[Gllug] london hackspace news / Cheap 2nd hand rackmount servers

David L Neil GLLUG at GetAroundToIt.co.uk
Wed Apr 6 03:23:35 UTC 2011

On 04/05/2011 12:04 AM, Nix wrote:
> On 4 Apr 2011, David L. Neil spake thusly:
>> On 04/04/2011 01:07 AM, Nix wrote:
>>> On 2 Apr 2011, David L. Neil uttered the following:
>>>> On 04/03/2011 12:36 AM, Nix wrote:
>>>> Interestingly from my flat in ShepBush I found that the sheer number
>>>> of routers and 'hops' to get 'anywhere' that wasn't actually 'in'
>>>> London, slowed things down considerably for UK connectivity.
>>> Agreed -- though this does very much depend on your ISP. ISPs who
>>> provide links to anywhere other than the LINX may be able to get you
>>> out of London faster :)
>> <sarcasm>but that would be useful information and "enabling" and
>> "empowering" consumers to make an intelligent choice between ISPs
>> </sarcasm>
> Well, that's more true in the UK market than in a lot of others: at
> least there is choice. Look at the US for a worse example: monopolies
> and duopolies everywhere, most dire.

Indeed. Although alternatives to DSL were stronger options (in many 
places) and even satellite is significantly cheaper than from the UK.

I notice that in some of the flurry that surrounds the regulator 
*finally* (appearing to) do something about the "up to 8Mbps" claims, it 
has AGAIN been pointed-out that the speed from the exchange to the 
premises is only part of the story - and that if the provider has 
overloaded the trunks on the other side of the exchange, the user will 
sync at wonderful rates but actual throughput will be otherwise. 
Needless to say, telcos/ISPs are not in a hurry to enable 'choice' by 
offering such information to the hoi-polloi.
(my shift from one ISP to another (BT-based, who stank) and thence to 
another (AandA, as it happens) revealed this as a stark (and 
ever-changing!) reality.

>> (the first hop is technically more: laptop wired to Internet gateway,
>> thence wireless bridge before being handed-off (wired) to the
>> modem/router - hence the delay. Orcon is my residential ISP. Is Esperi
>> 'you' or something else downstream from Andrews and Arnold?)
> esperi is me.
>> [dn ~]$ traceroute
>> traceroute to (, 30 hops max, 60 byte packets
>>   1  link.brothers (  3.981 ms  4.900 ms  7.895 ms
>>   2  lo1-ubs.erx1.nct.orcon.net.nz (...snip...)  14.852 ms  15.811 ms 19.773 ms
>>   3  ge-0-0-3-201.cre1.nct.orcon.net.nz (  16.743 ms  19.726 ms  19.703 ms
>>   4  * * *
>>   5  * * *
>>   6  * po2-0-1.gw5.lax1.asianetcom.net (  138.283 ms 138.213 ms
> LA?


I'm sure that I have seen a traceroute through Asia (ie east to west) 
but can't provoke it now. Maybe related to my ISP's peering 
arrangements. Next time I have the PC at our local library, I'll see if 
theirs route differently...

>>   7  xe-11-1-0.edge2.LosAngeles9.Level3.net (  215.082 ms 212.771 ms  213.692 ms
>>   8  vlan70.csw2.LosAngeles1.Level3.net (  138.733 ms 136.873 ms vlan60.csw1.LosAngeles1.Level3.net (
>> 139.818 ms
>>   9  ae-93-93.ebr3.LosAngeles1.Level3.net (  140.787 ms ae-63-63.ebr3.LosAngeles1.Level3.net (  137.651 ms
>> ae-83-83.ebr3.LosAngeles1.Level3.net (  137.614 ms
> Obviously that 200ms was a spuriously high ping time from a busy router.

Thus my earlier point, that routers, particularly in multi-hop 
scenarios, can have as much impact as the sheer number of miles.

>> 14  ae-41-41.ebr2.London1.Level3.net (  308.643 ms ae-44-44.ebr2.London1.Level3.net (  306.630 ms  306.689 ms
>> 15  ae-21-52.car1.London1.Level3.net (  408.669 ms  352.611 ms  351.785 ms
> Hello to the LINX.
>> 16  lonap1.restless.thn.aaisp.net.uk (  276.693 ms  277.755 ms  276.755 ms
>> 17  a.gormless.thn.aaisp.net.uk (  279.616 ms  278.700 ms 278.777 ms
> AAISP routers.
>> 18  ginnungagap.esperi.org.uk (...snip...)  298.656 ms  294.717 ms 294.721 ms
> My ADSL router (but not firewall, that's one hop downstream).

(I edited) Presumably the f/w is non-responsive to ICMP!

> 300ms roundtrip is not bad -- it's about what you get from the protocol
> overhead from an ordinary POTS modem. But still.

So there we go, locate your 'hot backup'/duplicate site down here, and 
it doesn't matter what happens to Telehouse...
(yes, aren't I shameless!?)

