4 Months In Montevideo

In a few hours it will have been 4 months since I first arrived in Montevideo. The past few days have beena return to almost summer weather, but the days keep getting shorter. Still living in the same hostel. Ergonomic girls are still good for a boost to the mood,1 but the general misery of the Uruguayo people continues to wear. Or maybe it's the distance from civilized AA wearing on the soul.

I look forward to December and the tourist influx relegating the Uruguayos to the shadows for a few months, but I'm not thrilled about more Brasileros either. Brasileras are fine, but the effete accent from near Sao Paulo makes the guys sound like huge faggots. Fat burned there isn't much room in the budget for terraforming or entertainment. Just have to keep grinding away and keep the burgeoning meat wot going.

At least Qntra's online, and there's management keeping from having to stress on the management of Pizarro even if I am stuck and bound in the geographic center of Pizarro. The irony of course is that having finally left the Middle West I understand why people go on vacation. And here I am having agreed to stay here for $600 a month of pocket money and a hostel bed in South America's most expensive city with what appear to be its most miserable people. Of course there may be some selection bias there as the people I meet from the rest of the continent are the ones cool enough to take vacations or immigrate. And thus questions like "How much fun would Peru be as worshipful as their girls in exile are of my gringoness" have to get tabled.

I neither want to go home nor do I want to be bound to Uruguay forever. Leaving this beef behind would be hard. The market for fun human shaped girls is much better in Uruguay. Back home medical expenses were ruinous. Here when shit breaks good luck finding a replacement.

All in all life is still a mixed bag. It would be nice if there were more baseball latinos and less football latinos here.


  1. Logistic however have become more challenging since I promised to stop banging girls in the CoWork bathroom.  

Growing Disgust

On this holy Sunday, I have to confess my increasing disgust for the local veteranos and veteranas. The 50+ crowd here is one of the greatest detriments to quality of life I have yet encountered in this otherwise habitable country. Every single one of them mouth breathers incapable of walking at anything close to a human speed while get out of the way.

The babushkas and the Sumner Redstones insist on ambling about. What does the zombie apocalypse look like? It looks like the Feria Tristan Narvaja before 11am on Easter Sunday when the living dead are the only bipeds out and about. The raw infirmity of the creatures the local bunnies grow into has a disturbing uncanny valley effect that only increases with continued exposure.

A Summary Of BBisp Activity

Things Accomplished:

  • A Rack Was Leased: Contract and Math on the endeavor that produces a weekly price of 33.15 Universal Standard Dosiedoes per week for one rack unit.
  • The local poverty in terms of money and hardware were probed and discovered to be profound.
  • A 48 port Gigabit Ethernet switch was installed in the Cabinet along with a 1U low power Qntra Server
  • It was discovered BingoBoingo is incapable of delivering the self direction necessary to carry this endevor on his own. The willingness and ability for someone to fill this gap is a hard problem.

Challenges:

  • Of the original capital 900 Dosiedoes were spent with an accountant that delivered to BingoBoingo a unipersonal enterprise and no bank account, and no timeline for acquiring a bank account. This makes BTC/fiat conversions a time consuming exercise in masochism. A non-US corporation or non-US passport holder could cut through this pile of wank.
  • Guidance on import customs and fees is opaque. Locals with knowledge and experience potentially useful in sorting through this are thoroughly enmeshed in the local holiday culture. on days like today1, December and the first half of January2, and weird shit like Nostalgia day in August
  • Uncertainty BingoBoingo sufficiently put the screws to the locals to get results off the printed menu. This hazard presents itself prominently with the IPv4 address situation.
  • BingoBoingo indeed got drunk. Because of this, the humorless locals, and cargo cult AA down here I would like an concrete exit plan. A bailout or series of bailouts contingent on BingoBoingo stays in Montevideo indefinitely and hopefully terraforms the place into civilization while surviving on the friendship of one Venezolana and conversation with whoever passes through the hostel over the winter does not present a risk profile at this time which substantially interests me.
  • A clean, clear takeover where BingoBoingo can handover operations and leave on a note of "well meaning but ineffectual, though he did successfully turn over the keys to what was left" after 1, 3, 6, or 12 months is interesting. Being conscripted to act as a principal in a venture I am well out of my depth and ability to manage frankly sounds like hell, especially when Mircea Popescu had the kindness to offer a plane ticket and a hard lesson.

