Diary of a Network Geek

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


UnMovie Friday

Filed under: Life, the Universe, and Everything,On The Road,Review,Things to Read — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Tiger which is terribly early in the morning or 5:13 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waning Gibbous


Originally uploaded by Network Geek

By this time of the week, my regular readers know I’ve usually reviewed a movie, but not this week.

This past Friday, instead of seeing a movie, as is my usual habit, I was on a plane coming back from Belle Chasse, Louisiana.
Now, to those of you who haven’t done a lot of business travel, this may sound fun and exciting, but, honestly, it wasn’t. I caught a 7:30AM flight out of Houston Intercontinental to New Orleans, where I was picked up and driven to our local office. There, I did some basic troubleshooting and got the “new guy”, who’s only part time so far, up to speed on a couple of things. Also, we got a problem or two that he’d not dealt with before knocked out pretty fast.
Mainly, though, I was there to make folks feel better and assure them that everything was as it should be. In other words, outside of a couple things I probably could have done on the phone, I was mainly there to take people out to lunch.

The books you see in the attached picture are what was in my bag.
I’m still wrapping up A Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemingway, who is one of my favorite authors of all time. It’s been ages since I read anything by him and, frankly, this book is making me fall in love with language all over again. Hemingway has that effect on me. And, considering how concise he was and how conservatively he used words, I find that deliciously ironic. Still, there’s just something about the way he crafts a good sentence that just makes me want to write.
“Do not worry. You have always written before and you will write now. All you have to do is write one true sentence. Write the truest sentence you know.”

The other books are something else again.
Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl is about finding hope in the most hopeless of situations. It’s about finding a purpose in life, no matter how small that purpose my seem to others, and clinging on to it for dear life. It’s the book I was reading when I was diagnosed with cancer and I really need to re-read it and refresh my spiritual memory of the lessons that book brought me.
The Canon Speedlite System Digital Field Guide by Brian McLernon will be, I hope, the guide that gets me going finally with hot shoe flashes, both on and off-camera, for DSLR. I brought that with me Friday in the hopes of being able to get to it and finally start to play with my new camera equipment that my tax refund bought me.
No such luck.
Thankfully, I still had Hemingway to keep me company.

So, movie reviews again next week, but the week after, I’ll have been at a wedding on Friday, so I’ll probably miss my regular review then, too, unless I hit a matinee.
Who knows? Anything’s possible!


Almost Normal – Hurricane Ike Part 7

Filed under: Calamity, Cataclysm, and Catastrophe,Criticism, Marginalia, and Notes,Geek Work,Life, the Universe, and Everything,News and Current Events,Personal — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Dog which is in the evening time or 9:51 pm for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waning Gibbous

Well, I do have power again.

Many still do not, but, at long last, I do.
Yesterday, at about 4:30pm, my power came back on. I’d lost my land line, though, so, I figured I was batting .500. Then, an hour and thirty minutes later, or so, that came back, too. Cable has come in and out, but, really, that’d be all gravy as far as I’m concerned. So, mostly, things are back to normal for me.
I expected to work until dusk cleaning up tree debris in my back yard, but my lawn guys had done most of it. So, before next Wednesday, I plan to have a case of beer for them and I’ll have a bonus in cash the next time I pay them, too. I spent about an hour cleaning up what they didn’t quite get. Mostly it was stuff still partly in trees or still attached. Saturday, I have a friend coming over to see what we can do about the fence.

There is something special about having electricity again. As a guy at work put it, there’s not quite anything like the sound of ice cubes tumbling from the automatic ice maker in the refrigerator into the bucket. Though, I have to admit, the sound of air-conditioners is very much like the sound of generators. It’s an irony that I cannot escape or ignore.
There’s a friend of the boss who’s got a mailserver that he’s trying to find a temporary home for, due to power loss. It’s his own server, but, I have to tell you, this is why if you’re going to run servers at the house you need a recovery plan, just like you would if you were a small business. Of course, I say this, but I don’t have one. At least, not yet.

