With The Servers Set Up I Can Get Back To Work.
Wednesday, Time to set up the smegware servers and reconfigure them to thousandoats. On most operating systems that would be a breeze however I have a pair of SCSI servers running Windows 2000. One server is the domain controller and Active Directory host the other is the publicly exposed web server.
On top of that handicap the public server has Exchange 2000 and ISA 2000 installed together. This is a combination that MicroSnot does not recommend and there is a good reason for that (Obviously I need another SCSI machine [I'm spoiled]). Anyway... I just barely had this working in California however I had many problems (mostly caused by my configuration mistakes). I had a DNS problem as a result of compensating for a low-end server (latent queries) and apparently I had lost RPC services.
Well... For each machine (all four of them) I opened up the boxes and made sure that there was no loose fans, displaced I/O cards, etc...In Fact the hardware was in much better condition then the cats were (big surprise). Everything went smooth firing up the computers until I tried to reconfigure the IP and domain. Ugh!
To simplify a long story (the more frustrated I am the more long-winded it becomes) After two days of trying every trick I have learned about NT over the years (MSDN subscriber for 10 years) I utterly gave up the possibility for any salvage. Basically I was not able to apply service packs, reinsall, uninstall, etc... (the ISA server had crippled me) So eventually I gave up and started to rebuild the servers from scratch. In the meantime I still had not contacted my work. It just kills me to have a static IP, registered domain and not be able to host my own mail but eventually I had to concede to the masters of innovation (stolen for profit not quality) and redirect my mail client to my companies server in order to let them know I was alive and ready (well... almost).
Now... the whole purpose of this migration is to work the farm. Shauna and I have worked very long and hard to pay for all this and Irene has put all she has into running it but the truth is that Irene can't manage and build and promote and etc... And Shauna and I can not work and participate at the same time so we all decided that Shauna and I would come up here and work the farm. The point being that I have other responsibilities other than work and servers and that stuff. Just like real life.
So... Sunday morning we began ' Working The Farm'. Our good friend Myles happens to be an accomplished woodsman as well as a surveyor by training (very comfortable in the bush). We needed to fell some recently dead trees, off the back acreage, and Irene didn't feel comfortable cutting (they were too large) and I've never operated a chainsaw so Myles agreed to help us out. We plan to use this timber to build summer shelter for the horses particularly the foals. The only thing I regret is that because of the safety considerations I couldn't be close enough to the action to learn how to cut. Probably better that I didn't because I should learn slowly and start on a smaller scale to get comfortable with the tool. We felled about eight trees that day and by that time, after climbing the side of the mountain all morning, we were all exhausted so that was 'Working The Farm' for the day.
Back to the servers... Well, one of the first preparations we did to the little house on the prairie was to install air-conditioning. Even though the heat is much more tolerable here then it is in California we are accustomed to cool dry living quarters and Shauna was not going to start living here (tiny as it is) if it wasn't comfortable. And dripping sweat is not comfortable. Because of this I was happy to get out of the heat and continue rebuilding thousandoats. In the end, I managed to get enough operational that I had full 'working' functionality. My developer environment was intact, I had contact with the version control server at work, I was able to refresh my source code tree and I just barely had thousandoats.com mail working. I had a minor email-client configuration problem which would take a week to sort out because I had no access to the public side to help me troubleshoot my visibility problems. A lesson learned in network topology.