[ubuntu-uk] war stories, was: RM £169 linux-ok notebook

Alan Pope alan at popey.com
Wed Oct 10 10:06:18 BST 2007

Hi Kirrus,

On Wed, 2007-10-10 at 09:40 +0100, Kirrus wrote:

Heh. I know a few people who have that same reaction :(.

> I used to go to a school, who got all computers & services from RM. We
> had at least one major system failure a year. (As in, all computers
> down.) The Sasser worm was great fun. Running round every PC with a
> floppydisk, containing the norton free fix... all 250 of them. One.
> At. A. Stupidly. Slow. Time. 

To be fair I've been at a few corporate sites where viruses have taken
out most of the machines. 

Best example I have is.. 

About 3-4 years ago I was asked to do a weeks work in the USA - Palo
Alto. I decided to take my own personal laptop with me so I could watch
programmes on the plane, and generally entertain myself when bored. It
was running Debian at the time.

I arrived at the customer office on the first day and was taken to a
Dilbert-style cube where I had a chair, a desk, network cable and power
socket. The head of the office said "I'll send over the network guy to
help you setup your laptop". At which point I said "but it's my own
personal laptop, not a work one". He didn't seem bothered by this (most
companies I work at won't let you plug your own laptop into their

I grabbed a coffee and sat down in my cube waiting for the network guy.
A few minutes later someone turned up with an IP address written on a
post-it note. This was the network guy. He said "before I give you this
static IP, I need to ask a couple of questions about your laptop". "Uh,
ok" I said. "Firstly, what anti-virus software do you use on your

At this point I thought it could all go horribly wrong, and I could get
ejected from the building, however it went better than I thought.

"Well, I don't run Windows you see.." is how I started. At which point
the guy said "Oh, you run Linux, oh that's fine then, here, here's your
IP address, I'm sure you can sort yourself out." and away he went.

Sure enough I was able to connect to the networked laserjet printer,
access other network applications and basically do my job effectively.

About half an hour after I was given access there was a lot of wailing
and gnashing of teeth coming from another cube. (I had never worked in a
Dilbert-style cube-farm before, and noticed that everyone stands up like
mere-cats, looking over the partitions when there is a comotion).

One of the guys had been hit by some virus or worm on his work windows
machine. He actually said something to the effect of "stuff this, I'm
off to play golf" because his computer was completely unusable.

So there's me, with my Linux laptop, working, and him, with his windows
machine, constantly rebooting, while he is out playing golf.

I'm sure there's a moral there, and I'm not sure who was the "winner"
overall. You decide for yourself :)

(by the way, I hate golf).

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