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Fri, 12 Jan 2007

Teaching me how to administrate computers...

That's why I went to the university today. Fascinating... After working as system administrator for several years I must visit a university course showing me, how a computer works. They started with the very basics (That's a CPU... that's a mother board...) I think we spend the first four weeks to "learn" that if you buy a mother board, you must take care that the CPU works with it.

So far we covered hard discs and some peripheries, too. Sigh.

If that course wouldn't have compulsory attendance... Well. But at least I can amuse myself about the lecturer. Often he muddles up technical term -- which is quite a achievement when reading the text on the slides. Maybe he's a bit dyslexic, would explain some of his... uhm... strangenesses.

But back to topic: Today the topic of the course was Operating System Installation. And to my pleasure, he did not only install an operating system made by a company in Redmond, but he wanted to install a Linux System, too. Well... First he tried to install the new Vista he just got instead of the older Windows Version he should knew better. Bad choice... Often new introduces features seemed to confuse him. After he finished with that, he installed an opensuse system. And sometimes he tried to explain a bit about Unix philosophy. Another bad idea. Those of us, who are familiar with that stuff could see, that didn't know what he was talking about, and those of us who are not familiar with Unix/Linux philosophy didn't learned it from him.

For example he choose not to use grub or any other Linux Boot loader but the one shipped with Windows, which means he needs to tell Linux not to install the mbr, to boot later from DVD, to extract the first bytes of the partition via dd, to copy it to a floppy, to reboot to windows and to add it with some commands in the dosbox thingy. When I asked him, why he didn't used the boot loader from Linux, he told me, that in former lilo times, in was quite easy to make the system unbootable. And when I then informed him, that that's the reason, grub has been invented, he said, we use the windows boot loader, because he wants to do so.

Oh, and as part of a test, we must install those two system our self. Including the brain dead stuff he does. Sigh.

Some times courses, which should be quite easy for you, can turn out to be really depressing...

I'm really looking forward for part two of the system administration course, which will try to teach me windows administration and networking. The Unix Course has been cancelled. Don't know why.

postet at 17:30 into [Debian] permanent link


Alexander Tolimar Reichle-Schmehl lives in Tuttlingen / Germany. He works as IT manager (specialized on Unix and SAN/Storage) for an international automotive supplier.