What a week it has been! (Jonathan, I am sorry for neglecting our friendship). Since Monday, I have piled in a car along with Tom, and Luca and made the trip up I-75 to Georgia State University. The reason was for L****** training, but I don’t like to dwell on the negative points. It was surprisingly entertaining, getting to hang out with Ga State’s OITS division and getting to peek into a world so very different from Clayton State.
We trained at State because of a scheduling conflict with mandatory SDK training and our approaching release date. This goes back to the battle we had trying to get documentation for a paid feature, that S****** wouldn’t give us. Georgia State’s S****** representative was the guy who wrote the documentation that we fought to get. He was truly enthusiastic about his work, and never once got into discussions of ownership, or other bullshit politics of the company.
While working with him on our connectors, we had a couple of congratulatory moments where he was amazed that we had gotten as far as we had (as he hadn’t). It was a very nice exchange of information and ideas, and repainted my views of S****** as a result.
On Thursday, the manager of the Unix devision at State gave us a walk through of the server room in the basement of the Classroom South building. I was absolutely blown away from the moment he swiped his card and the doors opened. It looked like I was standing 1,000 years in the future. I would estimate the room to have been the size of the open floor space in the first floor of the University Center. There had to have been hundreds of racks, each with dozens of blade systems inside. They were about 60% Unix-based, 20% Novell-based (Netware, not SLES), and about 20% Windows-based. If you can’t picture what I am describing, think of the Matrix:Reloaded when they went to visit the Architect.
We saw equipment for Georgia State’s personal systems, but also much of the Galileo Interconnected Library servers, as well as equipment housed at State, but owned by the BOR in Athens. In the middle of the server room, there was what I can only describe as a “mission control” area, where the administrators sat on a half octaganal row of desks with embedded screens in the tables, with the open half facing towards a giant 80″ plasma television that was the HUD for the entire campus. Definitely the highlight of the week.
We learned a lot – something that has been a S****** training first, and had fun doing it. Now, if I can just get through the next few weeks, I can do anything.