Bad Form HP… Bad Form Indeed

So, I'm sitting here in my newly reconfigured den/office/computer room/whatever (more on that later) waiting for CD images to download. Multiple CD images. I'm trying to upgrade the firmware for a SATA RAID card I eBay'd a few weeks back to handle the new 2TB RAID array I was building. It seemed to work fine, but after some use, it showed a nasty habit. The firmware seems to be buggy somehow, as I receive messages in my server's dmesg output about the adapter kernel panicking. I found it strange that a RAID card could kernel panic, but it makes sense when you consider the fact that firmware is just software for a hardware device. The card seems to recover itself about 80% of the time, but that other 20% involves hardware hangups, and hard reboots. No fun… especially when this box is providing storage for multiple other machines.

Back to the firmware. I'm trying to download the latest firmware for this card, but HP isn't making at all easy. Instead of putting a link to a specific file, or set of files, they just have links to their “Firmware Maintenance” CDs, which contain updated firmware for damn near everything they've unleashed upon the world in the past X years worth of product releases. Thing is, there's no documentation anywhere I can find about what each CD covers, what firmware versions are present, or anything like that.

Case in point – I downloaded the newest CD listed on the support page for the RAID card, and it didn't have any firmware for the card listed whatsoever. 650MB downloaded and a CD wasted, all for nothing. I try the oldest CD they have listed, and sure enough, it has firmware on it for my card. I was left wondering if there was a newer firmware somewhere on one of those intermediate CDs though. So here I am, downloading more CD images, and wasting more CDs. Grand! What's really great is that if I want to actually install one of these firmware updates, I need to find three working floppy disks that I can use to actually perform the upgrade because the embedded boot process won't install things automatically. Why? Even though the server is a HP-branded server, it's not of the proper vintage, so the boot loader/installer thing won't work. What a pile of crap.

Now that I'm done venting about stupidity (while downloading yet another CD)…

I've been feeling pretty run down over the past month or so. I attribute it mostly to what I would consider poor sleep. I typically sleep for a good 7-8 hours, but I haven't woke up feeling rested in quite a while. I have one working theory as to why, and it involves the server I'm working on right now, strangely enough. The simple fact is that the thing is loud. It's buried in my walk in closet with my other server gear, but it still had no issue polluting my bedroom (which is attached to said closet) with gratuitous amounts of noise. It seems like my poor sleep roughly coincides with the introduction of that machine into my closet, so I decided to shift things around a bit to see if it would help. I switched the roles of my two bedrooms – the larger bedroom became my office/computer room/underground lair, and the smaller room became the bedroom. It remains to be seen whether it will help much, but I liked this arrangement better when I used to have it. It also allows me to move the second cat litter box out of the bathroom, which is reason enough to move everything around in my opinion. They've never really been very good at keeping litter off the tile, which sucks. I'm not really a fan of walking on cat litter, especially when I'm fresh out of the shower and my feet are wet.

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