26 Feb 2001 jbowman   » (Journeyer)

So I'm the Stick now. Interesting. Although I don't particularly feel bark-covered or capable of photosynthesis, I suppose that will come with time.

I suppose I should explain. The "Stick" is the person in the systems department that is the currently designated point man. Got a problem? Send it to the Stick. You say the webserver has had a horrible crash? Send it to the Stick. Flesh-eating weasels running amok in the office? Send them to the Stick. Or something.

In any event, the whole Stick thing marks my transistion from being a customer-dedicated Sysadmin to a more hybrid role. More power, more responsibility, etc... as well as a more diverse experience in general system administration as well. Given our current Linux-related client roster, I'm more likely to be administering 'new' technology as part of "Systems" as a whole, rather than in my own little corner of the company, which is basically what I was prior to today.

Being the only person in the company dedicated to sysadmin'ing our Linux clients has given me a lot of userful experience, but I think I've hit a plateau in what there is for me to learn in that area. Our clients usually wind up wanting fairly simple things, which I think is fine, but it doesn't leave a lot for work-driven learning after you master the half-dozen or so things the clients are wanting.

Systems, on the other hand, has lots of different pies for me to stick my grubby little fingers in, which broadens the scope of my work-driven learning significantly. I think that may have been a large contributor to the burnt out feeling I was beginning to get. At first I thought it was due to my being the only person handling client sysadmin work, and it may still be a portion of it, but I think now that it's more due to having hit that learning plateau. With little or nothing different or "new" coming down the pipes, I think the routine was beginning to wear on me.

Hm. What else is new since my last entry. Had one of my best friends betray me by forwarding a personal email to his boss (who then proceeded to call me directly and give me an earful). My roommate questions my wisdom in sending said email in the first place, but I had _thought_ that I could send my friend open, honest emails without worrying about this sort of thing. I guess my trust was misplaced. :( This has been a very disappointing period, not only because of the loss of a friend, but because in order to for this to have happened my friend would have had to have either a) deliberately betray me, and then lie about the reasons he gave for doing it or b) if the reasons he gave for doing it were true, my friend would have had to have lost all semblance of good judgement and common sense. Then again, "b)" would explain some of the choices he continues to make... *sigh*

Saw an article on /. this morning about yet another "Apt rules, RPM sux0rs!" article. This one went so far as to say that unless the current commercial distros adopt Debian as a standard, Debian "will eventually rear up and bite them all in the bahootie". Um, yeah, right. I've seen too many of these articles cropping up lately, and it's getting on my nerves. Most of them have the same fundamental problems. Namely: 1)They compared apt-get to the stock command-line rpm. 2) They ignore the existance of rpm-compatible apt-get, courtesy of Conectiva. 3) They compare the 'flawless' packaging of the 'core' debian apt repository's .deb's to the sum total of all RPMs in existance.

#1 is bad because apt-get is a front-end that's capable of working with multiple formats. The "rpm" command is base-level RPM manipulation tool. It's companion in the world of .deb would be "dpkg", not "apt-get".

#2 is just plain bad. All the features of apt-get with full support for RPM files. "Hello? McFly??"

#3 is like comparing your nicely-kept set of trash-cans on the curb to the city landfill. You cannot compare Debian's stable packages to the entire world of RPM. It's not a valid comparison. Try comparing it to the distribution tree of the file format's creator, and suddenly you not only have a much more valid comparison, but a lot of the complaints about incompatible packages and bad dependencies go away. Oops.

Then again, I suppose I shouldn't be surprised at this sort of thing. It's basically news article "trolling" that's designed to elicit exactly the sort of response I'm providing here. Fortunately, I'm not responding in a method that would provide the various journalistic trolls with any food, so I guess it turns out alright in the end.

My god, I just came across this on everything2. Proof positive that world is a very, very disturbed place.

[ "Walk softly, and carry a black stick." ]

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