back to article Meet Antarctic sysadmin Richard Youd

While some sysadmins bemoan the lack of training on offer in their workplaces, Richard Youd has just completed several courses, namely: Two weeks studying to be a Lay Surgical Assistant A week of Search and Rescue (SAR) technical training Six days of fire fighting and emergency response training A four-day advanced …

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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    No POP3?

    Seems dumb, if they're worried about bandwidth, surely webmail is more wasteful.

    1. TWB

      Re: No POP3?

      I wonder if it means they can abandon station at very short notice and not worry about taking the IT kit but 'keep' the emails?

      But I see your point.

      1. RichTaz

        Re: No POP3?

        Mostly I believe this is so we don't have people accessing external content without going through the proxy server.

        I'm far from a decision maker here guys, just play with the system we are given!

        All work email is done via Exchange (with a local EX2K7 server on station), and then all personal email is conducted via webmail.

        The bandwidth is rarely an issue (particularly now that there are just 17 of us). Although we were experiencing close to 100% usage for most of the summer. When we pull out the old telex and morse code sheets from 20-odd years ago, people quickly appreciate the luxury they have to get their Gmail and Facebook, no matter how slow it may be!

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What is

    The probability that one or more team members have become infected with the intruder organism?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: What is

      chaching

      - 75% -

  3. Harvey Trowell

    Man At Work

    He's gone to a land down under.

    1. southpacificpom
      Holmes

      Re: Man At Work

      What, do you mean he has gone for a spot of muff diving?

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Do you think they'll have problems getting the barbie on for the prawns?

    1. GBL Initialiser

      If anyone can an Aussie can.

  5. This post has been deleted by a moderator

    1. RichTaz

      Re: Someone warn him

      haha - still haven't seen "The Thing". It's a bit of a mid-winters tradition to watch it down here when we have the eternal darkness, kind of saving it for then (might make it a little more scary).

      And as for Windows 8, thank the heavens we will have no need of that down here this season! In fact most of the work PCs are running Windows Vista Business and ticking along quite nicely!

  6. jake Silver badge
    Pint

    Godspeed, that man.

    I've been trying to pull the same gig at Mc Murdo and/or Amundsen–Scott for around the last fifteen years. Hard as it may be to believe, there is quite a waiting list of pre-qualified personnel for winter duty.

    Beer, because it's a long way to the nearest cold one down there ...

    1. Michael Hoffmann
      Thumb Up

      Re: Godspeed, that man.

      If it's an option for you, try to get a full time job with the contractor, that's how I got down there.

      Back then (10 years ago, *sigh*) it was Raytheon, now I think it's LockMartin? Still they HQ is still in Denver, AFAICT.

      Good luck! It's an experience you'll treasure for the rest of your life.

      1. jake Silver badge
        Pint

        Re: Godspeed, that man.

        Colo(u)r me green. Congrats :-)

        Ta for the advice. I already consult for Lockheed (including PAE, from before when Lockheed bought 'em), the NSF in general, and OPP specifically. Gut feeling is that they think I'm too long in the tooth for Antarctic duty, alas. Wont keep me from putting my name into the hat every year until they tell me to stop, though ;-)

        Beer again, because ... It's Sunday afternoon!

        1. Michael Hoffmann
          Thumb Up

          Re: Godspeed, that man.

          Don't think there's really an age cut off (well OK, in your 70s maybe, unless you're one of the top experts in a special Anatarctic science field).

          If you're already "close" to the action, see if you can get yourself "PQ"-ed, that's always a prerequisite anyway. If your wisdom teeth are out, your cholesterol is low, your blood pressure fine, and maybe even your appendix gone already - you should be good to go!

          1. James 47

            Re: Godspeed, that man.

            Wisdom teeth? Was that a joke or an actual requirement?

            1. Michael Hoffmann

              Re: Godspeed, that man.

              Seeing as any sort of medical procedure can lead to massive drama and multi-million dollar medevacs, especially in the non-stop dark of winter, little things like that can increase your chance of going.

              I still have my appendix, but didn't have my wisdom teeth at the time. If I did, they would have x-rayed them with extreme scrutiny and if there was a chance that they may give me trouble, they would have asked for removal before deployment.

              So... requirement? Kinda, sorta. Only if you aren't one of those rare people whose WT come through straight as an arrow. Depends on how bad you want to go.

          2. jake Silver badge

            Re: Godspeed, that man.

            I'm in my 50s, and PQed. The sawbones say I'm good to go. I've done Winter on the North Slope attached to the USGS a couple-three times. I have my multi-engine "arctic pilot" ticket, even (fun one, that. Not.). Being ethnic Sami, the cold doesn't seem to bother me much & knowing how to work with it comes naturally. I guess I just haven't drawn the short-straw.

            Yet. He says, hopefully :-)

  7. Lars
    Pint

    A friendly advice

    One Monday morning, don't apply for a job in IT in that outfit.

    1. Lars
      Pint

      Re: A friendly advice

      Rather a rubber penguin then anyway.

  8. Code Monkey

    I remember seeing a job ad for a sysadmin with the British Anarctic Survey in the late 90s. I bitterly regretted lacking the UNIX skills.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Also remember seeing their ads in the New Scientist in the 80s. A few years later I met someone who worked for BAS and commented how I'd always been amused by the way the ads quoted a salary plus a comment that there was an additional amount paid for each day spend south of the antarctic circle ... person I was speaking to confirmed that this was the case and added that the extra bonus was that if you were south on the antactic circle there was ***** all to spend money on!

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    newsgroups?

    Wonder if they get usenet .... way way back when internet was an academic and tech company only thing we got connected at work and I looked at this thing called newsgroups .... remember trying it out to ask a question about Lotus AmiPro (which I had on my home PC) and was stunned to get an emailed answer the next day from someone on a US Antarctic station!

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