• aliceif (disco)

    And now, Andrew's reporting software is the crufty ugly near-unmaintainable mess everyone hates but has to keep alive.

  • NullException (disco)

    "and after 14 years, the company had grown to include an IT staff of three"

    Now that's a success story.

  • No_1 (disco) in reply to NullException
    NullException:
    "and after 14 years, the company had grown to include an IT staff of three **running Novell Netware 3.11**"
    FTFY
  • lcrawford (disco)

    I'm surprised that Andrew did not become addicted to the high that came from entering a forbidden zone, Kevin Mitnick style, and go on to war dialing for vulnerable systems.

  • perfect_bastard (disco)

    What a lovely story! Made me private parts tingle with delight!

  • RFoxmich (disco) in reply to aliceif

    That would indeed be the only reason for this to be a WTF. Otherwise uhm....erm..it's a lot like my professional life story...except for the "I love working with computers" and breaking into logins...since the computers I started with didn't have such things (users/accounts).

  • Eldelshell (disco)

    Any one wants to guess which is the password for Netware 14 years later?

  • boomzilla (disco)

    "I *love* working with computers". Keep in mind that this was before the advent of bold fonts.

    WTF. Everyone knows those asterisks mean Italics. Completely ruined the article.

  • redwizard (disco)

    In 1988, I recall being a hopeful teenager asking my dad for a computer to help with schoolwork, so I can learn about computers too, etc. His response: "I don't want you playing games when you should be studying! You need to learn something that is useful, that earns you pay, so you can survive in real life!" (Picture old world Eastern European serious lecture attitude.) Of course I walk away thinking WTF.

    Fast forward 10 years. I'd been hired 2 years earlier as an EE for the same company my dad works at, but with the company having been bought out the division making electronic locks for which I was hired was winding down. My boss had given me access to the Novell Netware 4.0 network to do admin work and such. One day my dad's computer wouldn't launch CADkey, leaving him unable to do his job. He informs the VP of Engineering, who promptly points to my desk and I overhear: "that's the man who can solve your problem." My dad passes by my desk and sits down at his own, in silence. After a moment, I get up and walk over to his desk, knowing exactly how I was going to approach this.

    "So, dad. I hear you have a computer problem. I recall someone saying something about computers being games and not being real work - that people should learn something useful, that they can get paid to do. Remember anything like that?" No response, he's keeping his back turned to me. "Remember, dad?" I turn his chair around, and here's Mr. Serious himself, laughing. I grin and say: "Ok, I think I made my point." 5 minutes later his system was up and running.

    That is a moment I will never forget!

  • hungrier (disco) in reply to boomzilla
    boomzilla:
    >"I \*love* working with computers". Keep in mind that this was before the advent of bold fonts.

    WTF. Everyone knows those asterisks mean Italics. Completely ruined the article.

    Not only that, but boldface far predates computers.

  • boomzilla (disco) in reply to hungrier
    hungrier:
    Not only that, but boldface far predates computers.

    That just a meta-WTF. It makes the article tastier. Misrepresenting discomark, them's fightin' words!

  • Keith (disco) in reply to hungrier
    hungrier:
    Not only that, but boldface far predates computers.

    That's a bold statement.


    Filed under: Literally

  • boomzilla (disco) in reply to hungrier
    hungrier:
    Not only that, but boldface far predates computers.

    Actually, when I saw that, I assumed they meant on ancient dot matrix printers or something, then I saw the crack about the 90s (or should that be 'the cleavage about the 90ties?') and I knew Dan J was pulling my leg.

  • aliceif (disco) in reply to boomzilla

    Fun fact: This story does in fact contain HTML comments.

  • boomzilla (disco) in reply to aliceif

    I kind of hate that crap. But then I guess I have pulled that sort of stunt in my posts. But then there's an easy way to see them without having to resort to viewing source.

    ...Well, they didn't address much that was interesting at least.

  • JBert (disco) in reply to boomzilla

    Does Discourse hide a "raw" button somewhere? Because I haven't found it.


    Filed under: Discointuitive

  • aliceif (disco) in reply to JBert
    Comment held for moderation.
  • boomzilla (disco) in reply to JBert
    JBert:
    Does Discourse hide a "raw" button somewhere? Because I haven't found it.

    No, although you can modify the URL to see it. Alternatively, you can click reply and do a full quote to see that stuff (often somewhat mangled due to escaping, of course). There is a raw option on edit history (if the post has been edited and the user allows the public to see his edits). TL4+ can edit posts and therefore get a quick raw view.

  • JBert (disco) in reply to boomzilla
    Comment held for moderation.
  • discoursebot (disco) in reply to JBert
    Comment held for moderation.
  • CaptainOblivious (disco) in reply to boomzilla
    /slashes/ are italics, _underscores_ are underlining, and *stars* are bold.
    

