Monday Jan 25, 2010

Redirection

The change is almost upon us and I think it will be good and very much hope to be part of it. I have not been acquired before, but expect it has some similarities to getting married. They say it things won't change much, you end up with more responsibility, less self determination, but are generally happier and better off that if it had not happened.

My time as acting Chair of Aberystwyth Citizens Advice Bureau has also come to an end. I got everything done I wanted to get done (bar 1 item which proved rather messy and beyond my influence), so the Bureau is on a sound footing now and I intend to go back to volunteering at Rhoserchan.

A month or so ago I started a new blog focused on my Bob Graham Round attempt in June, so it just covers running related subjects.

It seems a good time to start an external blog which casts a wider net which I have titled Rural Debugging reflecting my interest in both rural mid-Wales, technology and trying to fix things that are broken.

Wednesday Jan 06, 2010

Disaster day at Aberystwyth University

I was visiting my good friend Dave Price to look at problems he was having with a SunRay server. Dave really does lead the bleeding edge using OpenSolaris for 2 T5120 SunRay servers used for teaching with 50 SunRay seats. Dave really does the bleeding edge and sometime some bleeding happens and I try to help out, but for the most part he is very self sufficient.

I 1st meet Dave when he was teaching my late father BASIC on a Honeywell Mainframe in around 1980, so we go back a long way.

We put together our plan which involved some upgrades and as I was leaving he mentioned that the Computing Services were having a "Disaster Day" the next day (which would have been Tuesday). A years notice is given to the rest of the University that there will be some type of disaster dreamt up by one of the senior staff and the rest of the staff without prior knowledge other than something is going to happen turn up and sort it out. What a great idea. I look forward to finding out what planned disaster occurred. This is the type of activity can expose serious process and risk management flaws. Much depends on how creative and vindictive the originator of the disaster can be. Some sites I have visited, every day is disaster day without having to think up new events, but Aberystwyth is not one of them.

About 4 years ago I was meant to give a demonstration of DTrace to a UK police force and I asked Chris to induce a performance problems on a lab system and I would work out what it was as part of the demonstration. I suggested he could be vindictive as he liked and made it has hard as he liked.

Someone in the police forces region got murdered, so the staff who I was going to demo DTrace to went on standby as part of their major incident routine and the demo got postponed. I asked Chris what he was going to do, his reply was "the most vindictive thing I could think of was to do nothing". With that sort of brain he would be a ideal "disaster generator".

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