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Almost a Slaughtered Lamb moment October 30, 2006

Posted by egr2 in Work.
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Lat week the mighty Mullett Man paid super stew and me a visit in the wilds of Wardle.  He had the grand tour of the building and then a good laugh look at our network.  We decided now was the time to import XP admin templates into the Active Directory and begin to ecure the damn thing once and for all.

Takeing the advice of Beeswax we went to Tatts for lunch and consumed their fine Chicken Tikka salad Barms.  In the evening the boys drove upto the centre of the village and the evil herbivore treated them to a swift pint in the Globe.

Fearing the worst we all imagined the scene fron ‘An american Wearwolf’ so pints it was, wouldn’t want to disturb the peace.  Lucky for us there was no strange marks on the wall and the natives were freindly (must be a Lancashire over Yorkshire thng).  One pint only because we were driving and off home for the night.

The Mullet man enjoyed his away day trip and proved most helpfull with our ongoing network issue’s. 

He comes riding a shining white horse! October 7, 2006

Posted by egr2 in Work.
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“As the forces of evil networking draw closer and closer the humble NM and his assistant stand upon the edge of a very very high cliff.  All of a sudden a distant voice is heard to say ‘Its all my fault for not listening to advice and takeing the cheap option’.  Then through the darkening clouds there is a bolt of pure white light and lo a rider on a white horse appears over the distant hill, galloping towards the IT team”

OK J. R. R. Tolkien i am not but yes our school network was about to grind to a holt.  Yes the forces of darkness (teachers) had put the blame on the new boys head but best of all our leader, the Head Teacher himself stood up in briefing and told the whole hord of evil that it was his fault for not takeing the advice of experts that the current network was about to implode and took the cheap option instead.  He explained that Stew and myself had done a brilliant job in keeping things going and that without us the staff would have nothing.  How many heads do you know who would do that?

The upshot is that the school are going to find the mony to rip out the old dumb switch’s, CISCO up with all the bells and whistles, then replace cable links with fibre and then route out al the none comliant stuff in the building.

Happy or what!!!!!!

Welcome to Network Hell Part 3 September 28, 2006

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Is it a loop or is it Hardware? DOS attack internaly or some kind of infection.

The weather this week has been stormy, packet stormy to be precise.  Started tuesday lunch with what appeared to be a simple case of find the loop.  We checked every teaching room and every office to no avail, no loop.  We took down the switchs, tested for virus’s and even re booted the servers but no network for 24 hours.  We then took down the perpheral cabinets one by one until five cabs in – Bingo! network back up.

OK looks like a switch then?  Bring them back up one by one until it goes donw? But no everything is fine again :(

Bit later and wham it goes tits up again ut only in one segment.  Two switch’s to test and bingo, looks like on of my 48port netgears is to blame.  Couple of calls later and its mild releif as i discover it may be under 5 year swap out warrenty :)

Next problem how to get it out of a cabinet that is tighter than a scots mans purse and what to do with the 40+ connections that will have no link :(

Welcome to Networking Hell – Part2 September 24, 2006

Posted by egr2 in Work.
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Friday evening, time to do some of those jobs that you can’t do when the kids and teachers are in.  Off to the new ICT suite, ICT6 (or 666 as its fast becomeing) to setup a scanner.

The machines are all on, helps that the sparks have now put the correct rated breakers so that they don’t blow when you turn the machines on.  So i grab the keyboard of the choosen one and login or don’t as is the case.  Scratch head, check cables and link lights.  Look at the comms cabinet, all seems fine.  Uplink light on green, nothing obvious.  Try another Pc, the same.  Another and another, nothing.  Just then super Stewie arrives to say that machines in ICT 1 anrn’t connecting to the domain.

Off we go via another lab (working) to check the comms links in finance (working) to look for any looped cables that may be causeing a packet storm.  Nothing, the main comms seems ok, lights greena and steady.  As no one is in we power them all down and back up, still no links in ICT6 but some random PC’s work in ICT1.

More head scratching and peering at lables on patch panels.  OK now looks like half the PC’s in ICT1 are patched to one switch and the other half to a different one.  Trace the uplink to ICT6 and bingo, one switch may be out of action.  Switch some cables around and yes, switch 3 is all lights but nobody home.  That means that tomorrow 50 ports will be out of action and i have no replacement unit :(

Teachers? September 9, 2006

Posted by egr2 in Uncategorized, Work.
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These people are responsable for the education and upbringing of our youth?

Why then are they so bloody un organised in their life.  They appear to live on a planet who’s sky colour is not the same as ours. I would describe them as typical Victorian/Edwardian toffs in their attitude.  Expecting everything to be done for them then and there.  They don’t seem to have a concern for anyone but themselves.

