Wednesday, 11 February 2009

Can't blog. No coffee.

The coffee maker broke this morning. That's it, I can't blog until I get a new one. There is no life without coffee, therefore there is no blog, no recreation, no work, nothing. 


Monday, 9 February 2009

George Orwell would be proud

Our company computer network is attached to a national VPN network which is incredibly secure. Nothing gets through the firewall. Whenever I have to do maintenance on one of my machines or install software, new drivers, whatever, I have to call out west and have the machine "unlocked". The technician 2,500 kms away will stroke a few keys, and through the IP address on the offending computer will allow me access to do what I need to do. 

It's very Orwellian watching the mouse begin to move on it's own. I know that on the other side of Canada some guy I will never meet is poking around our computers. He can see everything anytime. There is really nothing stopping them from pulling this without our knowledge. One day I received a prompt while trying to shut down; "there are currently 12 people connected through your ethernet network. Are you sure you want to shut down?" Uh, yeah, I thought, why is anyone connected? Such is life in a big company.

Here's the point. Last night I dreamt that my stove broke. I had to call out west and give the technician the IP address of the stove so he could reboot it. It seemed to have worked, I just finished dinner.

Is it obvious that I have spent waaaaaaay too much time with these techs this week? Now they're in my dreams. I'm so lucky that none of our computers have web cams. That's all I need is a phone call saying I don't think you shaved this morning.

We're a year into this network. Prior to this we were a small back country publishing company with computers older than my car, and software that was outdated when I was in college. It's a wonder we ever published anything. Then Big Brother came in and "fixed" things. They hooked us up to the network, upgraded our software and wrote new rules. Some of my co-workers have had a very difficult time adjusting to this. When I hooked up everybody's new email last year the most common question was "can they read my messages?"

Well, yeah, it' s their company, they can do what they want. So back off on the stupid porn jokes. They may not appreciate the humour.

I have to admit the change has been frustrating for me as well. I have been the network tech here for years, and now with every new machine I get a little more control is taken away. The thirty or so computers I maintain have been my responsibility as well as my fault. If anything goes wrong, it was all me. Now, with the secure network, things go wrong more and I have to phone out west for remote repair. Here's the kicker - they're three hours behind us. That means that when our computers fail to connect up at 9am, we have to wait until noon for service. Nice. The mandate now is that nobody can crash until noon. So far, everyone has been pretty good with that. Our staff is cooperating fully with the new rules. Hell, some don't even bother turning their computers on until 11:30, just in case.

Maybe we should just change our hours to mountain time and start sleeping in. 

But I will have to run home before 7 to cook. Just in case.