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Summary:

The unboxing video was initially recognized back in 2006 as a key part of geek culture, so I wanted to point out the most random and incredibly sincere unboxing video I’ve come across, the unboxing and set up of IBM high performance computing gear in Illinois.

The unboxing video was initially recognized back in 2006 as a key part of geek culture, and since then, the care and digital bits devoted to slicing through tape, carefully unwrapping your new toy and peeling off the plastic from the screen has proliferated. Some have mocked it, but the phenomenon has spread to other industries with women showing off their latest shopping hauls in videos that are clearly influenced by unboxings.

I don’t want to go into what the spread of unboxing videos may mean for our culture, but I do want to point out the most random and incredibly sincere unboxing video I’ve come across — that of high-performance computing gear from IBM, which is acting as the warm-up system for the coming Blue Waters petaflop supercomputer at the National Petascale Computing Facility at the University of Illinois-Urbana Champaign (hat tip Inside HPC). The video isn’t a play-by-play unboxing because that would take too long, but is a lovingly shot homage to their new gear that I figured fellow geeks might appreciate.

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  1. It’s considered bad to un-box any equipment inside of a production datacenter, especially when the CRAC units are running. Cardboard particles can set off sensitive environmentally aweare early warning systems like VESDA, as well as clog air filters in CRAC units and in servers.

    Most commercial datacenters would have strict policies guiding such activity and instead would insist the un-boxing happen in some sort of pre-defined staging area. Plus, the staging areas tend to be right next to refuse areas, thus simplifying the process of removing the packaging materials.

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  2. We may not agree with the inherent philosophy of the unboxing video but it’s a great example of viral marketing of an idea.

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  3. The CRAH units were actually shut down at the time of the unboxing. The building was still in the final cleaning stage at this time, so we VESDA alarms are possible due to that process anyway. In addition, any cardboard particles were negligible compared the environment prior to the final cleaning completion.

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  4. The CRAH units were actually shut down at the time of the unboxing. The building was still in the final cleaning stage at this time, so we VESDA alarms are possible due to that process anyway. In addition, any cardboard particles were negligible compared the environment prior to the final cleaning completion.
    Future major unboxings will likely be completed on the dock.

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