As I have mentioned before, my job as a volunteer IT support and system administrator for the charity Bridges for Peace means I am normally based in one of two offices in Jerusalem, and on odd occasions I work up in Karmiel, which is a city in the centre of the Galilee.
This means a 180km visit by car or bus when I have to do work up there. The food bank I work does a huge amount of service in helping the poorest people in this area especially new immigrants to Israel mostly from Russia or some of the other ex-Soviet Union nations. Every so many months I need to do a trip probably not that different from journeys Jesus did himself.
I have learned since being here this site requires careful planning as its an awful long way if something breaks unexpectedly.
This empty room in the middle of the warehouse seems like a good place to put the server. This server will replaced later this year as its running Windows 2000 which is very old now and we need a new more reliable system that helps us with our day to day food bank operations up here. This room is good as it means an easier job of adding some extra wiring here as its close to the network cabinet which is in the cupboard opposite the door.
This rack full of network kit needs a good sort out. I manage to swap cables around to enable computer network use in some offices that moved around. We only have 5 staff up here and there will be at least 3 more and there is not enough ports on the 16 port switch here so I have to put in another switch. The glass door on the cabinet does not shut as the wires are in the way. I think I can rotate the brackets on the switch at the top 180 degrees so this sits flush better and should make the glass door shut properly.
There is an other switch supplied by Bezeq (Israel’s no.1 telephone company) for several VOIP phones. Not quite sure how this works as I think they maintain it.
The black things are UPS power back up units to keep equipment running in case of power failure or spikes in the electricity supply, these are a few years old, most of the equipment was set up when this building got running in 2007 and the chances are the batteries are no good as they have a 3 year or so life span. I want to get a new UPS that has network connectivity so I can see the status of it using my Spiceworks network management software. These small ‘shoebox’ type UPSes should be able to be refurbished with new batteries and they could be used on regular office PCs in another part of the building.
When I was staying at one of the staff’s place over night, looking out of the balcony, I get to see an Arab bedouin house across the road, and modern (Jewish) flats in the distance. Here in this city, these two types of communities seem to be get on well it seems. It does mean you get woken up up by roosters at 5.30am though!
I have to speak to the rest of the IT department to get some more telephones installed, test wiring for network ports and telephones, get 3 more PCs installed and test the spare server. This trip was mostly about planning to give extra capacity for this site for future expansion as I know the Lord will provide more resources so we can help the most needy people in this area. I will need to do another visit up here in July I think.
The main thing I was doing, is a careful back up of the main server and applying all the latest updates and patches. This is always a delicate thing for IT administrators to do, it puts you a big security risk if you don’t bother, and if you do it without carefully planning it can crash the server. One of the team had their monitor suddenly stop working, so a local computer store (thanks to KSP) I got a new Samsung 18″ wide screen TFT monitor.
I really like this job as I always have plenty of interesting and varied challenges so work is never boring and I get to know everyone in the organisation. It also means I can combine this with a weekend seeing some friends who moved from home city of Portsmouth UK to Karmiel Israel, and later visiting the city of Tiberias which is right on the Kinneret, or the Sea of Galilee, and a few significant places of the bible, I will show soon.
A day in my work in the Galilee – The Jesus boat in Ginosar – The Kinneret Lake – Tiberias evening light show – Preaching and miracles of Jesus in Capernaum – Tiberias city centre and Muriels and Maimonidies