Bruce Johnson

.NET Developer, speaker and author. In my spare time, parent, chauffeur, and goalie.

Jun 2014

Just Call It Faberge

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In the early part of this century, it was quite common for small companies to stray into the infrastructure business and run their own servers. The company where Tatiana's dad worked was no exception. The infrastructure in this case was mainly a couple of old Linux boxes, one acting as the Web server and the other as the email server. To be fair, the email server was 'newer', in that an older one had recently been replaced. Imagine for a moment what the specs for an 'old' server in 2000 that was too slow to support an email server must have looked like. I imagine a 186 chip and 8K of RAM with a cassette tape for persistence, but that could just be me.

At the time, Tatiana was a university student with a working knowledge of Unix. Where, in this case, 'working' is defined as the level of UNIX learned while completing university-level computer courses. Still, when the system administrator at her dad's company left and her dad asked if she would be willing to help out if an emergency arose, Tatiana agreed.


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Being the consummate IT professional, John took pride in his ability to automate the more regular and mundane aspects of his job. While not everything bent to his scripting will, with the appropriate cmdlets, plug-ins and modules, there were few areas that were beyond his (automated) reach.

But even then, there were still some regularly executed processes that had not yet been touched. Following the crucial "if it's not broke, don't fix it" mantra, John was willing to let these pieces of antiquity continue to have their day until necessity demanded a change. The key being, naturally, if it's "not broke".