Andrew Pollack's Blog

Technology, Family, Entertainment, Politics, and Random Noise

A hurt back, a cool fire run, and a good geek project

By Andrew Pollack on 11/29/2003 at 04:48 PM EST

Hello sports fans!

Well yours truly managed to throw his back out (no, not on a fire call) just as the week was getting started so no cool fire calls after that. Well, not for me anyway. I missed a chimney fire and an oven fire. Damn. We did have one cool run I didn't mention yet before I got hurt...

A day of heavy rains brought a classic spin out on I-95 in the southbound lane almost to the next town. The spinout resulted in a sweet "T-Bone" crash leaving one occupant trapped in his car. We were first out with Engine 1, followed closely by the Heavy Rescue truck but it took a long time to get there. First, its a long run down to the highway, then to get on for a southbound call we have to go all the way up to Yarmouth for the on-ramp. That's a total of nearly ten miles before we're even on the highway. Then, because the accident was near to Falmouth it was several miles southbound to the scene. Of course, traffic southbound was already backed up for miles, so it was slow going. Here's a rule for you guys -- if you're on a highway, and you see a fire truck behind you -- you NEED to pull over to the right. Do it safely, but do it. Do not think you should pull to the left leaving a space down the middle for the emergency apparatus. This is wrong, and dangerous. Technically, I cannot pass you on your right. If I'm doing that, and you suddenly remember that you're supposed to PULL to the right and do so -- you'll hit me and it will be my fault. Well, as you can imagine this is not what happens. What happens, is you get a bunch of people in a panic because there is a fire truck behind them. They pull over. Some left, some right. It leaves at best an obstacle course and at worst an impasse. People, a fire truck is not a little sportscar. It cannot weave around you as easily as you may think. Well, we finally got there, the crew on the heavy rescue cut the "B" post and did a "two door swing" to expose the occupant who was then brought to the hospital. As the driver, I ran the pump on Engine 1 while the other two guys (in this case my captain and lieutenant both made the truck) stretched a line to stand by (which is required during a mechanical extrication). All told, a fun hour or so in the rain on the highway by the time we got the line broken down and all back to the station, then re-packed the hose line and put the truck away.

So, having a "Lumbar Strain" does not mean you get to crash out and watch T.V. till it gets better. In fact, that's going to make it worse. The one thing you have to make yourself do is get up and move around normally. Since "normally" for me involves either extremely heavy lifting or sitting at a desk typing and both of those were now off limits, I decided to do some projects there were outstanding.

Geek Project: Server Room Heat Exhaust

So having five battery UPS units and seven servers running in a space that is only about 100 square feet is a great way to generate lots of heat. In the summer, I just keep an air conditioner in the window with a thermostat and it cools the room as needed. In the winter, it isn't so easy. An Air Conditioner is not meant to run when its cold outside. Aside from being a huge waste of energy, it just freezes up and doesn't work. In the past, a window mounted fan has worked somewhat, but flooding the room with cold air from outside ends up causing a cold current to run under the door and into my office -- wasting energy and also making my feet cold. What I've done is mounted a 110v thermostat control from Grainger and wired it to a 110v 200cfm exhaust fan and some 4" ducting. The fan is of a type suitable for Radon abatement, and meant to run quietly 7x24 if need be. The fan is mounted at the top of my server rack near the ceiling for intake of heat, and the duct is mounted to a wood frame which was cut, routed, stained, and polyurethaned to match my Anderson window. Since the wood insert causes the window sash to be partly up, an air gap is made at the window. Now when the room warms the fan pumps 200cfm of the warmest air outside, while drawing an equal amount of colder air from outside into the room. A simple door skirt prevents air from my office being drawn in, and energy efficiency is saved. It could be more efficient if I ducted the warm air directly into my office, but that would mean cutting a four inch hole in the wall for the duct and I'd rather not do that yet. I may though, it would be a great thing to be able to say I heat my office with the waste heat generated by my servers.

That's all for now, have fun building your own!

There are  - loading -  comments....

Other Recent Stories...

  1. 01/26/2023Better Running VirtualBox or VMWARE Virtual Machines on Windows 10+ Forgive me, Reader, for I have sinned. I has been nearly 3 years since my last blog entry. The truth is, I haven't had much to say that was worthy of more than a basic social media post -- until today. For my current work, I was assigned a new laptop. It's a real powerhouse machine with 14 processor cores and 64 gigs of ram. It should be perfect for running my development environment in a virtual machine, but it wasn't. VirtualBox was barely starting, and no matter how many features I turned off, it could ...... 
  2. 04/04/2020How many Ventilators for the price of those tanks the Pentagon didn't even want?This goes WAY beyond Trump or Obama. This is decades of poor planning and poor use of funds. Certainly it should have been addressed in the Trump, Obama, Bush, Clinton, Bush, and Reagan administrations -- all of which were well aware of the implications of a pandemic. I want a military prepared to help us, not just hurt other people. As an American I expect that with the ridiculous funding of our military might, we are prepared for damn near everything. Not just killing people and breaking things, but ...... 
  3. 01/28/2020Copyright Troll WarningThere's a copyright troll firm that has automated reverse-image searches and goes around looking for any posted images that they can make a quick copyright claim on. This is not quite a scam because it's technically legal, but it's run very much like a scam. This company works with a few "clients" that have vast repositories of copyrighted images. The trolls do a reverse web search on those images looking for hits. When they find one on a site that looks like someone they can scare, they work it like ...... 
  4. 03/26/2019Undestanding how OAUTH scopes will bring the concept of APPS to your Domino server 
  5. 02/05/2019Toro Yard Equipment - Not really a premium brand as far as I am concerned 
  6. 10/08/2018Will you be at the NYC Launch Event for HCL Domino v10 -- Find me! 
  7. 09/04/2018With two big projects on hold, I suddenly find myself very available for new short and long term projects.  
  8. 07/13/2018Who is HCL and why is it a good thing that they are now the ones behind Notes and Domino? 
  9. 03/21/2018Domino Apps on IOS is a Game Changer. Quit holding back. 
  10. 02/15/2018Andrew’s Proposed Gun Laws 
Click here for more articles.....

pen icon Comment Entry
Your Name
*Your Email
* Your email address is required, but not displayed.
Your thoughts....
Remember Me  

Please wait while your document is saved.