What is something about your profession that people don't understand?

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Some Egrets
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Re: What is something about your profession that people don't understand?

Post by Some Egrets » Thu Aug 13, 2020 2:56 am

Unless we have like, CERN funding, at some point, somewhere along the way, every experimental science group probably has a drinking bird duct taped to a computer to press a button or some other complete hackjob bodge to make something work because the thing they're trying to do doesn't exist yet or is firmly outside of the level of grant funding they've been able to secure.

We had a set of VLF RX preamps that were definitely not designed for outdoor use, installed outdoors, sealed in a plastic Home Depot bucket nailed to a tree, with holes for the signal cabling plugged up with silicone.

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Re: What is something about your profession that people don't understand?

Post by Winterbay_ » Thu Aug 13, 2020 6:18 am

One of the labs at the toxicology department at uni had a freezer that was almost all ice but no one wanted to de-ice it because there were samples in there that no one knew what it was any more and they didn't want to risk destroying someone's really important sample or thaw out some weird toxin...

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gravity
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Re: What is something about your profession that people don't understand?

Post by gravity » Thu Aug 13, 2020 6:53 am

I don't blame them, they've discovered forgotten samples of smallpox that way in labs in the past. It actually is a serious danger.
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Re: What is something about your profession that people don't understand?

Post by az_vede » Thu Aug 13, 2020 8:00 pm

gravity wrote:
Thu Aug 13, 2020 6:53 am
I don't blame them, they've discovered forgotten samples of smallpox that way in labs in the past. It actually is a serious danger.
vaguely related.... found out years later that a rocketry club had a closet full of rocket fuel unlabeled in the physical sciences building I took most of my uni classes in... safely disposing of old cruft junk and clutter is a problem everywhere...

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gravity
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Re: What is something about your profession that people don't understand?

Post by gravity » Sat Aug 15, 2020 12:03 am

Better than the university earmarking funds for building safety checks and then spending the funds elsewhere for fifty years and then having a building code inspector investigate the building and ordering a mandatory and immediate evacuation because they were honestly afraid the building was going to collapse. Turns out the university was misspending the building repair funds as well.

Had that happen to me.
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Re: What is something about your profession that people don't understand?

Post by TeddyMarinaro » Sun Aug 16, 2020 9:58 pm

Some Egrets wrote:
Thu Aug 13, 2020 2:56 am
Unless we have like, CERN funding, at some point, somewhere along the way, every experimental science group probably has a drinking bird duct taped to a computer to press a button or some other complete hackjob bodge to make something work because the thing they're trying to do doesn't exist yet or is firmly outside of the level of grant funding they've been able to secure.

We had a set of VLF RX preamps that were definitely not designed for outdoor use, installed outdoors, sealed in a plastic Home Depot bucket nailed to a tree, with holes for the signal cabling plugged up with silicone.
What are you talking about, that's TOTALLY how you 'weatherproof' something.... right?

Worked for a small-to-medium business firewall company for a number of years and had people trying to do the same thing with all of our devices. We ended up having to make a 'ruggedized' version which was *drum roll please* effectively the same thing, just plugged up with electrical short security to shut down just in case it got thrown into a puddle or something. Sold like dang hotcakes.

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Roundtop
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Re: What is something about your profession that people don't understand?

Post by Roundtop » Wed Aug 19, 2020 5:31 pm

I work doing high level IT Support....

Programmers do not know how to troubleshoot problems. They can hunt a code bug, and they can troubleshoot their code, but Windows problems, interoperability issues, general translation of "it hurts when I do this" to "when this specific area is pressed in this specific way, this unexpected event occurs" is just not what they are trained for.

So IT Support = people who figure out the issue, and overall have to keep up to date on a lot of things, and act as generalists because we do deal with a ton of stuff... but don't expect us to check the stack of a Windows dump for a given application. THAT is what a programmer of that application would do. But throw him in front of the initial issue and they'll run screaming.

