Sleeping (1 of 2)

Sleeping (1 of 2), originally uploaded by pr9000.

A friend asked me to tell the story of why I'm so frustrated with my job today. I obliged ... it's long, but it came out so quickly that I feel changing a word would be a sin.

It's a story about documentation. The old IT director didn't write a thing down. I've spent countless (billable) hours fixing mistakes I made because I've had to make changes to systems about which I know very few specifics.

Latest example: our backup software needed to be patched. So I ran the installer, rebooted and my server suddenly lost all its config files, and said I didn't have a valid license.

Of course, the serial info isn't filed away anywhere. Oh, and the software is written by a company in Germany. It's 3 p.m. CST when this happens.

Long story short: the old IT guy did a very unconventional install – installing the Unix guts of the app on a second partition –and didn't document it, or do the symlinks correctly, because the patcher had NO IDEA the guts of the app were on a second partition.

(Stupid Facebook character limitations ...)

So the patch did what it was told to do and installed a new copy of the app in the proper location. I backed up before I patched, and now I'm trying to restore the config from the backup.


Also, the 80 GB boot drive of this PPC Xserve was partitioned into "Boot" and "Scratch." Guess which partition had the critical data? If you guessed "The one named after a notepad" you'd be right. Maybe it's some voodoo server naming convention about which I'm unaware, but in the graphic arts field –did I mention this is a video house? – a scratch disc is one that can be deleted without worry, because its contents are just temp files that can be recreated.

Also also, why partition ONE SINGLE DRIVE? The tech note said some installs could be done on separate volumes to keep the DB from filling the drive. Makes sense, and might explain the decision. But two partitions != two drives!

I am forever amazed at the crap sandwich I've inherited. There is no excuse not to document your installs – none whatsoever.

There might be an excuse to choose a vendor LOCATED ON ANOTHER CONTINENT in a country KNOWN FOR INVADING ITS NEIGHBORS EVERY SO OFTEN. There might be an excuse to say "Sun won't support our tape library" if you haven't, you know, CALLED SUN TO SEE IF THEY STILL WRITE CONTRACTS ON IT. There might be an excuse to keep some Adobe app install jewel cases, but not all, and then NOT KEEP THE INSTALL DISC, thus FORCING ME TO GO GRAB A TORRENT OFF THE INTERWEBS and break the law because Adobe won't send me an installer disc for old software.

I'm sorry, I've lost my train of thought.

Anyway, there's your story. Sorry to rant, but really, his head's probably stuck in his armpit because I doubt he could find his ass in the first place.

And here it is in Facebook:

1 comment:

Laura said...

Oh goodness! This sounds like a nightmare! I took over a position from someone once who was like this. Why can't people just be organized? Sheesh!