>>> True. Same here. But apparently a lot of people *like* the city life. I
>>> actually read something in the Economist this week extolling the Tube as
>>> a peaceful place (!!!!) solely on the grounds that it didn't have mobile
>>> phone coverage. Apparently not having room to breathe is considered
>>> secondary to attaining such 'peace'.
>> Indeed, as the oxygen level decreases so does brain function, and as
>> both approach zero so does 'peace of mind'.
> I'm not sure about that. I'm always on the edge of panic in such places.

=perhaps I'm describing the place where 'acceptance' has succeeded panic 
- but then my life has been rather eventful and I recognise my advanced 
state of decrepitude...

>> It is intriguing how living in a place of noise, one manages not to
>> notice it.
> Hey, I lived with a Netra in my bedroom for years and barely noticed the
> jet-engine howl.

=I don't have any apple pips in my ears.

>>             I hated the tube for that reason. Whereas here, when some
>> (amateur) fisherman comes home and fires-up his out-board (motor) to
>> rinse out the salt, I find it an oppressive and intrusive nuisance!
> Likewise the clunking of people driving much too fast over the speed
> bump they just put in outside my house.
>> Sadly I see that proposals to wi-fi-ise the tube have taken another
>> step forward. Even if the cellular coys don't get 'in', it won't take
>> long for the wide-boys to figure out how to wi-fi and Skype their way
>> into providing an inane and over-loud conversational hell for their
>> fellow man...  (in that respect, the tube has yet to 'catch-up' with
>> the buses!)
> Hey, a deeper hell is coming sooner. The Olympics.
> I just got out in time.

Yes, may God bless all who sale, er, sail in her...

Come down here: the Rugby World Cup is the current politicians' joy/sink 
for public funds.

Amusingly traders who have already been advertising 'stock-up on [our 
product] so that you can enjoy the World Cup' are being sued by the 
promoters/rights holders if they even mention the words (quite aside 
from rugby enthusiasts thinking the likes of wine might be 'just the 
thing'?) Given that we are not allowed to even mention the RWC, I'm 
pondering just how *anyone* can claim that it will be "a benefit to ALL 
New Zealanders"? It will be to a very narrow range, but if the 
government had given me (and the UK gvt gave directly to you) the cash 
they're splashing on these events, we'd (individually and collectively) 
make more out of it!

>> More reasonably the Christchurch earthquake is expected to cause
>> delays to many of the county's infrastructure projects and I imagine
>> the fiber-optics will also take longer to see the light.
> Hey, there's lots of room for brand new infrastructure in Christchurch!
> (How do you think Japan always manages to be so near the bleeding edge?
> They rebuild everything every few decades!)

See elsewhere: the telephony infrastructure came through really well. 
IIRC only about three~five cell towers were demolished. Sites mounted on 
buildings in the CBD were either destroyed or became inaccessible 
(power-wise or person-wise) but then such locations are still in 'the 
red zone' and thus out-of-bounds to comms users anyway. The landlines 
were creditably resilient.

There are now plans to rebuild the (central) city according to different 
philosophies. One of these was certainly tech-encouraging, just as a 
number flout their 'green' credentials. The task has been handed to a 
brand-new government department with this objective (and a stated five 
year life). Concerns have been expressed that the insured value will be 
lower than the cost of rebuilding. So don't hold your breath...

As an aside, recent comments by the (new) major of the Auckland 'Super 
City' may be of interest: "Innovation clusters mooted for Auckland"(5 
April 2011)

>>>>                       - but as you say, is one hour's drive to *visit*
>>>> the country's largest metropolis/source of IT contracts/work...
>>> These days it even has electrical power!
>> Hah!
> :)
>> For those who don't know how he is playing-along at home: many years
>> ago a series of electrical faults rippled through the supply system
>> and eventually two out of (*only*) three high-voltage power lines into
>> the city 'blew', rendering the CBD a powerless, ghost town. The
> Peter Gutmann called it 'our Y2K beta test site' :)

=none of my Y2K amelioration projects caused damage - thankfully all 
succeeded (even if I was closer to you, than here, to see the clock 
actually roll-around the centuries)

> Whatever happened to Mercury Energy after the power cut incident? I know
> that at the time there was discussion of the problems involved in giving
> anyone involved any sort of fair trial (for incompetence or whatever),
> because *everyone* has some connection to Auckland...
> I hope Mercury Energy's directors didn't survive but I suspect they did.
> What is a mere six months of blackout? You should have bought a bigger
> generator! Perhaps they didn't get a bonus that year.

My favorite was the ocean-liner which was connected to the grid as a 
floating generation station.

As to 'responsibility', I don't know/wasn't here when any blood-letting 
may have taken place. Could ask-around/research if required...

As you say, like bankers, these ppl seem to take very good care of their 
responsibilities and never shrink from issuing the odd mea-culpa when 
(oh look out your window - porcine aviators!)

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