Philosophy of the Day

I’m not a religious man. However, I do recognize good wisdom when I see it and acknowledge that the Christian bible does indeed have a plethora of those words of wisdom.

To wit:

“Do not be misled: Bad company corrupts good character.” – 1 Corinthians 15:33

I guess, after today’s day at work, this one hits a bit close to home for me.

Assignment Accepted…

Over at A Girl’s place, she shares an article from ART about a shooting in Oregon. Threw a comment over there, but figured I’d repost it here, because, well, I can…

The scenario is described thusly:

Imagine standing in line at the grocery store waiting as your spouse pays for your purchases.  As your spouse keys in the pin number for the debit card, a man behind you in line…pushes past you and begins trying to see the numbers your spouse is inputting on the keypad.  You tell the man to step back.  He ignores you and continues to try to get a closer look at your spouse’s pin number.  What do you do?

Interesting scenario.

When out with my family, my view has always been essentially: people get one warning to step away; my family’s personal space is my personal space.

He gets a warning, which also means he gets a choice. He gets to choose whether he wants to escalate the situation or not.

So, how would one train for that scenario? I don’t think you can. I think all one can do is be aware of your surroundings, observe people, be cordial and polite, and ensure you have the necessary tools (and skills to use them) when needed.

What if the perp has positioned himself between you and your spouse? Then he gets a warning.

But what if he doesn’t comply? He already had a warning and he chose to escalate the situation to physical contact. Like it or not, you’re now engaged.

But what if he’s bigger than you? Doesn’t matter. You’re engaged and he got a warning.

But what if?

Be aware of what’s happening around you. Stand up and take action.

Or, in this case, distilled down to its simplest form: shoot, move, and communicate — not necessarily in that order.


Presidential candidates are engaged at this very moment in the third and final debate…

…and Wikipedia is also amazingly slow, bordering on down completely.

I wonder if the revisionists are furiously editing away.

This is Not Documentation

In a large enterprise network, one so large and complex that it takes a staff of, say, 25 or 30 sysadmins to keep it running, this statement doesn’t even come close to serving as useful documentation:

1. Kickstart CentOS. This is a standard kickstart using Cobbler.


What then?

Where is the Cobbler server?

How does one normally access it?

Who controls the administrative logins for Cobbler?

To which network or VLAN is it connected?

Is there DHCP on that network?

Where do we obtain IP addresses?

Who controls DNS?

What procedures are there for inventory control?

Do you have an exact, real-world example that can be used to guide us?

“Wow, that’s a lot of questions. Are you sure you’re a senior sysadmin? Why can’t you just do this?”

Well, I thought I was until I started reading something called documentation.

The best documentation will begin with an outline of the task or project, have a list of specific things that must be done, and also provide a real-world, step by step example of exactly what must be done to accomplish it along with enough information to educate your administrators about how and why things are done the way they are so they can make independent decisions.

Doing this may be perfectly obvious to the person who designed it, installed it, and has been maintaining it for the last ten years. But giving your otherwise experienced admins vague answers, or worse, sarcasm for not knowing what you know, will lead to frustration and alienation.