One of my servers, the one running shmapdy.com, died recently. It was a horrible death of total hard disk corruption from which there was no recovery.
We shall now remember good Shmapdy. It was a server that lived a full life, a pleasantly geeky tale of multiple reincarnation.
In its youth, the box was a well-loved Dell Inspiron 8100 laptop. Oh, the numbers we did crunch, the games we played. Those were the halcyon days of yore.
Sadly, the backlight on the screen failed in 2002. Crippled, the machine lost its ability to be a laptop. But, it is too early for you, young Shmapdy. You still have more life to live.
I installed Linux and brought the laptop back to life as a small, battery-backed, headless server. I tossed it on a shelf and had it serving traffic for shmapdy.com, a personal website used mostly for photo sharing.
But, laptops are not used as servers for a reason. They are not designed to be running all the time. They get hot and wear out their little fans. Their wee disks get unhappy from all the mindless spinning.
Shmapdy.com went down from overheating a few times in 2003, but installing programs to run the fans constantly and to spin down the drives during idle periods resuscitated the ailing shmapdy.
Then, came the drive failures. Twice, once in 2005, once in 2006, Shmapdy went under from drive corruption. Each time, booting under Knoppix and repairing the drive brought it back.
Over the recent holidays, it just became too much. Shmapdy had enough. The drive failed unrecoverably, corrupting the OS and much of the data on the filesystem along with it.
Shmapdy passed on. Shmapdy is no more. It has ceased to be. It has expired and gone to meet its maker. It is a stiff. Bereft of life, Shmapdy rests in peace. Shmapdy is pushing up the daisies. It kicked the bucket, shuffled off its mortal coil, run down the curtain, and joined the choir invisible. This is an ex-Shmapdy.
Update: In my odd, geeky world, Monty Python references are implicitly understood, but I should make it explicit for the rest of the planet that does not memorize such useless trivia. That last paragraph in my original post was adapted from the Dead Parrot Sketch (video).