The US government runs an Iridium uplink (downlink?) in Hawaii so NSF Iridium phones show up as Hawaii calls
Iridium is the only Sat phone used the NSF in Antarctica. They own hundreds of them and a bank of Iridium phones provide a very slow data uplink to sync the South Pole stations Exchange servers with the US
It's all goes digital at some point, but not VOIP. McMurdo Station, population 1000, has old analog phones or the crappy beige variety. There's several hundred of them (400 maybe) with a Microwave uplink to Black Island, 22 miles North of McMurdo. From Black Island the signal is uplinked via the NPOESS satellite system to Centennial Colorado, where it's dropped on the public phone system. No VOIP anywhere in there. The South Pole station, however is VOIP fed by several ancient satellites that peak low enough to be seen at the bottom of the earth.
Note: I worked at McMurdo Station last year so I know what I'm talking about There's tons of phones down in Antarctica, but I'm not sure if any country is actually using the Antarctica country code. The US runs phone calls over the NPOESS sat system and trunks them back to Colorado where Raytheon Polar Systems is located. You can call anywhere in the US from the station with an extension to get an outside line, and the calls just look like some local number in the Colorado. Scott has has the same thing (they use the same US Sats). The South pole does similar things when there Sats in the horizon and during other times they use Iridium phones. There's an enormous number of Iridium phones in Antarctica, but again they all have US numbers.
I feel ripped off getting paid 25% for oncall. Oncall sucks and your employer should know that. True fast response time requires you basically stay at home during your on call time. I work in a NOC and do a 12 hour NOC schedule. I get woken up several times a night and the company understands it's a pain. They pay us as we should. If you're expected to work they should expect to pay. Nothing is free.
I'm also baffled by all this
/. hatred for Macs lately. I went to LinuxCon recently in Portland and there were only 2 kinds of computers there Thinkpads running Windows or Linux and Macs. About 1/2 the computers at the conference were Macs. You had key Linux figures rockin Macs running OS X. Get them a Mac. You won't spend 4 hours on the phone trying to explain how to get a decent Flash plugin loaded or how they can sync their iPod correctly.
While I'm here as a longtime PC tech how is it that you have to reformat the box the majority of the time? I did university helpdesk for several years where you get to see the very worst that a person can do a computer (freshmen guys like porn sites) and formatting was rarely required. You need to get better at cleaning things up.
Create an account and login in. There's porn. They just don't turn it on if you don't have an account.
I'm always amazed when large shops have no power savings features enabled. A lot of it has to do with the inability to manage power saving features from within Group Policy. Thankfully Vista added this ability. There is also a tool created for the EPA that adds this functionality to GP. It's a bit of a hack, but it does work. I'm always amazed why companies don't at least turn on the power saving features on their default profiles when they set them up. You set the monitor to turn off after 10 minutes, and you switch from the Always On profile to the Portable / Laptop Profile. Changing the profile enables SpeedStep which saves about 4W at idle and every time the monitor turns off you're saving 30-40 watts depending on the model. It takes about 20 minutes to do this before you deploy and image. It'll pay for itself in a large company in a day and has no impact on automatic updates or virus scans.
I see a lot of comments here suggesting that this is a bad idea, and to a certain extent it is, but chances are the institution has no say in this. After the wave of laptop thefts from government institutions, the office of inspector general requires all laptops (and portable media) be encrypted. A lot of agencies have stalled on this one. I've been involved in supporting laptops that are encrypted and go out to remote field cables (as remote as it gets). It's pain, but if you have to do it, TrueCrypt is not the way to go. You need something that ties into AD and something that can manage thousands of users. PGP Desktop.
Do your research on migrated to Google first. Gmail looks fantastic from an end user standpoint, but their hosted e-mail solution is a real joke. My university considered a migration from an old UNIX server to hosted Gmail last year. Not a chance. You can't do the simplest things like remove a user from the global address book, or create complex mailing lists. It lacks the features that Exchange had when it still ran on NT 4. I really hope that Google pulls it together, but at the moment Gmail doesn't cut it even for a small sized University (were were 8000 students). I'd say look into Zimbra, but the OSS version lacks clustering and you really want to cluster for fault tolerance.
Big Dead Place is a great website. It even covers the great meat theft of Xmas '08. Fun times...
www.rayjobs.com. Hiring for next summer season (oct - feb) starts over the summer. There's lots of exciting dishes for people with no experience. Like washing dishes...and washing dishes...
They're called ice-wives
Crab legs and duck were well worth the wait and 7PM was the only long line. Eat at 3 with the weirdos and there's no wait at all.
They still didn't have enough though. That's why it was cold so it wouldn't go as fast. The winter overs screwed us again.