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Episode 28 BOFH 2003: Episode 28

The Bastard wants to know: do you know your Computing Personalities?

The following set of questions is aimed at determining whether you're up to the task of recognising a professional in their line of work. Select the correct response from the 'technical professional' to each initial statement in the following. Best of luck!

Spot the Slave Trader

You: "I need an experienced Linux Engineer with exposure to RedHat and Slackware"
A. "Pardon?"
B. "I'm sorry, we don't have those skills"
C. "We don't have that, but we do have a relationship with another agency who may be able to fill the position"
D. "We have someone who shows potential"
E. "We have someone who used Word with a typing speed of three words per minute"

Spot the Salesman on a commission

"Could we have a low spec. machine, say a PIII 1.2 gig, with 128 Meg?
A. "Sure"
B. "I'd have to look, but I think so"
C. "Sorry, we only have 1.5s and P4s. Want to see those?"
D. "Yes, but everyone wants them at the moment so they'd be about the same price as a P4 1.2"
E. "Sure, I can get you a P4 3G with Speakers, DVD ROM 1 Gig Memory 180 gig hard drive, 21in LCD flat screen monitor, inkjet printer and ADSL modem"

Spot the 'Technical' Manager

"We have a problem with our core router, looks like the content management firmware is dropping packets because of some poor criteria settings"
A. "Dropping... ...Packets?"
B. "Problem? With the Router?"
C. "What Criteria are we talking about? Can we remove content management until it's sorted?"
D. "I'm sorry, I have no idea what you're talking about."
E. >Dribble<</p>

The IT 'Consultant'
"So we just need a plan to rationalise our cabling infrastructure..."
A. "OK, sure, I just need to get an overview of what you currently have"
B. "Cabling - have you considered wireless?"
C. "Sorry, I work in Active Device networking, but could put you onto someone who knows"
D. "Could be a big job, but I'm up to it!"
E. "Yes, I'd think you would. By the looks of it you've got a complete balls up. We'll probably need to start from the ground up. Luckily I have some contacts in the business who can tell you how to do it right this time. It won't come cheap and I can't give you a timeframe, expected cost or project plan. But I'm onto it!"

The Beancounter

"...Which means that to ensure sitewide authentication we need to slap a radius server in somewhere - shouldn't be more than a couple of grand, maybe five if we add a redundant power supply into the box along with a mirrored disk for higher availability"
A. "OK, I suppose if you think it's necessary"
B. "Five grand does seem a little pricey - are you sure it's worth it?"
C. "I think we can do without the redundancy - go for the two grand box!"
D. "Can't we run it on some other server? Doesn't 2000 do it?"
E. "I have a machine on my desk which needs to be replaced because it catches fire every now and then. Just put it in a room near a sprinkler above it..."

After-Sales Support

"So we're pretty disappointed with the service we've been receiving on the kit we bought earlier in the year"
A. "Really. How about I come and meet you, take down the details and see what we can sort out?"
B. "What problems precisely? If you give me the jobs numbers I'll follow them up!"
C. "Really? Those servers were state-of-the-art for uptime specs. Of course, that's nothing compared to our new product which has been voted top of the range of highly available..."
D. "That's terrible. Perhaps it's time to replace them. We have some very good servers that have been voted top of the range..."
E. "WHY DWELL ON THE PAST? Let's face it - if you had our new servers you wouldn't even remember the poor maintenance you've had. Tell you what, I'll knock the shipping fee off the first order for you as a sign of good faith."

The Bastard

"...And I really do need you to recover the files I was working on five weeks ago but accidentally forgot to back up"
A. "I'm sure we'll be able to get something back"
B. "I'll have a look at the backup indexes and see"
C. "Our policy is only to keep data for 28 days, so it looks like you may be out of luck. Have you got any deleted file recovery tools?"
D. >Clickety< "Nope, nothing there"
E. "There's a one-time recovery charge of 50 quid per recovery. OK?" >Ching Ching< [3 seconds later] "Nope, nothing"

The Bastard

"...And then I turned my laptop on but the screen was black"
A. "It may just be dark initially while it's booting. Wait a couple of minutes and see"
B. "Maybe you've got your screen brightness and contrast wound down?"
C. "Is the battery OK?"
D. "It's rooted."
E. "It's rooted" and "Drop it off here so we can steal the parts out of it... er... I mean run diagnostics"

The Head of IT

"We just installed the file-share machine and it all appears to be running very well"
A. "Excellent!"
B. "Ah yes, the file-share. I believe that that was a project that was most often requested of us"
C. "What's a file-share machine - something like FTP is it?"
D. "Yes, I used to use files when I started computing. You used them to keep the pins on card collater sharp..."
E. >droool<</p>

The Engineer

"...And then the hard drive gave a whine and stopped"
A. "So, let's just take a look at that motherboard then"
B. "A fan problem, you say"
C. "Sorry, I didn't bring any replacement keyboards with me"
D. "I think you should leave the diagnosis to an expert"
E. All of the above

Scoring

Mostly A: Perhaps you should work in the field of computing a while
Mostly B: Perhaps you should work in the field of computing for a while
Mostly C: Perhaps you should work in a field for a while
Mostly D: OK, so you've seen some of the shame
Mostly E: You've been there, done that, got the T-shirt and wear the scars. You know what to expect from a 'professional'. You're bitter too. Very, very bitter... ®

BOFH is copyright © 1995-2003, Simon Travaglia. Don't mess with his rights.

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