A little reflection

So this morning, on my way to work, I get an urgent phone call that something is wrong with the network – people can’t get to the file server, or get out to the Net, nada.

So naturally, I do what any average person would do. Whip out my BlueTooth ear piece and connect it so I can have my hands free. Then I grab my laptop – someone else was driving – and connect to the Net via BlueTooth connection to the phone I’m talking on.

Once the net is up, I connect to my office VPN and check the status of the servers.

Servers seem ok, communicating nicely with each other and the world.

My guy on the other end of the phone is not a sysadmin, but is savvy enough to check some of the more advanced diagnosis problems, and it seems that the internal network computers are just not talking to the servers.

So I decide I’ll restart the server that hands out network access numbers (for the techies: DHCP server) and see if that does anything good for the universe.

No dice.

By now, I’ve pretty much arrived at the office and begin the point-to-point diagnosis of where it seems the failure is. I see that the servers, on their own switch, seem to be happily chattering away, but anything connected to that switch is not happy.

Power cycle the switch.

Nope. Not yet. So I power cycle the other switches that are connected to that switch, effectively disconnecting anyone connected to anything anywhere.

Still no effect.

Finally, I decide tht I’m going to swap a cable – a simple, 12″ cable – that connects one switch to the other.

Voila!

So everything works, power cycle the switches again, and all is well. What a great start to an even greater day.

This leads me to the following revelation: I am a hero.

Not a super-hero, just a hero. Batman was a hero thanks to his gadgets and capability to use them. I have some of that under my (non-utility) belt.

So there.

Come to the Dark Side….

Or is it “into the light!”
Depending on your perspective, of course.

Yesterday I decided I was going to go down the path of the “righteous”.
I was reading about Windows Vista and it’s release delays and the new features and the latest “to protect your rights” DRM crap.
I read about pricing models – how they are now increasingly difficult to understand.
i read about Office 2007 and how that is becoming the basis for life everywhere and you can’t live without it.

And then I said to myself – I’m going to try an alternative.

For sooooo many years the home computer market has been awash with a single operating system (I’m not counting MAC’s as they are proprietary hardware and REALLY expensive) that could be installed on an i386 chip architecture (for the uninitiated – “Pentium”).

But now, the dawning of a new age has arrived, bringing with it a wide variety of full-featured operating systems, and all absolutely 100% at no cost.
Spend as much as you want getting custom hardware to tweak your system out – just make sure it’s Linux compatible.

So yes, I have installed Ubuntu 6.10 Edgy Eft on my main desktop machine here at home.
It took a while, and is still incomplete.

For your average desktop user, who uses Internet (Web & Email), office-style apps and a few kinds of games, this OS is perfect. It runs well on really low-end hardware and I’m running it on a much more than low-end. 🙂

I think that this is slowly becoming one of the more user-friendly operating systems, and I must say that although I absolutely love sticking it to “Big M$”, it’s nice to not have to.

Let me know if you’re interested in more details.

Gahhh…

Aches and pains, it seems that’s all I get these past few weeks.

It’s a bright Sunday afternoon, and my eyes are almost sealed shut, even with the blinds down most of the way.

Have you ever run out of Hard Disk space?
I do, frequently.

Only problem is, I have over 250GB, that has a fast turnover, i.e. the minute I burn a few gigs off, it fills up like water scooped from a pond.

I think I’m a download addict.

Gahhh….

Another day, another dollar, and the world spins on.
Last night a friend from work came over with his computer, to get some assistance installing a new motherboard. Doing that and installing a new OS took a while, but saving his data was a real bitch. He eventually left, leaving me to work on it until 6am. I’m still not done with it, but I’ll probably finish it soon.

Later.

PS- This is my first post using PocketLJ on my PalmVx, in a coffee shop called “Aroma” in Jerusalem.