"Albert Speer Platz"?
462 posts • joined 6 Mar 2008
I was powering on an HP EVA Array after maintenance, and as I flipped the main breakers on the main PDUs, my co-worker snuck up behind me and clapped really loudly. Laughs all around from him, until I start clutching my chest and reaching for my medication (I had a severe heart attack a few years before), at which point his expression changed to "uh oh, bags not doing CPR". Fortunately the chest pains subsided after a few mins and we had a good laugh about it later.
who did things on the cheap. We ordered some temporary licenses to get going on a project requiring HP Virtualisation, with a PO number quoted and the paper work would follow on. 6 weeks later the vendor queried me on the purchase order to issue the permanent keys, and when I checked with accounts, the PM had cancelled the purchase order the day after we received the temporary keys. I went to the Data Centre Manager and did my scone at him ("you may be happy being cheating fraudulent scumbags with vendors but not on my watch" - or words to that effect). Didn't change anything in the short term, but the PM got fired 6 months later for being useless (apparently he had "forgotten" to budget for OS Licenses, and Database Licenses, and hardware costs, and a whole lot of other things) and the loan kit and temp licenses got given back to HP.
I wrote a C program (which I am really pants at) to update the personnel table in a helldesk systems by using the OS-level API. It kept crashing intermittently where I forgot to close something off inside the code but damned if I could find where it was. My replacement had a brilliant idea, split each input file into a whole bunch of singe line files, and run the program once per line. Simplicity itself, but damned if I could see that when I was looking at it.
my boss was leader of tech IT for a large government department, and in the late 90s he was sick of constant complaints about various models of printers not working on our intranet with the various applications. Fortunately he played golf with the head of finance of said department, so one monday he came in and said "all printers to be connected to our network must be HP Laserjet III". Six months later, printer support calls for connection issues were a rarity. Just goes to show what standards can do (and the political horsepower to ram them through).
he was telling how both light beams need to be tripped to trigger the alarm, and promptly leant over the parapet and blocked both light beams. Alarm goes off, team suitably impressed, then Ops Supervisor comes out and says "nice one [boss's name], I hope you know the reset code because we certainly don't".
Four hours later, we manage to track down the company which brought the company which installed the alarm system and get them to come onsite and turn the damn alarm off.
I hope he is forced to maintain their systems using Registry Edits.
Have a copy of his bio, (from an Op Shop), the tech part is a nice read, he was at the forefront of IT for a while.
And I thought Gates was the salesman and Allen the techie (Writing a boot loader for the Altair while on the plane to deliver BASIC to the vendor? Cant imagine his Bill-ness doing that!).
they got a copy of DOS something (2.0 I think) from the vendor (not allowed to build it yourself in those days) and typed the"format" command after putting a floppy in the drive. However with no drive specified, "format" wiped C:. So, send PC back to vendor for re-installation.
Having worked in govt IT, if the cost of running legacy hardware is only the time of a permanent (and therefore zero additional cost to the business) employee, with occasional 24 hour work-a-thons to recover after a crash, then the business will definitely not replace, re-org etc.
What I try and design into my systems is the migration path for the eventual end-of-life cutover. So sticking to flat files or low levels comms for interfaces, splitting app stacks into distinct components that can be hived off individually, etc. I am never around to get the thanks for this from the users (and I never tell the management in case they try to "help" and f**k it up) but I like to think someone notices and appreciates it.
I have needed a piece of software and been told "sorry, cant justify it" or "OK submit a 3 page request and we will get back to you around Christmas". As long as it did not require subscription based support (no ongoing costs), one legendary boss used to say "book it to your credit card and claim overtime in the same amount". He's now a photographer, which is a real loss to IT.
at the best of times, so never f**k with it. So when I switched on a new HP Disk Array in the Data Centre, my co-worker thought it would be fun to pop a large balloon behind me and see my reaction. (which was to call him a c-bomb after my heart rate dropped back down to normal)
I had the dubious honour of working for a Government Department who shifted from a proprietary software package to SAP, so I got re-trained coding in ABAP, and another crew (all 4 fresh out of the local community college) doing Basis Support. Roll on two years and all 4 of the Basis team walk out wanting better money from other companies (this was in the 90s when SAP experience was gold). The department para-dropped me into the situation (solo) with 4 weeks left to get a handover (I was a Unix sysadmin by then) and I spent 3 weeks fixing all the bugs in their Unix system that had created enough work for 3 of them. If their managers had talked to my managers, I could have saved them a fortune in time and effort.
"I didn't really need it because I'm a developer, not a sysadmin"
I call BS, there's not a developer alive who doesn't think he can do a sysadmin's job better. (I coded for 6 years before I switched over and every now and then I have to knock back a developer in a meeting)
Had an application support engineer transfer (he got shuffled around the various IT divisions of this multinational for reasons that will become obvious) so he wrote a farewall message on the OS login script for the application userid, but made it so the text file added to the login message was tar'red without a ".tar" format. Two problems
1. He did not revert back to the old login script, but kept adding the message to the end of the login script EACH TIME IT RAN! (cue 10 screens of output each time you stopped and started the application)
2. He put it into multiple applications, so when country A and B went down, and USED THE SAME TEMPORARY FILENAME for building the login message, we had 2 country A systems running and no country B.