It’s been a crazy couple of days here in Houston. People have been at both their best, and their worst. I’ve seen things like my lawn guys pitching in and clearing my yard without asking or being asked and like the guy at work who gave me half an ice chest of ice to let me save some food. And, I’ve seen people cutting each other off and running through intersections endangering themselves and others. I’ve heard just as many stories for either side. Still, it’s not like what happened after Katrina in New Orleans. There have been a few stories of looters, but not many. I’d like to think we’re more evolved, but, the truth is, I think the police were just better prepared. Either way, I’m glad that there have been more stories about neighbor helping neighbor than not.

So, things are settling down. I’m glad for that, too.
I hope my readers from the Houston area who aren’t back to normal will be soon.
Oh, and here’s a bit of fun everyone can look forward to! Friday is International Talk Like A Pirate Day! So, by then, I hope everyone can tell me what a pirate’s favorite letter is!


Breakfast The Morning After – Hurricane Ike Part 5

Filed under: By Bread Alone,Calamity, Cataclysm, and Catastrophe,Criticism, Marginalia, and Notes,Deep Thoughts,Life, the Universe, and Everything,News and Current Events,Personal — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Sheep which is in the early afternoon or 2:00 pm for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waning Gibbous


Originally uploaded by Network Geek

Well, I survived Hurricane Ike, so far.

I’ve been without power since Friday night and we’ve been on an order to boil water since Saturday night, but the house took no damage that I can see. The car port and the covered porch lost their corrugated fiberglass roofing, but are otherwise intact. The back fence is 2/3 gone, not to mention one of the smaller myrtle trees, but otherwise things are good. I’ve been cooking things as they thaw, which means I’ve eaten more meat in the past three days than I’d normally eat in a week, but at least I haven’t wasted too much food that way. Oh, and my dog, Hilda, has been eating like a queen! She thinks sausage for breakfast is fabulous! And, as I’ve mentioned before, I can face just about anything if I have a good cup of coffee in the morning, so my camp coffee pot has been working out really, really well.

Work is open and has power and phones. In fact, that’s where I’m writing this entry. And, if you click the link, it’ll take you to my Flickr photostream and you all can see the pictures I’ve uploaded so far. I know this may not be a priority for many people, but, well, I wanted to let folks outside of Houston know what’s going on.
So far, we’re surviving. I’ll be happier when I get electricity again and can restock my frozen foods. I’m afraid I’m going to have a lot to throw out when I get home from work later. So much has gone bad or is too iffy to be trusted right now. But, I’ll tell you what, Houston is a can do city so I’m sure it won’t be long before we’re up and rolling again.

In any case, I’ve survived. Hilda and I are doing well, so far. We’ve a ways to go, but we’ll get there, and we’ll get there faster than the tragedy that was New Orleans after Katrina, too.
There’ll be more later, but, for right now, I’ve got to get back to work!


“Cheated Death Again.”

Filed under: Deep Thoughts,Geek Work,GUI Center,Life, the Universe, and Everything,MicroSoft,On The Road,The Dark Side — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Monkey which is in the late afternoon or 5:56 pm for you boring, normal people.
The moon is a Full Moon

I really don’t mind flying with my boss, but I wish he’d stop saying that.

So, Thursday last week, things started to go wrong with our server in Bellechasse, or, as I think of it, the Sweaty Armpit of the Gulf Coast. First, it was a user who just couldn’t seem to connect. Then, there was another user who couldn’t connect, though that turned out to be a totally unrelated problem. After dinking around with the server and the workstation over the phone, we finally rebooted the server and the problems seemed to be solved.