I have a radical plan for teachers and their workload, let them join us on our working planet.  Convert their 13 weeks holiday into 5 weeks holiday (probably have to pay them a bit of compo).  Those 8 weeks that they loose can be used – in school to do preperation, marking, planning and all of those other things that they say they cram into their hectic work schedule.

What do you think, radical blue sky or pie in the sky?

p.s. Sorry to all of those teachers who’s feet are firmly planted on out planet and there are quite a lot of you.  Maybe i need to train my new lot in the way of the real world and not the “Wardle way” ;)

So how’s your new job? September 2, 2006

Posted by egr2 in Uncategorized, Work.
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That seems to be the question that everyone is asking Stevo about me, and my move from “
South Chav” to Wardle High (sounds so west coast
America)
 

The simple answer is fine! I think? 

The whole experience can be described akin to “buying a new pair of underpants.  Tough they look familiar they are to begin with they do not fit snugly or feel right until you have worn them for a while. 


South Chav had its own look, feel and smell.  The school resonated with a familiar heartbeat and pulsed with its own unique energy.  Changing schools during the six weeks holiday means that you do not get to feel your new schools life force.  Yes it still hums and buzzes with the energy of the overworked cleaning and maintenance staff but it is devoid of fizz of energy that is the pupils and staff.  What I am confident of is that from next Wednesday I will be immersed into a new and palatably different human hive.  Then I will forge new friends and foes.  Find the stoke piles of goodies and places to hide when it all gets to much.

Whats up with the Weather? August 21, 2006

Posted by egr2 in Work.
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Global warming?

North Atlantic weather fronts?

Aliens?

Whatever is up with it it sucks big style.

When we had the heat wave i was working in an un aircon server room with servers you could fry an egg on.

Now i’ve moved its wet and cold and the bleedy roof in the school leaks like a seive.

I ask you! What numpty designed and built schools with flat roofs in an area renowned for its precipitation.

There is a plan? right August 15, 2006

Posted by egr2 in Work.
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OK OK, a bit of a winge but valid IMHO.

If i’m supposed to be supervising this mega install that i had no input in, then you would expect there to be at least some form of written scheme of work or plan?

My new nemesis, the cable guy has a plan of sorts, the letters D or S scribbled onto a floor plan denoting Double or Single data ports.  My problem is why are they instaling 5 new ports in the PE staff room when they already have 5 ports in that area?

Oh and why data ports in the changeing rooms (double)? The answer to that seems to be for class registration via Lesson Monitor but still it seems a tad strange.

Lets hope the idiot who thought of hanging an interactive white board on a moveable partition hangs their head in shame when they’ve had a chance to think about it.

Welcome to Network Hell!!!! ;) August 12, 2006

Posted by egr2 in Work.
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What a week, my head is spinning and fit to burst with everything that is happening in my new job.

Firstly i had to wrench myself from the ample boosom and comfort zone that was South Chadderton School.  My friends, collegues and equipment that i knew so well.

Then i arrived at Wardle, mind open but not haveing much of a clue as to what was in store.  A comfortable week it has not been.  Interesting? Very!

For whatever reason the school has spent a considerable amount of cash on a new fitted I.T. suite, PC’s in every class for staff use and 40 odd interactive whiteboards.  The company doing the work must have seen them comeing as frankly some of the prices have a very good margin on them.

This work coincides with the results of an in depth analysis of the Network infrastructure that frankly scares the sh1t out of me.  There are no managed switch’s, just Netgear dumb switchs. CAT 6 runs from the comms cabinet to satalite cabinets around the school but all of these fail the test.  Lifting up a roof tile its not that difficult to see why when there wrapped around power cables or strung along hot water pipes.  Then theres the one and only fibre link that goes to the six form block.  Only 4 out of 8 fibres are being used and there is a bend in the fibre :( and did i mention the cat5e lightning conductor to the porta cabin!!!!

Not only is it the link cables that arn’t upto scratch but there is a mix of CAT5 and CAT5e cables running from comms cabinets that are also badly installed, running along power cables or just slung accross the ceiling tiles.

Even worse is the state of the cabinets, no cable guides, crushed cables and patch leads that fail most tests.

What about the servers you may ask? Well they appear to have no maintenace contracts on them, the PDC and BDC sit on the floor and the drive bays seem to be covered in dust.  There is no documentation and between the IT consultant who was in for the week to help out, my new techie and myself we could not fathom out how the GPO was doing the job it does.

Oh well a few beers over the weekend and back to War i go on Monday.  At least we managed to image all 120 new PC’s as well as freighten the cable guys by getting up ladders to check on their work.

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