My former boss just published a great little article about things you need to know when building a search engine. It’s chock-full of some really excellent advice for anyone building any large-scale computer system. For example:
Ah, but SCSIs are hot-swappable, you say. Get over it. Remember, no colo. You cannot afford it and you don’t want it. So if you’re worried about disk failures since you picked your disks out of a Dumpster, then my advice is don’t screw the covers onto your machines and don’t use four screws per disk. This makes IDEs pretty easy to repair, but certainly not hot-swappable.
I do sometimes miss working with Anna.