Turns out, not so much. Friday I got a call shortly after 8:30AM letting me know that now four users can’t connect to the server. So, again, after a few minutes of screwing around with a work station, I had them reboot the server, figuring that what worked the day before should work again. Seems like sound logic, right? Well, it is a Windows 2000 server, so logic probably wasn’t the best tool to apply. Everything seemed fine, right up until the server hung up at the “Preparing network connections” message. We rebooted the server at least three times after that and even tried Safe Mode, but, to no avail. So, I broke the news to my boss who was barely able to contain his joy at having an excuse to fly.

I should mention that I’ve flown with him on several occasions without incident and, as far as I can tell, he seems to be a very fine pilot. Certainly the flight itself has been smoother than most commercial flights I’ve been on. And, being able to bypass any sort of security checkpoints or limited schedules is really nice. It means, generally, that I can fly over, fix the problem and fly back in the same day. All with out needing to fill out an expense report, I might add.

So, well before sunup on Tuesday, we flew over to a little flat spot on the edge of New Orleans they call Lakefront Airport. This trip, I noticed that the same roofs seemed to have the blue FEMA tarps over them, but more yards had the pre-distressed FEMA trailers in them. Not sure if that’s progress or not, but, somehow, it seems like it should be. At least more of the traffic lights were working. Certainly, that has to be considered progress.
In any case, we got to the office about 9:00AM and I walked right to the server and got to work. I started by rebooting, just to see if I was going to get lucky. Naturally, I wasn’t or this post would’ve just ended. So, I cycled through several different boot options and finally, after much weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth, I got the server into a semi-stable state by booting into Safe Mode with Networking Support, but via the Repair Mode on the Windows 2000 install disk. (No, don’t ask me to recreate the steps because I wasn’t taking notes and I was probably running a fever.)

So, guesses on what was wrong? Out of disk space. Or rather, there wasn’t enough disk space for Active Directory to run properly. So, I killed a bunch of temporary files and cranked down on the size of the virtual memory paging file. Sure enough, when I rebooted into “normal” mode, the server came up and everyone was able to log in and all was well with the world. All done before lunch, I might add!
And, so it was that I humbly asked to be brought an oyster po’boy, dressed, sans tomato, with fries for lunch while I attempted to kill all spyware and adware and other such nastiness. What I got was a catfish po’boy, two hours later, and one machine that still has some spyware remnants on it that need to be cleaned up. How fleeting is glory… Oh, and that’s not to mention the several requests I got that were far, far outside the scope of “fixing problems”, which was, in fact, my stated purpose.

Interestingly enough, when we touched down again in Houston an essential piece of navigational hardware in the boss’ plane locked and threw an error message. Then, up popped the infamous Windows NT “Blue Screen of Death”, upside down on that oh, so essential monitor. Yes, boys and girls, our lives depended on hardware that runs the most unstable, buggy, crash-prone version of Windows I’ve ever worked with.
Yeah, we sure cheated death again. Barely.


Triumphant Return

Filed under: Bavarian Death Cake of Love,Career Archive,Dog and Pony Shows,Geek Work,Hoffman's Home for Wayward Boys,Life, the Universe, and Everything,On The Road,Personal — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Monkey which is in the late afternoon or 5:28 pm for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waning Crescent

Well, I survived my trip to the sweaty, stinky armpit of the South.

The flight over was fairly uneventful, though it did start out with an ill omen. At the airport there was a helicopter that had a collapsed landing strut that had caused some fairly severe damage to the whirlybird, including bending the blades on the main rotor. Very bad and very expensive. Little turbulence on the flight over in spite of warnings about bad weather. Though, I have to admit, I’d have been more comfortable if my pilot hadn’t been taking short naps along the way. I know we were on autopilot and all, but the idea of crashing over those swamps in East Texas and Louisiana just are not my idea of a good time.

The thing that hit me when we got to New Orleans was the damage still from Katrina. We drove for almost three miles from the little airport where we landed before we started to get to intersections that had working stop lights. Most of the houses that I saw were either empty, or had blue tarps over the roof as an attempt at some temporary repair. I did see some FEMA trailers, but most of them were in a big parking lot where they were totally useless. Apparently, that’s the latest outward sign of a bureaucracy gone terribly wrong. The thing that really got me though was the messages spray painted on the abandoned homes and buildings. Most of it was in some sort of rescue-worker code, but on one house the message was clear: 1 pony DOA, 1 dog DOA.

