Spirit of Alpha, and the mottainai of old hardware

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mottainai is a Japanese term which roughly translates to a sense of regret or shame in throwing old objects away. Old objects (historically 100 years old) may gain spirits (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tsukumogami) and be even more wasteful to throw away.

Thus we return to my AlphaServer 1000A 5/400, which dropped not only a disk from its RAID5, but also the spare it was going to rebuild on. Luckily I had a spare drive, and still had written notes on how to perform the (offline) component restore, and was able to move home directories to more recent hardware to lessen the stress on the array. It has been holding without losing more disk for over a year. (in fact, the current uptime reflects that.)

I should really move everything off the Alpha and retire it permanently, but it seems somehow disrespectful. It’s a huge (8U) box, eats up loads of power (250W idle), and is easily bested compute-wise by my decades-old x86 hardware. Apparently the 1000A was also not well-known for reliability, but somehow mine has worn the ages well.

I bet I could take the disk array offline and save half the power. hmm…

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