Paul Mobbs, working in 'The Container', 2003

Busy, busy, busy! Three days reports in one here because of the rush to finish things off for the launch.

Photo-diary: Lined up and 'good to go'
Much of the last three days has involved the final stages of completing The Container before the launch. The techies have been finishing the installs and upgrades, whilst everyone else has been frantically working to tidy The Container.

Photo-diary: Camille learns hands-on about networks
The final score on the computers is four Macs and ten PCs (and a server of course). One of the PCs was actually given as a server for the network, but it was far too good for that. Instead I used an old 350MHz Pentium II and now we now have an excellent Linux multimedia desktop instead.

Photo-diary: Camille and Mike with an intruder Photo-diary: Almost there!
The last couple of days with the computers have been really difficult. By prioritising the easiest systems to upgrade and install, it means we're now left with the really difficult jobs. I had some trouble with the old P1 machines – swapping cards and chips until I found a configuration that worked. Lisa and Mile worked on the two Compaq desktops (brought from Canada). They don't have an ordinary setup. Instead you have to have a special program to change the internal setting – which we didn't have, and which we couldn't find on the Internet. But eventually we managed to get working installations on both of them.

Photo-diary: Final wiring activities
Much of the 29th was spent cabling The Container. Mostly this involved tidying up the mains (complicated by the fact we have both 240V and 115V mains supplies) and the network cabling. Most of this we trunked on the floor down the middle of the table area. Then the whole place had a mega-clean-up. We chucked all the junk that had accumulated during the conversion, and then cleaned out the dust.

Photo-diary: People gathering in anticipation Photo-diary: The final installation
Finally, full system power-up. We turned on every machine and made sure that they all worked with the server. Then we let them run for a few hours to make sure they didn't overheat (not a brilliant test because it had got dark by then). The power went off – which was also useful because we were able to check that everything recovered well from a total crash.

Photo-diary: People gathering in anticipation Photo-diary: Solar fireworks
Also, on the 29th, we had a spectacular display in the sky. There was a fiery ring around the sun – high-level ice crystals refracting light in the upper atmosphere. I managed to get a few pictures, using my polarising shades to sharpen up and darken the image enough to get a picture of it. The effect lasted for about three hours.

Photo-diary: Lisa working with local kids
About 1.30am on the 30th – after many days of effort, hair-tairing and excellent socialising – we got home to Spanish Town ready for the launch.

Photo-diary: Lisa having difficulties!

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