A "good enough" mom muses about alpha moms, adoption, computers, the State Of The World, Internet quirkiness, and the Kosmik All
Deus ex Machina
Sooo... My Place Of Business is moving away from regular FTP to secure FTP. The ITS department replaced the good ol' FTP program with something called "Secure FTP" (wow! What a creative name!). For months, I have been trying to log into my unix space using that program, being unable to, and saying "Screw it--I have better things to do with my time!", and using Dreamweaver or the Telnet program instead. Today, needing to fiddle around with uploading and downloading some files for one of the folks in my department, I took the bull by the horns and called the ITS help desk. Lovely folks there. Really! I used to work there. I would work there again in a heartbeat if they had a place. But there were layoffs a few years ago, and I got axed, then found a job as an admin assistant so I could keep accruing those nice retirement bennies, then, after a year at the admin assistant position, said to myself that they had gotten their money's worth out of me, and began looking for another computer position. Which I now have. Thank heavens. I am a computer person. I know computers. I love programming. I play around with websites and java and VB and css. I'm good at working with people, so this department (200+ people) is a good fit for me. I am not good with accounting or odd regulatory requirements as to where you buy from or what forms to fill out or whether you can use state funds for purchasing, say, lunch for the team at the end of the semester to thank everyone...so being an admin assistant was super stressful for me. Oh! Sorry! I digress! Anyway, I called the help desk. Jean answered. I explained my problem. She said it always worked on her system. (This is a standard answer from help desks. It also, amazingly enough, is usually true, because Help Desk folks have got their computers tuned and cleaned and scrubbed of weird and wonderful viruses or spyware.) She deleted her stored FTP session. She re-ran the program and typed everything in by hand, as I was typing everything in by hand on my end. It worked on her system. It didn't work on mine. We ran through every option in the SecureFTP program, and mine were set just like hers. She finally tried to log in as me on her computer, rather than using her username. Whammo-blammo, just like magic, her SecureFTP didn't work. We puzzled it about. We tossed up ideas at each other. She IM'd her teammates. Lots of good suggestions, none of which applied to me. And then one of them messaged something about "does she have the menu turned on on ServerName?" Yes. Telnet into ServerName. Turn the menu off. Okay. All of a sudden, now my SecureFTP connection works. WTF? Please. I know that help desk folks are known for knowing odd and esoteric solutions to computer problems that no-one would ever think of trying. But this was so odd and so esoteric that even the help desk folks didn't know it! Why on earth would that menu thing interfere with the secure FTP, when it didn't make a bit of difference with the normal FTP? Color me puzzled. Color you bored. I'll talk about something more widely entertaining next time! Categories: [Computers] [Work]
posted by Kate @ 12/07/2005 12:36:00 PM  
  • At 12/08/2005 12:37:00 AM, Anonymous Liz C said…

    ummm.... Kate.... honey..... don't shout at the end of your posts. You are going to wake us all up.


  • At 12/08/2005 12:38:00 AM, Anonymous Liz C said…

    Oh, and another thing. That isn't so much a deus ex machina as a ghost int he machine.

    Sorry. You know I'm pedantic.

  • At 12/08/2005 08:35:00 AM, Blogger Kate said…

    Grrr. You are right. Damn. On the other hand, a "deux ex machina" is the mysterious one that makes things work behind the scenes...?

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About Me
Name: OmegaMom
Home: Southwest
About Me: Middle-aged mom of a 4-year-old adopted from China. Love science, debate, good SF and fantasy, hiking, music of almost every style. Lousy housekeeper. "Good enough" mom.
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