Thursday, May 3, 2012


I am not a trained IT professional, but I play one in real life.
It's my other part time full time job.
In between the daily user's panic attacks and meltdowns, I design buildings.
It is the year 2012.  Not 1992, but in fact the year 2012. I am dumbfounded by the computer illiteracy that persists to this day.  The gray hairs are perturbing, but the really frustrating ones are the 20 somethings.  I mean, they know how to chat, IM, Twit Tweet, Facebook, email, Text, picture mail, Pinturest and, even occasionally dial a phone number on there cell phone. (ok, I made that up, they just have their BFF call them so they can add their number to their contacts, which begs the question, who was the prime caller?)  But they know shit about how their computer works or stores files.
More on this later.
I am highly distrustful of automated processes. We have a backup program that backs up all the work product to a NAS every night. We also have a backup program which backs up all the work product to an offsite data center.
Occasionally one or the other fails. From my observation, they appear to be a sequential process, in which, once the failure happens, the process hangs. As in, stops.
Courtesy of the Department of Redundancy Department (me) we have another 7 or 8 terabytes of backup storage space sitting under my desk powered by the almighty MS DOS. (google XCOPY)

This morning one of my gray haired users came to me frantically having lost a file. "Well, it just disappeared".  I've heard this one before...
Turns out, she was not incorrect.  When your microstuff operating system saves a file to a server, the first order of business it that it deletes the file off the server. The second order of business is that it writes the file you have on your computer, and are working on, to the server.  If your computer freezes in the middle of that operation,  your file is boned. (yuh, snork, like that ever happens). File deleted, workstation locks up, file not written, file no longer exists.
So, I fire up the kx59 super secret backup disks to go hunt for the file. (flat copy, two separate sets of disks, 48 hours of redundancy, no Symantec backup exec)  Gray hair tells me it's in this folder, under that, in this subfolder.  The file we found was two weeks old. The disappearance happened this morning. She had worked on it yesterday and was sure she had saved it.
Two hours later I found the backup version from yesterday, in another folder.
I'm stubborn that way.  There was no effing way my MS DOS batch file failed to pick that file up.
I assign the acronym to her not only because she was not loading the file from where she thought she was, but because she was also saving the file to a completely different folder.
I just don't know how some people manage to drive themselves to work sometimes.
I categorize this as "sleepwalking through life"
problem is between keyboard and chair.


  1. I always referred to those as ID 10 T errors.

  2. yer actually i'm with Therednecengineer ...

    now, let me tell you about the user (back in my help desk days) who asked which one the left mouse button was ... AND why it was called the left mouse button .......


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