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(Wired)   SysAdmin survey reveals discrepancies between what people actually do with their computers and what they say they do   (wired.com) divider line 137
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20348 clicks; posted to Main » on 28 Apr 2004 at 2:51 PM (10 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2004-04-28 09:40:44 AM
Yeah, but what are the sysadmins doing? They're farking around just as much as anyone else, they're just smart enough to fix their own mess and/or avoid spyware altogether. They send low-level techies off to clean spyware and viruses while they sit on their asses reading people's email, porn surfing, and thinking of how they are so much smarter than every other employee, including other IT folks.
 
2004-04-28 10:09:56 AM
Absolute lies, robhead.

We are running around fixing crap you people load up, and if we institute policies that prevent that, fight rear-guard battles with dumbasses that are convinced they must download or die.

As for "sending around low level techies" I dunno where you work, but I've never seen that, and I've been inside a lot of companies in 10 years. And I dunno what you're complaining about, that low-level techie still knows not to click on an attachment or how to clean a hard drive. What are you doing with your valuable time?
 
2004-04-28 10:13:47 AM
"No one installs it, yet this garbage is on so many machines. Obviously the spyware fairy shows up late at night and installs the junk on their systems,"

Brilliant, I need to photoshop up a "Spyware Fairy".

3Horn
 
2004-04-28 10:21:24 AM
First rule of help desk: Users lie.

Second rule of help desk: USERS LIE!!!!!

/Network admin for about seven years
 
2004-04-28 10:22:51 AM
I think that he would look like that peter pan guy that's all the rage on the interweb these days...
 
2004-04-28 10:32:09 AM
I have so many stories about this...

I've been a techie for over 10 years now and a network admin for about 6 and I've seen stuff that not even God would believe.

I've seen users stuff 5 1/4" disks in 3 1/2 drives, I've seen CDs stuffed in 5 1/4" drives... I've seen users confronted with network logs of their active porn surfing corroborated with their browser's cache from a Windows 200 (i.e. must login to use) station deny their abuse.

About the spyware crap - I get so sick of users being asshats that I've set up major barriers to downloading spyware and the most popular spyware loaded software off the intarweb. The filters are working well so far, we only have about 5 calls a week from farktards that install spyware - before the filters we had 5 a day, mostly from the same people we would fix and they'd download crap again.

If I had my way, users would only be able to access tcp port 80 allowing only HTML, Jpegs, Gifs, PNGs and SWFs from a whitelist of sites.

robhead, from the looks of it, you hate your network admins probably because you've been busted one time to many.
 
2004-04-28 10:37:29 AM
uncle eazy, I prefer a simpler approach...

"Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity."
- Hanlon's Razor
 
2004-04-28 11:51:22 AM
Our sysadmins have rigged the new XP installs so that we can't play sound anymore. No CDs, no mp3s, no news reports, no warning beeps, no Mediaplayer, nothing. Now I have to listen to my fellow co-workers, the ones who get all the pop-ups and spyware on their PCs, talking endlessly and distracting me from being productive.
 
2004-04-28 12:02:09 PM
yeah, steady there robhead, we've all shared your e-mails and they're not that interesting.

oops.
 
2004-04-28 12:08:38 PM
Our sysadmin locked things down years ago. Not too many
problems on a day-to-day basis. Everything running off a
consistant set of images and if anything goes wrong...your
machine is ghosted. - make sure to save everything
important to one of the network drives.
 
2004-04-28 01:16:03 PM
What I would like to see the sysadmins do is convince upper management that the sales guy doesn't need a 3GB machine with 2 gigs of ram to make a power point presentation and that the programmers could use a little something better than a 600mhz box and 128MBs of ram with a 2 gig hard drive when they are trying to simulate a production environment.

"Excuse me boss, you see it's not that I don't know how to install the software, it's that after I installed the OS there was only 20MBs of space left and the application needs a gig."
 
2004-04-28 01:18:55 PM
Guess I came off a little strong (the part about reading email and porn surfing was a joke BTW.)

I love my sysadmins, they are great, they make network go!

