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December 05, 2003

Western Digital confirms drives received

    Western Digital confirms they have received the defective drives and will be shipping replacements within a week.

December 03, 2003

The Iron Dragon departs for repairs

    After a long talk on the phone with Dell tech support, it was determined the Iron Dragon has a fault , but which component is known.  So, rather than have someone come out to fix it like they usually do, I had to send it in.
    What?  You didn't know there was a problem with the Iron Dragon?  Yeah... ever since the last guy fixed it, I can't move it.  If I do, it locks up wherever it is. 

December 02, 2003

The parts for the Red Dragon have all arived

    Pluvius called us and said the last of the parts for the Red Dragon have arrived.  We met at his house to put everything together.  After a lot of work assembling everything... it didn't work.  After a lot of head banging, we found the new motherboard to be DOA.  That's annoying!

December 02, 2003

Goodbye Azure Dragon

    We say our goodbyes to the Azure Dragon.  With the Linux port complete and running well, the suport of the Azure Dragon is no longer needed.  It has served us well.

December 01, 2003

Happy December!

    So how did we do in the month of November?  Well, up until the 24th we were doing better then normal.  Then, the numbers dropped off shapely.  Why?  Too much internal traffic at Park Place.  Bandwidth was taxed so high that pages took several seconds to load-- which is not a good way to keep visitors. daily averages

    Our busyest day last month was the 12th where we received 8,631 hits.  On the 5th, we sent out 1,584,816,128 bytes.

November 29, 2003

System status

    Both of the dysfunctional drives from the Black Dragon have been sent back to Western Digital.  We got a look at our new 10,000 RPM drive as it arrived a few days ago.  Looks like any other drive, but is noticeably more heavy.  The case for the Red Dragon has been an issue.  Originally it was sold out, so we put ourselves on a waiting list.  After changing the estimated arrival date twice, it disappeared from the site all together.  But, we've found an other source and the order is in.  The case is the last part before we can begin assembling the Red Dragon.
    We were pushing upwards of 6000 hits a day this month, until my other room mates started eating all of the bandwidth.  Typically, we never have a problem with everyone taking their share of the 768k/bits of bandwidth we have.  But this month it's started to become an issue.  The site slows down so much, I think most people just give up.  This may become an issue.

November 23, 2003

The Black Dragon is back!!!

    The Black Dragon is back!  A pretty quick turn around time, but our new motherboard arived yesterday and was install this after noon.  After some driver updates, we were back in busness.
    Some issues that sill need to be resolved, however.  We still have two hard drives down-- one of the RAID mirror drives and a 60 gig.  Both are under warrantee, so we just need to return them.
    It apears both of the faulty Western Digital drives are under warrentee, which is very good.  Since we've delbt with faulty drives in the past, we know WD is good about replacing faulty parts.  We should just have to fill out the RMA information for the drives and send them in.
    Tyson has found a perfact replacement for the Black Dragon's dead motherboard-- a Soyo KT400 DRAGON, Black Addition.  So the Black Dragon will have a Black Dragon :)  Anyway, this motherboard is setup with the same HighPoint 372 RAID chipset as the EPoX, so the RAID arrays should function just fine.  Thankx Ty!
    We've also decided to go with a Western Digital Raptor 36.7 GB, 10000 RPM drive run by a Promise  FastTrak S150 TX2plus RAID controller.

November 18, 2003

Status of the Black Dragon

    We took the Black Dragon to our good friend Tyson "Pluvius" Mohr's house for further diagnostics.  It is most defiantly a mother board problem with the system.  During our testing, we noticed leaking capacitors near the motherboard switching power supplies.  Several of the capacitors bulged near the top, and some showed signs of leaking.  Others lower on the motherboard seemed fine.  This is probably related to the problem.
    Strangely enough, the system works after it heats up, but crashes critically if it becomes too cool.  This is a very strange symptom indeed.
    Each of the hard drives were checked by the manu factor utilities.  We found the 2 of the Western Digital drives were diagnosed with errors-- one of the 100 GB RAID drives and the 60 GB.  All the IBM drives checked out fine.  Despite the 60 GB Western Digital drive failing immediately in software, we were able to get data off the drive.
    So, the next step has to do with repairing/replacing the Black Dragon's dead motherboard.  If the motherboard is still under manufacture warrantee, we will return it.  If not, we'll look into a low-cost alternative.  Why a downgrade?
    Well, while visiting Tyson, we discussed me buying his duel Atholon MP motherboard.  This computer will become the long awaited "Red Dragon".  There's still a lot of details to cover before this system becomes real, but so far, everything is a go.

November 17, 2003

Black Dragon problems

    The Black Dragon is currently down due to hardware problems.  We believe it is due to a dieing  motherboard-- anytime the system cools down, it locks up catastrophically.  This has been observed in the past, but now has taken the system out of commission.  Diagnostics will get underway very soon to confirm the motherboard issues and followed up with a replacement plan.