Yes, it is time for the twelfth annual SysAdminDay coming up in two weeks. I must have missed the first eleven of them somehow, but I plan on celebrating in style this time around.
Stay tuned for the contest details at the end of this post.
Yes, those underappreciated folks that build your servers, debug your SQL code to keep it from getting injected, reroute your network cables, balance your loads, and all the other tasks to keep your applications infrastructure humming along. I was never a sysadmin, although I did do my fair share of tech support back in the days of DOS. We had our share of people who didn’t turn computers on (or even plug them in), users formatting their drives to see what happens, and people sending us photocopies of their floppies when we asked them to see what was wrong with the disks.
I just love the SysAdmin Day website above, it is a great time waster. There you can find gift suggestions to give your favorite SysAdmin (ThinkGeek is all over this sort of thing, rightly so, down to their LED Blade Runner-style umbrellas), humor, video clips. You can spend your time checking out their rogue’s gallery of bad cabling installations and cartoons, along with clips from previous year’s celebrations. Missing is my favorite TV show, “The IT Crowd” that ran on BBC awhile back. (Season 2 is the best.)
But lately, things are not so much fun and games anymore. The Internet is a dark place, where evil lurks on every router junction and underneath each seemingly harmless Acrobat file. You can get infected from just visiting a Web site, let alone downloading anything from it. You can’t be running an old browser version, because there are people Out There who will take advantage of your ancient software and send you nice little exploits that will live on your hard drive and make your life miserable. You can’t be too careful, which is why it is time to appreciate your favorite SysAdmin in a couple of weeks.
So here’s my deal. Those of you who live within a few hundred miles of the St. Louis area and would like to qualify for a free lunch, I am serious, send me a note and tell me your most outrageous end user support story, suitable for framing and posting around the Interwebs. The funniest one wins lunch. If you don’t live nearby, you can still enter the contest and I will take you out to lunch when I am next in your city, or when our Foursquare check-ins next intersect in meatspace. Decision of the judges is final, and not valid in Alaska. Post your comments right here.