The good, the bad and the busy.

As you can tell from my lack of posts, much like every other ambitious project that someone starts, sometimes they don’t see their short comings, or forget how busy life can truly be.

As I sit here with a glass of Forty Creek Double Barrel Reserve and ponder my motives and dreams of starting this website/blog/podcast, I began to think about failings, and the lack there of in some retrospect. The site may not have taken off, or even the first podcast recorded, though not for lack of trying, but I make a promise that it is still on my mind with ideas and directions to take everything to the next level.

With my last sip, I sign off with a renewed hope that someday, someday soon, I’ll have some great content and stories for everyone out there.

Until then…

-RJD

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Backups are important. You’re stupid if you don’t believe that.

I recently had a customer get into some nasty CryptoWall issues. For those of you not familiar with CryptoWall or CryptoLocker, just Google the name and you’ll see some pretty good articles about a pretty evil virus that encrypts everything on your network, holds it for ransom, and then basically sticks you with a huge headache.

All I have to say is… if you don’t have good backup procedures in place, with multiple copies of all of your files, spread out over several days, one person can ruin everything for your business… EVERYTHING.

TechOnTheRocks.com – Yeah baby!

Well the waiting finally paid off! Several months ago when this site was given the idea of life, I checked for domain registration of techontherocks.com and it was/wasn’t “taken.” It was in pending for renewal, and whomever owned it before has not renewed it, so as of today, techontherocks.com is now officially ours!

We look forward to bringing you more content soon!

Podcast Coming Soon!

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Come one come all! The Tech On The Rocks podcast is coming soon to an internet near you!

I have yet to work out all of the finer details, like who is going to be doing the podcast with me actually, and what it’s going to be about… but it’s on the roadmap to success, and here is a teaser for you. This is some sound editing I did to put an intro together.

Enjoy!

[audio https://s3.amazonaws.com/techontherocks/TOTR-Intro-2.mp3]

The SysAdmin’s SysAdmin

Sometimes you don’t always get to choose which end-users you want to work with, but sometimes you don’t get to choose your SysAdmin either, even if you are the SysAdmin!

Working in state government, the organizational structure can be absolutely absurd as to whom is in charge of what and under which circumstances. As a SysAdmin for a branch agency of the State, much of what we do is controlled from the top down by the State’s IT department. They are in charge of higher level infrastructure such as the State’s backbone, networking equipment and virtual cluster environments. Other SysAdmins like myself are in charge of everything else for our own agency as a whole.

The problem with this, is that we cannot control a lot of the decisions made by the State IT staff. All we can do is complain. A lot.

My problem comes in full swing today in this example:

Our agency is in charge of disasters and emergency management for the state, and we have many briefings with many other agencies and non-state entities. In the State, we are given many tools to complete our daily tasks such as our Bomgar system, which greatly and swiftly handles the burden of remote desktop support and presentations. Other non-state entities, are at free will to purchase and use whatever service they like best, such as WebEx or Join.Me. My problem comes in today as we prepare for a major state wide storm, and are about to have our “pre-disaster” briefing with the National Weather Service. The NWS has chosen to use Join.Me as their mode of relaying information and doing remote presentations to any and all outlying organizations that have to deal with them on a regular basis.

As I found out this morning with no advanced warning, the State IT department has chosen to block Join.Me because they view web proxy services as a major hole in network security. True. I don’t disagree.

However, because of the nature of our business and how we have to do business with other agencies I asked if we could have a waiver for our VLAN because of our special need. The answer I received back was simple and to the point. “No.”

So I did what I had to… I smiled, nodded, agreed, and did what I wanted anyway without telling them. Through some minor network rewiring (which we are NOT allowed to do without an open work order to State IT, and also not allowed to do ourselves, as we have to “pay” them to do the work), we managed to get an outside cable line direct to the port of the PC we needed to have access, bypassing the State’s network infrastructure all together.

In short, our IT staff learned a valuable lesson today (as we became the end-user of the State) that sometimes gets lost on those cynical IT professionals who have been in the business a while, while dealing with in-house end-users.

If you’re not willing to work with the people that depend on you, the people will find a way to not work with you back.

-rjd

Just Another Day at the Office

Here at Tech on the Rocks I hope to share with you the finer things in life. Sometimes the not so finer things, and most definitely the most annoying things.

As I type up my first post for the site, I realized “Wait!”, how can I have a blog called ‘Tech on the Rocks’ and not be having a drink while I’m completing this?! The answer is simple… I’m at work. The drinks come later, and I’m sure this blog will soon be filled with many pages digitally stained with the smell of whiskey & gin.

But since I’m at work and can’t be drinking, I guess I’ll just fill everybody in on myself!

I’m a lifelong techie, IT guy, and system administrator (sysadmin, for those of you that may not be techies yourself!)

Tech consumes me from every angle, but it’s not my life. Hunting, horseback riding and curling are just a few of the other things I absolutely love as an escape from the three 30″ monitors that surround me every day.

I work in State government, so I definitely have my fare share of dealings with the common “state worker” classification, and once in a while you just have to leave work a bit early on a Friday for a “Safety Meeting’. Outside of my main job, I also own my own business, Dahlin IT Consulting. I mean, really, I do it all day, why not do it after hours and make five times my salary rate?

My girlfriend and dog keep the rest of my spare time occupied, and what little time I have left over during the winter months is spent playing with any new tech I can get my hands on, playing XBOX ,or watching TV & movies. (Game of Thrones, Silicon Valley, Parks & Rec, Community, Doctor Who, and about 16 other shows that I DVR year round and cram into one complete weekend when it’s blizzarding outside in February!)

As the name of the blog may suggest, I do enjoy the occasional adult beverage from time-to-time, but like a fine whiskey, as I age, so does my body. I don’t drink nearly as much as I did in my twenties, but now I drink for quality, not quantity!

This is getting quite lengthy, but I feel like you now have a small understanding of who I am and what I like to do, so with that, I sign off until next time.

-rjd