Happy System Administrator Appreciation Day 2012

I thought I would take a minute out of my busy hectic day to give a shout out to all my fellow under-appreciated systems administrators out there in their dark offices on this the 10th Annual System Administrator Appreciation Day.

Consider all the work your sys.admin does behind the scene, keeping your network connection running, your email not being overly flooded with spam, your IM’s running at a decent speed, and being there to fix a server outage at 3am just so some people can go look at the funny picture you uploaded.  Consider how often this creature gets thanked on his day to day fight against spammers, hackers, lUsers, Software Updates, etc Consider this, then be happy that this IT Hero gets one day a year when (s)he gets appreciated.

So everyone, go take a coffee, cake, or gift to your sysadmin now. or at least drop by their hidy hole to say thanks.

For more information on this IMPORTANT festive day go read THIS SITE

For those about the Insane Asylum Myself & Demop can be found in Mission Control, and are fond of Cake, Beer, & Chocolate (Oh and anything with glowing blue LED’s) !!!



Consider this as well. Your Friendly SysAdmin has access to your email, they know what you have been doing and to who. They see all the packets of data traveling back and forth from your machine, seeing when you are working and when your just browsing ebay/facebook/etc, They know what websites you’ve visited (and can change your history to show you been looking at p0rn in the office), Stuff you may not want made public.  They control your password, your login name, your email address, how much of the networks bandwidth you can use, what IM clients are banned, and a million other things that help you through the working day.  Consider this well, and remember, “Its only one day a year!

Inmates Assemble

Last night some of the Inmates at the asylum staged an escape, we went over the tunnel and through the wire before making a mad run through torrential rain into England for FREEEEEEEDOM and the Avengers movie. The escapees consisted of, DemonPengu, YoYoMan, Myself and a Hobbit. Why “and a Hobbit?” well I think all good stories should begin with …. and a Hobbit.

Now there may or may not have been an incident with the cinemas WiFi connection, and very poor security *cough* (default password) *cough* But thats a different story for another time. So Drinks, Popcorn, Chocolate & tickets were collected, and our team of escapees sat down ready to watch the film. And what a film!!!!

What can I say about this film?

Seriously! What can I say, This film is a sequel not only to IronMan I & II but also  The Hulk, Thor & Captain America. We are talking five MASSIVE action films all with their own main character, and these five sequels combined into one uber-film. And this is not to mention the other Main (But no individual films yet) characters of Hawk-eye, Black Widow, & Nick Fury.

As you would expect of this film, the action, effects, and heroness* are out of this world (And not just because there was an Alien Army, and two demi-gods involved). All in all, it was everything you would expect in an Action Film!

What you may not expect, and I know I for one did not expect it as the pure comedy gold this film contains. Its rare to hear an entire audience pissing themselves laughing in an action film, and during this film, the audience laughed a LOT!.  I have actually been to comedy films where the laughter was not as loud and honest as it was in this film.

So we have, Heroes, Villains, Action, Effects, Comedy, Fantasy Characters, Monsters, Space Army, Spy’s, Soldiers, Secret Organisations, Futuristic exo-armour, Gods, Heartbreak & romance. I was going to say all they were missing was a funny CGI/Animated talking pet until I remembered the Hulk. This film really does have everything!!!

Put simply. The four of us left the cinema after the film, stood outside and seriously considered going back in to see the next showing. And at least two of the Inmates did re-watch it the following night (i.e. tonight). I think thats testament to its awesomeness all by itself.

*Its a real word. I made it up and decided it is real!

Customer Rant

Because its healthy to vent the spleen!

Now I’m sure I have Blogged about this customer before, but for the life of me I can not remember what name I gave him (Maybe I should keep track of the names I assign people). Anyway today we shall refer to the Customer/Company/Person as Gillid*

Heres an extract of a Phone conversation that just happened.

Gillid: “Hi, I was told that since TheArchivist* no longer works there you may be able to help me!

CN: “I may be able to, whats your problem?”

Gillid: “I have a website where I upload loads of data to it every few months, and our CMS that RedBack* made does not work so TheArchivist normally does it for me!

CN: “No problem. If you email me the data, and let me know what is what in it, I’m sure I can sort it out for you but getting your CMS fixed may be a good idea. Now I’m not sure what you’ve been charged for the data entry in past…….”

Gillid: “Oh TheArchivist did it all for free!

CN: “Well we won’t be doing that, you’ll have to pay for our time doing it

Gillid: “OH. can you give me TheArchivist’s personal email address or phone number?

CN: “No. I’m not giving out peoples personal info!

Gillid: “ok. I’ll upload it myself!!!!” *Hangs UP*

Thirty minutes after that phone conversation the Support Department get a ticket from Gillid asking for TheArchivists contact details. They guy is seriously trying to get hold of one of our x-employees in the hope that the guy will do work for him for free while no longer being associated to the Asylum?

And after all that If it was just a quick data import into a mySQL DB I’d have probably only charged him £15 or some nominal price.

 As normal Names changed to protect me from lawsuits… err I mean to protect the innocent.


People are Stupid.

Well technically I guess that should be “Customers are Stupid“. You do not believe me? Well here are two examples that happened this week.

Example 1:

I was being nice and answered the phone to help out the support guys, and the conversation went a bit like this :-

CN:Good afternoon How may I help you?

Customer: “Hi, Yes. I can’t send or receive any emails. its broke!

CN: “OK. What error are you actually getting?

Customer:can not connect to server

CN:Ok, are you actually on the Internet?

Customer:YES. I am on the Internet doing things, the Internet is fine, it’s just my emails that is broken

Customer: *noise of many people talking in background*Yes. I’m on the phone to them now. Yes I have email issues. Ok I’ll pass them over to you when my mails sorted

CN: “You got other issues there?

Customer:Yes, they say we have lost the Internet. So Whats the issue with my emails?

She honestly thought the fact they were not connected to the Internet had no connection with her problems in sending and receiving emails.

Example 2:

Now this was a ticket the Systems department had. A Customer had not been receiving any email conformation from their website for the last 3 months. And they knew from the orders that they should have had a fair few.

We had been looking into it on and off for a while since a grep of the site showed that it was not set up to actually send emails to the address they insisted received them.

So after many attempts I finally got them to check the header of an old email and give me the actual email address that the emails go to before being forwarded or downloaded to the end account.

So I have the real email address and decide to test it simply to start with. So I log into the account, and there sat in the INBOX are 50+ unread emails from the website.

Turns out they had forgotten to actually download the emails for the last few months.

Seriously, people get an IQ=IQ-100 as soon as they decide to contact our support department.


Ghost in the Asylum

The Asylum may or may not be haunted.

This morning I was stood in the Support Office talking to ItWerWobbie* when I heard someone walk up the stairs to our floor and saw them walk past the door to the support office as they passed down the hall.

Shortly after @DemonPengu* ascended the stairs, and came to the open door.


IWW: “Who was that?

GN: “I dont know. Hey @Demonpengu who came up before you?

DP: “huh? no one?”

GN: *quickly checks upstairs rooms to see who came up* “Err there’s no one up here?

IWW: “you heard/saw it as well right?

So two of us heard someone ascend the stairs and walk past, we both saw from the corner of our eyes a person walk past the door to the room towards the front of the building where there are NO exits. Yet there was no body there!

Explain away!**

(*) We never use real names here on the Three Ninjas, for security, peoples safety against stalkers, and to prevent any nasty legal action if we accidentally mention little know facts like ItWerWobbies fetish for amputee midgets.

(**) Seriously. Any explanations welcome, comment away if you can explain what may or may not have happened.