Monday, September 03, 2012

Moving to Hearst Gym

Hearst Gym map
PDF version

June 21 report

As part of the Bears Initiative and Lower Sproul Redevelopment, the OCF, like many other student groups in Eshleman, will be moved to a temporary location in Hearst Gym ("the Grotto") around August 2012. We hope to see you during the fall semester in Hearst Gym.

We will do our best to ensure that the move proceeds smoothly, but please bear with us as we cope with the well-intentioned powers that be. There may be server downtime sometime between July and December 2012 (to be announced).

The OCF will continue to offer its services moving forward, including a computer lab, although the lab space in Hearst Gym will be smaller.

July 8 report


We're planning to reopen the lab in Hearst Gym on the first day of fall semester, Thursday, August 16th Tuesday, August 21st Monday, August 27th Tuesday, September 4th (see below) with the same hours as before (dependent on the new building hours which we're working to address resolved, see below). Our tentative move date is Saturday, August 11th, and we don't have access to the space before [or after] then, so this doesn't give us a lot of time.

The new lab space is significantly smaller. Currently we have 28 desktop computers; in Hearst Gym we'll have 16 desktop computers and 2 printers. Considering that members (including OCF staff!) often had to wait for an available workstation as it is, this is problematic, but it's the only possible compromise (we were planning on five more but ASUC rejected them last week because of space constraints).

In terms of creature comforts, there will be a single small couch (right now we have three large ones), possibly some comfy chairs (right now we have five), and no refrigerator (right now we have a refrigerator, microwave, and toaster).

(via Donna Davis)

We have a lot of stuff (this includes our server room 22,200 BTU interior/exterior A/C units, remaining monitors/desktops, whiteboard, chairs, and cables) that we'd like to keep but have no space for, so we're looking into our options (donating, selling, giving away, disposing). Ideas?

Online services

We're hoping to keep some infrastructure behind in Eshleman so that web hosting, email, remote shell, file access, etc. won't be down for more than a few hours on our move date. This depends on how early we will have access to Hearst Gym and how late we will have access to our existing server room, which we're still working to address.

Putting everything in perspective

Two years ago OCF completed its 15-month move from Heller Lounge in MLK to the larger "permanent resting space" in Eshleman, with excessive lab and server downtime (caused in part by the discovery of asbestos and later a failed pump flooding the new lab, then a pipe burst dropping raw sewage, then a network and later power outage which was prolonged). Once again, we're moving, except this time our space is smaller, the timeframe is shorter, and budgets are tighter...

17 months of emails, phone calls, and meetings with the ASUC, Auxiliary, Capital Projects, architects, and planners: we're frustrated. Frustrated by the iterations of plans and people that come and go, leaving us to start all over again. So frustrated that the impending move is something to look forward to.

But please don't point fingers at anybody: it's easy to blame the University or the ASUC. The reality is complicated and decisions are not easy. "They have a difficult job in that they are trying to cut a cupcake into a million little pieces."

Here are some kind words during our last move from our friends upstairs at the Daily Californian that mean so much to us:
OCF Languishes, Reopening To Be Postponed Further
by Danica Li, The Daily Clog (Sep 17, 2008)
Everyone loves the Open Computing Facility. It’s got a public refrigerator, microwave, and toaster, clever decorative tastes, free web space, and a central, lower Sproul location. 250 pages of free printing a semester ain’t something that’s easy to turn down, either.
Unceremoniously evicted from their sweet Heller Lounge digs at the end of last semester, the OCF has had to pack their things and haul ass to the basement of Eshleman Hall. The computer lab was scheduled to open by the beginning of the semester. So what’s holding things up?
Apparently, construction’s stalled because the OCF are waiting on funds from the ASUC. They also discovered a leak under the flooring in the lounge of the Publication Center, so OCF volunteers — bless their souls — have been scrambling to get that fixed as well.
The target reopening date is still listed as mid to late September on the website. Godspeed, guys. You provide a top-notch public service, and we wish you the best of luck in hassling ASUC for funds.
Hopefully you'll still love us without the refrigerator, microwave, and toaster and with increasingly inconvenient locations (2nd fl MLK Heller Lounge, basement Eshleman, basement Hearst Gym).

