[rescue] Oh no! This poor Origin server.....

William Enestvedt William.Enestvedt at jwu.edu
Fri Apr 2 07:52:56 CST 2004

Dave McGuire wrote:
> "Support costs". So you pay a clueless vendor drone to have
> someone to yell at instead of hiring a competent technical
> staff and paying them enough to keep them around.
   Nope: I pay a clueless vendor to keep a warehouse full of parts for
all my systems and to have a drone deliver & install them within a
couple of hours whenever I blow my silver dog whistle into the phone.
Those spares represent a cost -- in money or time spent waiting for an
EBay shipment to arrive -- that my bosses would never even consider
   BUT...letting someone else work on your systems cuts both ways. I had
a 420R go down this week, and Sun's $Outsourced_Support_Contractor
dispatched an elf with a couple of RAM sticks.
   The tech opened up the case and moaned softly: the last field tech
had used a regular screwdriver to tighten down the Memory Riser Board's
retaining screws instead of the Sun-supplied official 420R Torque Wrench
Wire-Loop-Thing -- and both of the plastic ears into which those screws
go were stripped off. (We even found a scrap of plastic lying on the
motherboard, as well as the threaded metal barrel that the plastic had
been cast around...one of the *two* on the Riser Board.) Also, the full
weight of the Riser Board & RAM had been borne by the loong edge
connector on the motherboard. That system never came up again that day.
   A day later, he'd replaced the Memory Riser Card, the motherboard, a
couple of disposable plastic housings, and a CPU module (and used three
couriers to get it all here!), all at no cost to me. (Sure, the downtime
could have been expensive, but this was a server used for training and
there were no classes this week.)
   If I'd busted up a system like that, it would have cost a freakin'
fortune to get the parts, plus the time they spent in transit, and I
would probably have been fired as soon as the system came back on line
-- justifiably.
   Oh, and I want support contracts because no one else here knows UNIX
from a hole in the ground. Wizards, wizards, wizards...
Will Enestvedt
UNIX System Administrator
******* & ***** University

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