Some days I wonder why I get paid because of stupid questions... other days I know damn well why.

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Re: What is something about your profession that people don't understand?

Post by Norphus » Mon Sep 07, 2020 3:17 pm

More IT admin rants:

Your computer does not care. It does not care if you shout at it. It does not care if you hit it. Your computer is an inanimate object and can not feel anything at all. Ranting and raving at it and hitting it because it's not doing what you want it to do is not going to miraculously make it generate the correct result. All you're going to do by being violent with it is break it.

IF you want it to generate the right result either A) Feed it the correct data or B) Do the process correctly. If you hit it, you will break it and oddly enough, I am not made of computers.

Bah.

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Re: What is something about your profession that people don't understand?

Post by Deacon » Mon Sep 07, 2020 5:58 pm

Norphus wrote:
Mon Sep 07, 2020 3:17 pm
All you're going to do by being violent with it is break it.
Percussive maintenance can do wonders ;)
The follies which a man regrets the most in his life are those which he didn't commit when he had the opportunity. - Helen Rowland, A Guide to Men, 1922

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Re: What is something about your profession that people don't understand?

Post by Doc Giggles » Tue Sep 08, 2020 8:34 am

It summons the guy that makes things go....
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Re: What is something about your profession that people don't understand?

Post by auntmousie » Thu Sep 10, 2020 5:10 pm

Norphus wrote:
Mon Sep 07, 2020 3:17 pm
Your computer does not care. It does not care if you shout at it. It does not care if you hit it. Your computer is an inanimate object and can not feel anything at all. Ranting and raving at it and hitting it because it's not doing what you want it to do is not going to miraculously make it generate the correct result. All you're going to do by being violent with it is break it.
Inspired by an online story to the same effect, I once approached a network problem with magic. I mean, when I couldn't get my network to do what I wanted, I literally unplugged everything, piled it in the middle of the room, drew a circle of salt around it, lit some candles, and danced around it naked and shouting. For as long as I could stand it, which in this case was about five minutes (hey, it was an off day). Then I put everything back, plugged everything in ... and it worked.

Intellectually I know that the only things that actually mattered were (a) waiting 5 minutes, which allowed some upstream problem to resolve; (b) powercycling every part of the network, which cleared all buffers and memory issues; and (c) re-seating all hard connections.

Viscerally, I'm convinced I scared away the internet demons.
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Re: What is something about your profession that people don't understand?

Post by Rorschach » Fri Sep 11, 2020 8:43 am

I too am naked and yelling at my keyboard, surrounded by a salty circle.
To Let

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Software Rituals

Post by Seannery » Fri Sep 11, 2020 10:33 am

To install Ubuntu in an enterprise setting, a shaman is necessary. The shaman will gather everyone together and perform the first-boot ritual, complete with traditional dance and music. Some say it appeases the gods of software. Some say it prevents one person after another rebooting the system because they think bootup's stalled.
liberté, égalité, muliebrité

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Deacon
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Re: What is something about your profession that people don't understand?

Post by Deacon » Fri Sep 11, 2020 1:50 pm

Rorschach wrote:
Fri Sep 11, 2020 8:43 am
I too am naked and yelling at my keyboard, surrounded by a salty circle.
It never ceases to amaze me, your ability to make me actually laugh out loud at something.
The follies which a man regrets the most in his life are those which he didn't commit when he had the opportunity. - Helen Rowland, A Guide to Men, 1922

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Re: What is something about your profession that people don't understand?

Post by FirebirdNC » Sat Sep 12, 2020 12:24 pm

Deacon wrote:
Fri Sep 11, 2020 1:50 pm
Rorschach wrote:
Fri Sep 11, 2020 8:43 am
I too am naked and yelling at my keyboard, surrounded by a salty circle.
It never ceases to amaze me, your ability to make me actually laugh out loud at something.
Laugh/Cringe all in the same moment :D .
~Insert clever bon mot here~

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