I spent the entire day Thursday watching data copy. Yep, about as exciting as watching paint dry or grass grow, but people keep interrupting any reading or writing you might be doing to ask what’s going on with the server. (“Uh, the same thing that’s going on when you asked the last fifteen times, you slack-jawed Luddite.”) Then, right when everyone starts to scatter near the end of the day, the data finishes and I can actually start doing real work. A whole hour’s worth of real work before, you guessed it, I copy data back to the new server from the backup drive. Woo. Yea. Oh, the exciting life of a sysadmin on the road.
But, I kept reminding people that I had no rental car and needed a ride to the hotel and/or restaurant, hoping that they wouldn’t abandon me. It went about like this:
“Um, you know, I still don’t have a rental car or anything so, I’ll need a ride to the hotel, right?”
“So, you’re not leaving yet, right?”
“Yeah, hold on a minute.”
“Ah, so, since I don’t have a rental car are you going to be driving me?”
“Wait, I’ve got something better than a rental car for you!”
“I’ve got the shop truck for you!”
“Of course, you’ll have to put gas in it. It’s on ‘E’.”
“Right. Great. Thanks?”

So, yes, I drove the shop pickup truck that they use to make deliveries and, yes, I filled it up. Thankfully, I grew up in the greater Chicagoland area and only had to stare down one guy who looked like he was going to beg for money at the ratty, little gas station I stopped at in the trashed-out neighborhood where the Holiday Inn I was booked in was sadly located. Now, keep in mind, I used to work in the hotel industry. I never worked in Housekeeping, as is evidenced by the current state my house is in, but I did learn what a hotel room is supposed to look like in great detail. This particular Holiday Inn did not meet Hyatt Hotel’s standards. In fact, it didn’t even have the faintest idea what that standard might possibly resemble. Sadly, it was still not the worst place I’d ever spent the night while on the road. After all, the sheets were clean, there was an extra roll of toilet paper, and no used band-aids on the floor. Yes, it can, in fact, get that bad. I did, however, have to plug in every electrical appliance and light. I only had to kill a single cockroach, though, so it all works out. Besides, it was the only room available anywhere close to that part of town.

The next morning, I got down to the nitty-gritty of actually moving the PCs and users to the new server. It went like clockwork. Well, after I got the first few problems worked out and everyone finally had the right security rights. But, freakishly, considering all the things that have gone wrong in the past on these little junkets, I was done by lunchtime. So, I just had to hang around until my plane left at 8:30PM. At least, I managed to slip out for my favorite Southernism, the oyster po’ boy. After that it was just killing time cleaning up little detail things like verifying the backup scheme and updating the anti-virus files, until it was time for the crawfish boil. Now, you might not think that a damn, Yankee carpet-bagger like myself knows what to do with a mess o’ mud bugs, but, surprise, I do. Though, I didn’t eat as many as locals, I did know to suck the head. By then it was getting on toward 6:00pm and I was itching to get to the airport and make sure I had a seat on the plane home. I rode back with the most back-country, redneck sounding guy you ever want to try and listen to, but he was really very bright and, in his own Southern-fried way, quite articulate. In fact, it was everything I could do to keep from imitating his swamp drawl after a bit.

So, I got to the airport, and home, early. My girl got me from the airport and we drove to the far ends of the Earth to get my car from the West Houston Airport where it was not only safe and sound, but looked like it had been washed! Apparently, those stories I’d heard about torrential downpours in Houston while I was away were not exaggerated. By the time we made it back to my house, it was about 11:30PM and Doc had gone to bed, but my Hilda was quite glad to see me. Either that, or she’s learned that Ms. NewGal always brings yummy dog treats with her when she comes.
Oh, while I was away, I also managed to get some reading in, so I finally finished A Better Way to Live and started a trashy novel called Seppuku. I suppose I’ll try to review those when I finally get caught up!
(Oh, and by the way, the boss said I could put down Ms. NewGal’s milage on my expense report, so she’ll get a little something more than the pleasure of my company, which is all she claimed she wanted when she volunteered. Gotta’ love it!)