Thankfully, here at work (a university) we have a very liberal network usage policy (I can host my own images for PS contests, yay!) Our sysadmins support our (IT) servers, the low level techies are the ones who hand-hold the faculty and fix desktops.

Individually, our sysadmins are nice people, but get them together and the ego stroking and user bashing begins. Somehow they think that their job is more important than anyone else's. I'm currently an Oracle DBA, my users do stupid things too, but I don't go around trashing them to folks.

Sysadmins have and will always be a breed of their own. My advice (however hypocritical it may sound) is to kiss-up!
 
2004-04-28 01:21:46 PM
"Sounds like we've got another one of them ID10T problems."
 
2004-04-28 01:28:52 PM
Ninja_Pancakes: If I had my way, users would only be able to access tcp port 80 allowing only HTML, Jpegs, Gifs, PNGs and SWFs from a whitelist of sites.

I've worked for such a regime, it was not a fun place to work. The network policy was just a drop in the bucket...

Oh, and I don't hate my admins at all, they keep the place running. I just get tired of the elitist attitudes sometimes.

Did they fire the guys who lied about porn surfing? I have a problem with liars...
 
2004-04-28 02:27:34 PM
If I had my way, users would only be able to access tcp port 80 allowing only HTML, Jpegs, Gifs, PNGs and SWFs from a whitelist of sites.

You won't have too many users, then.

/ IT geek who would have no job if it weren't for users, smart and dim
 
2004-04-28 02:53:22 PM
You don't want to know what I do to my computer.
 
2004-04-28 02:57:27 PM
First rule of help desk: Users lie.

Second rule of help desk: USERS LIE!!!!!


Doh!!! This is news?!?!?!
 
2004-04-28 02:58:02 PM
Thanks for the reminder to run Ad Aware.
 
2004-04-28 02:59:52 PM
PEBCAK errors always piss me off.
 
2004-04-28 03:00:10 PM

I'm confused. Why are sysadmins letting users run Windows (I assume) with Admin rights ? One place I worked at had everyone log in as User only. I couldn't even change the time on those computers (that is, without going into bios.)


Here, I am logged in as Admin, but after using my home computer as a testing ground for every bad thing you can do to a computer, I know what and what not to do. My home computer may not be the fastest in my neighborhood, but I bet it's one of the best kept/secure.


Of course, if log records here were checked to show I was at Fark.com, I would become Unemployedskinink.

 
2004-04-28 03:01:37 PM
What a lame article.

Of course people don't SAY they installed spyware... they're not lying... spyware generally piggybacks other programs, or is installed via viruses.

I run a network as well. The low-end users are always having some spyware crop up. When I ask them if they installed it on purpose, of course they didn't. That's basically the DEFINITION of spyware.
 
2004-04-28 03:01:48 PM
"No one installs it, yet this garbage is on so many machines. Obviously the spyware fairy shows up late at night and installs the junk on their systems"

Man, that's just the type of asswipe comment that make people annoyed with their SysAdmins. Pretty much screams "Nick Burns, your company's computer guy."

OF COURSE THEY DON'T THINK THEY INSTALL IT. THEY DON'T KNOW WAHT SPYWARE IS. THEY THINK THEY'RE DOWNLOADING A PROGRAM THAT DOES SOMETHING ELSE, NOT SOMETHING KNOWN AS "SPYWARE".

Christ. This is the biggest barrier keeping people from taking advantage of technology - usability issues. When people who know what the hell they're doing are dicks to everyone who isn't "1337 enuf" for them, they just add to the problem, alienate people, and delay progress.

/rant
 
2004-04-28 03:02:04 PM
I just use my computer for research and homework................ no really..
 
2004-04-28 03:02:47 PM
"No one installs it, yet this garbage is on so many machines. Obviously the spyware fairy shows up late at night and installs the junk on their systems,"

Somebody obviously taunted the spyware monkey.
 
2004-04-28 03:03:53 PM
If I had my way, users would only be able to access tcp port 80 allowing only HTML, Jpegs, Gifs, PNGs and SWFs from a whitelist of sites.

