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Go read for your finals! [Feb. 22nd, 2005|09:49 pm]
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So, I was reading bofh and it directly related to two work stories. But first, the text of the inspiration:

"I don't know what you got away with before, but this was just irresponsible. What were you thinking?"

"OK," the PFY says, getting serious. "The thoughts were vaguely this: We have an old piece of kit which stays up about as much as a prostitutes underpants. Everyone in the company uses it, it's complete crap and countless hours of work have been lost pounding away at it.

"So we FINALLY get to replace the kit, which means we can rip out the box, remove all the aged terminal servers and all the terminals."

"And PLACE them in the bin."

"We had that option, yes. But we thought - rightly so, as it happened - that there would be people in the company who might want to express their discontent in some physical manner by dropping, hurling or in some cases screaming-wailing-gnashing-of-teeth-accompanied-punting these units off the roof into the skip. And it went down a treat" [1] [2]

"No it didn't! It was a complete shambles! The side street was absolutely littered with broken plastic, glass and pieces of metal"

"Yeah, it was fantastic!"

[1] My official title at the school was simply computer technician. Unofficially, I was also a floor restorer, mover, pipe threader, cable installer, and construction worker. This story deals with construction worker.

So, we have this new office to move into, called the tower. It is currently full of clothes from eons of drama performances. Accordingly, the fire marshall required a firewall between flammable costume supplies and the only exit from that floor; namely the stairs.

But with the costumes gone and technical equipment up, that means we can remove the firewall, right?! OK!

Computer techs naturally have stresses they need to work out, and pounding a sledge into a huge sheetrock wall certainly was fun. But now, what to do with all these hunks of sheetrock and wood studs? I know! Lets throw them off the roof, to land in the atrium between the auditorium and the red hall.

Right, that went over like a lead balloon. Apparently students were planting stuff down there, which were throughly destroyed by a metric ton of gypsum board. Maintenance didn't much appreciate it either. Yet another nail in my former former bosses coffin, there.

[2] We had an extremely old crappy IBM RS/6000 which used to run student records, and was occasionally still used to pull up bizarre reports and transcripts. It was a living hell to IPL (Initial Program Load - IBMspeak for boot), backup, restore, or even get net access to, especially since all the IBM 3270s were long gone. Finally the day came that we could eliminate it, but first, we had to ensure that the data was throughly wiped. We removed the hard drive, took an 18" long carbide tipped 3/4" masonry bit, and ran it through the hard drive platters a half dozen times. Then we stuck a Kryptonite lock through a drill hole and intra-district mailed it to the student information system administrator with a note reading "Old Lockway data now safe from prying eyes."


[User Picture]From: jgp
2005-02-26 09:02 am (UTC)
That was just fantastic... I've been reading BOFH for, well, just about as long as he's been writing it. Many a time did I wish (when working on the helpdesk at my company) that I could go do something violent and/or deadly to the users.

I think the most destructive thing we got away with was dumping a load of monitors - off of a ladder - into an empty dumpster. Not quite as cool as "off the roof", but it was quite the stress reliver. Oh... we also got to take a sledge to a stack of Seagate hard drives once... that was great too. They were hell to crack open. =)
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[User Picture]From: whizistic
2005-02-26 11:59 am (UTC)
If you don't already, you MUST read alt.sysadmin.recovery.

> A BOFH's life involves staring at the screen, grimacing at the screen,
> typing in bursts, occasionally laughing out loud, but more often
> muttering dark imprecations that would have been best heard only by
> the wind. It's all quite deeply symbiotic and opaque to others.

-- Anthony de Boer
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[User Picture]From: jgp
2005-02-26 12:40 pm (UTC)
Ya know, I actually don't... haven't looked at a newsgroup in AGES. Like, high school - back when that was the best source of, uh, questionable material that a high school student would want to look at... =D

I'll have to find a reader that's not Outlook Express and go check it out.
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[User Picture]From: whizistic
2005-02-27 09:11 pm (UTC)
I just use google groups - groups.google.com, though their interface became more crappy a few months ago. Still good enough to watch the rants as they flow in, and usually even have the replies in threaded order.

Ah, yes, high school. The days before the nifty archive. [scotty]How quaint.[/scotty]
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[User Picture]From: jgp
2005-02-27 10:27 pm (UTC)
ohmygod someone else who knows what the nifty archives are! that's fabulous! =D
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[User Picture]From: whizistic
2005-02-28 07:30 pm (UTC)
mom: watcha doin?
me: reading RFC 2019 "IPv6 over FDDI"
mom: "well, whatever gets you into a good college"
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[User Picture]From: jgp
2005-02-28 09:15 pm (UTC)
hell yes. i can't recall the number of times i had to engage the screensaver hot-key on my speedy Windows 95 system to cover up, uh, "research" that I was doing for that paper... =)
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