    And I remember computers having bold by having the printer backspace and retype the character. Underlining was backspace followed by underscore. I even remember a program that gathered up all the backspaced characters and converted them to a single carriage return followed by the appropriate overwritten characters, so the print head didn't have to wildly oscillate. On CRTs, VT100 control codes could generate bold and underline, too.

  • John_Imrie (disco) in reply to boomzilla

    bold /italics/

    At least that's what you get in Thunderbird

  • boomzilla (disco) in reply to CaptainOblivious
    CaptainOblivious:
    /slashes/ are italics, \_underscores_ are underlining, and \*stars* are bold.

    Crazytalk.

  • aliceif (disco) in reply to CaptainOblivious
    Comment held for moderation.
  • John_Imrie (disco) in reply to John_Imrie

    Discourse does its own thing apparently

  • xaade (disco) in reply to CaptainOblivious
    CaptainOblivious:
    /slashes/ are italics, _underscores_ are underlining, and *stars* are bold.

    And I remember computers having bold by having the printer backspace and retype the character. Underlining was backspace followed by underscore. I even remember a program that gathered up all the backspaced characters and converted them to a single carriage return followed by the appropriate overwritten characters, so the print head didn't have to wildly oscillate. On CRTs, VT100 control codes could generate bold and underline, too.

    You could do bold fonts with a font that didn't have a bold weight using that technique. You could do bold fonts in typewriters by using that technique. You could do bold fonts with a printing press using that technique.

    Oh, and that's how I write in bold too.

  • CaptainOblivious (disco) in reply to xaade

    That's a bold statement to make, my friend.

  • Keith (disco) in reply to Keith
    Keith:
    That's a bold statement.

    Filed under: Literally

    CaptainOblivious:
    That's a bold statement to make, my friend.

    *cough*

  • dkf (disco) in reply to CaptainOblivious
    CaptainOblivious:
    I remember computers having bold by having the printer backspace and retype the character. Underlining was backspace followed by underscore.

    And italics required changing the ball head in the printer, so you avoided them unless it was super-important.

  • boomzilla (disco) in reply to Keith
    Keith:
    \*cough*

    Double asterisks favor the bold.

  • DrArclight (disco)

    This reminds me a bit of my own beginnings. I grew up with computers, starting with a TRS-80 that connected to a TV. When I got to High School, the Comp. Sci. teacher recognized that I was already beyond his knowledge and began handing me challenges that would push my abilities. One day, I needed access to something on the network that was not available. I asked for permission and he said "Well, here's the deal... The Librarian, Myself, and the Consultant that set up the network got into a bit of a power struggle for the Admin account. The consultant moved away, I was never given Admin rights, and the Librarian lost the password. We've been without any Admin access for 3 years. Fortunately the student and teacher logins are generic and numbered and we haven't needed any changes."

    Challenge accepted!

    The system was Novell Netware 3.11 By the end of that class period I had discovered a login that was the name of the consulting company (four letters). On a lark, I typed the password in as the name spelled backwards. Access Granted. I was staring at the Admin menu. After class I told the teacher what I'd discovered. He stopped me before I told him the login. He didn't want to know. Plausible deniability. That was my sophomore year. I maintained the network as de-facto Admin for the next three years. Fixed all the problems, added printers, etc. Nobody ever found out. The Librarian was unpleasant so nobody ever told her that the Comp. Sci. teacher suddenly and mysteriously had a contact that was able to fix any problem with the network.

    When I graduated, I left the password with him and went on to college. Health issues prevented me from finishing, so 4 years after graduating I was back in my home town looking for my first real job. I was contacted by a friend in the school Admin and told that the current IT person was having issues. I was brought in as a consultant to fix things. My first discovery was an "NT Administration for Dummies" book open on top of a $15,000 server that was running Tetris. That was the only application installed. A month in, the schools were all linked up, the network was running mostly flawlessly, and the existing IT guy was suddenly and unceremoniously let go. There was an "official" interview period, but it was just a formality. I moved on from consultant to full-time. It was a good first job, but I eventually became disenchanted with the politics involved. I was having a difficult time being the only person responsible for a network that had grown to over 2000 machines, 90% of which were used by children. The "solution" to hire a manager to manage my time. He would make all the decisions and I'd just do the work. He had previously been a counselor, had never actually owned a computer of his own, and his core experience was with a laptop running Windows 95. That was a Friday. I quit on Monday. Still miss the salary from that job, but don't miss the headaches. It did, however, establish my reputation in the community and my abilities, and I was able to quickly get another job that fits me better.

