Friday, January 14, 2005

What a week!

It really is all a matter of perspective.

It's been a hard week at work. I'm a Computer Systems Engineer (sounds cool) by trade. I work with SCO UNIX and Microsoft Windows server operating systems. I'm in the System Integration department, so my job is primarily to "make it log on" or "make it print".

Or, as in the case of this week, if your server computer is ancient (by MTBFor service life standards), i.e. "more than 3-years-old", and you finally put it off so long that the probability of a disaster finally caught you, "(please) make it work again".

For performance alone, I would think three years is the useful service life of a hard disk. After three years, even if the server/desktop/laptop you are using is as fast as the day you got it, your perception will closely mirror the law of diminishing returns. Your computer will seem slower to you. Daily usage will slow performance, and Microsoft has some suggestions to counter that, but in the end, I find that disciplined maintenance still only staves off "Windows Rot" instead of eliminating it. Anyway...

I began the week with three server issues... one left from last Friday (I was waiting for a part to show up), one that got pawned off to me by another technician, and one that called out of the blue to announce, "I ran /etc/badtrk (bad track) in destructive mode and now it won't boot. Can you help me?"


An extremely long work week, hours of ergonomically frightening computing efforts and four days of headaches and backaches later, I now have all three clients back up and running. In the mean time, there are five new IBM xServers waiting to be staged for upgrades or fresh installations in my "office."

Next week, I'm supposed to travel to three locations to install some firewalls and set up a new system, and I'll probably work four straight twelve-hour days.

I get paid salary, by the way. :)

But I want to point out that, through it all, I get to come home every night to my lovely Wifey-Pooh, my adorable cats and my devoted canine. I get to shelter myself from the weather, eat well, spend time with my wife, pet my pets and sleep in a large, comfortable bed. I know who I am, the meaning of my existence, and I have reasons to live.

While I do not presume to have the answer to everything, I have a pretty good notion (just kidding, OK?).

Well, I'm off for the weekend. So Long, and Thanks For All the Fish.

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