A name from the past!!!

Today I got a call from someone that I do work for / help out / rescue now and then asking me some technical questions.

Not really that difficult to answer and in theory put into effect, but with that came the news that it was for someone that I thought I had heard the last of, or at least never have to deal with again!

Now I’m a the middle of a dilemma, do I help out a friend that has been good to me, as I have to him, or do I tell him I won’t do it. I always try and be professional when it comes to my reputation and working with other people. Unfortunately the more I thought about it the worse it made me feel, all the thoughts and feeling came back along with a lot more hatred for the person and the situation they caused and put me through. I have enough stuff going on in my head to deal with at the moment without adding that to the mix!

I think the best way for me to go with this is to do the job if/when it comes up, with the conditions that I do not have to deal with the person in any direct way and keep my contact details well and truly private.

Shit, I hate being put in situations like this!

Black listed, Really? WTF

One of those days today!

I was asked to take a look at a SBS2011 server by someone today as emails were not being sent but were being received.

So I set about sorting through the list of errors in the event log, as per normal there was a to be expected reboot right in the middle of everything!
It kind of reminded me of when I got contacted by my old employer, after they had made me redundant, to look at a problem that stopped their Service Management System working. The idiots that they brought in to oust me had applied all their skill (all 3 of them) to fix the problem and come up with 4 reboots! Yes 4 reboots! Needless to say that after 4 it still wasn`t working. So a quick look through the logs I found the issue and reported back to them.

Anyway, I looked through all the logs on the server, but couldn`t see anything, so I checked out the send connector and see that there was a huge old queue reporting DNS lookup failures.
So I checked that the Smart Host was in DNS. I then checked that I could connect to it on port 25, which I could. I tried a DNS Reset and Flush just to be safe, but it didn`t work.

I disabled the Smart Host connector, created a new send connector and set it up to send via DNS, and the emails left the queue.

I then reported back as to what I had done and asked them to check out to see if they had paid the bill for the Smart Host. Later that day I got a call to say that it was a fault with the Smart Host, apparently the company that provided the Smart Host service had one of their internal desktop machines infected with a virus by an employee and it has spammed out a load of crap! Jesus! Seriously?

I was somewhat surprised that
A) They got infected with a virus!
B) They were sending emails out on a connection that was used as a smart host by a customer (and most probably more than one)!
C) They told a customer exactly what had happened!

A quick check showed that they were on some black lists for sending out spam.
I will leave that a few days before I check back to see if they have been removed…

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….

Can you help – a challenge?

One of the things I say to people is that ‘I like to fix the things that people say can’t be fixed’.
I also like to say ‘why are you two idiots reinstalling that computer from scratch to fix a small problem like that’ sadly I found myself saying that a few times back in the days of BOR!

Anyway, so when I get asked by a friend if I can have a look at their daughters laptop as she has forgotten her password and can’t get in,  I of course say ‘Yes’.
Even more so when I’m told a large PC Retailer has said ‘it can be done but she will lose everything on the hard drive’ and one of their friends has spent several hours trying to do it!

Obviously it didn’t take very long to fix the problem and return it to the owner – it just makes me wonder if people either don’t know what they are doing, taking the easy way out or trying to do a fast one ?!?!?!

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……

Diet, dadfat and a department treat

Today I decided to treat myself to one last treat before I start my diet.

I managed to get hold of a huge Jaffa Cake Cake! using my connections and as a treat for the department I thought I would take it in and share – well I say share, I was contemplating eating it all myself at lunch time.

Only one Jaffa Cake for me

It reminded me of one of the few good times at BOR, where we would have a cake rota and take it in turns bringing in cakes every Friday. There were some lovely ones, ones with chocolate in them, some more with chocolate in them, some other ones with chocolate in them, some different ones with chocolate in them, some unique ones with chocolate in them and the odd ones with nuts in them!! WTF There was also the time that someone decided to hijack the cake rota and bring in fruit! WTF! Not fruit covered in chocolate, not fruit with a chocolate fountain, not fruit with a bowl of sugar but fruit on its own! And then there was the gag about someone dropping their muffin!
How I miss those days with Patsy and her wine bottles, Muffin Lady and her digestives and Haribo`s, Rfer and his shrine and The Hacker with his lady friends!

Anyway, a very nice cake indeed, I will make sure that I bring one of them in again at some point as it was one of the best cakes I have had!! I will however have to say FRO to the diet!

Time to purge some crap

Well its been a year today so i think that its time i got rid of what data remnants i have left from my past.

I had a look around to see what was there that i could get rid of, surprisingly there was rather a lot – paperwork, source code, programs, emails, dongles, phones, mobiles, CD`s, DVD`s, MySQL databases, MSSQL Databases, hard drives, cloud storage files, keys and backup hardware.

All gone now.

Well and truly up shit creak!

Well, 3 days into my new job and I get the phone call that I have been expecting.
My former employer seems to have been shafted by the people that were brought on board to force me out of the company.

Of course, I was only too willing to help – considering that the company was locked out of the entire computer system, there was nothing else I could do really.

It seems very odd to me that the people doing this were good friends with one of the Managing Directors, I mean why would you want to do that to a friend and to a company that is paying your wages? Very strange!

Anyways, I will do what I can to help them, not sure what I can do remotely with great effect but I guess I`ll soon see, but I do have certain ways of doing things that can be of benefit to me, so I might do a few of those.

Before I do help, I need to make a quick phone call and send a few emails……