I spent all day today at the colo for lists.indymedia.org (the mail server for the entire IMC network!) repairing a very silly (and very destructive) mistake by a fellow in Europe, who was logged in as root and typed rm -r /lib when he meant rm -r ./lib.
It's in a locked room in Seattle. He's in Germany. The regular system admin is on extended holiday in San Francisco. The backup admin is at work at the University of Washington. So, it's me, the never-time Debian user to the rescue with Debian boot and rescue CDs and floppies, armed with cell phone and sandals and good intentions.
Then of course the bootable Debian CD turned out not to be compiled with the drivers for the funky RAID system, and the floppies don't have the drivers for the ethernet card. And then the root.bin floppy went bad. (Yes, completely bad. Kernel panic bad.)
Finally, with the super help from a guy in Pittsburgh who was simultaneously on the phone with me and on IRC with other techies at irc.indymedia.org, I was able to:
- write a second root.bin floppy (by booting with the bootable CD and using wget)
- reboot using floppies
- install a new ramdisk to get enough room to
- unpack the appropriate eth0 drivers (from the CD again)
- then download a tarred, gzipped semi-exact version of the lib directory
- unpack it onto the right space
Then, a couple of reboots and some system architecture twiddling later, it ran. Made me so late for my linguistics colloquium that I didn't attend, and just snuck in late so that people would "see me there", if ya know what I mean.