What a Long Strange Trip It’s been

So it’s been a while since I’ve posted. Maybe I should resolve – after all the New Year’s resolutions have passed – to write more here. After a day’s worth of emails though, somehow the words just don’t quite come as easily.

School started back today, thankfully we are bit isolated from that in my group at the University. The pressure on others around us goes up a bit, which means our pressure goes up a bit, but other than that, things seem to be moving along well.

I have a lot of things relevant to post in BinaryPage – so maybe we’ll get to them over the next several days. This includes some commentary on Norton Antivirus for the Macintosh (some not very nice commentary), happenings in storage around the University and how it affects us, comments on new and updated recommended applications for Macintosh OS X, I really want to follow up with the campus paper that came out of the academic side of IT at NC State (called Layer 8) with my own little treatise on the matter called “Layer 10” – which talks about how you build innovation into an organization, and why really successful business plans have innovation at their core, and why most people don’t seem to get that.

A little Perl, a little PHP, a lot Macintosh, and a whole lot of communication and cat herding. Such is 2005 in the land of a University System Admin.

Happy New (School) Year.

Answers to Questions

So in a following from last week. I posted the answers and the scoring guide to the Email Header Quiz.

I was pleasantly pleased with the results. And I hope people found it useful, and more that they learned from it. I think out of everything, that’s my greatest passion and desire in my job: make a difference by providing educational opportunities for people. That is harder to do at a University than one would think. It’s certainly harder in staff and IT positions than it should be.

Edumacation

Little things matter.

And so does understanding and being able to work through the “little things” – trying to instill that, and to educate, and to remind the advanced staff of the fundamentals, and to provide those fundamentals to new staff, is a passion of mine.

So I created a quiz for our helpdesk and peer staff. For all 1.5 readers of this blog. Feel free to play along with the home game by mailing me your answers.

Now what remains to be seen is the response rate I’ll get. Typically, this is dismal. Everyone wants “education” – they rarely want to make the effort to receive it.

Jabber, Aaaaaaugh

I spent a great deal of time this past Friday trying to debug what appeared to be a problem with AdiumX (really, libgaim) and our jabber server. I went way deeper than I should have, and ended up with absolutely no resolution to the problem. It basically turned out that somehow jabber’s “DIGEST-MD5” hash didn’t match AdiumX/libgaim’s DIGEST-MD5 hash and things just didn’t work, for me at least. Peeler and Billy, two of my co-workers worked fine. Oh well, I learned a lot about the Jabber server. Enough to be a backup for Josh.

( funny, AdiumX 0.72 came out today (er, yesterday) which includes libgaim 1.03 which includes a “Jabber Authentication Fix” – if it’s this one, it well may have been the problem I spent incredible amounts of time trying to track down, at least I learned a few things )

After trying this out after midnight and re-enabling sasl, either 1) this isn’t my problem or 2) its still broke or 3) I had some other problem, and testing with the 0.72beta – which had a debug menu that I needed – meant that it wasn’t broken before 0.72(beta) and is broken now.

Sigh.

Various

So I’m managing to get along with Firefox so far at work. I’m forcing myself to use it by having dumped my Safari bookmarks over to it using the Safari Bookmarks exporter and by clearing out the Safari bookmarks and turning off the bookmarks .Mac synchronization on the office machine. I even removed it from the Dock.

I still haven’t switched at home though. I have somewhat less need for the extensions there.

It’s been an interesting week as a System Admin / System Admin Manager.

Read on…