A Long, Long, Long time ago…
Back in the winter 1997, I was in need of a terminal machine for my friends to use in my dorm room. I had a Digital Equipment Corperation PC 150 alpha computer. I installed redhat 5.2 for alpha on the computer, and created a few accounts for people. The machine was given the name “Chef” after the character from the show Sout Park.
After leaving UMD in March of 1998 to enter the job market, I brought the computer down to Faribault Internet Services, where it continued to serve a couple of muds, and IRC bots.
I then moved the computer to Internet Exposure where I did some consulting work in exchange for the hosting. On August 17th, 1998 Adam Maloney and I registered the domain “nerp.net”. We created a web page for the domain in about 15 min, and things were good.
Some time later, I got tired of redhat, and the alpha.. it was just too slow for the ammount of people I had been adding to it. I was able to scrounge together an AMD K6 300mhz CPU, and other parts needed to build a new box. I also made the transition from RedHat to Debian. The only case I had around was a HUGE full tower AT case.
In Jebruary 1999, I moved into a house in Shoreview. Around February, we got a T1 line installed, and connected to Honeycomb Internet Services. Chef lived happily in a closet for a year or so untill Lion and I decided that we didn’t want to afford the T1 anymore.. and switched to using a cable modem. Nerp.net was gaining in popularity, and had to have a new home. I moved the box down to honeycomb’s server room for a while.
Honeycomb was just a stop gap untill I was ready with new hardware. Sometime durring the summer of 2001, I had a shiny new Dual P3 600mhz built, and installed. I copied over all the old data from the machine at honeycomb, and brought the new improved nerp.net to Sihope Communications
The new home was great, much more reliable networking, in a nice server room. Nerp continued to expand in users, and services. So much so that Sihope had to put a limit on the bandwidth. This sucked greatly, but I couldn’t afford to pay for more.
Around October of 2002, I finaly found a solution to the bandwidth problem. I worked out a deal with Honeycomb, and I moved the machine to their new datacenter.
In December of 2003 we moved cologeeks out of honeycomb’s server room, into our own server room in a studio down the hall. This allowed us better access to the machines, and we installed a good cooling system.
At the same time I started getting donations from nerp users to build a new system. I set a goal of $2500, and promised to match nerp user donations. After a few months of generous donations, I had enough to order the hardware. I purchased a 1U rack system from Interpro Micro. I transfered all the data to the new system on Sunday, June 20th 2004.
After a while in our server room, we worked out a deal to move our stuff back into Honeycomb, and I did some upgrades on the machine. I replaced the CPUs with Opteron 248 (2.2ghz) because one of them was bad. I also replaced the old 60GB Hitachi drives with shiny new 250GB sata drives and ditched the 3Ware RAID controller and switched everything to software RAID.
For many years I ran nerp.net on bare metal. I joined IO Cooperative and helped build a Ganeti cluster to support running virtual private servers for coop members. I built several new VPS isntances and migrated all of the services there.