* Posts by Jenny with the Axe

4 posts • joined 1 Feb 2017

When the IT department speaks, users listen. Or face the consequences

Jenny with the Axe

"Your backup routines suck!"

Back in 1997 I was working helpdesk for an organisation where a lot of users still had Windows 3.11. One of them called in and asked us to do a restore of a document that she had stored on a network drive.

I asked for the name of the document and the user wasn't sure. I asked when it was created, and the user told me:

* User had created the document that day and worked on it for several hours, carefully saving it often.

* Once User was finished, they closed it, They then decided to rename it

* User clicked on the document in Windows Explorer and marked the entire filename, including the ".doc" extension. They wrote the new name and pressed Enter.

* Then the file lost the "picture of the paper with the three little lines" . In other words, since User removed the ".doc" extension, Windows no longer associated it with a known file type and so the icon meaning "I know what this is" changed to a blank one (I think - like I said, this is more than 20 years ago).

* User got scared and deleted the file. And then called asking me to restore it.

The only problem was, even though we *did* do backups of files on network drives, those backups were made during the night... And documents on network drives did not end up in any Trash folder or had any other sort of recovery mechanism.

The user was not happy.

Female-free speaker list causes PHP show to collapse when diversity-oriented devs jump ship

Jenny with the Axe

I followed the link to Larry Garfield’s blog post.

At the start he says that the conference contacted him directly and asked him to submit proposals for talk.

Later in his post, he says that he asked the organizers to directly contact women and ask them to submit posts. Their response: "the organizers told me they actively don’t want to do outreach, and just let whoever wants to submit submit."

Based solely on that blog post, it would appear that they *did* do outreach, to an established speaker who was also a white man. Did they do any outreach to people not matching that profile? If not, they were limiting themselves and (presumably unintentionally and unconsciously) excluding people without an established track record. This does not exactly make for an exciting conference with new content.

"If you always do what you've always done, you'll always get what you've always gotten." Is that what PHPCE is going for?

Ooh, my machine is SO much faster than yours... Oh, wait, that might be a bit of a problem...

Jenny with the Axe

Reminds me of back in the late 80's/early 90's when I was "the IT person" at the small office where I worked, simply by virtue of being the only one not afraid of figuring things out. (Yes, I was https://xkcd.com/627/).

I was on vacation for three weeks. When I came back, one of my coworkers asked me to look at his computer because it had been very slow for almost the whole time I was away. Now, in those days, processor speeds increased a lot more dramatically, so that some games became unplayable on the faster computers because they simply ran too fast for the player to have a chance to react. So a lot of models had a "turbo button" that you could use to switch between the processor's max speed and a speed more suitable for the games.

Yes, you guessed. My coworker had managed to hit that button instead of the power button one day. It had been running at a quarter speed ever since, and he'd never dared to try to figure it out for himself.

The really scary part is that it took me another ten years before I actually started working as a sysadmin, rather than doing whatever I was doing and also fixing everyone's computer...

GitLab.com melts down after wrong directory deleted, backups fail

Jenny with the Axe

Re: Super! Great

Actually, I've worked in places that did emergency testing. They did things like "let's kill all the connections through one datacenter and see if our customers can still access their stuff." Also "let's restore the backups to this test system and see that it works". As Gitlab has now discovered, backups without restore testings are not backups....


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