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Vexen Crabtree 2015


Vexen Crabtree's Live Journal

Sociology, Theology, Anti-Religion and Exploration: Forcing Humanity Forwards

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Vexen Crabtree 2015

Computer course...

I've been doing a computer course at work for the past month, as part of the training for a possible task next year. Technically, I have always been a telecommunications technician - fixing radios, receivers, transmitters, radio net bandwidth management hardware and settings, modems, fibre-optics, satellite connections, DLOS links, etc... but in reality, I've always been the bright software specialist. Finally, my work have realised that my talents lie in computers, and are now 'training' me for that role.

Unfortunately, my workplace is both beurocratic and slow in realizing what century it is. So, in their wisdom, all Information Systems personell must have ECDL.

Yes, ECDL. The computer qualification designed for the long-term unemployed and immigrants who aren't so hot with anything computery. So, basically, I skived for a week, sat the 7 modules one afternoon and pretended I'd been working hard all week. What a farce... me, doing ECDL??? My seniors all thought it ridiculous that after years as a computer professional, programmer, server maintainer, etc... I was doing a course that involved tasks like "Here are 4 pictures. Click on the two which you think are input devices". Well done!

Thankfully the course moved on... we've done weeks of genuinely good stuff, like N+, A+ (which I already had), MCSA and MCSE courses, etc. There's even talk of putting some people on CCNA, later (another one I already have, but that was 5 stagnant years ago). We've all been given half a shelf of expensive MS 2003 server books; it's a shame many of the others on the course don't appreciate their 5-year worth.

For me, this course is mostly revision, but there are various MS features that I haven't used before (although working it out would be a diddle), such as Compatability modes, volume shadowing, folder and file encryption, etc. And lots which I'm familiar with; IIS, disk management, Active Directory, server software, NTFS kung-fu, and lots besides. I'm the "cone-head" of the course.

They all consider me an expert, although I have so many intelligent friends that I think its truer to say that I'm more like the one-eyed man amongst the blind.

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The number of people who are blind in terms of computers, however, is remarkable. I have been known to amaze people with my supposdly 1337 technical abilities just by being able to guess at how to do fairly simple things like selecting an item from a list.

Ha, yeah, you get it. The questions people ask me betray their utter ignorance... "Hey Crabtree, can you write a command to make a yellow fireball appear?", "Hey, write something here to make the computer put smoke out of the back, I know you can!". Some of my fellow-trainees are still at the stage where they think computers are magic, and who think that as it follows that other people have much more capability with computers and scripts, etc, that such people are capable of doing whatever they want with computers. Magic.

Well I suppose these same people are also the ones who have taken nearly a month to complete some of the 7 ECDL modules!

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