Apr. 21st, 2010

*clears throat*

I read to you now, from the Information Technology Bible, Book of Updates, Chapter 2, verses 3 to 6.

"And, lo, did the aisles of the cubicles run red, in the hospital and office and labs.

For the RNs did turn stabby, and the MDs turn slicy, while the PhDs merely sighed meaningfully.

And, lo, many of the faithful IT technicians were sacrificed, by the RNs and MDs, while the PhDs looked on.

The aisle ran red, as the IT technicians gave up their lives upon the Altar of Unified Network Policy."


Let us think upon these verses describing the day, That Day, when an information technology department let an anti-virus auto-update through, an auto-update including a definition file that decreed a necessary piece of system network software to be a virus, even though that software was innocent and blameless, which forced a complete system reboot, every 90 seconds.

Reflect upon the demerits of a Unified Network Policy whereby the administrators, blessed be those servants, decreed that the newest Windows machines, with the latest images uploaded, could neither safe-boot nor disable their anti-virus software.

Further, think upon the folly of IT management that decided the best way to notify the victims of this pernicious auto-update was to use e-mail, and only e-mail, while encouraging those few users of the Clunky Old PCs* and Snobby Apple Users to practice the archaic techniques of the SneakerNet, passing from office to cubicle and back again, lording their functioning computers over their poor, unfortunate neighbors, while spreading the words of the administrators.

Yes, my brothers and sisters, That Day, it was a sad day. 8000+ computers down, with nary an automated way to fix them. Many IT lives were lost that day**, but many new job positions opened. The Altar of UNP proved both a blessing and a curse, and think wisely upon it.

Let us think, my friends, and hope that it never happens again.

This ends today's sermon.

*I have not lorded my Clunky Old PC over anyone else today... yet. The temptation is strong, and I must fight it, frequently. Such is my burden.

**And man oh man, what a foul-up on the part of McAfee. I really feel for the IT folks on campus today...

ETA: And a patch solution has been devised. Unfortunately for the IT department, said patch also strips out about a third of the expected basic functionality of the machines... i.e. there's no longer a sound driver. Amusing.

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