Then just don't have computers, or turn off the Internet. Maybe you were only recently introduced to the Internet, but its a fairly useful tool beyond just web pages...
 
2004-04-28 03:05:27 PM
Exactly, Byrd. I love these IST dweebs who walk around speaking so mightily about us pathetic non-techies who don't know enough to avoid spyware. How dare we mere mortals not be as adept on a computer as they. Never mind that, were everyone to be half as skilled as these loner nerds seem to wish we were, they wouldn't have, ya know, *jobs*. Then they'd never get to move out of mom's basement.
 
2004-04-28 03:07:29 PM
 
2004-04-28 03:07:45 PM
Never mind that, were everyone to be half as skilled as these loner nerds seem to wish we were, they wouldn't have, ya know, *jobs*. Then they'd never get to move out of mom's basement.

On top of that, IT degrees are pretty much a dime a dozen these days. At RIT, you know what an IT major is? Someone who couldn't hack it in CS, SE, or another Engineering major so instead of going on academic suspension they changed majors.
 
2004-04-28 03:07:50 PM
1) Eliminate win98 or god help you ME 2) do not give your users any rights 3) Complain about spyware problems while playing quake

If it's your home system remove your normal user account from the administrators group

You're welcome
 
2004-04-28 03:09:52 PM
SysAdmins are never given enough credit. I work on the security side, and work with sysadmins on overal network and security policy. They are over-worked, usually understaffed, and in addition to doing the day to day maintainance, are interupted by users who forgot passwords, machine is down, service broke, stray process eating up the T1, etc. This isnt even including updating patches and deploying them (which in a large organisation can require collaboration from offices around the world at late times, testing the new fixes, changing configurations (VPN's, tcp wrappers, services, changes in IDS sigs, peremiter firewall changes, etc). NO one wants spyware but its bound to slip in at some point. It can be tricky to track down too.

And yet, people wonder why the sysadmin is grumpy. Seriously, We ahve a 'secretaries day'. wtf is that? Wheres the sysadmin's day? Betty in sales gets a special day to herself (the bumbling idiot who opens a strange attachment out of curiosity), while the systems team gets a "great you fixed it, now get back to work".
 
2004-04-28 03:10:00 PM
I miss the word 'SysOp.' I used to pronounce it 'Sigh-sop' and it made me think of metallic, blinkey-eyed robots.

*dusts off hands* Welp, that's just about all I know about computers. Hope it helped.
 
2004-04-28 03:10:25 PM
3horn
"Brilliant, I need to photoshop up a "Spyware Fairy"."
3Horn"


GIS for "spyware fairy":



FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, AVOID THE SPYWARE FAIRY !!!!!

 
2004-04-28 03:13:04 PM
/me snorts sode through her nose
 
2004-04-28 03:13:40 PM
oops
sode=soda
 
2004-04-28 03:14:03 PM
FOR THE LOVE OF GOD MY EYES!!!!!!!
 
2004-04-28 03:14:03 PM
Batfang-

What are you researching? What topic is the homework?? If you're studying to be a sex therapist....
 
2004-04-28 03:14:23 PM
macker:

http://www.sysadminday.com/
 
2004-04-28 03:14:45 PM
I D 1 0 T

error

/ccna
ccnp
 
2004-04-28 03:16:25 PM
"As for "sending around low level techies" I dunno where you work, but I've never seen that, and I've been inside a lot of companies in 10 years."

Then you've never worked for the government. A staff of 300 IT people for an office of 1000. Unreal. 80% of these 'IT Specialists' are boneheads straight out of college or high school that think they're experienced professionals.

Get this. The dept. within the Canadian government that does the hiring looks at each resume. If it doesn't say MCSE on it, it's in the garbage. Un-real. That's like looking at my resume and saying 'gee, I don't see any kind of certificate to prove he passed kintergarden, so trash it.' I've got 25+ solid years of experience as a sysadmin and programmer of many languages yet I have a hard time finding work because my resume doesn't say MCSE.

