Monday, August 14, 2006

Who Wants to be an Admin?

My cousin used to write the questions for Who Wants to be a Millionaire. He told me how one of the first seven or nine questions always has a stupid answer. It's primarily designed to make the audience laugh but sometimes someone picks it, maybe because he's nervous and flustered being on TV.

If we did a technical version of that show, an early question might be:

Which of these is not an editor you can use in UNIX but is, in fact, a Windows file transfer program?
a) vi
b) emacs
c) pico
d) CuteFTP

The audience at home laugh themselves silly when the contestant's "final answer" is anything but "D". Not me. I sit there ranting away that these fuckers got on the show but I couldn't in the US because I was related to someone working for it and I can't do the German version because I don't "look right enough" for TV.

Anyway, Gino's got a problem in his AIX environment. Gino's got a lot of problems really, because although Gino's job is "AIX administrator", Gino has No. Fucking. Idea. about AIX nor anything that works on it, a lack of comprehension that extends far beyond the scope of $OurBigApp.

Gino doesn't understand codepages and code sets. Gino doesn't understand that if the database is Russian but his locale is Italian that the Cyrillic letters will not be displayed.

The logs are corrupt! They look OK in Windows but they're corrupt in UNIX!

I had to write back to get him to actually send me these "corrupt" logs. I immediately saw the UTF-8 byte order marker at the top of the file. I tried to explain to Gino what was going on and that although the logs looked like jumble of accented vowels under UNIX that it was only a matter of his code set and his editor's ability to work with other code sets. This wasn't good enough. He wants to look at them in UNIX.

It's possible. He only has to change his environment variables. I'll hold his hand and walk him through it. First we need to make sure the editor is Unicode-compliant. He's probably using vi but I long ago learned not to make any assumptions. Out went the mail asking which editor he uses. Two days later came the reply:


x-posted from HuSi


Anonymous Anonymous pulled out a crayon and scribbled:

A few days ago I emailed someone a screenshot of the Start Menu, complete with arrow pointing to the Start Button. So they would know what to click on when I said "click on the Start button".

16 August, 2006 22:27  
Blogger ReallyEvilCanine pulled out a crayon and scribbled:

Because "bottom left corner" is just too damned technical, huh?

16 August, 2006 22:31  
Anonymous Anonymous pulled out a crayon and scribbled:

Google translate wasn't working well:

chascar encendido la tecla de partida, mamacita

den Startknopf an klicken, you frisky fraulein

17 August, 2006 14:10  

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