Questions are welcome and necessary.


  1. Carnival 

  2. Navidad, New Years, and the local mandate that fiat employee vacation days be contiguous  

The Story Of A Storefront

When I arrived in Montevideo this was a seasonal pop up retailer selling trinkets and decorations Navidad. It is located immediately across from Montevideo Shopping and the World Trade Center auditorium.

On December 23rd a small printed sign appeared on the door directing visitors to their location in the Centro neighborhood. The premises were empty and windows uncovered.

From then until last week the building sat. Door occassionally open for squatter to shit there before sleeping on the sidewalk outside.

Eventually a small group came and cleaned out the building, again. This time when they finished they had it signed and advertising to new renters. Meanwhile well over a month was spent where the premises were doing the opposite of advertising their desirability.

The Photos From Places Between The Places

The famous statue rusty squares and very flat bronze dogs.

Flat dog 1

Flat dog 2

Statue of Fructosa Rivera in front of the Shopping Entrance to Tres Cruces Shopping and bus terminal. The local lore and official repitions thereof suggest he lead the successful and complete genocide of the native Charrúa early in his tenure as first president of Uruguay. A look a many of the poor girls who come from the interior to work in the city strongly suggests that like many things Uruguayan, the completeness of Fructosa's genocide falls far short of the completeness the locals claim.

The parking exit for the National bus terminal at Tres Cruces. Black and yellow is the old taxi color scheme, white and yellow is the new.

Graffiti at a Park in the Tres Cruces neighborhood between where Fast Import was not and where Ok Computers was not. Since the camera was out a fellow strung out on something identified me as a tourist, proceeded to ask if I like cocaine and suggested I wait for his "brother" to meet him. The brother, seeing the hand placement of the tourist that the strung out dork was trying to set up, apologized for his very stupid companion and drug him away before machismo and racismo could happen.

On an electrical service cabinet near where Ok Computers wasn't.

Wank

Immediately across the street fromt he electrical cabinet of whining.

Probably the biggest instance of their National Flag.

Between Game Gear and Banicroft the height of the city for substantially shorter.

And finally

Yes, this is a steel reinforced piece of concrete curb which has been peeled up and left on top of the side walk. How this happened, is a mystery to me.

A Long Descent Into The Cargo Cult

After departing this morning on a mission my failures had made urgent, the first stop was Thot Computacion.

The mission was get out the door by 8:00 and thusly the walk continues. This place gets a return trip.

Hard to tell if this is an eviction, renovation, or ransacking, but this is the only storefront on its block with an open door.

Ah, they moved and left an open door and a telephone number. No, the telephone number was not answered when called. Double checking their website reveals they still advertise La Avenida General Riviera 3387 as their place of business.

Closed as well at this hour. Gets a return visit later.

Closed as well. And that exhausts the contenders on La Avenida General Riviera.

A few meters from the address advertised as "Sampler"  is INTERWEB CYBER-KIOSCO, and no. Their networking setup didn't appear to be more than consumer gear. Of the firms listed they felt NNet was the most promising because "They sell so many different things on Mercado Libre".

Optics are weird.

On the way to the next cluster of stores, there is an Obelisk.

And a church.

And THE Tres Cruces Cruz. There apparently are not and never were. Another warning sign I should have heeded.

Here we have the location where Fast Import claims to do business.

It is now 9:30 and the hereto highly recommended NNet is open.

And so they are. The other customers are picking up their online orders from Mercado Libre. When I present my shopping list to the clerks, they promptly recommend Technolyn S.A. and give directions. The reversed the number of blocks between turns, but anticipating that I got the address and the trip was uneventful. If you need a blender and Kingston SSD in the same trip, NNet probably isn't a bad place to go. Cheaper than Tienda Inglesa.

