parts. Since I’m a cheapskate, I made the frugal yet risky decision to test the server power supply in the desktop machine. BOOM, I then had two motherboards that wouldn’t post. Whoops!
  • When times get tough, the tough go shopping. I bought some nice new mobo/cpu/mem combos from CompUSA (sorry Newegg but I had to get my hands on them that day). Intel i5 quad-cores that run cooler and quieter than anything I’ve ever owned, nice.
  • Rebuilding was a fun challenge, gentoo FTW. The Digital Machine is configured as a router, web server for a dozen virtual hosts, email server, database server, and a million other things; I did NOT want to start over. I booted up Ubuntu Live off a USB stick, used it to set up a gentoo stage 3 environment on a new drive, copied over the contents of the old drive to /, and cross-compiled a 32bit kernel into /boot. I made a few other really simple tweaks in /etc/resolv.conf, /etc/fstab, /etc/postfix/[relayhost] – and rebooted. And it just worked. Man I love the world of open source.

And away we go.

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