Saturday, September 5, 2009

Au revior, l'amie ordinateur? Yes, my French sucks, so what?

Close.  So close I can smell the rum.  I just wandered over to the vacant navigators station and fiddled around with the ECDIS, which I believe stands for Electronic Chart DISplay.  It shows me steaming along 32.5 miles from the northwest point of Trinidad, at azimuth 260.  Today we had a MOB drill, threw the dummy in the water, then launched the MOB.  Unfortunately, we also tossed in a life ring and popped smoke.  The poor MOB guys had to also bring back the still-smoking life ring.  When they came alongside to get winched back up to the boat deck, they were completely enveloped in thick, bright orange smoke.  Coughing so hard I thought the coxswain was going to puke.

After a fun and frolicking general safety meeting (NOT), I began tearing apart my system in earnest.  Its been sort of emotional.  I've been working with this system for nearly two years.  We've gone through good times and bad, lean times and times of abdunace and productivity.  Its woken me up in the middle of the night with various ailments and at times given me great joy when ploughing through tens of terabytes of processing, clicking along at 100%, all 112 CPUs firing out jobs like a phlanx gun spitting depleted uranium.  And now I'm tearing out its heart and packing it into a large, wooden crate, wrapped in garbage bags, taped up to resemble a first-aid textbook dummy laid out in a casket.  Its rather sad.

Tomorrow, as I sit in the Crews Inn, I'll be raising my first glass of rum in a toast to my system, the good old girl, TD cluster, as she heads off to the airport and Trinidadian customs, never to be seen again.

On the bright side, I've got a bad-ass replacement coming, bigger, stronger, faster-yeah, something like The Bionic Man.  Cannot wait to take it out on the road, open it up and see what it can do!

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