Originally Posted: 2015-03-27 10:51 (no longer live)

FREE 40U Dell server rack (aka what was I thinking)

Holy shit. What was I thinking?

I know what I was thinking. I can remember the day clearly, back in 2005. It was the last week of my internship, and someone was giving me a tour of the data center. They offhandedly mentioned that they were going to scrap an entire 40-node rack of dual 1ghz/1gb ram/36.7gb 10k SCSI servers. It came with a dope 1U pullout 15" monitor tray, 2 (two!) Cisco gigabit switches, a serial console you could SSH into, and power strips you could actually telnet into and turn on/off remotely.

Faced with this information, what would you do?

I know what I did. I drafted a letter with a fake letterhead, discussing the parallel computing "research" I was going to do at UW with these machines, and 1 week later my friend and I were loading 10,000lbs of "big iron" into a hastily rented U-Haul truck, and then finally wheeling this rack by hand from 47th & 21st Ave NE through campus down to the computer science building.

I guess if I were to trace this back, I might blame my mom for this. She's a garage sale addict, obsessed with getting ridiculous deals. If you rewrote the NP-hard Traveling Salesman problem in terms of finding the quickest route between N garage sales, you might actually be able to submit her as a solution and claim the $1 million prize.

We ran this cluster at UW for a couple years, and then around 2009, sold off most of the machines in the rack. The rack sat at my friend's house, and I thought I was done with this behemoth. Until last year, when I had another big[1] idea.

My half-assed plan was to take this metal server rack, and melt it down under high heat. My band netcat[2] would record the light emitted into our video-light-synthesizer, and create a piece of music from it. Instant music video, and instant riches.

Turns out I have no idea how to turn a server rack into a molten pool of metal slag.

Also it turns out I might have to move soon.


For the love of god, come get this server rack. I don't think you need it, but you might want it.

If you can help me melt it down into slag on camera, I'd accept that as well, and pay any moving fees to the melt site. Bonus points if we can reform the metal into a hilariously dense cube[3].

Comes with the side panels and a cool-looking metal door. Also still has the telnet-able Power Tower brand power strips, although at some point someone wrote "Tower of Power" on them in sharpie.

[1] dumb
[2] http://www.theonion.com/articles/experimental-band-theoretically-good,9542
[3] my brain

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