I'm really happy that one of our biggest clients has raised some concerns with our internal security processes, so I've actually got some leverage to force some unpopular changes on people.

"I can set you up to work from home, sure. Do you have your own laptop?"

I'm handed an old Macbook running a Chinese edition of Windows 7 under Boot Camp, which pops up a million blinking and flashing windows full of ads when you log in.

"OK, here's one of our spare laptops, this is how you start the VPN and here's a remote desktop link that'll just let you use your regular desktop PC from home."

Found a system configured to consolidate its backups on the same disk as the content being backed up, before transfer to another system.

The upshot here is that as soon as the disk usage goes over 50%, it surges to 100% every time the backup is run, so the disk perpetually needs to be twice as big as it needs to be ...

Yeah I think there's room for some optimisation in this process.

As of today I've been a professional Unix sysadmin for 20 years. I'd been dicking around with stuff before then for myself (I didn't come into the role without a clue), but in 2000 I started my first ever job where one of my primary responsibilities was the care and feeding of some "serious" machines - Digital Unix and IRIX mainly.

I really need an exit strategy. I don't want to do this for 20 more.

It amazes me that pretty much anything that involves interacting with physical objects around here gets added to the 'Systems Admin' queue. Right now there's a job there to replace the filter in the kitchen's chilled water dispenser. Definitely a task that requires my expertise in Unix administration.

"Hi Mike, I need immediate access to some files that are on an old laptop that was replaced a year ago, in the home directory of someone who hasn't worked here for 4 years. It is very urgent."

Just closed a ticket that'd been open for nearly five years. I'm not expecting the delay in fixing the problem to cause any complaints, as I was the one that reported the issue.

Eliminated the last (for now) cause of occasional slowdowns on a system by slapping myself on the back of the head retroactively and adding a semaphore file check to a cleanup job.

Turns out that thinking to yourself "well it can't possibly take longer than 3 hours to run this ..." absolutely guarantees that of course once every few days it'll end up running two copies at once.

The highlight of today's incident was receiving an email from someone telling me that they were unable to send email. I'm equally amazed that a) they thought that would work and b) it did.

Had some completely nonsensical issues with mail today, which uncovered a five-year-old configuration error on a critical server, but that didn't have the common decency to actually be the cause of the damned problem.

A real situation I once had to deal with: a daemon running on a box, listening on a port exposed to the internet, that recompiled and restarted itself every time code changes were checked in to its SVN repo, by anyone in the company.

There's a special kind of anxiety just for preparing to delete a virtual machine off a server, where suddenly you no longer believe your backups work at all or that your right arm will suddenly twitch and you'll delete the wrong thing.

Just spent a bit of time scratching my head and reading NFS man pages to see if there'd been major changes that I'd missed, when it turned out I'd just typed in the wrong IP address.

*visualises a calm blue ocean*






*calm blue ocean*

*calm blue ocean*

I just had to disable a user's email account because they had a really dumb out-of-office auto reply set up that replied to everything, even itself and non-delivery reports, and I was all "Is it 1996 again somehow?"

How did I reach this low point of spending my day setting up Active Directory OU structures and deploying Group Policy settings to Windows desktops? Where did it all go wrong?

It's time to go home when you discover after 45 minutes of frustrating work that the reason this desktop computer isn't picking up the network policy changes is that its network cable isn't plugged in.

Yes, look, I do want to help you solve this issue with the payroll submission, as I have a strong desire for it to work. I am very keen to get to the bottom of this error you're experiencing.

I did not need you, however, to attach a plain text copy of all the payroll data for all staff to the email you sent about the problem.

You're lucky you sent it to a sysadmin who already has access to everything. If you'd sent this off-site, my tone would be quite different right now.

I think I finally found the cause of some performance issues that have been bugging me for months. Looks like a minor config error, basically not much more than a typo. Computers are fun!

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