Friday, June 01, 2001

My Windows 2000 class is going really well. Microsoft seems to have done a good job of making their operating system do, well, just about everything. They have built in all of the things that you used to have to buy afterward and bolt onto their servers: web, DHCP, DNS, IPSEC, routing capability, all that stuff. It all behaves, each part talking nicely to the other parts. Mind you, it was *just* in the classroom, but I plan on getting conversant and comfortable with this new system, as it will (no doubt) become ubiquitous in our industry.

The most enjoyable part of the class is speaking with the other students and finding out what cool things they are doing and what tools they are using. Also, the discussions are intelligent and come from a similar set of experiences to my own but not so similar that they produce the same trains of thought. We bashed Microsoft for it's problem-ridden software, but at the same time, acknowledged that it was good to know of the problems and have so many others actively looking for them, too. We bemoaned users and their unrealistic demands, their quirky problems, and their sometimes poor grasp on logic and naivete.

Today someone started a "Do you remember when ..." discussion. We reminisced about the Beagle Brothers, Castle Wolfenstein, the Commodore 1541 disk drive and the 5 1/4 floppies (double sided, double density, you know), Pong, Sinclair computers with their horrible keyboards, our own "first" machines and stories of how we first got hooked into the profession of computer tinkering. We even got into bashing those who are now entering the milk-and-honey field of technology because of the seemingly endless jobs. Some are becoming certified without fully grasping the troubleshooting fundamentals. We shared horror stories of people coming out of school with no grasp of how all the pieces of components, operating systems, applications, networks, protocols and the Internet fit together. It's like having a whole Scrabble game in front of you and knowing how to spell all the words, but not being able to build a sentence.

Hurumph. Kids these days.

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