This week work has been busy.
Fans. Cooling fans in PCs in hot countries wear out a lot. I changed one on my manager’s PC, the blades simply get stuck and won’t turn. It seems the oil in the motor bearings gets gunged up and simply won’t turn any more. I must of changed 15+ fans on PCs in the last year, on the CPU, power supply, chassis, video cards and one laptop as well. Most of the time this is a off the shelf part and cheap and easy to replace bit. In one case a fan on a motherboard chipset was a weird one and the only place I could get one (£7) was off ebay. Well it seemed a shame to throw away an otherwise working motherboard, this fan came all the way from China and took 2 weeks to get here. I swapped over the user with another PC straight away, so when this part arrived the PC was sitting on a bench to be fixed and then could be put back into a service for a new member of staff a month later. Now the fan on my own office PC has packed in, so I will need to get another. Normally they start making grinding noises, but this one has just stopped altogether.
I am making plans to virtualise a server used for our finance applications, as it seems quite awkward to manage it, and I have a feeling one of the hard disks in the RAID array is failing, so this will be done as an out of hours job, hopefully if everything goes to plan I only need 30 minutes in the office, the rest I can do by remote software from a coffee shop with laptop and wireless, the real pain with this kind of upgrade is waiting, a trial run of this type of upgrade took 6 hours to copy files using Norton Ghost from the server to an extra hard disk. Strip out all the hanging around and the job shouldn’t take more than one hour.
I got to go out and hand over one of the older computers I wrote on not long ago to a local family just a mile or so from our headquarters.
The girls seem to be pleased with their new acquisition. After this, I got to spend the rest of the afternoon helping our Korean colleague Jey with his deliveries to the poor from the food bank. Driving to various apartments of needy families with food was interesting as this took us over the north part of Jerusalem through a nice forest and places I have not seen before. Jey walks quite fast between the van and the apartments as he has to do a lot of drops and time is quite tight.
At least 3 of the people we visited were elderly holocaust survivors, a few having some full time carers staying with them who usually of Thai or Filipino origin who I see quite a lot in caring and nursing roles here. One of the older gents who was 82 and originally from Poland invited us in and offered orange juice and cake and told us jokes and told us stories about he used to sing in his synagogue when he was younger. This was a nice afternoon out of the office.