[geeks] Another $previousOrkPlace Story
Jonathan C. Patschke
jp at celestrion.net
Wed Apr 3 22:34:30 CST 2002
(or "how rescue at sunhelp.org can make you insanely wealthy if you're
a thieving scumbag like my ex-$PHB")
You'll really shake your heads at this one. I'm still sorta stunned.
Back before I quit my job, I built "smart switches" for $company
customers. These "smart switches" were PCs with multiple 3Com network
cards and Linux, configured to do routing and NAT and web-caching and
whatever else the customer needed. Typically these were sold for about
The Bastrop County courthouse ordered such a device with -lots- of bells
and whistles from $company through a consultant in La Grange (an
ex-employee who left on good terms). They needed to connect the law
enforcement, courthouse, jail, and justice of the peace together and then
connect that to the Internet, all behind a firewall, and all using NAT.
The consultant paid us $1300 to build this special router for the county.
A week later (Feb 20), I walked out of $company. The Bastrop County order
hadn't been placed on my desk yet. If it had, it probably wouldn't have
changed my decision, but I don't like leaving things incomplete. I even
finished a 8-station NT installation for internal use the day I left.
So, I'm talking with the other network guy (who was at $company until last
Friday) a few days later, and $PHB is supposedly building these "smart
switches" with a single floppy, and is proud that he's doing in a few
minutes what took me hours. I nod and smile. Sure, he found the Linux
router-on-a-floppy project. This ought to be funny.
Apparently, he found out that there's a -lot- more to what these customers
are demanding than can be found on any 1.44MB floppy, as he's not building
them anymore. How did I find out? Well...
Just before I left, I bought a Kalpana 2015 switch from Bill. He also had
a big -old- (early 90s?) 8-port (or was it 16) Kalpana switch that he made
me take because it was taking up too much room and wasn't doing him any
good. Anyway, I accidentally left it at the office when I walked out. It
wasn't so much accidental that I left it there, as I was completely out of
room in my car, but it was an accident that I didn't pick it up when I
picked up my RS/6000.
Anyway, I'd forgotten about it. Until today, that is.
That consultant (the ex-employee) is one of my new business partners. I
walked into his office today (he needed a few Macintoshes LARTed), and he
metioned something about being pissed off at $PHB. $PHB still hadn't
delivered the "smart switch", and tried to give him something even
-better- than a PC-router for an even -higher- price than the $1300--a
-fully- -managed- switch! The consultant wanted my opinion on it before
having to ask the county for a budget increase on the project.
On a hunch, I asked the consultant if it was about 4U, white, and said
"Kalpana" on the front.
Of course it was. I didn't have to ask. I was just humoring $PHB since
he might've accidentally woke up a day in his life and -not- asked himself
"Hmm... who should I shaft today?"
You know, flogging is too good for some people. Selling a device that's
approximately a decade out of circulation that doesn't meet -any- of a
-government- client's requirements (which would cause someone -else- to
either get sued or receive a bad reputation) under the pretense that it's
new equipment is one thing. Selling something that belongs to someone
-else- and trying to make a -fsck- of a profit is entirely another.
It's only gentlemanly decency (and that I don't want to get Bill in
trouble) that I don't announce right here who I used to work for. But,
everyone who's "a player" in Austin area already knows that $PHB is a
crook, so I guess Karmic reaction isn't far off as-is. Plus, it's on my
personal web page, as I haven't edited the front page in two years. :)
If there remains any doubt as to why I left $company, I really don't know
what I can say. I'm kicking my own ass for having worked there for over
 A PC, two monitors, three bookshelves' worth of books, a Sun U10, an
Indigo2, an Octane, a VT420, a mini-tower of hard discs, a Sun
RSM-219 disc shelf, and a spool of CDs. In a Firebird. That's
somewhere near the dictionary definition of `cramped'.
 I furnished my own equipment and training while I was at $company.
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