Colin Watson is the network manager for Holy Trinity CoE Senior School in Halifax. As well as being run by the network and 'tortured' by staff demands, he assists in 12 IT classes a week. This involves holding off technical breakdowns as well as preaching the joys of computer use.
Size doesn't matter but how big is yours?
The network consists of one NT file server (I love it to bits coz it's not an Acorn and it works!!), with approximately 180 PCs running Windows 3.xx or NT Workstation 4, and the remainder of the 120 odd Acorns which we keep to make my life miserable. We also have an Acorn proxy (or is that poxy) server for the intra/internet running Nevago - sorry Navaho.
Describe your first network. Were you proud of it?
It was an Acorn (spit) Ecconet system, and given that I had no manual to work from I was proud as anything, but I don't usually admit to things like that in public.
23:59 31/12/98 what will you be doing?
Working - but in a nightclub, not on the network.
Who would you most like to video-conference with and what would you do in front of the camera?
John Force, the world's greatest dragster racer. I'd be bowing on the floor, screaming "I'm not worthy."
Industry figures: One you admire and one you despise. And why?
What the hell he deserves a break: I admire Bill Gates - so far I've only had niggles with Microsoft stuff, touch wood.
I despise the guy who wrote the error codes for the Acorn computers - I mean who the hell understands 'Address exception at &F224891927'?
Has your job ever been perilous - kidnaps, blackmail, torture, coffee machine failure, etc?
Once I was laying a net cable out to a portable hut from the roof of the school when the break bell went. Picture this; me on the roof and 1,200 kids wanting to nick the ladder - it got interesting.
Describe a professional incident that made you laugh/cry.
User: Col, my printer has stopped working.
Me: I'm not surprised.
Me: It's gone rusty inside - I'll leave you to explain that one to the management.
Have you ever hacked into a network?
Can I plead the Fifth Amendment?
What is the most absurd thing a user has ever said to you?
What does 'Address exception error at &F224891927' mean?
You've got the budget, what would you do to make your users happy?
Err! I think we've spent it for the next millennium.
Why did you decide on a career in IT?
The rest of my family are engineers so I decided there would be more money in IT. I'm still hoping.
How often do you work from home?
What is home and this thing you call work? I'm not familiar with them.
If you found a nest of voles in the cabling closet how would you proceed?
This is a church school with christian principles. I would have to be humane and give them blindfolds before reaching for the 12-bore.
And Apple IS working on virtual reality headset
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