So instead, they hire green MCSE's who have never seen a workplace before and they're all boneheads that don't know anything beyond MS's "it always works" (and never does) overloaded methods. How do I set up a single server domain? Microsoft starts out; "You have a multi-national organization with multiple departments in several different countries...." and all their examples are like this from how to set up a mail merge to how to write a record to a database. So the new MCSE's know, vaguely, how to set up another Microsoft but are clueless about anything else.

/pissed off .Net rant

Oh and while I'm at it; I had one of the office girls say something like "I thought I'd never hear a techie say that".

*ahem* *I* am NOT a "Techie". A "Techie" is a know-it-all that don't know shiat. God I hate that term. It's insulting to anyone that does know what they're doing.
 
2004-04-28 03:17:45 PM
I don't expect users around here to know as much about computers as me, I expect them to have common sense.

how dumb to you have to be to LOOK AT PORN AT WORK??? I mean come on now people!!! you don't have to know anything about computers and spyware to know that YOU DON'T LOOK AT PORN AT WORK!!! "duh, gee, no I have no idea how that XXX-toolbar got on my computer." "why is my homepage now set to www.hugecocks.com?"

no, I don't expect the users I support to be computer geniuses. I expect them to not be dumbasses in general.
 
2004-04-28 03:19:56 PM
Pocket Ninja

We don't make fun of you the first time you choose to install a spyware program. It's usually after you've done it 3 or 4 times in spite of being asked not to install ANYTHING without at least letting one of us 'elitist' people know it. Complaining about that is like complaining that your house fell down after you second-guessed the architect and removed a load-bearing wall.

:)

OTOH, who watches the watchers? Right. That's why I got into this line of work. :)
 
2004-04-28 03:19:59 PM
nice byrd. I should send that link to all the companies I have worked for. Love the gift ideas, heh.

ya, ok. Someone will pay for my blackberry. Wish I had an employer who would have paid for it, along with the dandy ssh client and enterprise server. Shiat, I'de take a free 6-pack and call it even....
 
2004-04-28 03:20:28 PM
"why is my homepage now set to www.hugecocks.com?"

Maybe he was just reading it for the articles.
 
2004-04-28 03:20:40 PM
I am B.O.F.H. resistance is futile.
 
2004-04-28 03:22:36 PM
Spyware happens to people using inferior browsers. I have a superior one.
 
2004-04-28 03:23:21 PM
meshman

You certainly don't sound like a know-it-all. That's for damn sure! :)
 
Ant
2004-04-28 03:24:22 PM
2004-04-28 12:08:38 PM ChewbaccaJones

Everything running off a
consistant set of images and if anything goes wrong...your
machine is ghosted. - make sure to save everything
important to one of the network drives.



I wish I could make my users' data their responsibility like that. I mean, aside from making sure that backups fire off regularly, it shouldn't be our fault that Jim Bob from accounting saved a spreadsheet to the root of his c: drive before his HD crashed. We're a small company with only 3 IT guys supporting 150 users though, so we're expected to do lots of hand holding
 
2004-04-28 03:25:49 PM
meshman
Whoa! Chill dude! Everything you said is true from my point of view and I'm in roughly the same boat, but there's no need to go apeshiat when I hear the word 'techie' from someone. Around here, a techie is someone that knows a hell of a lot more than they do about things that easily confuse them.

That's not a bad spot to be in.

Oh, and I've actually told users whom I'm helping that it's a PEBCAK error.
"What's a PEBCAK error?"
"Problem Exists Between Chair and Keyboard."

Walk away and let them figure it out.
 
2004-04-28 03:26:43 PM
2004-04-28 03:00:10 PM skinink
I'm confused. Why are sysadmins letting users run Windows (I assume) with Admin rights ?

There are some applications (AutoCAD 2000 here) that require the user to have admin rights. Very stupid.
 
2004-04-28 03:27:19 PM
To my mind, the whole story on "employee use of computers at work, for non-work related purposes", can be summed up in this graph from google (and others like it), showing search stats as a function of date:



Notice that searches surge during the week, then fall off on the weekend. Hmmm, now I wonder why that might be?
 
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