So, it’s been a while since I told you about what’s been going on at the House (my codename for my employer). There’s been lot’s happening, so I’ve written about as much as I could below.
It’s something you don’t notice at first, but after a while you realise that some people are really appreciative of your help and some just take it for granted. Now, in some cases, they’re right. It’s your job to help them and try to resolve any IT issues they may have. But sometimes they ask you to go much further than that call of duty. Some people also ask you to sort out things that you shouldn’t have to support, that are beyond the scope of the House and your knowledge. Often I don’t mind because I have the time, so I’m willing to help them but it makes you really rethink doing it when they don’t even thank you at the end. This is particularly true when you can’t solve their problem. Funny, but also annoying is when they ask for help with issues cause by the person’s own stupidity. As long as they don’t take all my time, I’m OK with that, but really they should learn from their mistakes. For example, there was a mystery for a long time about how the desktop icons on one of the Big Bosses’ computer would keep on disappearing. Recently I received an email about it and I quote it here for you:
“We have definitely solved the problem of [Redacted]’s icons disappearing. When the network is down, if you try to access them, it asks you “Do you want to remove icon?”. [Redacted] then says “Yes” and it disappears.”
On the other hand, you’ve got people who are super grateful for any help you give them. I’m yet to have any, but some people even give the Professor chocolates and stuff for helping them, even when it’s just little, normal things. It’s a bit over the top, but still super nice.
Employee Notebook Program
Recently, it came time to upgrade the notebooks of some of the employees. They’re on a three year plan, so anyone who had a particular model or older could opt in to get a new notebook. However, this year was a bit different because they not only had the option of a Dell like usual, but they could choose a MacBook Pro instead if they wanted. Because some of the software they have to use only run on Windows, the Macbooks had VMware Fusion on them. Out of around 40 people, 14 chose the Macs. Some of them chose a Mac because they use software that suits a Mac, some of them chose one because they’re use to using them outside of work, but some chose them just because they could. I think they thought they’d be cool, or ahead of the wave choosing a Mac, but really they’re just causing themselves pain.
The Dells were the exact same model as last year, so getting an image together for them wasn’t too hard, and we were able to fix a few old bugs that existed. The MacBooks turned out to be much more troublesome. I wasn’t very involved with constructing the image, but I was around enough to seethe trouble they were having. In the end, a lot of the content had to be copied onto hard drives and then onto each machine rather than being part of the image that we ghosted out using DeployStudio. Handing them out was delayed by about a week, and we’re still working out the kinks. One thing we have finally gotten mostly working is Outlook on the Mac, which was blocked in our server settings because it uses a different method of access to on PC. The good thing is though, if there’s something someone can’t do currently on the Mac, they can use VMware to do it in Windows until it’s sorted out.
Power supplies failing
Earlier in the year, we had a growing number of power supplies failing in a particular model of desktop PC. It seems that the thermostat in the power supply that’s suppose to turn the fan on when it gets to a certain temperature wasn’t working, and they were overheating instead. They start smoking, and smelling, and that’s when we’d get called out. When we realised it was a common problem amongst the model, Mr Chief called our supplier up to get them replaced or “repaired”. Repairing them involves pulling them open and just shorting out the thermostat so that the fan spins all the time. It doesn’t sound like the best idea, but it does the job, so that’s what they’ve been doing.
Mr Chief has finally decided to get all the iPads fixed up directly though Apple because our reseller was ripping us off for repairs and replacements. They were charging much more, sometimes even more than double what Apple directly charges. They were rating the damage as much more severe than it really was, and so they were making us pay for full replacement iPads at an inflated price and taking the broken one away. The only advantages was the courier service, but that was so slow and tedious, it isn’t a big loss. We’re now just going to bring them to the closest Apple store and get them fixed or replaced there.
Fun in the City
A while ago, the House held an event in the city for clients over a number of days, and because they were using their iPads I was sent along as IT support. It was a bit ridiculous because the whole thing was so straight-forward from an IT point of view, and they had done so much preparation that I wasn’t really needed. I had a bit of fun though, and I got paid for it, so I can’t complain.
Soon, we’re going to be audited by some outside authority about our IT practices etc. I’m really interested to know WHO’s auditing us, but no one’s told me. It means we’re doing a mad rush all month to fix all the switches and server and everything. It needed to be done, but it’s funny that you need the push of an audit to do it. I’ll tell you more about it when it’s over.
I also wanted to tell you about how one of the switch stacks was playing up previously, but since this post is so long already and it takes so much explaining, I’ll tell you in a separate post.
As always, if you have something to say, feel free to tell me in the comments below, or on the new Facebook fan page.