  • Tsaukpaetra (disco) in reply to DrArclight
    Brent_Davidson:
    the Comp. Sci. teacher recognized that I was already beyond his knowledge and began handing me challenges that would push my abilities.
    Lucky! I was half expelled in my Junior High's Typing class for creating a hidden folder to protect my work on the network drive. Apparently the school couldn't afford to have user profiles for all of their students, so they just had a public folder for everyone, and the more savvy of the jerks would go through and go about griefing other student's stuff. This of course was before the term "griefing" actually existed.

    So, as punishment for my l33t haxorz I was sent back to Physical Education for the rest of the semester. I showed them all up when I got approval to bring my own laptop in and use it for the duration of my High School career... I was the only one and have been the only one to do so for the previous ten years and later three years post graduation. 'course now everyone has phones, so it's not that big of a deal... -.-

  • mott555 (disco) in reply to boomzilla
    boomzilla:
    WTF. Everyone knows those asterisks mean Italics you might get italics if you're lucky. Completely ruined the article.

     

  • PJH (disco) in reply to JBert
    Comment held for moderation.
  • redwizard (disco) in reply to DrArclight
    Comment held for moderation.
  • Eldelshell (disco) in reply to redwizard

    I guess the thinking is: our tech guy is wasting too much time managing his time, bureaucracy, etc so we hire someone to focus on this and let him focus on his abilities. At that's pretty much why all projects have a PM or PO, to protect the devs from all that crap (of course if they're doing their job properly that is)

  • Zylon (disco)

    Given the title, most of you are expecting a story that goes as follows: Boy meets girl. Girl writes phone number inside a book in a used book store. Ten years pass and boy searches for book. Boy finds book and gets girl.

    No, Bruce, I wasn't expecting that at all. I very much doubt even a single person reading this was expecting that. What an oddly specific thing for you to have written.

  • hungrier (disco) in reply to Zylon
    Comment held for moderation.
  • Scarlet_Manuka (disco)

    It seems to me that the sort of person who would build up a successful IT career from seeing a misplaced login is also the sort of person who would build a successful IT career from any reasonable starting point.

    He explored the systems he had access to and learned about them, and he actively sought ways to help other people out with what he had learned rather than just using them for his own benefit. If you do those things, in most cases you'll go pretty far.

  • mratt (disco) in reply to Tsaukpaetra
    Tsaukpaetra:
    Lucky! I was half expelled in my Junior High's Typing class for creating a hidden folder to protect my work on the network drive.

    I got banned from the sole (leased!? but unsupported) Windows 3.11 PC in my Year 6 (6th grade) classroom because I removed and reinstalled the printer drivers and was observed using the DOS prompt.

  • mratt (disco)

    At my employer we have outsourced help-desk, and further outsourced support for office machines (printers etc). Someone, in their infinite wisdom, had engaged office machine support with a next business day SLA. Sadly, the help-desk SLA allowed a couple of weeks to pass before office machine support jobs were lodged.

    Even worse, during last financial year the CIO department just about ran out of money, so their support contract was slowed right down. The SLA for support for single-user, single-machine issues was relaxed to 30 business days - yes, six+ weeks to get a machine re-imaged because it constantly crashed, etc.

    (Obviously, this is Government...)

  • kupfernigk (disco) in reply to redwizard
    Comment held for moderation.
  • kupfernigk (disco) in reply to mratt
    mratt:
    I got banned from the sole (leased!? but unsupported) Windows 3.11 PC in my Year 6 (6th grade) classroom because I removed and reinstalled the printer drivers and was observed using the DOS prompt.

    Doubtless that was classed as "Defense against the dark arts."

  • Gaska (disco) in reply to kupfernigk
    Comment held for moderation.
  • SimpleSimon (disco)

    Anybody remember the Cats screensaver on Windows 95? For some unknown reason this was installed on several of the computers at our school. Adjusting the settings to allow maximum cats landed me straight in detention!

  • chubertdev (disco) in reply to mratt
    mratt:
    I got banned from the sole (leased!? but unsupported) Windows 3.11 PC in my Year 6 (6th grade) classroom because I removed and reinstalled the printer drivers and was observed using the DOS prompt.

    Sounds like what happened to me in 7th grade.

  • Gaska (disco) in reply to Gaska
    Comment held for moderation.
  • discoursebot (disco) in reply to Gaska
    Comment held for moderation.
  • Zainab58 (disco)

    the sum total of IT knowledge was non-existent

    I don't understand. The sum might be zero, or it might be undefined if nobody had ever bothered to add it up, but how could it be nonexistent?

  • Gaska (disco) in reply to Zainab58

    You and your fancy dynamic languages... Here in static world, nothing+nothing equals nothing, and isn't cast to 0 or NaN until you say so.

Leave a comment on “Serendipity”

Log In or post as a guest

Replying to comment #:

« Return to Article