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Wednesday, November 30, 2005

My Life as My Company's Backup Computer Guy

I had my geek hat on almost all day yesterday (figure of speech; no actual headwear was involved): I had to take the huge, high-quality color laser printer away from the receptionist and give it to New Boss in Training, then go to Staples and buy a new cheap printer for the receptionist.

To be fair, she was glad to be rid of the color laser, because of the bureaucratic firestorm and finger-pointing sessions that erupted every time an ink cartridge had to be ordered at $80 a pop (and print cylinders at $200 each). It would inevitably end in a delay in ordering the cartridges, and a delay in her getting her work done, which would usually get her in trouble.

Now that headache is no longer hers.

Anyway, most of the rest of the day was spent setting up a couple of new computers for our people — and when I say new, I mean used castoff crumbs from our High Holy Corporate Office that were too shabby to continue to disgrace their environs, but which are still better than what our people were using (one of our computers that was being replaced still had an ISA slot!) and we should be grateful to have them, and our jobs too.

Seriously, though: I took the liberty of opening up one of the units, and it was actually pretty cool: It was an IBM, and about the same size, shape and weight of the IBM PS2 that I bought in 1992. But unlike my 92 model, which I couldn’t get into even after taking out all the screws and snipping off three metal tabs, this newer model popped right open, with a hinged cover raising up from the back, and the front panel, with all its drive carriages tilted up as well for easy maintenance. The unit was still awfully small, meaning it could only hold one disc drive and one hard drive, the hard drive is SATA (meaning the cable is smaller than the standard ribbon cable) and the floppy ribbon cable is paper-thin.

Everything was so tiny (at least compared to my 27" Antec case, which gives me plenty of room to move around), it was downright cute, just like a kitten.

Anyway, I finally got the first one installed today; there were problems with transferring the email backups, and it was a total mother-duck having to crawl under the desk and work with the too-short cords on the back of her old computer.

It occurred to me that when I was studying for my A+ certification, there was no mention of how much PC technicians have to roll around on dirty carpet. If being a geek were like being a Boy Scout, we'd have a special merit badge that showed the underside of a desk, on a background of office carpet.

Anyway, I finally got it done today, which was good because NBiT was on my back about it, and I only had a couple of hours a day (when the user was at lunch or gone for the day). At three today, when the end was almost in sight, my department manager suddenly wanted to go over a project with me, and I told her I HAD to finish this today, and she said what she had would only take a few minutes, which blossomed into a quarter.

I'm not exactly sure what it was we went over, because I still had my mind on the computer transfer.

Gotta keep your eyes on the prize.

Anyway, my geek streak continued this morning, when Outgoing Boss had me take his vacation pictures off his wife's digital camera and burn them to a disk.

Such is the life of the backup geek ...


(PS: Thanks much for reading my post -- now visit my blog! Or my other blog!)

Good times!
Little House on the Prairie!
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