Open Enterprise Server, or Bust!

Filed under: Career Archive,Criticism, Marginalia, and Notes,Fun Work,Geek Work,Linux,Novell — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Dog which is in the evening time or 9:39 pm for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waning Gibbous

Well, it looks like my server finally got approved.
Yea! So, yesterday morning, our office in New Orleans is having their third or fourth server space crisis in as many weeks and they start complaining about why they can’t get a new server. Of course, I patiently explain that I’ve been going through this little drive-space two-step for about six months or so here in Houston and we need a server as bad as they do. Well, I guess I said the right things to the right people and suddenly everything is a go. So I scrambled around and ordered a Dell server with 1.5 gig of RAM and 1 TERABYTE of hard drive space. I also ordered SyncSort backup software for Linux/Novell, two 1 terabyte network attached storage devices and a 50 user copy of Novell’s Open Enterprise Server for SuSE Linux. Now, all I have to do is whip together a migration plan. *sigh*
After I get this all converted and what not, I’ll repurpose the old server for the New Orleans office. Sadly this will mean travel to the sweatiest, back-road, industrial armpit outside of New Orleans, but, well, at least it’ll get done. And, I’ll have my OES server on nice, clean, safe, bullet-proof Linux. Of course, that means more geeky/technical writing. And a lot of penguin references.

I lost a reader recently, and I think my lack of geek content is to blame. At least, I have one less subscriber on Bloglines and, while it is possible that someone else has bailed on me, I blame it on a boring, barely technical job. I spend more time hooking up cables for my boss’ KVM switch than I do maintaining anything. In many ways, it has been rather disheartening. Of course, by the time I’m done here, I’ll have some really good things to put on my resume, but, then, I’ve been spinning long, thankless jobs into impressive experience since I started in this business. That Marketing degree comes in handy sometimes. So, in short, I’m looking forward to being a very technical guy for a couple of weeks. I hope I don’t bore my new readers while I geek out, though. Frankly, I really like some of you new ones. And, yes, I really do enjoy having a more female demographic. Really.


Review: Torturer’s Apprentice

Filed under: Criticism, Marginalia, and Notes,Deep Thoughts,Life, the Universe, and Everything,Review — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Rooster which is in the early evening or 6:03 pm for you boring, normal people.
The moon is a Full Moon

I stayed up late last night to finish The Torturer’s Apprentice.
It’s not my usual fare, and I really should have been through it much sooner. It wasn’t a long book, and very good, but I’ve been a little, er, “scattered” lately. Well, that and the Advanced Ripped Fuel I’ve been taking to try and up my metabolic rate so that I actually have the energy to do aerobic exercise again. (I keep reading about people running marathons and such, but my knees are too bad for that sort of thing. Besides, I think hitting the heavy bag would be better for my repressed rage.) Right, sorry, what was on about?
Ah, the book! Yes, quite well done, actually. A series of short stories, none related, several taking place in and around New Orleans before Katrina was even a tropical depression. As I mentioned this is quite a departure from my normal trash reading, but I was well rewarded for my risk. John Biguenet writes about wounded people trying to make their way in the world. The Vulgar Soul, which is the first story, is about an unbeliever, or, at best, an agnostic, who comes down with a case of stigmata. It’s a touching tale of loss and redemption, though, with a bit of a twist. Then, there was Lunch With My Daughter. I was touched deeper than I thought possible by this one. In fact, that may have been why I set the book aside for a bit. Very powerful writing, though it’s my personal life that triggered the deep emotion. The Work of Art, frankly, left me longing for love. It made me think about what I was looking for in a relationship and who might embody that. This was the story that had me reading late into the night last night. Do Me almost finished me off. A disturbing tale of passion and erotisicm, which I honestly didn’t expect, and pain. Always with love and passion the pain. Frankly, it hit a little close to home and I was relieved it ended in a way that resembled my life not at all. Any other alternative would have been far, far too disturbing.
In any case, everything was well written and thought-provoking, but those stories stuck out for me. Over all it was well done. The writing disappeared behind the story, which is always a good thing for me. It’s a short book and well worth picking up.