We've still got major leaks when it rains, undesirable guests (cockroaches and mice, not the computer kind, even in our spotless but comfy server room -- it's time to get a cat, see below). There are some things we won't miss. We'll miss our self-assembled tables and hardwood floors though.

July 26 report

Good news:
  • Progress is being made.
  • Hearst building hours will not conflict with our current hours.
Bad news:
  • Hearst basement ("the Grotto") opens on Tuesday, August 21st so we have to delay opening the lab until then (or later, see below).
  • IS&T may delay wiring the area to the campus network (but this is not definitive), without which we don't have an Internet connection, and wouldn't be able to move our servers or run the lab.

August 7 report

Good news:
  • Two rack enclosures were moved to the work-in-progress server room in Hearst Gym on Friday, August 3rd.
Bad news:
  • Floor installation (needed before installation of furniture and equipment) is behind schedule.
  • Cardkey reader installation (needed for access to space) is behind schedule.
  • Saturday, August 11th move was canceled (uncanceled, see below) by the University this evening because of code compliance issues. University is limited in staff and has commitments to other projects (e.g., the Stadium, Helios, Martinez Commons). The new move date has not yet been scheduled.

August 9 report

Good news:
  • We've been given the green light to move on Saturday, August 11th at 8:30am.
Bad news:

  • We won't have access to Hearst Gym space, so we will have to keep most servers and some other equipment in Eshleman.

August 11 report

Movers were very helpful.
Server room
Lab space.
With large conduits and ducts.

Good news:
  • We moved some of our equipment (mostly lab computers, chairs, boxes) this morning.
Bad news:
  • There's still a lot we couldn't move because furniture, data connectivity, and power connections are not ready.

August 13 report

UPS was disconnected today and will be moved tomorrow. Because we were only given 15-minute advance notice of the electrical work, we had to shutdown many servers ahead of time and as a result there was a short interruption in all services around 2pm and 9:30pm.

August 14 report

University aborted UPS move. Not yet rescheduled.

We also discovered a mail outage caused by the electrical work last night. We apologize for the inconvenience.

August 16 report

UPS move completed. Electrical work being worked on. Still no network uplink.

We discovered a second outage caused by some networking work last night. We apologize for the inconvenience.

August 22 report

We haven't published an update in a while.  A lot has changed, but there has also been plenty of frustration.

Good news:
  • Electrical work in server room was completed yesterday.
  • Data connectivity was completed today and we have a new working subnet:
  • Cardkey readers became operational today (but see below, we don't actually have cardkey access because there is some bureaucratic work involved).
Bad news:
  • We don't have access to space. University is still processing paper access forms, and although we've done our best to expedite them, there are ~600 access forms that need be processed manually alongside ours. Actually, we've been piggybacking off the contractors during their hours to access the space (but that's not feasible tomorrow once classes begin).
  • Some tables are still missing.
Given that we don't have access, let alone time to set anything up, we're postponing lab opening to (at the earliest), Monday, August 27, 2012 Tuesday, September 4th.

August 25 report

Unfortunately, since we still don't have physical access to our own space, we are AGAIN postponing our lab opening to Tuesday, September 4th.

August 29 report

You know what they say about academia...our access form paperwork still keeps shifting around, and it's possible that we won't get access until next week (which means we'd have to delay opening again).

September 2 report

One of us got access to the new lab Saturday night, so we're working "around the clock" and laboring on Labor Day to get a partial lab up on Tuesday.

Discreetly transporting computer supplies. At midnight.

September 3 report

Half of lab (7 desktops) and limited printing will be open on Tuesday, September 4th. Because the lab setup was rushed, some things may be broken, and please let the Publications Center front desker know.

September 19 report

Lab was fully opened last week, but there will still be some construction and furniture rearrangement (some of which is currently missing) in the meantime. Temporary AirBears was set up by IS&T yesterday.

Servers (including lab backend) are staying in Eshleman and will be moved over winter break beginning Saturday, December 15, during which intermittent downtime (for web hosting, SSH, email, etc.) is to be expected.