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Journal: Sysadmin Excitement! 5

Journal by Iamthefallen

Came in this morning and went ahead with regular duties. Nothing spectacular going on so I went into the bosses office to talk about some reports I'll be developing in the near future. Our full time sysadmin comes in and tells us we have a problem. Two drives failed on the production database server, 3 minutes apart, on separate buses. One on the data partition, one on the system partition. The HP management tools never picked up on it, and in fact still report that everything is just peachy.

We go back to the server room to swap drives out when we hear an odd noise, look back and another drive has failed on the application development test server.

Ruh-roh.

User Journal

Journal: Hiring entry level developer in Columbia, SC

Journal by Iamthefallen

Full time position with focus on VB.Net, ASP.Net, SQL Server.

Totally unofficial salary range estimate:
Mid thirties to low forties.

This is a good opportunity for someone fresh out of school to get some experience and learn a lot quickly. The ideal candidate would have some experience with ASP.Net, SQL Server, and some form of reporting tool (Crystal et al).

Excellent benefits, training, and all that good stuff.

Know anyone? Email the address in my profile for more info.

User Journal

Journal: Love? Ha! 1

Journal by Iamthefallen

Is still how I remember how to order the CSS pseudo classes for links, I doubt the order is still an issue, but back in Ye Olde Dayse, they had to be declared in order:
a:link
a:visited
a:hover
a:active

LVHA

LoVe? HA!

User Journal

Journal: I R sysadmin! 8

Journal by Iamthefallen

As a followup to This.

Our sysadmin goes under the knife today, so I get to put on a new shiny hat and pretend I know what I'm doing with servers and networks. First order of the day, figure out why the Exchange backup failed.

Second order of the day, impose fear, terror, war, pestilence, disease and death upon the users.

I am become sysadmin, destroyer of Outlook appointments.

User Journal

Journal: HP Workstation - Yum yum 8

Journal by Iamthefallen

Planning to buy a new desktop at work, with multiple Visual Studios and long running SQL queries, my current machine is slowing down quite a bit. I was hoping the Quad Core CPUs would be a bit cheaper, but $1200 for a QX6700 is a bit steep.

Here's what I'm looking at atm:

HP xw4400 Workstation Microsoft® Windows®
Genuine Windows® XP Professional SP2
HP xw4400 Localization kit
Intel® Core(TM) 2 Duo E6700 2.67 GHz, 4 MB, 1066 MHz FSB
NVIDIA Quadro NVS 285 128MB PCIe
HP 4GB (4x1GB) DDR2-667 ECC RAM
HP 160GB SATA 3Gb/s NCQ 7200 1st HDD
HP 16X DVD+/-RW DL LightScribe 1st Drive
HP 1.44MB Floppy Disk Drive

+ A second hard drive. HP is way overpriced on those though.

User Journal

Journal: Thoughts on Multiply 10

Journal by Iamthefallen

Yes, I created an account. Same name as here, no linky, because I can't visit it from work.

Strike one. Not starting off well here. Not being able to use the site from work means reading it only at night. Odds of that happening on a regular basis are fairly slim.

But I created an account, at least to reserve the name, and I'll give it a shot. I'm not planning to move over and quit Slashdot, because well, I read Slashdot anyway.

For all our complaints, Slashdot's suckage is a topic of conversation. It's like talking about the weather, "Hey look, Wednesdays update broke the server again". There are a lot of garbage articles, poor editorials, and trolling, but there are still enough tech discussions with knowledgeable posters to keep my interest. People also pull articles from the front page and bring them into the journal for discussion.

I think this external input is important to sustaining a community.

The Slashdot journal system has served not just as a blog, but as an extension of other Slashdot articles. It's the private discussion after the town hall meeting is over. But if the discussion instead comes largely from random external sources like news sites or aggregators, I very strongly doubt they will gather much interest. I don't want to visit 20 different sites to read whatever you're posting about. Again, the whole at-work thing.

I know my life isn't interesting enough to warrant daily updates, and while some you live a life of minute-to-minute non-stop never ending action, I think the same holds true for many in the circle. An update every few weeks or months is good enough.

Strike two, Slashdot provides a place where I can read tech news, articles, and reviews, and keep up with the lives of friends. Multiply is one more site to keep up with.

The basic problem is that if there isn't a critical mass of readers on Slashdot, posting here is just me talking to myself.

Strike three, if posting on Slashdot is pointless, and using Multiply at work isn't an option, this means that I and I'm sure some more with me, will pretty much go quiet except for the occasional "Hey look at what my kids did last week" posts.

I'm not posting this because I want people to beg me to come over. Nor do I have the delusion that my situation would change the direction the circle is going. This is just a heads-up not to expect to hear much from me anymore if indeed Multiply becomes the new home.

I think the end result of Multiply will, ironically enough, be a divide in the circle that will lead to atrophy.

Maybe I'm wrong and just fear change, it's a possibility too.

User Journal

Journal: It's 5am on a Saturday, do you know where your kids are? 8

Journal by Iamthefallen

Mine are in my bed, I however, am not.

At some point Tammy got the baby into bed, makes sense since he enjoys a boobielicious snack around midnight. Around 3am Mercer crawls in with us, along with blankets, bottles and bears, oh my.

So after 15 minutes of being crammed in between the two, I give up and retreat to the couch. An hour later I'm in the kitchen making coffee and have given up on the idea of sleep tonight.

Is it too soon to send them off to boarding school?

