Whoah Maynard, Matt's trashed the place. Who, what, where? Find a broken link? Lettuce know, we'll make more. The 6500 lives, yes indeedeedoo. Now what?
It's all obsolete. Matt really hasn't the time to keep it up to date. He wishes he could spare the time. Wait, actually He is sparing the time now. But it's quite late, yes, everything has changed and we doubt you care and wonder why we're bothering. We have to, we suppose, bothering is what we do. Mairs.net is in Steve's desk right now. The backup Matt alluded to below? It is currently the site. Has been for months. JW couldn't keep up the DSL for a couple of weeks. Matt is as slow as an iceberg. He is as fast as a faultline therein. Boom, change time. JW's sites are back. We installed a PPC 6500 we think it is there. But Matt has't transferred the site. Dunno that he will. JW wants to leave NY. Matt's last attempt failed, think he's here for the foreseeable.
So Matt sacrificed the studio. Web and mail server now. Copying back to the original bondi blue baby. Slightly upgraded OS but still very much obsolete. Guess that's a large part of why he's dragging his feet. Spamassassin is doing good work on the DV-Mac, we hesitate to see what our mailbox is gonna look like without it. And we don't look forward to migrating all that legit mail. Hafta come up with a project plan for our own shit. Argh.
matt'd like to have the studio back. There's some work on there. He has become quite accustomed to titanium girl of course, not sure how he'll feel about going back to a G3, but it should be done.
How closely do you follow the saga? What do you know? How much do you care? Mairs.net is dead, long live mairs.net.
A bit on the skin of his teeth Matt is here. Generally he keeps it backed up because you never know when your friend's going to decide to bill you hundreds of dollars, you never know when your company is going ro go out of business leaving your ISP's bill unpaid, and you never know when the largest blackout ever is going to deliver the final death blow to your failing hard drive. Or Matt's, as the case may be.
Mairs.Net was born in Tucson, Arizona in 1997. It was hosted on Slackware Linux and Solaris x86 servers, connected to the 'net by a dedicated ISDN link. These were the days when tech was still making money, and Matt's employers were enamored enough with his billable hours that they were willing to pay for his highspeed access to their systems and those of their clients. As a side effect, Matt was able to run Web, Mail and DNS servers for the mairs.net domain. The initial content consisted of a transplant of the pages Matt had started while at Pima Community College.
The site grew. Matt struggled with his own philosophical issues, as he gained more control over more systems, more responsibility for other engineers, and more respect as a technical authority. Basically a luddite, Matt has always found it more than a little ironic that the best living he can make is in technology. While he studied music, got scholarships for his voice and honors for his writing, he had to face the facts that his creations were too odd to lead to a lucrative living; and while he had some financial success playing other people's music, he found that in order to play and write the way he wanted to, he would have to do something utterly alien for a living.
There is nothing intrinsically wrong with technology. It is a tool, often used poorly or with ill intent, which is why Matt dislikes so much of it, but capable of at least as many wonders as horrors. It is an end to some means and it was while using it as such (MIDI for his music) that Matt realized how easy it was for him. And these pages are one result. Easy enough that he now decided that he could ditch PCs by joining the effort to port Linux to the PowerPC processor. And since that day, mairs.net has run on iMacs. Funny behavior for a luddite? Not really; macs are the official computers of luddites, if that's possible. But on with the story!
In '99 tech was getting sketchy. Matt's time with clients was still profitable, but no longer enough to support all the salespeople, accountants and other office personnel involved. A new business model was required, so Matt and several other engineers began exploring the possibility of opening their own consultency. But before the finishing legal touches could be applied, Matt received a distress call from one of the former salespeople. Patric had moved on before things had started getting ugly, but he was now involved with a tech incubator where things had gotten uglier still. This company had a datacenter, numerous clients and several different business models of varying profitability, but they had just been severely brain-drained by one client and one of their own vice-presidents. The datacenter sat empty. There were over twenty Solaris, Linux and NT servers running unadministered, as well a couple of Cisco routers and switches. When he offered to step in and keep all of this up, Matt pointed out he would need access. The ISDN was still in place, and so mairs.net lived on.
But New York was calling. Tucson was running out of new experiences for Matt. The detritus of his marriage was poisoning other relationships, and it was becoming quite obvious that it was time to go. But Matt didn't feel ready to jump straight to New York from Tucson. He had visited Empire City and had an inkling that direct transplantation might squash him flat. So he sought work in Phoenix, which, while still a minor burg compared to NYC might at least prepare him better for the pace than the postage stamp that is Tucson. Mairs.net moved with him, when he obtained a position running a datacenter there. It hid in a rack housing a DS3 muxed down to T1s, its cute little iMac form contrasting splendidly with the massive telco equipment.
But New York will not be denied. Once Matt had opened himself to the possibility of starting over here, the wheels began to accelerate of their own accord. Matt would wind up working in Phoenix for only three months before he got an offer he would have been unwise to refuse. And so he pulled a favor from the Tucson datacenter since he couldn't imagine the Phoenix folks being especially happy about this. The iMac went into a corner of a rack in Tucson and Matt went to New York.
But Matt's Tucson friends were finding it more and more difficult to turn a profit. They were a dot com, and dot coms were dying right and left. They warned Matt that the iMac wouldn't have a home much longer, so he made plans to pick it up, pack it up and have it shipped to him in New York. For a month mairs.net was an empty page on a virtual host in Canada where Matt's Tucson datacenter had outsourced their web operations, while his dad shipped the box and Matt prepped it's new home. For several months mairs.net lived in DUMBO (Brooklyn). In the meantime, Matt's ex-girlfriend arrived (this actually entailed the story of the half-used round trip ticket, the meeting in St. Louis and the mutual awakening fatigued driving syndrome, but that's another story) with the rest of his iMacs, their dog, cats, snakes and so much other stuff he still hasn't got it all unpacked. But having another iMac he didn't use much (no DVD or FireWire man!) let him start playing with newer PPC Linux distributions. And when Matt's friend in DUMBO had connectivity problems and asked for too much money, Matt sent the freshly built ns2 to Williamsburg (also Brooklyn... Matt lives in Kensington/Windsor Terrace now... also Brooklyn: I love NY! Do you love NY?).
Now the circuit in Williamsburg is dead due to some billing problem. And ns1, while basically abandoned, is still up and running. Given this, Matt switched DNS back to ns1 for the moment. So while he intends to give the computer you're currently connected to to his friend in DUMBO to at least pay him off somewhat, and switch back over to Williamsburg ASAP, for the moment you are on the original LinuxPPC server... probably one of the first in the world when it was created, and certainly the first in Arizona. So enjoy, as Matt says, this RISC performance at a PC price, and marvel at how this content, some of it ten years old, has traveled from coast to coast via Canada, and wonder, as does your author who insists on writing about himself in the third person, whether there will be a mairs.net tomorrow. Hope so, and hope it gets swung back to ns2, because that's where all of the newest content is (except for this treatise), the blog and the cooler mp3s. Still, enjoy what is here. It's miraculous, in its way.