Monday, March 17, 2008

Zen and the Art of Server Maintenance

There was no regular blog post for this weekend, largely because I spent much time re-vamping my home network to include a special version of Windows Server 2003 quickly becoming adopted by the market as Windows Home Server. It’s a great thing, and as an early adopter once I got through paying the premium in the form of a learning curve with adding a degree of magnitude to the sophistication of my home network it had been 13 hours between Friday evening and through the first cartoon on Saturday morning. The rest of the time was spent configuring, tweaking, organizing the hardware, and the like. If what they say about adversity building character, then I can add some.

The situation reminded me of something that a gentleman that came into the printer-computer-office equipment repair shop I work at 40 hours a week said: “Troubleshooting is the epitome of understanding a discipline.” I’m not the best when it comes to printers and computers, sure, but I guess I’m better than 97 percent of the general public—I can take apart most any Hewlett-Packard printer, certainly, usually fumble my way through most other printer (certainly, with a service manual at my disposal), can make many a piece of computer hardware bow to my whim, and do quite a number with a multitude of a piece of software.

Information Technology—computers and the sort—just happens to be how I earn the bulk of my living right now. I don’t consider it my best skill set, or much more than a hobby. Still, I am challenged with it on a daily basis, some days better than others, and it helps to keep my mechanical and troubleshooting skills sharpened.