The interior of Technolyn S.A. is as dark as the exterior suggests. Yes they have 42U racks on display in the window. With the exception of one narrow walkway the floor was stacked with boxes of merchandise. A wide variety of cables, PDU's, and other materials were on display. When the idiot I first talked to said they have 2U rackmount boxes, they lost interest in the conversation because I wanted 12 and they only had 2, I made the decision to check out a couple other stores and return when hopefully someone less retarded was available.

Another Church

The address of Ok Computers. Gate to the door open, but no response at the door to attempts at communication. No signage indicating that this is the location of a store calling itself "Ok Computers", and attempts to contact them online have repeatedly been ignored. I have to assume they aren't in any business at all.

The address listed for Tecno 18. On La Avenida 18 de Julio, which everthing printed about Uruguay proclaims as the principal calle de Montevideo.

The gals at the Pharmacy were very glad to helpfully confirm that Tecno 18 was indeed closed forever and not hiding upstairs.

Girl Power Gas Station. At this point I returned to Technolyn, found someone less retarded. They showed my the one 2U server chassis they had in the store, explained they might have two more in their warehouse but needed to check their condition. I let them photocopy my shopping list, including the other stores I would be visiting and explained I would like a quote for everything this afternoon, because they like apparently everyother self declared place of commerce is closed Lunes y Viernes por Carnaval. When I asked the proprietor if he could suggest other vendors that might have the required form of chassis, he replied "No, in Montevideo that is very hard to find." On the way to the next Tienda it broke out in a downpour, so I hired a car to take me to my desk and put in writing to the one business I found so far with a single 2U chassis, that I would like a quote this afternoon.1

At the start of this exercise I though I had made a grave error in my priorities. At this point in the exercise I realized that I had no idea what grave was when I started walking today. The one store so far that looked like it almost knew what it was doing had a single 2U case and a bunch of whole racks. If this was learned in December we could have started slow boating materials over or pulled out and tried a different Orcistan. In January we could have spread the load between multiple Lords of the Republic.

It is by Mircea Popescu's grace I have the opportunity to be in South America, and the biggest failure here is mine. My choices and decisions has lead to a situation where my Patron wants me to house his hardware, and not only can I not provide the most basic supporting materials this is being discovered at the worst time. Everybit of this failure is mine.

Now let us return to the lesser failures:

I returned to Thot, recieved a simple "No tengo" and no recommendation for other suppliers.

As a revisit the rest of the Avenida General Riviera tiendas, I can't believe I missed this the first time. The escuela de informatica para adultos gave up, quit, and the cursed ground on which they tried is one again for rent.

Techno Paz. The first person I talked to could not stop imagining I wanted a rack, like they had their wifi stuff in, but only 2U in height. The other fellow there promptly shooed her away and had me put on the phone with the owner. No boxes were seen, but he had confidence he could "find some" in Montevideo. This is the exact sort of statement I am developing a strong allergy to.2

Game Gear, the most helpful visit of the trip. The fellow at the desk made it clear what I was looking for there and proceeded to try to help find who might have some. I gave him my lsit of stores without telling him which I had visited, and based on his accurate descriptions of the places I been I had a lot less faith in the places I would be going next. He knew why I wanted rackmount equipment3 and explained that here people tend to do the factory authorized distributor thing for servers, though he has had customers do the tower server thing when all their business needs is a one off. He recommended the already contacted Technolyn who I was awaiting response from, and an outfit called Banifox. He suggested I didn't have to visit all the stores, but I fucked up and now I have a mission. We managed to eliminate The Miami Shop and Newtek Computers via telephone.

If you need to build a desktop computer in Montevideo, you can't find better customer service than Game Gear provides.

Banifox is almost the opposite of Technolyn. It is a big well lit warehouse space. Product is carefully merchandised for maximum gloss. They have one 4U rackable cabinet. As is apparently Uruguayan tradition I missed earlier being blinded by the beef, I sought clarification and one means one item on hand. Not that they stock one sku for the type of item.

At this point it was time to hire a car and skip to the South end of the city and walk back home through the last few candiates.

