Saturday, December 09, 2006

The people upstairs

I am terribly sorry I didn't blog this, but it took place on the day of my previous entry and was followed by an actual day at work.

In order to graduate, we're required to undergo interships — two weeks if you're taking a college course during the second semestre, four weeks otherwise — with a potential employer in the field of our major (in my case computer science). Last Tuesday we were given a series of seminars about presentation in a job interview in order to prepare us for the following day, when interviews would take place. The first was the course director discussing how to dress and present in an interview, which basically meant many of us would have to borrow blazers from her the following day.

The second, though, subjected us to the treatment: the senior cosmetology class. We filed in and sat down to have our fingernails manicured and hands washed at the first layer, and then they sent us up to dip our hands in some container. When I neared the container and viewed the prohibitive orange contents before turning toward the hands in mitts and plastic bags, I was slightly apprehensive. I was then to learn that it was a deep wax, which was supposed to clean out the lower layers of the hand skin. I still had the mitts on and my fingers were held together by this solution when the fire alarm sounded. Once everyone was outside, one other student's hands became cold and asked for a mitt, so one cosmetology student took mine off and massaged the wax, which had now hardened, off my hands. How great to have my fingers move again!

Once that was over, it was a job application course hosted by a recruiter for the Harrah's properties. That ended the interview courses, leaving us to wait the following day to forage for dress shirts and pants to dress in for the interviews. I was the only one staying at the school to complete the internship, so I went upstairs and spoke to the head of the IT department.

As I explained earlier, people had been using proxy addresses to gain access to MySpace (for the most part). The man I was going to talk to that Wednesday morning was the guy who made sure it didn't happen. I sat down and picked up my course description and we began to talk. After I asked him about the environment of the rooms upstairs, we lapsed right into a talk of how bad the video game console war and then how calls from downstairs turned out to be very funny causes such as stray plugs. Then, he told me something shocking: The whole network had to be refitted. The old Dells had to come out last year since many programmes such as the NCLEX courses refused to work on the old Dells, so in came the flatscreens at bargains from Dell due to the educational cause. The old laptops were being phased out as they required external NICs, which would be bumped against stack pallets, damaging the hardware. There were even some Inspirons bought five years ago that had succumbed to damage one way or other (he noted that it had become cheaper to buy a new computer than to replace the LCD screen) and would no longer boot up. That explained the introduction of the WiFi-optimised Latitudes.

The most shocking thing of all was that Novell was going to go as well. It turned out that NetWare 6 would be the last proprietary operating system Novell was to produce before it would build verything in Linux. (It had bought SUSE, making this possible.) While this wasn't a concern for the school (although it was a lamentation as NetWare could not be hacked due to the use of its IPX protocol), course programs would also reject NetWare. On top of that, Novell was not lenient with pricing for eductaional purposes. This meant that the system was going right over to Windows Server 2003. (Whether it'll allow ESS to affect Macs this time around, as BorderManager had a little ground there, remains to be seen.)

Shocked by the new development, we concluded our interview. It was fun talking to him, as we managed to laugh throughout at how the developments came to be, but the fact remined that if things weren't to get done with the system by end of break, I'd have a lot of work on my own hands. But it's an intership, and we're putting this on our résumé, so I'm personally ready.

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