Sunday, September 16, 2007

Beginning of the School Year

Boy, summer was interesting, and the school year is underfoot.

Summertime...and the livin's easy...

Let me share a little bit about my summer.

First of all, I got to spend a good month worth of vacation. For the first week, my fiancée and I visited my family out in Kansas. I got to spend some good time with my grandmother, who I hadn't seen in a while, and who passed away around a month later. I must say that I'm grateful that I got to spend that time with her; I think it may have been much sadder for me if I hadn't.

We spent the rest of our vacation visiting family in Venezuela, my beloved fatherland. My fiancée had been there before with me, last year for about a week, but this was the first time that she'd been there for any sort of extended period of time where it wasn't rush, rush, rush. Unfortunately she did become sick when we ate somewhere we really shouldn't've, but otherwise we had a beautiful time there.

Back to work

The day I got back from vacation, we had to move the Technology department's office (desks, supply storage, servers, etc.) into it's new location (did I mentioned I started work here immediately before a nine million dollar renovation project?). This wasn't SO bad, except for the power got turned on about halfway through that day, the network drops weren't done until few days, and it took a few weeks to get our cabinetry in.

Oh, and the water...yes, the water. It turns out that whoever is responsible for scheduling the construction project thought "Let's hope it doesn't rain!" is a valid plan when it comes to ensuring the most expensive and critical technolog equipment in the school is safe.

Yes, they moved us into a part of the building where the roof was being removed to make way for the new addition on the second story. For the next four weeks, it consistently rained once or twice a week, and all that water ended up in our office.

It turns out Dell servers are pretty well designed to withstanding falling water on them, though I somehow doubt that was deliberate as, who in their right mind would put servers in any danger of being rained on? Needless to say, we became intimately acquainted with the joys of tarping everything every night before we left work.

As a result of that situation, as well as running around doing disaster recovery type stuff—like, say, finding a hundred-foot extension cord to get power into the network closet, since someone had sawed through a main power line—we became sort of swamped between the work we had been hoping to do over the summer, the work that needed to be done with picking up the pieces from the ongoing renovation, and the normal beginning-of-the-school-year work.

I'd like to get more HOWTOs posts up here—I'd love to—but we've been doing a lot of work to sort of maintain our technology situation, so I haven't gotten too much of an opportunity to sit down and improve it to have any good writing material.

Teaching

<My classes are going well, co-teaching with my boss Vern. We have a Python class and a Java class, and I've got to say that so far I prefer Python. I've played with Python before, but I always quickly forgot it because I didn't use it; this class is a concrete project to use it and get it learned, and the more I learn about it, the more projects I should be able to use it for.

The Indiana LoCo Team & Ohio LinuxFest

The Ubuntu Indiana Local Community Team has become a bit more active after the summer break, and we're looking to meet up at the Ohio LinuxFest this year. If you're into Ubuntu and you're in Indiana, I encourage you to get involved in the team, and if you're anyone reading this I encourage you to go to the Ohio LinuxFest—if you fall into both camps, come join our gathering during the lunch break, we'll be the big group of people with matching T-shirts having a great time. :-)

Also related to the Ohio LinuxFest, this year they're having an Ohio LinuxFest University day of classes the Friday before. It's a little bit more expensive than just going to the LinuxFest itself, but I'm hoping it's worth every penny—I'm going to take the Linux Professional Institute Level One Cram Session class, and take the LPI 101 exam on the Sunday after.

I've been warned that it's quite the difficult exam, so I look forward to the challenge. I'm going through O'Reilly's LPI Linux Certification in a Nutshell book, and reading man pages and playing with stuff (including a Fedora 7 virtual machine, as "Use Red Hat Package Manager" is one of the most important things tested) to see if I can pass it this time.

Note, I will get this certification, the only thing in question is whether I pass the 101 exam on my first try. The test is designed for people with "two years of experience" with Linux system administration. I've got about half of that, maybe, but I've also got an interest in it, and determination. We'll see how it works out, either way I'll learn a lot about the tools at my command. :-)

Until next time

I hope to post more frequently here. The bar has been set dramatically low since I moved here, so that shouldn't be much of a challenge. I'll keep a neuron out for some interesting post fodder as I go about my work, maybe soon we'll get to the point where I can work on some good system improving—that often makes for some interesting stuff to post (interesting to me at least).

Until then, take care!

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2 Comments:

Blogger Brian said...

Hey Simon, there is some good stuff here. I read your posts from time to time. I'm an Indiana Ubuntu user. Thought I might post a "hello" on the Indiana Ubuntu Forums and join the mailing list.

~Brian

6:15:00 PM  
Blogger Simón A. Ruiz said...

Brian,

Thanks for the comment! Glad to hear from you! Definitely, you should poke your nose in and say hi.

I'm replying to your post in the forums, so I'll cut this short ;-)...

8:51:00 PM  

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