Monthly Archives: June 2011
A post on Slashdot last week got me thinking about the impact of hackers making extortion demands on various medium to large businesses. This impact could be ridiculously huge and, unfortunately, with the launch of Bitcoin, hackers can now remain anonymous throughout the entire process.
Dork, geek, dweeb, nerdâ€¦ Iâ€™ve heard it all. I wore those labels from the time I was very young and, eventually (sometime around High School) I reconciled that I was different. It wasnâ€™t a conscious decision, and not even something I realized until much later. It has only been in the context of reading the writings of others on this subject that I have realized geeks are, in some cases, the rock stars of the 21st century. I do not say this in an effort of self-gratification, because even to those rock stars, I am still (just) a computer nerd. I merely observe it and believe it to be true.
Some of the most well known names of the last 10 years have been technology entrepeneurs. Everyone knows Bill Gates, Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg. These people, and many others, are household (or soon to be) names because they are rich â€“ sure â€“ but there are many rich people that everyday Americans know nothing about. These tech folks have risen to star status. How else do you explain Wozniak on Dancing with the Stars?
Does this bother me? Not really. It only bothers me in the sense that some are abducting the â€œgeek cultureâ€ when they donâ€™t identify with it â€“ being someone they are not. THAT has never sat well with me. If someone is a computer geek or comic book nerd â€“ great. I believe everyone should do what makes them happy (so long as it does not encroach on the happiness of others). But the non-stop flow of comic book movies and rapid technological advancement has led many to claim themselves as something they are not. Thereâ€™s no need for it. In some sense, weâ€™re all nerds â€“ but most of us are not nerds about nerdy things. For someone to be a nerd is to be passionate and knowledgable about a subject that most find boring. Equestrians, wine tasters Â and Nascar fans are all nerds, to me, in that way. I have no desire to know anything more about their subjects than I already do.
The world could do with more nerdiness. I look around and see so many without a cause or even a passion. The great work of the world is done by so few, and while I donâ€™t expect everyone to do great work, I believe it is everyoneâ€™s job to contribute something back to the world that gives them so much â€“ that is the basic definition of balance, after all. I do not lay blame, but do believe everyone has at least one realm that they would enjoy learning about. I just wish it was easier for people to find that realm.
I am amazed. Baffled. I continue to talk to business owners that do not recognize the value of backing up their data. They… just don’t seem to think anything will go wrong. I can’t honestly believe that anyone in 2011 thinks computers will operate without issue, which leaves me with the conclusion that these people don’t actually want to address this. I believe data loss, for many businesses is the most expensive, preventable disaster they can be faced with.
One weeks work by a minimum wage employee is worth nearly $1000 to their employer.
Thus, if the typical server goes down, in the typical office, and the last good backup is just one month old, we’re talking about $25,000. This does, of course, assume that people spend all of their productive time on a computer. I know that doesn’t happen, but I think you can see the disparity.
I feel like a broken record sometimes, telling these businesses that they NEED to backup. That they NEED to care… after all, that’s why they hire me. I’ve seen so many organizations skimp on a $100 backup drive or, years ago, $20 drive cleaning tapes!
I know that backup isn’t the only thing that businesses ignore, it’s just the one that is most exposed to me because of my job. In life, many of us choose to keep our eyes closed to what’s going on or what could happen. Despite prodding, only 2 of my clients have been willing to create a technology disaster plan. I recently spoke with a friend in the midst of a terrible relationship, one she knows needs to end, yet she hasn’t ended it. There’s something inherently wrong with human beings if so many of us act this way.
I admit – I’m guilty of it at times. I try very hard to not indulge in procrastination. There’s always something that seems more important, sure… but think of the effect on your business. Or the effect on your life. It doesn’t make sense to me. Daunting tasks can be overcome by starting slowly and breaking them into smaller tasks. This has been one of my resolutions this year, and I’d encourage you to think if it applies to you, be it in the realm of your technology or life in general.
I wrote about this a few months ago – that those in charge seem to have become desensitized to the varying skill levels in IT. Years ago, there were people that were good, OK and bad at various tech stuff. As time has gone on, there seem to be fewer in the OK camp, proportionally, and the bad group has grown tremendously. Everyone and their brother is an “IT Pro” now, yet knows jack.
Real Life update – a web designer at a competitive firm just asked me to transfer the customer’s domain name to him. *blink* THIS is what I’m talking about. I already sent them the auth code days ago…Â Can you sense my frustration?
So here’s what I’m thinking – all you jokers out there that like to play tech guy – stop misrepresenting yourself as knowing more than you do. I didn’t do that when I was coming up, and I still refuse to. I’m good, and I know that, but I also know where my knowledge ends. It’s easily the most important thing you can learn if you’re going to take a job in IT – to know where that boundary is.
Alright, done bitching.