By - Sharky

Help wanted

This company has been growing for the past couple of decades by acquiring smaller companies that do similar things. In the process, it acquires a lot of solutions these companies had developed, as well as the solutions’ accompanying code. Of course, the acquiring company has been less keen on retaining all the engineers who wrote that code, and year by

By - Sharky

Throwback Thursday: Doesn’t ‘new’ mean ‘perfect’?

Server goes bad in this data center, and pilot fish draws the job of overseeing its replacement. Once plans for the new hardware’s installation are in place, fish notifies his boss of the schedule — and gets a reply: “Noted and thanks. So I will assume this is the only system that is down and that the planned migration scheduled

By - Sharky

It’s all been documented

Pilot fish is document control analyst for a massive update and redesign of several dozen systems. Early in the multi-year process he is sent guidelines for naming the documents so that they can be easily identified within a matrix of system development steps. But it’s months later when the documents start arriving. Some have been given names that are pretty

By - Sharky

Hello? Hello?

It’s pilot fish’s turn to do after-hours support, and as usual, nothing happens. He gets no calls all night. But the next day a co-worker messages him to find out why he hadn’t answered the phone when he called the night before. Fish checks his phone for notifications of missed calls; nothing. They wrangle over this for a bit. Did

By - Sharky

Memory-Lane Monday: Even worse than you thought

This government agency has cashiers’ stations for handling transactions with the public, and the treasurer’s office decides it needs new software to run those stations, according to a pilot fish in IT. And there’s going to be one sign-on and password for all the stations, brag the higher-ups. Bad idea, protest all the IT programmers and system administrators. For one

By - Sharky

Throwback Thursday: Hardly worth mentioning

This pilot fish does some freelance IT work, and one of his regular clients comes to him with a strange problem. “A Linux server at his customer’s remote location had a Samba mount of a Windows server’s share,” says fish. “Every day at around 9:30 a.m., like clockwork, the Linux server would stop responding to any requests on this mounted

By - Sharky

Thumper

It’s the late ’70s and pilot fish is a student operator in a small college’s computer room, where there’s a midrange system that’s a bit balky and temperamental. The vendor is called in from time to time, but of course, the machine works flawlessly anytime vendor support shows up. Between those visits, the machine continues to go down, but fish