I was greeted at infoland with "We only work with big businesses." I reply with "I am a big business." There is a bunch of Argentine style back and forth about applying to be a customer. I am dumbfounded until I finally read her business card a few blocks away. "Microsoft Gold Certified Partner"

Wasn't on the list, but confirmed anyways. Art Computer does not sell rackmount boxes.

Compusys spends more merchandising space on dolls with big heads than the rest of their classes of merchandise. Also does not have 2U boxes.

This store does do the hide upstairs thing. After consulting the doorman across the street and being pointed to the right door, I was greeted enthusiastically. As though customers finding World Master is a rare joy. Their enthusiasm deflated completely when my ask was rackmount boxes.

More than the other failures of mine, this one hurts. Living through a dim reflection of my own failure repeatedly today as unwittingly reenacted by the locals was unpleasant. For me I can see where there'd be humor in this exercise if this were December, I had just arrived and this inadequacy in the locals was uncovered then. Instead here I am eating my own dogshit because February is a third of the way done, the rack is sitting empty, and I have most certainly more than disappointed the man who was kind enough to not only give me a chance but bankroll it.

The cargo cult is a thing. That I did not probe to see just how deep it was until now, that failure is all mine.


  1. After sending a reminder just before 17:00 I revieved at 19:07 the following:

    Hi Aaron,

    Please excuse me I didn’t answer you before.

    The only thing I can inform you is that we have only one complete 2U cabinet. The other one is uncomplete.

    For the rest of the items please contact my workmate Pablo who has your list.

    I’m going on holidays for the next two weeks so I won’t be in the office on Wednesday if you come.

    Regards.

    Renata

    With no contact information for Pablo. 

  2. He did finally send an email at 19:18 local time after promising a call:

    Hi Aaron, I may be abble to find for you same 1 U and 2 U cases. But as
    you may know it is Carnaval here and nobody will be working until
    Wednesday.

    So, talk to you then.

     

  3. Airflow, heat control, etc  

Photos From A Republican Rack

Requests for more porn are open:

The 4 breathable mesh door panels are all like this. The manufacterer was proud enough of this one to stick a logo on it.

Oh hello boxes. The fellow operating the screwdriver was curious about the manufacterer of the Qntra box. I explained I picked out the parts and put it together on my desk. As to be expected "What about the warranty?" was an actual question.

Box butts. Yes, there is space for cold air and light to enter the bottom of the cabinet. No the cabinet is not fitted with fans of its own… yet.

A fan basks in the glow of the mothership

A veritable wall of plastic seperating the hot and cold sides.

Requests for future porn are open. It would be nice if someone could bring a decent white paint marker to Montevideo for the glory of the Republic. As mentioned before in the log being in the basement's basement limits the amount of room under the floor and cooling is provided by monster chillers in aisle chilling among the racks.

They suck in air from the hot aisle and deliver very chilly air to the cold aisle. The flow of hot air into the intake end of the chillers is rapid and readily felt standing in the hot aisle. Spending any appreciable amount of time, say for installing machines and playing with switches, in the hall has a dehydrating effect on the body similar to spending time in an airplane. It is not static electricity hazard dry, but it is enough to make a Gringo chug some water upon return to human environments.

Two Months In Montevideo

Following up on the arrivial, the soon after, and the three weeks this rube from the Middle West is now at the 2 month mark today.

The most striking difference from arrival to now is how incredibly unimpressed I am becoming with the vast majority of the locals as my Spanish improves. Back home the vast majority of people are stupid and that holds here, but the way the stupid manifests itself is alien. The majority of the locals here seem to have a palpable aversion to doing anything that might matter, and they will go to great lengths to conceal their nothing doing.

The failures of the accountancy Carlos Picos to have done much at all is an illustrative and painful lesson in this. The process of trying to become banked began in the first half of December. The lack of movement was elevated to crisis in Mid-January, to which the firm responded with DAYS of silence. I had to explain to the poor girl at the front desk that my customer's desire to do business in the next week and that if I disappoint this customer by not being able to bank and handle wire transfers, there would be a good chance of there not being any business at all. Two hours later one of the fellows who had been contacted days earlier passed on the forms.