We made the company fly him back from Country C to remove this virus. (I found the cause quickly but made him come back to confirm it). I last heard he got transferred back in after I left, god knows what the systems look like now.
is the ability to segment off parts from other parts so external technicians can work on it. Too many systems I encounter house multiple functions from several systems on the same box, which make it a nightmare to pass over to someone else without risking compromising the entire lot. Architects who used to be Developers rarely thinks of this, those that were Sysadmins notice a little better.
but maybe not right away. My second day at my first IT job (large government department, late 80s) I brought down the COBOL based mainframe for 2 days by pressing the wrong set of keys on a locked up job. I confessed to my then boss, and got let off with a warning.
Roll forward 10 years and I am the 2ic of the support team and I mention this little mishap to my different boss. He says "Oh yes, I remember not sleeping for 36 hours while I fixed that. Good think you never did it again".
I left a job in acrimonious circumstances, and made one of the most senior people there in terms of service (the facilities management lady) who could not be bought or intimidated by manglement, watch while my replacement disabled my accounts and changed the root passwords with me in the room (me being on the other side of the room). I also had a copy of the dates, sizes and checksums for all the important config files and libraries, and told manglement I did so (in a secure repository) and that if they falsely attributed my work to any faults, I would hear about it and I would sue. (I had references from others who had already left, and from my replacement who was a stand-up lady). Post-departure was surprisingly quiet in terms of support requests :)
What bright spark decided to allow keypresses on VSphere Client to perform menu actions? So if you don't properly focus on the console, you can type away and get prompted for "do you want to shutdown"? Fortunately I looked up and saw that before I got too far, but it was close.
is that there is not an easily digested metaphor that resists it's definition being butchered or co-opted for a cause. So you actually have to understand the core concepts and their implications. The fact that so many people now resort to metaphor to explain it (and badly most of the time) shows half the problem.
Stallman had a great idea (Free) but Torvalds wrapped the concepts in a model people mostly understood (Open Source).
"it's all cloud and we aint in the Data Centre business anymore" (I'm a Unix Sysadmin) Thanks boss, and also for the company aligning with Azure (windows based, oh double joy). I'm late 40s, looks like I might have to finish my RHEL 7 Cert and then try working for a museum or local government that has running copies of actual hardware.
But I test them like they could possibly delete the environment (and I insist on a separate playpen area to develop in, that replicates prod).
Part of the problem I have with DevOps is that there is no "preview" mode and the recovery method should something go wrong is long and convoluted. Surely the ability to revert a change should be paramount in a dynamic environment? (data as well as config?)
And I don't use scripts to text my girlfriend when I am working late, like this guy. https://github.com/NARKOZ/hacker-scripts
Did anything think about providing the capability for allowing our allies to launch and land non-F35 aircraft on these carriers?
"Sorry, F18 with a short fuel load we can't capture you, try swimming for the nearest arrestor cable carrier about 100 miles east of here"
and I even tell them which type of components it is (backup drives or print interface etc) but I never tell them WHICH component! I want to see if there is an actual visible improvement that they can recognise and report.
Don't get me wrong, I love my Ops, they know much better than me how a system works day-to-day but they can also be guilty of wishful thinking and seeing false-positives if told that something has changed.
Am stuck building an obscure Non-Linux OS to house an Application written in an archiac language, and it struck me that designs for solutions do not identify the end of life process or ease of migration from them.
Shouldn't most Systems have a method of automated extraction of data in a common format for migration, or the ability to port code easily? It seems a waste of my time to build an out-of-date OS just to host an Application that could be easily written in something else. or is it the fact that it's my time being wasted, rather than the developers?
Great 80s synth riffs, the band Mi-sex have jumped on the re-union train down here in antipodean land lately, despite their lead singer dying in the 90s in a car crash (the bands Dragon and The Angels suffer the same problem but have still re-formed). Though they all lack the budget to bring them back via avatar a-la Tupac. Maybe they will just prop a photo up on the stage.
who was stroppiness personified when she did not get her way (she was a friend of the director who has vaguely promised that her application administrator role could lead to greater things and she was impatient to get to those things). When I complained, my supervisor said she had a medical condition (of the female kind) that caused her to be so short, so could I please excuse her behaviour?
Next time she kicked off, I pulled out a tape dictaphone (it was the 90s) and switched it on. She clammed up immediately. I took the dictaphone over to my supervisor, gave it to him, and said "I've found the cure for what ails her, it's either EMF or accountability".
I'm not on linkedin with either of them.
Have gotten used to the perpetual "no!" from our networks team, so wrote a script to generate several tests for things they used to blame without looking, to get them to man up and actually look at the issue.
We have call answering rolling readouts on our TV screens here for apps support, don't networks have something similar?
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