Stories from My Past: Can you do it in a week?

We are all given challenges, and this is one of mine.

In educational environments like universities there are lots of politics. I was asked to set up several hundred new iMacs with software. Unfortunately, another department demanded additional software after I had started imaging them. I was told to add that software and start over. Then my boss and I had this conversation.

Stories from My Past: Can you do it in a week?“So when will this be done? We are going to be late because of these changes.”, my boss said. I did some math about how long each one has taken and the number of computers I had and I said two weeks. “Can you do it in a week?”, my boss asked. “We have to meet the deadline.”

“I don’t know if that’s possible but I will do my best.”, I said. Now normally this might be possible if we had imaging software and a network where I could uni-cast the image. Unfortunately this school only gave me a hard drive and some USB drives and I had to manually do everything. I even had to unbox the computers, set them up, image them, box them and then put them back into a waiting area so I could continue working in my small area.

I came in early, ate lunch at my desk, and stayed late but I got it done barely in a week. I had to borrow some additional hard drives to speed up the process. I met the deadline, my boss was happy, school could open with the computers ready and everything turned out great.

Sometimes challenges are hard, but with some creative thought you can find a way to meet them.

Related Post

One day Internet security will be automatic

According to research being done now one day Internet security will be automatic.

According to the article above, this software is able to detect flaws in security and automatically fix them. This would be wonderful. There are so many software vulnerabilities that make it very difficult for security to protect against them.

Computer security is a fascinating topic isn’t it? The deeper you learn about it, the more you find out all of the ways that it can be compromised. Software is getting extremely clever about finding ways to exploit vulnerabilities.

One day Internet security will be automaticFor example, many IT people like Linux/Unix because it is free for the most part, and is more secure than Windows. Yet in the past few years, many new kinds of Linux malware and security problems have occurred. Problems on the Mac platform have occurred as well, but less common than the two others. All of this shows that current security methods are far from adequate.

I think that in the future, security will be as important a selling point to organizations as features. You might have heard of the high-profile attacks against hospitals using ransomeware. It is software designed to hold your files encrypted so they can’t be used, and then when you pay them, they will decrypt them and make them usable to you. This has happened against an increasing number of hospitals. I have worked for hospitals before and for the most part, their security is tight. If this can happen in highly controlled environments, imagine what the average company is like.

One of the things that has impressed me, is that no matter who I have helped, there is always a need for security to go further. For example, some companies who are concerned about data being stolen still allow USB drives to be used. I find this most puzzling. Why make it easy for people to steal data? The technical things that can be done are important, but equally important is that the employees understand and follow security procedures. This means that there needs to be support for security at an executive level for effective security.

One of the rewarding parts of doing IT support is that you can see the change in organizations when you find cost-effective and efficient ways to work. It is always fun to see people able to do their job better than before you started to work with them. I think the knee jerk reaction to security always making things less usable is a myth that is no longer true. For example, companies who have a Palo Alto device have a fantastic degree of security, the average employee never knows the difference. It is remarkable how many security related things I was able to fix when I managed the Palo Alto device. If a company wants to quickly upgrade its security, replace your firewall with a PA and you will be amazed at what you can discover and improve.