Here are the first four racks installed at the Middlefield facility. Before we could use them, they had to be completely cleaned. That is Bill Ladwig's vacuum cleaner next to the rack. All the ethernet cables in the rack are from the co-location room. Towards the left you can see the original core.mv.best.net, a cisco 7000 router, with a terminal and chair to program it. In the rack next to it you can see the 3 T1s we originally had to MAE-West, bridging our ethernet connection there (we were awaiting installation of MFS fiber to get the DS3). It remains the only piece of Wellfleet/Bay equipment to ever have existed in our computer room to this day. At the time of this picture (8/12/96), our connectivity to the Internet was 4.5Mbps to MAE-West with transit over Net99 and a T1 to MCI.
The original machines in the Middlefield computer room. Seen in this picture are the original commerce.best.com, which I assembled, as well as web.best.com, which was going to be an internal web machine. You can also see the DSUs connecting us to 421 Castro street, which is where the majority of servers were still located.
Here is shellx.best.com when we first received it. It still did not have the FDDI link to core, so it was entirely on ethernet. During this time it was still in beta. The system admins enjoyed running parallel make (make -j 4) and ooo ahhh-ing at the machine. The name "shellx" was thought up by me when we were trying to name the machine. At the time, we already had shell1 and shell2. The consensus was that it should be named shell3. However, I pointed out that since this machine should take the place of all future shell accounts, it should be named shell..... x! This started a trend to include not only the web and news machines, but also fridgex.best.com and breadx.best.com in Don's cube.