A reinstall?

Today I heard the words that I dread hearing, especially coming from someone with a technical back ground.

While looking to fix a problem, a problem that seemed to point to a few things as the cause, I heard `if I can’t fix it I will reinstall it`.

To me a reinstall of a computer is the last thing that should be done, and from experience it is only as a result of unexpected damage that is has to be done – like a hard drive failure that corrupts too many files, or as a result of someone getting impatient with Windows Updates and turning the machine off when it says not to! why would you do that?

So, I volunteered to take a look before the reinstall was started and had fixed the problem within a few minutes.

After I returned the computer, I sat and pondered on the thought processes involved in making the decision to reinstall……

Internal Logon Credentials

Today I went into town to a large retailer to order a gift for the wife.
Due to a couple of date issues and unknown factors I thought that it would have been the easiest option, rather than going online to do it myself – which is the way I tend to do things.

So, I’m at the counter wanting to place my order, where the female assistant was trying to log on to the computer. The normal explanations as to why she can’t log on are given, `it’s a bit slow this morning` and `my log on doesn’t seem to work`. She then went off to get someone to log on for her.

She came back and put a piece of paper on the counter and said `I’ll try these`. She then proceeded to log in while looking at what was written on it. I looked down at it and could see that someone had written a username and password on it!

Unbelievable to think that someone would not only give someone else their log in details, but they would also write then down (without encrypting them) and then show then to someone outside of the organisation they worked for.

I chose not to make a mental note of the details and then try them on an internet portal (no idea if there was one) while using the TOR network!

It amazes me what some people will do, given all the things that they must of been told by their employer and given common sense with security?!

Only those browsers? Really?

Well today I see another example of ridiculous browser wars at its best, or is that worst!

While looking at some issues on a CMS system, I picked the page apart find a very old version of a JavaScript component.

As I was using the latest version of Internet Explorer we had to play around with compatibility to get this website to work. After changing the User Agent String we were presented with a page saying that said that our browser was out of date. Fine, yes we may of made it report that it was out of date, which is something that seems to happen on an almost daily basis to some website here and there, but the options that we were presented with on the screen was ridiculous – upgrade your browser to Firefox, Chrome or Safari? Seriously? WTF? BOFW?

Not sure why they had chosen to completely remove Internet Explorer from the preferred list, but given what the website provider does and the sector that they are selling / providing to and given how systems are configured in that sector removing Internet Explorer has got to be one of the most stupid things to do.

I don’t give a shit what the Internet Explorer hatters have to say about that, sometimes there are reasons as to why you can only use certain software to do a job, and no matter what you do you need to cater for those scenarios.

Hopefully when the issue is fixed Internet Explorer will on the list of preferred browsers!

The mutts first birthday

Today is Muddy’s first birthday and as she is part of the family we celebrated it.

We all took her out for a walk after dinner and I tried to recreate the photo of me and her the day we got her.

Unfortunately the lump was far too big and too heavy to lay her on my arm, but I did pick her up and get an almost as good as the original dopy look out of her.

Muddy a year old
Muddy a year old

Muddy a year old
Muddy a year old

I think she enjoyed it as she found a few lumps of shit to roll in and wipe her neck on!

Self-assigned job title

Today, while waiting for what seemed like a never ending installation, there was a short lull in productivity. To fill that rare gap I engaged in a conversation about job descriptions.

It reminded me of the days gone by at my last job where the organisation chart and employees job descriptions were amended when a new contract bid required it!

After a lot of discussion and ideas for each other we whittled the list down to just 1 for each person. The list was as follows –

Micro Management Specialist
Part Time Unaware Operative
Piss Taking Strategist
Vacab Consultant and Pun Controller
Chief Grumpy Office and Junior Piss Taking Executive

Needless to say that I was given `Piss Taking Strategist`, which I have so say I was more than happy with.

Much like a self-signed SSL certificate the self-assigned job titles mean very little outside of the office, shame though as it would go great with my `Sex and Distribution` name badge that I got from Microsoft all those years ago….

Apple Mac`s again, no permanent routes

Yet more dealing with Mac`s again today and again another disappointment! So glad I binned my iPad for my Surface RT Tablet.

The set up that had been running fine for a few years had to be changed due to a `security update` that was introduced as a result of the work a few days ago.

Due to expert advice we changed the way that we do things which meant that I had to add some routes to the Mac clients to route network traffic to a different subnet.

All this messing about with adding routes to get traffic to flow where it needs to go reminds me of all the agro I had at my old job. I say agro, it was more me being excluded from being able to access things to change them and make them work. This time the A Team refused to add routes for the 3 additional subnets, mainly because they didn`t know what a subnet was and why they were needed! The subnets were in use by the engineers, Directors and the VOIP phone system. Needless to say I got the grief because the Directors couldn`t get emails and no one got the telephone stats!
Boy do I not miss that shit!

So I had to add a script!? so that the routes were added back in when the machine booted back up. Seriously not sure why that was and I really cannot be bothered to find out the reason, but thankfully the need was short lived as things were changed again so that we no longer needed to add a permanent route.

Apple Mac`s, are they really as good as I am being told?

My first dealings with fixing some Mac issues today and to be honest a very disappointing one.

I`m always getting told by people that Mac`s are far more superior to PC`s and how much easier they are to look after! Really? Well today I leant that to fix a relatively simple problem of newly created users not being able to login, the whole Mac OSX Server needed to be reinstalled!

Seriously, I don`t think that in all the years that I have been fixing PC`s that I have had to reinstall to fix a software problem, with the exception of machines that have suffered hard disk failures that have corrupted windows way beyond fixing.

To me it seemed to be such a minor issue to fix yet it needed a complete reinstall.

It turns out that after a rebuild the same issue presented its self again which again needed a rebuild of the server.

Amazingly, again the same issue then reappeared yet again after everything had been set up, but this time it was fixed by rebuilding the OD database.

I wonder if that fix could have been done to start with. Hmmmm

2 years on

Today is 2 years since my redundancy at my last job.

I can’t really believe that it has been 2 years as it’s flown by. I have more than settled in to my new/current job and am enjoying it more than I thought possible. Lots of new technology to deal with, much more than I would have ever seen at the old place. I still get to use a lot of my `low level` skills which have come in handy on several of occasions.

Best of all, I get to work with a bunch of guys that are not too dissimilar to the bunch at the old place. We all get on well, we all (well almost all) have the same sort of sense of humour.

But, more surprising than anything is the fact that the boat hasn’t sunk yet – by all accounts its taking in water so I can’t imagine it will be long……