[rescue] advice on rescuing an e10k

Ethan O'Toole ethan at 757tech.net
Thu Oct 26 17:42:42 CDT 2006

> Its in Ohio, I'm in Chicago. Total distance, about 310 miles.
> I'm just a bit uncomfortable trying to "do it myself" with a rather
> large truck, having never driven such a truck before.
> I'm also reluctant to try to beg the Aurora community for $3000 to have
> it moved by "professionals".
> ~spot

Dude... from experience... I bought a "cray system" from a gov't auction.
It was 4 CPU cabinets, 5 drive cabinets. The weight came out to (estimate)
1000-1400lb for each CPU cabinet, and the drive ones were less. It was in
a data center that was secure. The gate guy greeted us with a machine gun.

I got a few friends to help, and rented a large penske truck. It was an
automatic, and it was EASY to drive! Seriously. One friend wouldn't drive
it, and he is the car enthusiast. The height really helps in vision, and
the mirrors and everything... it wasn't bad. Just BE SURE to do a better
job than we did/I did in securing it. You might be able to nail boards to
the floor of the truck to prevent it from rolling around.

The truck I rented was dock height, and 18' long. My trip was from
Virginia Beach, VA to Pittsburgh, PA!!! Left one morning, got to PA by
eve, got hotel room, went to Bectel next morning, got system (wasn't
terribly hard at this point), then headed out. Lots of issues iwth the
stuff rolling around. That was the only major difficulty.

Then when we got back to Virginia Beach, it was too heavy to get in the
door :-) But once we figured out *how*, it was always easy past then.

This is back in the day:

Back door looking into truck:

My friends have pics of the truck, but I don't seem to have any online.

One thing that they had at the data center that helped, was this "breaker
bar" thing. It's a wooden handle that goes down into a "j" shaped ordeal,
that happens to have wheels. You can slide it under something heavy, lift
it up, and roll it on the bar.

I won't lie to you, the crays were FJWAER*!@#!@#ING heavy as all hell.
There is a J916 system, that is "normal" depth. It has 16 procs, on 4
boards. To make the 932 system, Cray basiaclly made the cabinet 6' deep
(deeper than almost any cabinet I've ever seen) and jammed a 2nd card cage
behind the first. Wala, 32 processors. So I was getting info from a 916
owner about weight an everything... not realizing that the 32 is ... well

The good news is, after moving stupidly insanely heavy stuff.... it makes
the Origin 2000s and such feel light.

I sold 3 of the Crays, most of the money went to covering costs storing
the crays and getting them and all of that. But in the end the trip to get
it (which was a very long trip) was less than $1G. I gave friends money
after the sale of the 1st system too, cause they helped me out.

So ... when I sold the 3rd one, there was issues getting the heavy ass
cabinet on the lift gate. So whats the damn shipping company do? "Hold
this, and we will back the truck up under it"


It didn't fall... I got to work really tired tho :-)

Alot of it comes down to getting familiar with moving the thing. Once you
figure it out, it falls into place and is easier in the future.

Pulling out heavy stuff helps too.

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