The most offensive part of the affair? On January 30th a fellow from the bank they had applied at finally contacts me. He apologizes and explains he had been on an extended vacation and is seeing my application for the first time. Because out of their subbovine stupidity the people making decisions at the accountancy insisted everything wait until "their guy" at the bank got back from vacation. That I had paid money for a task, and they failed to disclose they would sit on the task because they were too fucking shy to try talking to someone else at the bank… And I am still waiting for the set of notes they said they would provide from the first meeting with them…

Later Mircea Popescu kindly offered a sum of Bitcoin to test the trade market waters here. The city produced $500 in liquity from one trader and offers for similar numbers of pesos.1 A Buquebus trip across the river did not seem prudent when I had iron to hammer into shape before the internet got turned on, and the general effort to conceal the poverty here has left BBisp fiat reserves in a staring contest with the joke prices of today.

On the plus side the fellows at the data center continue to appear capable of running network operations even if their attempts to offer themselves as purchasing agents fall flat. The immigrant population contains some number of people capable of producing reliably human behavior in response to stimuli along with some actually smart conversation. At the cowork there are even locals with solid work ethics doing outsourced work for foreign firms, and still others are managing the space itself competently.

I have conversations now, often in Spanish. Quality conversations though are harder to find. I have a couple reliable conversation partners through the CoWork, but otherwise I am at the mercy of who happens to be passing through the hostel. The number of people who passed through the hostel that I find myself missing on the basis that they were not too boring is starting to pile up. It is a weird thing, what gets missed moving away from home. I do not miss the food much and I am still in contact with the people I care to be back home, but I miss the sound of people cursing and swearing.2 As mission Make Bingo Rich 2018 continues, support on this front in the form of Qntra submissions is greatly appreciated. Or visits bearing commercial samples of interesting hardware and realtalk.

There is a distinct stratification here. There's the abjectly poor. Then there's people who do not have cars. Roughly on the level of people who don't have cars are those who do but slave 12+ hours per day because of their cars. Then there are people who own cars, a very small portion of the population. More detail can be had, but really that gets into granulated neighborhood wank. What keeps me going is the idea knowledge that the sort of numbers that can be had smartly cutting up into marketable units and selling 1 or 2 datacenter racks is enough here to glide over that all. However along the way there every time I have to report a failing or delay, due to my inadequacy to anticipate the lengths the locals will go to in order to avoid doing or because of their failure to follow clear instructions, I have to admit to having more than a little bit of fear.

At least it is looking like Shinohai's suggested 3 to 6 month timeline to fluency in the local language is bearing out. The food is still great. It just turns out that here like everywhere else the rarest thing to find is a first rate man.


  1. 600 to 1200 pesos or ~20 to 40 Universal Standard Dosiedos  

  2. Saturday I was feeling a bit homesick and not wanting to do something stupid like get drunk, I went to the cinema for the purpose of hearing English spoken without the effeminate accent Portugues leaves Brazileros with. At the cinema I discover Tres Anuncios Por Un Crimen is how the studio translated the title to Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri. I was sold at Missouri. I cannot offer an objective opinion if it was a good movie or not. I got too much joy out of hearing Cunt and Fuck said with the polite insistence typical of rural old country.  

The Hunt For Handware

It is on. Based on their web presence some retailer's catalogues are looking better than others, but they are all getting solicitations aking what they can provide in the way of 1U rackmount Opteron powered servers. The local consensus is that the best way to get small electronics into the country is to enjoy a vacation in Miami, and the question of who in the Republic is interested in travelling to Uruguay to enjoy the sights in Rocha and Colonia Sacramento is an open question.

In the interest of practicing the photograpy habit:

The humble berth of your humble Qntra editor. At least as of a couple days ago. After spending my previous nights in Uruguay at height, I eventually decided to take a ground level berth when one became available.

And your humble Qntra editor encima mi CoWork en la terraza. That tower in the background? Our cage is in its basement's basement. Yes my clothing fits a bit looser than it did two months ago, but sometimes burning fat to power a venture means burning some of it in a literal sense.