[rescue] advice on rescuing an e10k

Patrick Finnegan pat at computer-refuge.org
Thu Oct 19 16:53:22 CDT 2006

On Thursday 19 October 2006 17:37, Tom 'spot' Callaway wrote:
> Hi folks,
> I've recently been offered a working E10K for Aurora (Fedora Linux on
> SPARC) at no charge, but the catch is that I have to either get it or
> get it delivered. They quoted out a delivery charge of ~$3200.00 US.
> While this is probably a pretty decent bargain for a functional E10K,
> its a LOT of money for Aurora, which isn't even a non-profit, and
> would have to solicit the funds from donations.
> I was considering renting a truck and trying to get it myself, but I
> have no experience doing this. Does anyone have any advice to offer
> here?

The system weighs about 2000 lbs, and is a nice 3'x3' cube 
(approximately).  It's important to know if you'll be moving it from 
somewhere with a loading dock to somewhere else with a loading dock, or 
if you'll need a lift-gate.

I'd suggest that if you do go with a lift gate, get a 24' Budget truck 
(I hear that Penske is good too, but I haven't used them, and they 
might not be in your area).  Skip Uhaul because their service sucks, 
and their trucks aren't any better.

Bring at least 1 other person (preferably 2) to help you move the 
machine, and be careful of cracks that the casters may get stuck in.  
When you load it into the truck, make sure you strap it in securely 
with multiple tie-down straps, AND secure the wheels with leveling feet 
if possible... if not, wedge some lumber under the rack to lift it up 
off the wheels, so it won't roll around.  Nylon strapping stretches, 
and unless you take the wheels out of the picture, the machine will 
still roll around no matter how tight you make the strapping.

I'd also suggest that you (carefully!) remove all of the system boards 
and disks from the machine before you transport it.  If you hit a good 
bump while you're moving it, it's possible you'll end up damaging the 
midplane on the system, which will really ruin your day.  Pulling out 
disks and power supplies is probably also a good idea.  Make sure that 
you have plenty of boxes and anti-static foam/bubble wrap/bags to put 
the system boards and disks in.  The system will be much lighter after 
you remove all of that, and will be a lot easier to handle (and safer 
to use with the lift gate if you have to!).

If you're using a lift gate on the truck, tie some strapping (semi-loose 
is ok) around the E10k and anchored to the truck, to keep the system 
from rolling off of the lift-gate while you're moving it up or down.  
Not all lift gates move in a manner that keeps them parallel to the 
ground while they're raising or lowering... losing the machine off the 
back of a lift-gate is a good way to ruin your day (or even your 
life!).  Being carefuly and respecting all of those 2000lbs will 
definately be worth it in the end!

(the guy that moves 2000lb IBM SP gear for "fun" :)
Purdue University Research Computing ---  http://www.rcac.purdue.edu/
The Computer Refuge                  ---  http://computer-refuge.org

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