Today at lunch, I started A practical guide to Buddhist Meditation, which promises to be a good one. I’ve been meaning to start meditating again for some time. I used to do it when I was in college, but, then, I got consumed with my consumer life and much of my spirituality slipped away. Unless you count the girls I pursued to no avail. That’s fairly Zen-like, pursuing that which cannot be attained. Isn’t that the definition of Zen? “That which, when sought, cannot be found, but is found when the search is abandoned”?
Oh, that reminds me of something. The other day, I reccomended a book to someone via e-mail, but it’s been hard to get. Well, the book, the Science of Breath, is now online! Well worth checking out.

And, now, it’s off to a cheap dinner at the local Vietnamese noodly shop and thence to Half-Price Books. Anyone have suggestions for what to keep an eye out for?


Somthin’s A-Blowin’: Rita Part 8

Filed under: Calamity, Cataclysm, and Catastrophe,Deep Thoughts,Dog and Pony Shows,Life, the Universe, and Everything,News and Current Events,Personal — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Monkey which is in the late afternoon or 5:28 pm for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waning Gibbous

It’s getting closer. I can feel it.
The wind is really kicking up now, but only in gusts. I took the dog outside, while I still can. She did her “business”, so I’m hoping Hilda won’t need to go again if the storm actually hits tonight. It could still be in the morning, though. The timing is not as exact as anyone would like.
I brushed my teeth one last time tonight, before filling the bathroom sink with water. My biggest thing now is worrying about water. That doesn’t make a lot of sense to me, to be honest, since we’re probably going to be pounded with water for the rest of the week, even if we get the “soft” side of the hurricane. Still, it was the one thing that everyone in New Orleans was wanting afterward, so I feel like I can’t have enough. I’ve also filled one of the kitchen sinks with water and put a pot on the stove filled with water. If I lose power, I figure I’ll start boiling water. I can hard boil my eggs first, then start on all that broccoli in my big freezer. Then, if I have any water left in that container, I’ll cook up some pasta. Effecient use of water, I think, to cook three things with the same water. The pasta will keep, if I keep it cool and covered, so I’ll set that aside while I cook as much as I can.
I’m not sure how long I’ll have power. A guy from work told me that someone in my general area has already lost power. No one in my block, though. We’re all snug as a bug in a rug, so far. The news was talking about brown-outs. Of course, they were also saying Rita might be a Category 2 or 3 hurricane when she finally hits land. Still, there will no doubt be lots of wind damage. I hope my roof holds. I really need a new one, but I’d rather not have to get one because a tree came through it! I’m also worried about my car port and covered patio. I hope it all holds together. Same thing for the fence. They’re all so old that I’m afraid a lot of the wood is just going to splinter apart and fly away. When I was out smoking my last pipe-full a couple of minutes ago, there were still birds flying and chasing bugs. The dark clouds are rolling in and, as I mentioned at the top of this post, the winds are really starting to kick up. I’m sure it won’t be too long now.
Oddly enough, the only thing I can think about is whether or not to take one last hot shower before I lose power. So tempting….

