Diary of a Network Geek

The trials and tribulations of a Certified Novell Engineer who's been stranded in Houston, Texas.


Technical Update

Filed under: Deep Thoughts,Fun Work,Geek Work,Linux,Novell — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Dog which is in the evening time or 8:02 pm for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waning Gibbous

I spent the majority of my day with the pre-sales engineer from Novell today.
And, that was a good thing. I learned a number of things today. (If you’re a non-geek or don’t feel like asking me to translate this into English for you, feel free to skip down to the paragraph break.) First, the bug I reported yesterday was totally false. The problem with Novell’s Open Enterprise Server running on SuSE Linux was that I’m so old school and security conscious. “How’s that?” you ask? Simple, I had a password that started with a dollar sign character. How’s that a problem? Well, it’s like this. The GUI installer takes the information to install eDirectory, Novell’s premier claim to fame, and throws it all at a command-line installer at a hidden console window. Sadly, in bash, the standard Linux shell, when you throw an unescaped “$” at the prompt programatically, it thinks you’re trying to define a string variable. That little misunderstanding throws the command-line eDirectory installer for a loop and it sits there, at its hidden console, prompting for a password and patiently waiting for you to supply it. Then, it misinterprets that and fails. Once the eDirectory install fails, everything afterward, that relies on eDirectory, also fails.
In other words, because I have more admin experience than Novell’s guys in the field and I’m committed to using secure passwords, I found a bug that no one thought to look for EVER BEFORE.

The other thing I learned today is that I know a hell of a lot about all kinds of strange, esoteric, varied and otherwise unrelated computer stuff. And, that is very, very cool.
Now, I’m going to go do something. No, I don’t know what and neither will you. Tomorrow, I’ll post something else. Good night.


  1. You’re hilarious. Fighting your geekness and proud of it at the same time. It’s hell buster! 😉

    Comment by Mark — 2/17/2006 @ 8:56 pm

  2. Um yeah. That SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO sucks when that happens.

    Or uh, well, F*ck… I have no clue!

    I think your geekiness is so cute.

    Talk NERDY to me!! hahaha

    Comment by Blondie — 2/17/2006 @ 10:26 pm

  3. Yes, Mark, I am Geek hear me squeak! Seriously, being a hardcore geek pays pretty well and, except for that time around the Enron “incident” has kept me employeed fairly consistently. But, I notice that there aren’t any “hot” guys in the media that are geeks. As a single man, I find this a disturbing trend.

    Blondie, later, I can explain it all to you again. Now, if only there were more available girls who were interested in hearing me talk all nerdy… Anyway, thanks for ego stroke. I can work with “cute”. 😉

    Comment by the Network Geek — 2/18/2006 @ 7:18 am

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