Fuzzy - not just a name, a way of life

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Cranky Customer Guy

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Watching one of your customers suffer in public is painful, but this instance is especially frustrating for me. The very problem this poor chap has was first reported as a bug by yours truly, while working at a snow-bound military base in the wilds of Wiltshire, UK, in February 2003.

Today is April 27 2005, so it's approximately 800 days and counting that this critter has be on the loose. At the time I was told it wouldn't be an issue, as only "secure" environments like the MoD would run in to it. Surprise surprise ... security is now important to everyone!. In the words of poor Cranky Guy ... Bah!

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Conference Complete

Hypothetical: You have 500 hours of free time. What would you do?

a) Indulge in the biggest beer-fueled, pizza-muching, TV-watching extravanganza of all time,
b) Do the 101 odd jobs you'd told yourself you'd always do,
c) Climb some distant mountain so a guru could tell you you'd left your enlightenment at the base-camp, or
d) Volunteer to run a two day linux/open source government for Politicians, Public Servants, and business keen on seeing F/OSS succeed

Well, I ended up doing d! (You'll note I didn't say "choose". Choice played little part ... I must "thank" Stilly for that later)

Open Computing in Government 2005 has been my hobby for the past six months, and it's finally happened. Two days of stuff all to do with getting the Australian Government into the groove of OSS. And with some success.

Our crowd this year was a little smaller than last year, but of the dozens of feedback forms I've read tonight all indicate everyone was impressed by the Speakers (thanks to this fantastic group of people), the troops from AGIMO (thanks John Grant, Colin Thomas, David Mackey, Katie-Jane Lubiewesky, Eric Davis) and even the two Senators who turned up.

I won't rehash everything that happened, but it's good to know people noticed. We got some press here ...

Agencies get open source push

and here ...

Fed guide fosters penguin power

And in all of these places!

Open source 'war of words' intensifies
Feds stomp on Red Hat
Aussie lawyer wants 'clearer' GPL
Favour us over proprietary software: OSS advocates
Microsoft cops standards attack
Government agencies lagging on OSS: Red Hat
Ignore 'fads' when examining OSS: Govt
Govts on path to 'demystify' open source procurement

Stilly even tried to claim press about OCG ( Govt unwraps open source guide) as press about lca ... fat chance Stilly, get your own press :-)

I'm too exhausted to give too many highlights ... perhaps the best was Paul from Novell, who followed the guy from Microsoft (yeah, MS talking open source ... NOT!). The best use of joke BSOD screens I've seen in a while.

Thursday, April 14, 2005

The Return of the Death of a Thousand Breakfasts

I think Stilly will be mad as hell. I've been invited to yet another breakfast. This time from EMC, a kind-of competitor of ours. I say kind-of, as it's the hardware arm that wants to feed me this time, not the newly-acquired software outfit.

Maybe I've made it in to some kind of weird breakfast club, but without the B-grade actors or the 80s fetishism of John Hughes.

Think about it ... could this be some kind of enlightenment ... life as an endless series of vendor breakfasts. The sound of one hand clapping ... no, wait, the sound of trying to get a cup of coffee with one hand, because you've got cold danish in the other.


Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Would you like fries with your network admin?

Someone commented to Lindsay this week that they prefer her blog posts when she's angry, rather than whimsical or insightful. I thought about it for a moment, and realised that I'm usually only motivated to blog when something is annoying me, or if I'm pissed off. Well, guess what? I'm pissed off! So ... time to blog!

For nearly two weeks, we've had repeated network problems at work. Most of the problems stem from the decision to bring in a new cisco router. While the cow-orkers responsible for the job insist there were "problems" with the kit, I was left wondering what the hell happened to planning, testing, and the like. In fact, any semblance of professional conduct - or competence - seemed to be completely lacking. I could rant for hours on IT infrastructure as basic business plumbing, but I can be more succinct with an analogy. Would anyone, even the most retarted of home handy-person, start tearing out the plumbing, without some thought for what could go wrong. "Well, honey, I disconnected the shower - but what d'ya know, the replacement I bought is actually a dishwasher. Oh well, we'll just have learn to live with it". Even worse, imagine doing this, but not telling the wife until after she walks into the bathroom, to discover she needs to be a Houdini. Communication ... we don't need no stinking communication.

Did these guys take some kind of trans-technological vow of silence. "No talking. And no networking. Oh, and no talking about networking! Yeah ...".

Fuck that. I got to wondering how long a given set of people, whom for all intents and purposes are incapabable of performing a task, can make it appear that they can do it. Essentially, how long can the talentless fake talent? In this case, too fucking long! It doesn't help that the person ultimately responsible for the whole area - a rather "senior" person (in all meanings of the word) - is completely lacking in the two things you'd want from a manager in a techology company ... management skill, and technical savvy.

Well, rant over. I'd think about saying "stay tuned for my next rant", but that would display a naïve confidence in a reliable network :-)