The Night before Christmas
Tis the night before Christmas,I thought with a frown.
I was stuck at the office. The network was down.
The routers were hung in the closet. all crashed.
Their tables had holes in their data, all trashed.
Remote distribution, it seems, just for fun,
had erased DLLs Windows needed to run,
on 64 desktops, way down in accounting.
I sat stunned at my desk, my blood pressure mounting.
When all of a sudden there arose such a clatter. _
I saw that a server had something the matter.
There was smoke coming out of the main hard disk drive.
“No problem,” I thought, “I’m set up with RAID 5.”.
But I found out the system I thought was unstoppable
had disk drives that turned out completely unmountable.
“No problem ” I thought. “I’ve tape backup to thank.”.
And then I discovered my backups were blank.
The UPS burped, and its lights went out.
I started to scream! I started to shout!
But nobody heard as l vented my rage.
my gurus were all on vacation those days.
Nobody’s tech support answered the phone.
I was nose deep in trouble, completely alone.
when out at reception, i heard a soft knock.
As the hands just touched midnight on my desktop clock.
“What’s your problem?”, he asked.
“Never mind, friend. I know.
I checked out your network ﬁve hours ago.
I did some proactive analysis, so I knew that this time bomb
was going to blow.”
Who was this guy? Who did he think that he was?
He was dressed in red coveralls, white beard, black gloves.
His eyes had the twinkle of technical genius.
His smile cut down personal distance between us.
He spread out his tools. and went straight to his work.
“Whoever conﬁgured this network’s a jerk.”,
he said with a :—) as he quickly rebooted,
uploaded some software, and smoothly rerouted.
The LAN to WAN that he quickly supplied
with bandwidth at least 20 gigabitswide
that went via wireless, I think, LEO,
to tech support elves waiting at the North Pole.
“Now bridging, now routing, now Ethernet hubs!”,
He chanted as each piece of hardware he rubbed.
“Cheer up, my good friend! Lose that mindset so tragic!
Technology often looks just like some magic.
To people who don’t understand what we do.
Now a switch, emulation, now middleware glue!
Look at the protocols, check one or two,
Debug a bit, test a bit, presto! We’re through!”
My data was back! Every system checked out!
Tears of joy wet my face as I wandered about.
“How can I thank you? You must be Saint Nick!”
He said, “Really, my friend, it’s not such a great trick.
If you don’t give up hope, focus on what you’re doing,
And read all your issues of NETWORK COMPUTING.”
And I heard him exclaim, as his reindeer were coursing,
“Merry Christmas to all! And consider outsourcing!”
I found this story in an email from 1996. Thank you Rick Owens for the entertainment.