User:Martind/LfmHardwareAuction

From London Hackspace Wiki
Jump to: navigation, search

Last.fm has offered to donate a pile of old server hardware to the London Hackspace, which we can sell/auction off to make some money. First (very informal) estimates put this at a total value of £1k or higher.

The LHS has limited options/space for long-term storage, so it will be necessary to coordinate this well and optimise for swift turnaround.

%%% THIS IS NOW IN PROGRESS %%%

Check Project:ServerHardwareAuction for the hardware list, progress updates, and auction links as we start adding them.

Hardware List

TODO: complete list of hardware

It's a fairly diverse pile, and the LHS would have to determine which machines could still be restored to a usable state.

  • Pics: lfm ops pile
  • Ca. 30 servers, misc makes
    • Both 2U storage servers and 1U web servers
    • Mostly dual-socket, but populated with 0-2 CPUs (Steff)
  • Ca. 30 LCD displays, misc makes
    • Mostly 15", some widescreen
  • There also are loads of old keyboards, cables and other assorted bits if we need them

Restrictions

  • LFM needs a representative of the LHS to sign an agreement that this hardware is accepted at no charge and without any guarantees
  • LFM requires that either:
    • all disks are removed on location and left at the LFM office
    • the LHS wipes all drives with dban, and a trusted party (e.g. Jonty or Russ) supervises the process and vouches for its completion.
  • In the interest of keeping the LHS tidy we should aim to hold this hardware for no more than two weeks

Estimated Required Work

Transport

Getting servers/hardware from Last.fm HQ to the Hackspace is the first step. Perhaps a van; LFM is willing to sponsor a streetcar if need be.

Hardware then needs taking from the carpark to the space itself. Many hands make light work and there is a goods lift in Cremer Street. There should be one of these in the space, I left it there after using it to deliver the metalworking stuff (as most of it was still outside and the guys were locked out!). Should make life a bit easier. --Nigle 21:34, 14 September 2010 (UTC)

Cataloguing

Next we need to know what we have. Suggestion is to first of all assign each item an ID (001, 002, 003, etc.). Overview page on the wiki that lists IDs and status of hardware; be it "in review", "for sale", "sold" and "discarded".

Each ID links through to another wiki page with in detail specs on each item, and photos. Information that needs logging is:

  • Manufacturer
  • Model Number
  • CPU
  • RAM
  • HDD
  • Form factor
  • Peripherals
  • Price based on going market rates for similar items. A quick eBay search should suffice.

Photos are to be taken and uploaded.

If there are lots of duplicates we could create pages based on "class" then just verify that each server matches up fully and is in acceptable condition when dbaning them - should reduce the workload considerably. Robert 08:51, 8 November 2010 (UTC)

Testing and prep

Ensure hardware is still functional. Definition of functional is to be decided, but maybe check that the BIOS gets past the POST stage and can boot a live CD or something?

Booting to live CD sounds like an acceptable metric, depending on how we are wiping the drives that could be combined with that. Robert 08:57, 8 November 2010 (UTC)

Cleaning up dust with canned air and/or a vacuum would be good too. Do we have an anti static work mat?

Don't think we do, but would plugging them in to the mains suffice? Robert 08:57, 8 November 2010 (UTC)

Harddrives and other effects are to be wiped/cleaned to an agreed level of acceptability.

Any hardware which does not work can be chucked for now to help minimize on the space occupied. In the future, maybe assemble working machines out of several broken ones (this is optional, but is likely to increase resale value).

How can we do both of these?
Could leave broken ones until Sunday evening, we might have spare time at the end if we are efficient - but any broken ones should be disposed of after that point. Robert 08:57, 8 November 2010 (UTC)

Sale

Post sales listing on eBay, Craigslist, Gumtree or whatever else platform. Items have a sale life of a week at maximum. Prices start at something reasonable, but low. We want to sell things, and quickly.

Need people to be available when buyers want to pick up the hardware. There's usually someone in the space, so arrange for pick up to be when someone is definitely present. Be it a weekend or Tuesday?

eBay probably best, could use Turbo Lister if anyone has a Windows laptop - schedule all the auctions to start on Sunday evening so they finish on the best day/time of the week. Robert 08:45, 8 November 2010 (UTC)

Cleanup

If no interest is generated for an item and it does not sell, it gets chucked (or donated to someone/somewhere?). There are skips in the business park.

Any stuff getting chucked that boots/functions at any degree, I will happily take off the hands of the Hackspace on behalf of my student radio station. We're poor and desperate for machines at the moment. I may even be able to get them to shunt a few quid in the direction of Hackspace for them if nobody else is buying them at that point. --James Harrison 19:30, 15 September 2010 (UTC)
Think we should keep them for one week after the auctions close, then throw away any left unclaimed on the Tuesday. Robert 08:49, 8 November 2010 (UTC)
Before any possibly serviceable kit (including monitors (even CRT), and cables) is "tossed in the skip" could someone please offer it to http://www.computeraid.org/contact-us.asp . They do good stuff with it, and if it's BER will *responsibly* reprocess it. --Spike

Schedule

This is all preliminary.

2010-11-26T17:00Z
Arrive at Last.fm HQ, determine what we want to take and begin moving items to Laboratory 24. Address: http://www.last.fm/about/contact
2010-11-26T19:00Z
All equipment transported to Laboratory 24, begin processing.
  1. Label servers with serial number, must be complete before further processing takes place.
  2. Clean servers.
  3. Attach servers to monitor/keyboard/mouse stations.
    1. Boot live CD, confirm functional.
    2. Initiate dban.
    3. Identify specification and add to wiki.
  4. Photograph servers and upload it to the computer to be used for auctions.
2010-11-28T20:00
Auctions launched.

Vehicles available

Driver Arrival time Capacity
Artag 17:00 at hackspace if possible Estate car (Picasso)

Volunteers

Put your name here if you'd like to volunteer. (Only serious offers pls.) Make sure we either have your IRC nick or email address in case we need to contact you.

  • Martind is willing to coordinate, speak to LFM, ensure there's a van, rally volunteers to help moving stuff etc
  • Muz is more than happy to help with identifying, cataloging and testing hardware
  • Robert - all of the above
  • Mark like moving and deleting things
  • Richard I can help daytime rather than evenings -- anything other than heavy lifting.
  • James can help when he's around, but may not be around too often
  • Artag may be able to help with transport, after 5pm on the 26th
  • JasperWallace Has been dbanning machines at the charity he volunteers at recently, and has spent too much of his life faffing about with old hardward. Also wants to buy a 1U server if it's a fairly sane one.
  • Kal Happy to help out with unloading and sorting.
  • dsikar I can help between seven and eleven pm on the Friday - moving, sorting, cleaning, photographing, categorising, describing, listing, etc.
  • Poggs can be around from about 11am Saturday