Now VERY *OT* (hit delete now): RE: networking newbie

From: Aaron Christopher Finney <>
Date: Tue Dec 1 10:30:19 1998

On Tue, 1 Dec 1998, Julian Richardson wrote:

> NT - about a day to get set up and working (or not at all in this
> case!). Needs lots of hardware. Costs lots.

Answers: They're paying me to sit there and work on the systems. I get to
play with even *more* hardware, and I'm even able to request
*specifically* what I want under the umbrella that it has to be
"NT-Compatible". And I'm not paying for any of it, so who gives a rat's
ass if some corporate blow-hard has his head so far in his rectum that he
wants to run NT. Besides, NT is a character builder like losing a limb to
frostbite or having your house burn down.

> Linux - about an hour to set up, runs on old Pentium 60's (yes, I know
> it runs fast even on 486 machines, but in this case a P60 was all that
> was around and free). Doesn't cost anything.

It's all relative. Linux on a 486 seems much faster on a 486 than Windows
95, for sure. But it's not fast compared to FreeBSD on a PII 450 with
256megs of ram. I tend a flock that has several Linux machines, running as
mission-critical http/ftp/mail/proxy servers on fast PII machines with
lots of ram. They kick some serious ass. As [often more] stable, fast, and
full featured as the Solaris and SCO machines we have running. And much
less expensive, yes. In fact, I'm SSH'd into one right now to type this

> Management - "oh, that's quite impressive. But we don't know anything
> about Unix, but do know NT, so we have to stick with that".

I am *literally* the only person in my company who can do a thing in Unix
besides get a directory listing. Any time there's so much as a hiccup in
the system, I get called. On vacations, in the middle of the night, on the
toilet; no rest for the indespensible. And since I'm not a cutthroat, I
can't walk in to the boss and demand "2K a year or I walk..." Basically,
being indispensible sucks unless you've got the balls to really use it to
your advantage.
> itself without any trouble, even if such "features" are rammed down
> their throats. It's a very scary industry.

I'm doing some consulting work for a local community college as a favor to
a buddy of mine who's a chemistry prof there, virtually for free (they
have me on the Elbonian payscale, like $9 an hour, aka beer money) and I
am having a great time arguing with their IS department over putting
either a Linux or FreeBSD box up as the server for a lab-verification
system. They claimed that "Unix was not supported on the campus" and that
"the only Unix system anywhere around was too expensive to have
maintained." "Besides," they told me, "NT is so much more stable and

My natural follow up question: "What system runs Unix?"

"The administration system with staff payroll and all student records and

> up to speed before I could access it to install software... I'm sure
> most of you have been there!

Long reboots are the bane of the users, not mine. And again, I get paid
for being there so if they want to run up my timecard with NT and PC's, it
their prerogitive. If I can't get something to work right, I grab my
company credit card and call Microsoft's tech support at $75 a hit. If
they tell me something can't be done with NT, I document it and submit a
workaround solution to management, which more often than not involves
wiping NT and installing a free Unix...

Aaron C. Finney Systems Administrator WFI Incorporated
"UNIX is an exponential algorithm with a seductively small constant."
Received on Tue Dec 01 1998 - 10:30:19 GMT

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