Ides of 2012? AKA What’s Going to Break Next, & Happy Holidays

Every few years I run into one of those spells where everything seems to break or go wrong. 2012 looks to be one of those years here at the observatory. Back in the spring, a spam worm infected the operating system on the mail server. The infection is so widespread, I was forced to shutdown the server and lock down the firewall, to prevent the worm from spreading. So far, all attempts to purge it have failed. A wipe of the OS will be required to clean it out, however, the mail server is also the weather server which, at this point in time, I cannot rebuild. So in the mean while, I migrated primary mail accounts to third party servers.

This July, the local forecasts on the website stopped working due to changes in feed from the data source. A quick trip to the software vendor’s website for a fix ended in a discovery that the vendor has dropped support for the software, and deleted the support forum that was comprised of users who would be able to independently correct the issue. It took a while, but I found the new support forum that has since been created and obtained the resolution. By this time, however, the external humidity sensor has now failed. The backup sensor, surprise, surprise, was defective. An attempt to purchase a replacement let to a realization that this product too is now discontinued. A new weather station will be necessary.

In the office at the observatory, I burn liquid ethanol for supplemental heat. It works very well. I was delighted to find a new source for the ethanol at a considerable savings in 5 gallon cans. After purchasing 10 gallons however, I quickly discovered, the alcohol when burned is giving off a gas that is corrosive to steel. The swords hanging on the walls of the office rusted solid within hours of exposure. It comes back to the old saying, you get what you pay for 🙂

There have been other incidents through out the year of which I won’t bore further with details. I hope my cash offerings have appeased the demons that have brought for this havoc. For now I will sit quietly and hope this storm has passed.

Happy Holidays everyone!

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By lostbowyer

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