Wednesday, 12 December 2007

Mushrooms and those that don't learn...

SO we had this "fiasco" when a server got ordered, the guy though that it'll come with the necessary drive-brackets (surprise!!!!) to be able to buy the el-cheapo drives from the cafe around the corner as the true black-and-brown drives are 2 to 3 times the price... ends up to buy the smallest drives from black-and-brown to get the drive-brackets to be able to use the el-cheapo big-drives... still a "bargain"... but that's water under the bridge.

Then the request for backups (again after a near crisis situation is threatening the business's livelyhood) they decided it's time for the much taunted backup solution. No problem there either.
It's only that you first have to show them the light (and please, don't open the curtains, just give them a flash light --- not the LED version, but the nearly run down filament type--- to get their eyes acclimatized) about what is a proper backup solution given the situation.

Then they order it. (Again I've been the mushroom to find out about it after I've asked about it)

Then they mention it's a type-X controller. You tell them it should've been a type-E controller... "No, but the documentation [they] I could find, and the response from Black-and-Brown's guys is that the type-X will fit this server" ... yeah right.

/me goes to net: Gargle for Black-and-Brown Big-Server-designation [Enter]

/me finds "official" website from Black-and-Brown: Type-E controller (There are something that looks like an x in the name... perhaps thats the problem...). "official" other documentation about what type of controllers that'll do backups to the proper backup solution needed: Controllers with Type-E connector.

They've ordered the Type-X connector because: lead time is shorter....

They don't learn, that these things needs to be planned up front.

They don't learn that you ask those that have been swimming in that pound how those sharks bite.

Boy-oh-boy.

IT uptime and Directors

So the client wants to move to another/secondary/extra/redundant connectivity provider.
No problem, I actually advised and requested them to do this many months ago as the current provider is iffy at times...

Even more so they want to load another "optimized" (or something) piece of code in the place of the current running code. No problem either with that, as I actually would advise in that direction for several reasons, however the client needs to understand a few "changes" etc. which they've accepted. No problem in that either.

Then the client wants to remove a server from the stack so that the second provider can load their software on it. I warned and resisted it for stability reasons. Still the Director was insistent that they need it sooner for this that and these reasons. Several of them (mostly all of them) I have no problems with, however I advised on a different road (that some how, because I'm the mushroom, didn't get a cost value to me) that the director was not prepared to take. Time etc.

So I implemented the change. And as expected (do I have to mention that I hate it to be right???) things break, they can't do their sales etc. and the Director comes down on me like a ton of bricks.... things about warnings etc. etc. etc. and then ordered me to put the server back into production immediately...

Friday, 19 October 2007

Crashes and Crisuses

Ah, that bliss!!!!

The Bliss of saying: "I've recall vaguely mentioning something related to this.... but then as nobody listened, I forgot about it..."

The fun of saying: "I've warned you months ago, and now that it happened, what are you going to do to help me get this sorted???"

I've seen it before, I've witnessed it now... and when things do happen, you can just shake your head, get your kite, and phone the weatherman to go get a good windy spot... at least then you *want* to catch the wind... not like in the datacentres where the highest trees gets all the wind.... and the smoke, and the dust and the .... let's leave it there, I don't want to get a PG rating yet.

But please forgive me, I need to go watch some more paint dry.

Saturday, 13 October 2007

To err is human...

...to REALLY foul up things, you need a computer.

The things is, computers don't make mistakes, the problem is that it's humans that designed, build and programmed these in fallible machines. And the worst part about these mistakes?? The computers are so fast that your error gets compounded millions times a second :(

Yes, that's right, yours truly made some mistakes... (call it stress or whatever you'd like to call it)

The fun again is that the call recordings have been deleted before I could get the break signal to reach the remote machine. Even worse... I was so stressed out with some other human's programming/design errors that I missed the full disk space :( But then again, I've been complaining about the storage solution for so long and I just go it the temporary stuff in lately :(

Yes, there have been times I know I shouldn't have given in to customer demand, as it stressed me out, and I didn't get to think... but then there is life after IT, and yes, it got a noun I can name: WOMAN... if those things just could be programed like I program my red laptop, I wouldn't have been worrying about that noun... but let's leave that for another day, another place... I need to continue with the recovery process.

Monday, 8 October 2007

On site support...

So, it works.
The agents are dialing.
No complaints.


Step out to drop somebody off in town and you have a security guard running at you waving franctically to get your attention: "They need you up stairs URGENTLY!!!"....

Another Blue Monday in IT.

Yours Faithfully attending to the Call Centres.

Friday, 28 September 2007

Engineer Syndrome

I had a mentor that once said he is only aware of two syndromes that computers have. The one is the closed box syndrome, and the other the engineer syndrome. For when the engineer is on-site it works, and when you test it while it's all opened up, it works. But boy-oh-boy... just wait for the engineer to leave the site, or the box to be closed shut.

I just wished I can get paid for "staying on site, doing nothing while the system is too scared to do anything wrong" when put on my invoices :(

As I personally have to stay away from caffeine/stimulants (You want to scrape me of the roofs and walls???), I sometimes get the feeling that IT guys do get addicted to caffeine because it's the cheapest and most widely available hallucinogen available, as after a couple of cups of coffee, you'll not care anymore about the boss's problems, as your mind is so charged and ready to attack the next beast/enemy in Doom3/Quake/Half-Life/etc.

Wednesday, 26 September 2007

Documentation

Documentation, Where is your end?
When will I not need to worry about you?
Why can't we just do the job without it?





PS: I'm hating it to do it myself, but love to criticise when it's missing ;)

Triple Ds, done with 3G and then... the dreaded TT

Got this nice email with a Garfield on the couch, with the saying:

"Vandag moet jy die Triple D doen
- Daag op
- Delegeer
- Disappear
"
So I then when I arrived home for lunchtime I checked the 3G
- Gearriveer
- Gedelegeer
- Gewaai"

The only problem in IT is that dreaded TT, as I got this frantic (if I may I add the obvious :() call that they can't dial.... when the system (as expected) "fixed" itself (other than this morning's chanting to psyche up the sales agents) and (if I may again be forgiven for adding the obvious) while I was on the phone.

Let me explain I then had to go: "Terug na werk Te laat die aand"... oh of course that is the only time I could install another version (beta/test/development) to see how it'll cope today.

At least I had the privilege this morning to watch the sun rise over the Durbanville/Tygerhills while driving along the N7 into city.

Tuesday, 25 September 2007

Admin and work

Yes, It's Monday and it's blue,

I need to get some project plans and admin work sorted,

"Honey, sent the PA... Noooo!!!!! NOT the sexy blonde, I need work done today!!!! :("

So, let's see how this day will go, "hold thumbs, we aren't there yet kids."

.. especially not, while waiting for a director to make time so that you can get the info to get the job done... I'm going to like the invoice, but they aren't :(








Whoops :(
Just noticed it's *NOT* MOnday but Tuesday... blame the HEritage Day public holiday for that... but the feeling(s) are still Monday BLues

Sunday, 19 August 2007

Life the Universe and IT

Or frankly: The fun being in a very exciting, intriguing, and overly stressed out environment... called Information TEchnology.

The fact that it's about technology is besides the issue, as the information will cause you so much hassle, that you'll need more technology than initially expected to get going on the need that you still can't grasp, but the boss/client envisioned... that fact that you envisaged a crash coming is not to matter, because they understand the principles and what needs to be done and it's so easy to do and............

Let's get this discussion going on the information that's needed for call centers... in my next installment.