User Journal

Journal: The hoohaa monologues 14

Journal by Iamthefallen

Play's Controversial Title Leads To Complaints, Change

ATLANTIC BEACH, Fla. -- A modified marquee in Atlantic Beach has been drawing some attention. "Hoohaa" replaced a word in the title of a play after a driver complained about finding the previous wording offensive.

The marquis for Atlantic Theaters advertises a number of plays including, the Masquerade Ball, Band Jam, and now The Hoohaa Monologues.

Some said hoohaa is a strange word and that its definition depends on its context, while others said it sounds like a country band.

However, it's not a band at all. In fact, most people know hoohah by a different name -- vagina.

"We got a complaint about this play The Vagina Monologues," said Bryce Pfanenstiel, of the Atlantic Theater.

The Hoohah Monologues is a replacement title for The Vagina Monologues -- a well-known play about that part of the female body.

"We decided we would just use child slang for it. That's how we decided on Hoohah Monologues," Pfanenstiel said.

They did this after a driver who saw it complained to the theater, saying she was upset that her niece saw it.

"I'm on the phone and asked 'What did you tell her?' She's like, 'I'm offended I had to answer the question,'" Pfanenstiel said.

Some parents said they applaud the title change.

The theater said they're trying not to offend anyone, but the publicity doesn't hurt.

"We hope people understand we're trying to do the right thing. But as far as doing it for attention, we're a comedy club, we do all kinds of shenanigans," Pfanenstiel said.

The play is being brought to the theater by a group of law school students and all of the proceeds are going to various charity organizations.

The director of the play said she was going ask the theater and comedy club to return the title back to its original name.

Lesson for your kids: Your hoohaa is a horrible filthy thing that you should be ashamed of.

User Journal

Journal: Take your baby to work day 5

Journal by Iamthefallen

It was time to update to SQL Server SP1 and Saturday seems like a good day since the office is largely empty. So I took the baby with me to let Tammy sleep in some and give me a chance to teach him all about being a DBA. He's remarkably attentive, but I think the process may still be somewhat confusing to him and his inability to take notes poses a slight obstacle. But at 10 months, I'm willing to cut him some slack.

User Journal

Journal: Sleeping in 6

Journal by Iamthefallen

Woot!

It may or may not snow tomorrow morning, so the school district, including Mercer's daycare, is on a two hour delay. I emailed the boss and told him I'd try to get out of bed around 9:30 tomorrow :D

User Journal

Journal: I R sysadmin? 13

Journal by Iamthefallen

Our current BOFH is going out in a few weeks for shoulder surgery after tearing a tendon fencing a few months ago. He's expecting to be out one or two weeks at least, and is trying the PFY, aka, me, to hold the fort while he's not here to rule his domain.

I'm looking forward to it, it should be fun. And there's so much that I can improve while he's gone, he's been here for like 18 years, so of course there are things that a fresh set of eyes can find to improve. Like simplify the backup procedures by eliminating a few sets of tapes, change the IP ranges to be 192.168/16 rather than 192.168.1/24 (More elbow room). Not to mention, all those cables hooking into the switch could be routed in a more tidy fashion, I'm sure I can improve the cable routing by just cleaning it up a bit. While I'm at it. the servers on the rack could probably be organized alphabetically ascending rather than just have them sit in the order they were installed. Not to mention, we have a bunch of different service accounts doing various things, how much simpler wouldn't it be to just run it all as Administrator instead. Likewise we have a whole bunch of groups and policies in our Domain, I think we can merge all these together into just a Users group and save some administrative effort. Then of course update the documentation to use a cross linked Wiki instead of just text files on a network share.

Yes, I can see lots of room for improvement. I'll make him proud.

I won't tell him beforehand though, it'll be a surprise.

User Journal

Journal: Lost in .Net 1

Journal by Iamthefallen

Right now I'm developing a reporting web application to be used primarily by our external users. In the process I'm also refactoring some old code to try to establish a more solid platform for future applications, the whole re-usability thing that's so popular these days.

One of the things I've found in working with .Net in general, and ASP.Net in particular, is that it seems that even seemingly simple things can have you spend hours searching forums and articles and testing any variety of the 1000 "innovative" ways that people get things done.

This morning I wanted to create a fairly simple thing, have a base page that other pages inherit from that can provide common functionality, error handling etc. For instance, I want the ability to show a message at the top of each page indicating he outcome of an operation. So I add a ShowMessage method to my base class.

OK, all is fine and dandy.

But, I also want to use ASP.Net master pages for the visual layout, how to accomplish this along with the base page turned out to be not as simple as it would appear. Looking through forums and articles people have come up with a multitude of "clever" ways to do similar things, and the more clever, the more lines of code. So testing the various methods, finding out that there was "just this one little thing" that the developer hadn't solved "just yet".... Various approaches of overriding render methods, assigning master pages at runtime, creating custom content templates, and all kinds of other crazy things.

Finally I thought, "There's got to be a better way to do this".

Which means, there usually is.

The simple solution was the create an Interface with a Showmessage method.
Have the Masterpage implement this interface.
Have the base page test the type of the master page it belongs to, and if the interface is implemented, call ShowMessage in the master page.

Simple, elegant, and very not-clever.

I don't like clever. Too damn many .Net developer sites are clever, so utterly fascinated by the capabilities of the platform that they forget that the goal of developers is usually to get shit done.

At the source of every error which is blamed on the computer you will find at least two human errors, including the error of blaming it on the computer.

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