Watching and Waiting: Rita Part 5

Filed under: Calamity, Cataclysm, and Catastrophe,Deep Thoughts,Dog and Pony Shows,Life, the Universe, and Everything,News and Current Events,Personal — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Snake which is mid-morning or 10:13 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waning Gibbous

Well, there’s really not much to do.
Okay, I am doing two last loads of laundry, just so everything is clean, in case we lose power and water and everything. And, when that’s done, I’ll do one last load of dishes, again, just so everything is clean. I’ll check the fence one last time and make sure any loose boards are nailed down tight. Though, honestly, I doubt a lot of my fence will withstand 100 mile-per-hour winds. Still, if I can hold more of it together and keep it from becoming a hazard to me and my neighbors, that would be good.
It’s actually a really nice day, so far. It’s not too hot and the sun is still shining here. There’s a bit of a breeze, which is nice, but that is picking up some ominous speed. Just a few minutes ago, I was out in my backyard and there were all kinds of butterflies and dragonflies out there. And, still, a bumper crop of humming birds. Not sure what’s up with that this year, but I’ve been enjoying them this morning. The dog is just starting to get the hint that something is different. At first, the back patio being cleared of all obstructions was just a novelty to her, but, now, she seems a little curious about what is going on. She slept on the bed with me last night. Her namesake, Hildagard von Bingen, was a prophetess, but I think my Hilda just senses that her daddy is extra tense and on edge.
Or, it may be that I’m hurting a little this morning. I wrenched my back a little yesterday getting one of my ex-wife’s plants into the garage. She had this frangiapani from her grandmother, by way of her mother, I think, that she was always so concerned about. I think she’s either forgotten it or totally abandoned it, but, just in case she changes her mind about it, I’ve put it into the garage for safety’s sake. (And, yes, I’m hoping that she still obsessively reads my blog and sees that I’m taking care of it for her. Maybe that will inspire her to stop telling her daughter lies about me. Probably not, but, I’m an optimist, so hope springs eternal.)
The people I really feel sorry for are the folks that just started moving back to New Orleans. Right now, they’re getting rain dumped on them. The hurricane hasn’t even made landfall yet, though it will in just hours, and NOLA is already getting worse. Those poor people.
I’m glad I stayed, based on what I saw of people trying to get out. I hope my fellow Houston bloggers who did make a run for it got where they were going safely. When the dust settles from all of this, I’m looking forward to meeting as many of you as possible!


More on Disaster Recovery Plans

Filed under: Advice from your Uncle Jim,Geek Work,News and Current Events,Things to Read — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Tiger which is terribly early in the morning or 5:13 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waning Gibbous

Yeah, I’m sure this has been a lot of people’s minds lately.
I know that I’ve been more worried about this than I have been in a long time. So many things to go wrong that could stop a business. Luckily, the folks over at InformIT have a couple of guides to help us deal with this. First, there’s the general Disaster Recovery, Part I article. This implies that there will be a Part II, but, so far, Part I is all we have. It’s a good overview of all the things you’ll need to worry about when setting up a disaster recovery plan. And, it has lots of links to other sites that give more in depth information about particular flavors of disaster.
The other article over at InformIT that caught my attention on this topic was on developing a Business Continuity Emergency Communications Plan. Trust me, after all the finagling that I’ve been doing with the satellite phones and adding people to our antique phone switch in the Houston office, this is a really big deal. And, I haven’t even mentioned all the issues with cell phones from New Orleans, either. For the better part of a week, all the cells over there were down, so no one could get through via a NOLA area code, even via cell phone. Luckily, we could just add a bunch of cell phones to our account with Houston phone numbers, but that would have gone smoother if we’d had a plan.
Really, I cannot emphasize enough the importance of having all this work done ahead of time. I should have made it a priority as soon as I started here, but, what with the divorce and all, it just didn’t seem like the most important thing. Luckily we’ve adapted and done well. Next time, though, next time… And, trust me, there’s always a “next time”. So, take a little advice from your Uncle Jim and start working on your Disaster Recovery Plan NOW.

Advice from your Uncle Jim:
"Brigands demand your money or your life; women require both."
   --Samuel Butler

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