Tuesday, March 21, 2006

My $2300.00 laptop is useless for the purpose that it was supposed to serve

I noticed a recent addition to the Running list of wasteful activities at LANL sidebar link on this blog, submitted by "Tshirege van Otowi". I find it interesting that the level of service of IT support at LANL has degraded this significantly since I last worked there.


OK, I'm fed up with something.

Just got a new computer. Can't hook it to the network until it's "properly" set up.

The guy who does the approved set up is so busy (doing computer setups, among other things) that he estimates he can't get to me for about a MONTH! This, because of rules coming down from above that specify that before a computer may be connected to the LANL network, it has to have this, that, and the other installed on it, whether this, that and the other are even going to be used. In my case, I will only use my computer (it's a laptop) for demonstrating some engineering application in meetings. I don't need all the Enterprise crap, because I use my desktop computer for that.

Further, the network jacks in our conference room won't work unless the computer (or whatever) plugged into them have an IP address for our group's subnet. Which means, anybody who comes from elsewhere can't use his computer in a presentation if it requires network connectivity.

I understand the need for network protection, but some of these policies are coming down from God Knows Where, from people who couldn't care less what I actually use my computer for, or whether I get any work done.

As it stands, my $2300.00 laptop is useless for the purpose that it was supposed to serve.

I sure hope LANS will take a look at the Network Naziism going on around here, and make some sensible changes.

So, yet another successful step toward converting LANL into a work-free safe and secure place.

Just like the DOE.
I have watched my division's computer support team provide the same "service" described in this post. Our only real support person is a contractor who supports hundreds of Unix systems, including many clusters and is never given credit for his/her efforts by my division management.
I hate to say it, but the "Network Nazi's" are probably going to get
much worse in the near future. Some of the guys over in support tell
me that a clamp-down on Yellow Net PCs is coming. It will mean that
you have to fill out detailed paper-work and run only LANL "approved"
software apps on you networked PC. Nanos once hinted as much at one
of his All-Hands meetings about two years ago.

However, I have a possible solution. Consider buying two PC's for
your office. One can be an El-Cheapo that is networked and used
mainly for light-weight work like reading E-mail, web searches, etc.
The other PC is un-networked, and is your real "work" machine. Being
un-networked, it might be possible to keep the "Network Nazi's" from
meddling with it for a little bit longer. It will also help protect
your important work from the typical nasty things that can crawl
across an Ethernet wire because the idiot in the office down the
hallway leaves his PC completely un-protected.

If you need to transfer files between these two machines, consider
buying a USB pen drive. Holmans (JIT vendor) keeps them in stock,
and they offer a cool 2 GB unit. These solid-state drives are very
fast and convenient. They require no additional software, and can
be used across both Windows, Mac and Linux machines. They offer a
21st century version of "sneaker-net".

Of course, you can eventual plan on the "Network Nazi's" going after
both networked PCs, non-networked PCs, and USB drives. They'll not
give up until PC productivity has been completely eliminated. Now,
don't get me wrong. Not all PC support staff are "Network Nazi's".
Some of them are just following orders from above. However, it is
also clear that a certain percentage of support staff (usually the
ones who don't offer any true support) are a bit too gleeful when
it comes down to enforcing the "Fuhrer orders".
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